As the election voting gets underway tomorrow, history is in the making in the USA. A win for either Obama or McCain will be a landmark for both African Americans and Women. It will show the world that America is indeed the land of opportunities and democracy. It will prove that the USA at least practices what it preaches when it comes to the ballot box. While Obama and Palin are not the first to reach Everest and actually will follow the footsteps of seemingly larger than life personalities like Mandela, Golda Meir or Indhira Ghandhi, to name a few, the USA is not these countries particularly when now Washington is the proverbial Rome where all the roads lead to. Despite differences on how to address a number of current world issues, one thing nations can learn from the USA is how to handle the As and Zs of the Novermber 4 election and what it leads to January 20 which is the key to the White House. Our salutation to the USA. Many nations in different stages of turmoil, for some apparent now and for others dormant, need to take note.
Would the USA take note of Africa? Would Obama and McCain, Biden and Palin take note of Africa? That continent which is trying to emerge out of a multitude of odds. Africa and America are connected by both blood and humane bonds. While pockets of despotic men and other calamities like desertification, brain drain, aids and economic hegemony not to mention corruption and mismanagement, are hampering progress, the sons and daughters of Africa are doing what they can to maintain a slow but steady march forward. All Africans of my generation take pride in the J F Kennedy era when thousand of young American men and women of the Peace Corps were building schools and hospitals across Africa. We need more of such initiatives and Marshall Plans to give a surge to Africa’s tortoise uphill battle for a better life for its population. Would the next USA president give us a grip, pull us up and let millions see hope at the end of the tunnel or like Bush and those before him only remember Africa in his last year of presidency ?
Africa must take note. Where we have egghead who change the constitution to have an endless term. And have laws that includes stoning 14 year old rape victims to death and if that is not enough will not wince at banging the opposition’s head with a machete. Not to mention genocides that obliterate over a million souls or waging useless wars for decades only to see their turn to have wars waged upon them. One of their own sons is gunning for the White house on the power of the ballot box. Africa must take note.
East Africa must take note. After all Obama has Kenyan roots and it was only yesterday that we almost went over the cliff following an election that reportedly was anything but fair. The pride of kenya must not be only in Obama’s roots but also in his impeccable use of technology, oratory and love for America that he displayed to convince people of all colour and creed, political shade and religion, age and social group, to vote for him. East Africans must emulate him and go the path of gaining power through the people’s choice.
Would Somalia please note. After all its name figured in the election as the picture of Obama in a traditional Somali dress during a visit to Kenya’s mostly Somali populated region was used by McCain’s support machine and neo-conservatives to play the Islamic card against him. Somalia’s disaster and war leaders must note and stop waging wars that only bring disaster and destruction, death and disease, hunger and hopelessness. They must note the USA election and how Obama and McCain spend millions and mind engagement, not muscles and morphine, to attract the young voters while they stuff them with drugs, arm them and then send them to death without remorse.
They must save the young generation of today which will be tomorrow’s torch bearers. Would they please save them and instead of bullets, give them pens and books.