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What I Expect Obama To Accomplish In Africa 

By Yuh Maurice Martin, Tiko-Cameroon

Africa has not been high on Obama’s foreign policy agenda in his first one year in office as he wrestles with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. As an African-American whose father was born in Kenya, Obama was anxious not to be seen as exaggerating the importance of Africa in U.S. foreign policy.

"He has not yet put his stamp on Africa. His visit to Ghana was the start," Obama, spoke about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, and one of his first acts as president was to appoint his friend, General Scott Gration, as his envoy to Sudan. At that time, he also held talks with Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on the economic crisis in that country. Obama already know much in sub-Saharan Africa given that In 2006, he visited Kenya, Chad, Ethiopia, South Africa and Djibouti as a U.S. senator.

Africa has been affected by the global economic crisis which started in Obama’s own country – USA with steep rises in fuel, food and fertilizer costs and swings in commodity prices. Falling demand internationally has also reduced demand for African exports. For this reason, I think Obama should  improve food security in Africa and also focus on increasing agricultural production to help the African continent feed itself.

"We cannot talk about economic growth when we still have a lot of people who are starving
And also to expand the provisions of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which should allow more African nations to benefit from preferential access to U.S. markets and beyond. To my opinion, I think, that Obama’s visit to Ghana  earlier after his inauguration as President was to hail Ghana as a model for the rest of Africa, where coups are too common and elections are often marred by charges of vote-rigging and sometimes violence as the case of Cameroon, Kenya, Zimbabwe etc.

"Democracy and good governance are high on his agenda, so he was like rewarding Ghana while telling the rest of Africans that I know you so well. And also that:… You are important to me, but be patient. I have other things on my plate and our relationship will have to unfold over time. So by this, I think Obama still need some time and I am sure he will feed squarely on Africans shoes.

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