Obama’s legacy to Africa: a mixed bag
BY CHAMBI CHACHAGE
A Havard Ph.D. student and a business historian
Obama gave a lot of hope to people of African descent all over the world. Globally, Africans had been at the bottom, they had been marginalized historically in the economical and political set-up starting from slavery to colonialism. For the first time having a black president coming to power, in arguably the most powerful nation, there was that sense of belief and pride. In that regard, there will be a positive legacy that here is someone who is as black as Africans who managed against all odds to get up there.
But then there is also a negative aspect, the US is still a global military power, and in a way Obama hasn’t really managed to change that. The US is still a bully, bullying people all over the world. But, again, what can one person do? Even some of the things that they are trying to achieve in Africa like the power lighting in Africa with Akon–If you look at it, it is really a corporate affair–all these American companies coming on. For the case of my country Tanzania, how on earth does a small place like Ubungo, a suburb in Dar’ Es Salaam where I grew up, manage to host Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama in a five-year time span? Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, all of them have been coming. It makes you wonder what is special about this place. Is it really about lighting Africa, empowering Africa? Because so far that project has not really moved.
Chambi Chachage is a Havard Ph.D. student in African Studies with a primary field in History. He is also a Tanzanian Blogger at ‘Udadisi: Rethinking in Action’. His focus is on presenting constructive critiques of the social, cultural and political dynamics of African societies and their states. He is also a business historian, focusing on the relationship between entrepreneurs and politicians in Africa and its Diaspora. He is based in Dar’ Es Salaam, Tanzania.