While Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States, began a five-day tour in southern Africa focused on the fight against AIDS, her husband, whose father comes from Kenya, has a rather mixed with respect the continent. Many question the limited interest that Barack Obama would bring to Africa. In two and a half years, Obama visited only once on the spot: he stayed 24 hours in Ghana.
The disappointment expressed by some is the expectations that had provoked the election of Barack Obama, says the Washington Post. This applies to Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, a Ghanaian to head a research firm and investment based in New York and a specialist in Africa:
“We really thought that if a black man become president of the United States, it would change the world but we are basically income at the same point before. The heart of the policy [African] is always inherited from the Clinton and Bush. Obama’s Legacy in Africa remains to be seen. ”
In the camp of U.S. President, it argues that Obama has clearly defined its policy priorities in Africa: support for democratic regimes, fight against hunger and development of the Global Health Initiative, a program on the health of 44 billion euros.
But the biggest critics of Obama’s policies in Africa are those who have supported the President’s Emergency Programme aid in the fight against AIDS (Pefpar) initiated by President George W. Bush. They increased significantly the distribution of retro-viral treatments in developed countries. Now, with a mandate to Obama, the program recorded its smallest increases.
Assistant Adviser for National Security at the White House, Ben Rhodes, this is due to the divergence of strategy the Obama team, who bets more on prevention while maintaining funding for treatment.
Some believe that the U.S. president should launch an initiative of the same scale as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) President Bill Clinton or Bush’s PEPFAR.
The Daily Nation in Nairobi reported rumors that Obama could go on safari in Africa this year, probably with a stop in Kenya, even though the White House has not confirmed.
For now, the First Lady of the United States will visit the cities of Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town and the capital of Botswana, Gaborone. Her two children, his mother and two nephews will also travel. No one can say whether Michelle Obama will meet Nelson Mandela, given the fragile state of health of the first black president of South Africa. Barack Obama has always maintained that the struggle against apartheid represented his first engagement in politics.