Obama Visit – Is it Worth It?
Indeed history was created when President Barack Obama was elected as the United States of America’s 1st Black President. I still remember watching the ceremony when he came out to give his victory speech and for a moment everything in the world seemed easy and possible. Oprah Winfrey couldn’t hold back her tears and for a little bit you could relate to the struggle of a black person living in America and achieving the pinnacle of success or in this case power.
Perhaps in this new age media he has been the most written, photographed, tweeted, selfied, painted, blogged and talked about President ever. When he launched his website and raised funds through it, people raised eyebrows, but you have to give credit to him and his team, they are creative, young and interesting. From his great logo to the slogan “yes we can” nothing could stand in his way but racist America. He overcame and managed just slightly to make it to 2nd term. As his presidency will come to an end, he is making big changes, executive orders and reaching out to the rest of the world. Is this a PR tactic that will keep his income going after leaving the White House or does this make any difference to the current Government and political scene? I think it is both and a well learned strategy from former President Bill Clinton who then ended up setting the Clinton Global Initiative.
But the biggest thing that caught the attention of Kenyans recently was when our very own President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the POTUS (President of the United States) has accepted his personal invite and will be seen in Kenya this year. So what does this mean? The world’s most powerful man has finally accepted to come to Kenya and credit does need to go to our powerful man, for working on the Corruption with the naming and shaming and getting acquitted from the International Criminal Court so now business can be done.
For Kenya apart from this being mega publicity, it sends out a strong message to the world. We are ready to engage, always have been. We shed blood just like you did when we were bombed in 1998 and still today we face the same threat of terrorism like you so why can’t we join hands and face the terror together? The US economy has been slowly recovering and since we are now a Middle Income country there is more to learn from each other especially in trade, finance, professional services, energy and the list goes on. President Obama is an icon for many Kenyans and they look up to him, especially because his father was Kenyan. This gives them hope that they too can conquer the world either in a Fortune 500, Silicon Valley, OPEC, UN or USA again.
Kenya can learn from this 200 year old democracy but I also believe we have much to teach them too. To the land of immigrants we are a land of tribes, who continue to remain resilient and live in harmony. Which nation doesn’t face small issues, ethnic clashes, but despite that we are preserving that we want to keep moving forward. You can’t expect a 50-year-old country to be problem free. We are stepping into the wise era and the next 50 years will either make or break us and that’s why we need advisors like President Obama. That doesn’t mean the West can take over us and use us for their gains, but we are great sovereign state with very many intellectual, talented and hardworking people that want the best for us. We do desperately need assistance in infrastructure to catch up with the demands of the population. Will the Chinese feel bad because so far they have been the biggest rescuers for Africa and even Kenya? Incidentally China does a lot for the USA too especially financially so there’s always going to be plenty of business for all.
It would be interesting to see what role President Obama will take on upon leaving the White House. Will he become an Africa Advisor? Or do more Africa? Or none at all?
So far yes this Kenya trip is worth it and I personally am looking forward to it and its impact in general. It’s definitely an “Audacity of Hope”.