02 February, 2009

Obama's Most Important Promises

Of all of President Obama's five hundred plus promises that he made during his campaigning, I find two - the most important and would very much like him to keep: that of reducing suffering and poverty, not only in America, but beyond its borders too; and his pledge to "engage vigorously" on Climate Change. In his inauguration address, he repeated his commitment to both:

And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders, nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

Both of these promises if kept and brought to effect, would be most beneficial to Africa; and would certainly be Mr. Obama's greatest gift for the Continent. Africa is the poorest continent and by America doing all it can in reducing poverty and suffering beyond its borders too - Africans, very hopefully, will benefit. To reduce poverty and suffering in Africa, America - not only has to help and assist materially, but Mr. Obama too, has to try and do all he can to change the way African countries are governed. There is no way suffering and poverty can be reduced in Africa, if corrupt and unscrupulous 'leaders', are still running many parts of Africa. For real change to happen and be in Africa - political change has to start - first; real democracy has to be there.

For real change, and suffering and poverty to be reduced - peace has to be brought and made in many regions of Africa. No where else on Earth are people suffering as in the Horn of Africa - especially in Somalia, the Great Lakes region and in Darfur; instability still wreaks havoc in Chad, the Central African Republic, Madagascar and many other parts of West Africa.

It's said that of all the continents, Climate Change will have its most devastating effects on Africa and that Climate Change is the greatest danger sub-Saharan Africa is facing since slavery; though it's the poorest of all regions and consumes the least. In doing all it can to change climate for the better, America will make Africa suffer less from its destructive effects. America should help in seeing that Africa's vast and very rich natural resources are used as a source of construction, development and enrichment for Africans; and not to be plundered, looted and raped by a few - with the help and support of wealthy countries and organizations - without any consideration at all, for Africans and the Continent's environment.

Africa's natural resources are at risk and Climate Change is a burden Africa cannot afford. Some things have to be done. Action has to be taken. Mr. Obama and America might help - but, again: for change to be and for the Continent to benefit, Africa's own politicians and leaders should, and need to, show: practical, constructive leadership with foresight. Leaders in Africa have to change or be changed for positive change to take place and be on the Continent.

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