Jilted Africa Calm as U.S. Ballot after Barack Obama Fever Fades

In the small Kenyan area of Kogelo, President Obama’s ancestral place, some folks have been discussing about their hurt feelings due to their candidate cum relative has not been keeping in touch with them. In 2008, Africa and Kogelo celebrated when Barack Obama, whose father hails from the small town of tin roofed houses, won the election, becoming the first African American as the president of the US. The final date of the election is Nov 6 and looking across the Atlantic to the Election Day, the region is cooler now towards their ‘son’, who is seeking re-election. There are few questions arising whether or not his challenger Romney will have more to offer to the region, if he wins the battle.

Barack Obama, often called as ‘Son of Africa’, said several times that ‘African blood within him’, has visited his sub-Saharan Africa only once after he took charge four years back. The visit of less than a day wouldn’t have spoiled his meetings elsewhere.  The Kogelo village was put on the tourism map by his presidential election and Obama’s grandmother still resides in that region.

One of the locals, 21-year old Steven Okungu said that Obama should have visited Kogelo at least for the formality sake or just to say ‘hi’ just to show his spirit, rather than disappointing them, for simply calling him as their son for namesake. He said Obama visited only once, which is more disappointing.  Many Africans believe that their spirit for Barack Obama wasn’t required by the president in terms of increased commitments and innovative plans on the globe’s poorest continent. They see the shortage that’s filled by other emerging nations, like Brazil, South Korea, India, and China.

The Sub-Saharan Africa is nowhere in the picture, when it comes to election campaigns, which is mainly focused on domestic or social issues, improving declining economy, and lack of jobs. Analysts point out counter-terrorism for pointing United States policy towards Africa as Washington is behind the great efforts in building the continent to deal with the increasing presence of Islamic allies and al Qaeda in main locations, from Somalia to Nigeria and Mali. Director of STRATFOR Global Intelligence, SSA, Mark Schroeder said these issues do not identify edges, hinting this safety focus will shape powerfully, no matter who wins the race. China overtook the US in 2009 as Africa’s biggest trading center and Hu Jintao, Chinese President has made total 7 visits to Africa and other 17 nations in his administration, while Obama has visited Saharan Africa only once during his sojourn in Ghana in 2009.


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