Washington, July 4 (ANI): US President Barack Obama’s first trip to Sub-Saharan Africa won’t include a stop in his father’s Kenyan homeland because the violence-plagued country’s leaders “do not seem to be moving into a permanent reconciliation that would allow the country to move forward.”
Obama will make a stop in Ghana next week at the end of a trip to Russia and Italy.
In an interview with allafrica.com, President Obama said he chose to visit Ghana because the country “has now undergone a couple of successful elections in which power was transferred peacefully.”
Fox News quoted Obama, as saying that he intends to highlight the idea that “countries that are governed well, that are stable, where leadership recognizes that they are accountable to the people, have a track record of producing results for the people.”
Obama went on to say “there is a practical, pragmatic consequence to political instability and corruption when it comes to whether people can feed their families and educate their children.”
The United States’ first African-American president has only invited two African leaders to the White House so far: Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Experts disagree about whether Obama should be engaging more leaders.
Dr. Jendayi Frazer, former assistant secretary of state for African affairs in the George W. Bush administration, it’s a “mistake to only engage with the good leaders” in Africa.
She says President Obama’s decision to visit Russia despite its flaws and to consider talks with Iran suggest he may meet with a broad range of African leaders.
Other experts say President Obama is right to follow former President Bush’s success in making sure U.S. aid to Africa isn’t siphoned off by corrupt officials, with a focus on democratic reforms.
President Obama says he’d like his legacy in Africa to be putting the continent on a trajectory to be integrated into the global economy. He says he’d like the U.S. to be “an effective partner…in building the kinds of institutions, political, civil, economic, that allowed for improving standards of living and greater security for the people of Africa.” (ANI)