Politic365

 
 


National

11:41am June 8, 2013

Rev. Jesse Jackson: Obama Must See Africa in New Light

Africa1

By Rev. Jesse Jackson

When President Obama and the first lady travel to Africa at the end of this month, they will receive a rapturous greeting. The president’s deep roots in Kenya, the land of his father, resonate throughout the continent. His success in the United States evokes pride and joy in Africa.

I write this from Nigeria, a country that has just celebrated its 14th year of democracy. President Obama’s election enabled Africans to see America in a new light. I hope his visit will enable Americans to see Africa with new eyes.

We know the problems of Africa: its poverty, corruption and conflict. After 246 years of the slave trade, 100 years of colonialism, African suffering and struggle are known. But perhaps the president’s visit will enable us to see the possibilities.

Africa is the second-largest continent in the world, larger than China, the United States and Europe combined in land area. Its peoples number about one-eighth of the world’s population. It is a richly endowed continent, providing some 22 percent of the world’s gold, 55 percent of its diamonds, and 12.5 percent of its oil. Seven of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are in sub-Saharan Africa. It is still marked by poverty, but extreme poverty has been declining at about 1 percent a year.

Nigeria has twice the population of any other African country. It is growing at 7 percent a year, and will be Africa’s largest economy within the decade. It is a major supplier of oil to the U.S., and potentially a major trading partner. Nigeria’s GDP is three times that of any other West African country. It is the largest destination for foreign direct investment on the continent. It sends 7,100 students to the U.S. for university programs. Its democracy is taking root. The sun is rising in this land of potential.

Nigeria still has deep challenges to overcome. Its infrastructure is outmoded; its health care and education systems inadequate; corruption remains a curse, and 60 percent of the population remains below the poverty line. Like many African countries, it struggles with an exodus of professionals.

The president will visit Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa with a large delegation of business leaders and investors. Tanzania and Senegal are among the fastest-growing economies on the continent. The U.S. is not the only country interested in these new possibilities. The president will arrive in Tanzania three months after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit. Americans will get a new understanding of how aggressively China has reached out to Africa, providing aid, investments and securing supplies of oil and other raw materials. For economic, national security and humanitarian concerns, America has every reason to open up closer ties with the nations on that continent.

Independent Africa is still young. It was only 57 years ago when Kwame Nkrumah founded Ghana, its first independent nation. Now there are young, growing democracies, moving from the struggle for independence to the struggle for legitimate governance and economic development. Think of the United States 50 years after its historic revolution. Our institutions were still being formed; we were still trading in slaves, denying women equal rights, headed toward a violent civil war.

Democracy and development are roads with twists and turns. In Africa, as the president’s visit will expose, the turns are now positive. We would be well advised to contribute to the progress, to invest in the promise, and to bolster the push for human rights, development and democracy.

Keep up with Rev. Jackson and the work of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition at www.rainbowpush.org.



About the Author

The Washington Informer
The Washington Informer





 
 

 
Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 9.40.22 AM

10-20-30, Black Caucus May Have Finally Found Partner on Poverty: Paul Ryan

After years of talk in meetings on panels and with various federal officials, the Congressional Black Caucus may have finally found a partner who cares about the issues of poverty: Speaker Paul Ryan.  Ryan is bringing up the i...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 
 
trump987

Trump – The Republican Frankenstein

“Although Victor Frankenstein claimed to be creating his monster for the betterment of humankind, it’s more likely that he did so out of arrogance, or out of a desire to become like God.” Cliff Notes As of this writin...
by Dr. Wilmer Leon
4

 
 
Radio station

What’s the Multi-Billion Dollar Secret for Growing America’s Economy?

This March, the Federal Communications Commission will hold what FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has called, “the world’s largest spectrum auction that has ever taken place.”  With 600 MHz of low-band spectrum about...
by Kristal High
4

 

Advertisement
 
google-cultural-institute

Google Cultural Institute Heralds Achievements of Black Americans

Ninety years ago, Black scholar and historian Carter G. Woodson spearheaded the creation of “Negro History Week” to celebrate the lives and legacies of African Americans. “If a race has no history, it has no w...
by Kristal High
3

 
 
trump92

After Millions in Free Media, Loudmouth Rallies and Loads of Hype: Trump Lost

Trump Lost.  Never has a man so “ahead” and “in the lead” lost so badly.  Every poll and almost every political prognosticator predicted that Donald Trump, reality TV show star and billionaire real est...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
3

 




One Comment


  1. ana

    Great article,so very interesting…Africa is rising!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>