Obama was good just for the U.S.

Ethiopian activist and entrepreneur Markos Lemma

Ethiopian activist and entrepreneur Markos Lemma


An activist and entrepreneur

Barack Obama is one of the best presidents that ever happened, but for the US. He was good for Peace Resolution and Climate Change but not for Africa. For example, Bush was really one of the worst presidents but he did an amazing job when it came to controlling HIV/AIDS. In general, Obama did incredibly well but not for Africa. YALI is a PR machine—like they didn’t want to get more connected but rather Americanize everyone, which was one of the reasons that I didn’t participate. He did increase work with AGOA, but that was already pre-negotiated by another president.

There is this Trade Partnership that I hope that the new administration will promote. The US-Africa relationship is overshadowed by the Chinese-Africa relationship. And the reason is the Chinese are very focused on infrastructure and very tangible development agenda. I think the US needs to tap into that.


Markos Lemma in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is an activist, co-founder of iceaddis, a community-oriented innovation hub in Ethiopia and co-founder of SelamCompany, a startup company working on primary education and literacy. He specialised in ICT consultancy and community management. He is also an advocate for startup movements, social and environmental innovations & blogging.

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