Here are some excerpts from an article by Njoroge Wachai as posted on Post Global . It reverts back to the question of how much should Africans rely on outside help to develop the continent? Who really owes Africa: Obama or our leaders? Here are some main points, but do read the whole article here.
Now Mr. President, please don’t get me wrong; we’re not seeking handouts from your administration. We’re smart enough to know America doesn’t dole out freebies. What we want is an Africa that sticks to some of the ideals that you too much championed during the campaigns: democracy; respect for human rights; accountability and transparency from our leaders; trade policies that can create wealth in Africa and put more people to work. We’re tired of visiting Washington with a begging bowl in hand.
As the rest of the world turns the page on political and economic fronts, your African brothers and sisters remain stuck in the table of contents out of fault not their own, but that of their greedy leaders. They’re dying in millions from wars started by power-hungry despots. There’s virtually nothing to write about the economic well-being of ordinary Africans because their leaders would rather stuff their own pockets instead of distributing their countries’ wealth to all. I’m sure these are the people you were referring to in your inaugural speech when you warned, “To those leaders around the globe who ……blame their society’s ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.”
For all of his failings, Africans will judge your predecessor, George W. Bush, on what he built, what he contributed to the continent. He looks like a messiah to Africa for the massive aid he channeled there to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other neglected diseases. Imagine what you could contribute in Africa if you helped tamp down the corruption and waste that daily plague our people there.
President Obama, crack down on corruption and abuse of human rights in Africa. Use your political capital to bring peace to Darfur, Sudan. Help emancipate the people of Zimbabwe from the despotic rule of Robert Mugabe. This – not aid – is the best gift you can give the African continent. Once there’s a conducive environment to engage in trade and to express ourselves, without fear of imprisonment of any other form of harassment, the rest will take care of itself.