As the preliminaries for the 2012 US presidential election approaches and with several presidential elections taking place in Africa next year, it is a worthwhile engagement to examine the first African leader of the United States in relation to the great potentials of Africans in general. For it is still the case that Barack Obama emerging as the President of the United States of America in 2009, remains, to a large extent, a ‘mystery in disguise’ to millions of people – particularly black people in general regardless of our nationality, location, religion, interests or status in life.
An article in the Economist described the Obama phenomenon as ”GLOBAMAISATION’‘. According to the author, Tunde Oseni, ‘‘Globamaisation is both an idea and a process. As an idea, it refers to a set of principles that in a developed and deepened democracy, like the United States, the lines between politics, culture, color, creed and history are happily collapsing. As a process, ‘‘Globamaisation’ is the beginning of a new dawn whereby techno-democratic forces will drive silent revolutions across the globe.’’
An inference from the concept on Obama above clearly indicates that the world is gradually moving towards a position where individuals with potent capacity and will power can actualize their dreams and aspirations in life regardless of race, skin color, language and other relevant factors. Obama, in his book, THE AUDACITY OF HOPE, fervently addresses issues of his life. Despite all the challenges and difficulties he encountered while growing up; Obama believed that the fruit of the years of struggle laid in making his dreams come true. That is the reason why Obama, in a ‘deepened democratic’ system as the U.S, won the prestigious position of Presidency.
That this is a spectacular achievement derived largely from sheer determination need not be mentioned. What needs to be considered is whether the platform that was provided for him can be replicated elsewhere, particularly Africa. The first thing to say is that Obama’s intellectual potential indicates that Africans are as equally gifted as any other race and that humans in general, regardless of race or creed, have incredible reasoning ability. The significant difference between continents, countries and cities, however, contribute in enhancing this attribute. This question of nurture over nature applies deeply in Africa as many factors such as corruption and all elements of avarice negatively impact on people – particularly young children and adults. The depletion of resources through greed and the consequent mountainous struggle to attain a better life, particularly in comparison to what similar struggle can deliver in Western countries; have resulted in many not believing in the African continent or themselves.
My view is that Obama has successfully set the pace for Africans to aspire to positions which decades and centuries ago were never believed to be achieved by Blacks. However, if African governments can eradicate corruption, attempt to invest consistently in world class education systems, infrastructures and healthcare provision, they will reduce the present gap between ‘‘nurture and nature’’ in the development of human capabilities and provide the platform for unborn Africans to compete successfully on the global stage. That is when the Obama in all Africans can be seen in all spheres of life all over the world.