"Yes, a colonial map that made little sense helped to breed conflict. The West has often approached Africa as a patron or a source of resources rather than a partner. But the West is not responsible for the destruction of the Zimbabwean economy over the last decade, or wars in which children are enlisted as combatants. In my father's life, it was partly tribalism and patronage and nepotism in an independent Kenya that for a long stretch derailed his career, and we know that this kind of corruption is still a daily fact of life for far too many."
"Let me be clear: Africa is not the crude caricature of a continent at perpetual war. But if we are honest, for far too many Africans, conflict is a part of life, as constant as the sun. There are wars over land and wars over resources. And it is still far too easy for those without conscience to manipulate whole communities into fighting among faiths and tribes."
"Repression can take many forms, and too many nations, even those that have elections, are plagued by problems that condemn their people to poverty. No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves - (applause) - or if police - if police can be bought off by drug traffickers. (Applause.) No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top - (applause) - or the head of the Port Authority is corrupt. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. (Applause.) That is not democracy, that is tyranny, even if occasionally you sprinkle an election in there. And now is the time for that style of governance to end. (Applause.)"
"And here is what you must know: The world will be what you make of it. You have the power to hold your leaders accountable, and to build institutions that serve the people. You can serve in your communities, and harness your energy and education to create new wealth and build new connections to the world. You can conquer disease, and end conflicts, and make change from the bottom up. You can do that. Yes you can - (applause) - because in this moment, history is on the move."But, of course, there was much that the President found to his liking. And he was kind enough to complement his hosts on their taste for democratic government and progress as Americans understand the term. "Here in Ghana, you show us a face of Africa that is too often overlooked by a world that sees only tragedy or a need for charity. . . . Now, time and again, Ghanaians have chosen constitutional rule over autocracy, and shown a democratic spirit that allows the energy of your people to break through." Id. Mr. Obama judges the Ghanaians well in other respects: "So in Ghana, for instance, oil brings great opportunities, and you have been very responsible in preparing for new revenue." Id. And these positive developments were spreading in small bites across Africa: "Across Africa, we've seen countless examples of people taking control of their destiny, and making change from the bottom up. We saw it in Kenya, where civil society and business came together to help stop post-election violence. We saw it in South Africa, where over three-quarters of the country voted in the recent election - the fourth since the end of Apartheid. We saw it in Zimbabwe, where the Election Support Network braved brutal repression to stand up for the principle that a person's vote is their sacred right." Id. Other examples were offered as well.
But most importantly, he could not resist ending his address by telling his African hosts (as a stand in for all of sub Saharan Africa) what was expected of them and of their use of their newly rediscovered democratic and sovereign powers:
And here is what you must know: The world will be what you make of it. You have the power to hold your leaders accountable, and to build institutions that serve the people. You can serve in your communities, and harness your energy and education to create new wealth and build new connections to the world. You can conquer disease, and end conflicts, and make change from the bottom up. You can do that. Yes you can - (applause) - because in this moment, history is on the move.And the bare bones of a framework for democratic organization was offered to those who might not know better: "In the 21st century, capable, reliable, and transparent institutions are the key to success - strong parliaments; honest police forces; independent judges - (applause); an independent press; a vibrant private sector; a civil society. (Applause.) Those are the things that give life to democracy, because that is what matters in people's everyday lives." Id. Well, at least the President was honest. Though it was not clear that he was speaking to political equals--and in their own house. . . . .
But these things can only be done if all of you take responsibility for your future. And it won't be easy. It will take time and effort. There will be suffering and setbacks. But I can promise you this: America will be with you every step of the way - as a partner, as a friend. (Applause.) Opportunity won't come from any other place, though. It must come from the decisions that all of you make, the things that you do, the hope that you hold in your heart. Id.
And now comes the Secretary of State to Africa.
I love the woman. I would have voted for her. But she is an idiot. Why would you get mad at a student, from the Congo, who asks a question in French that gets translated maybe correctly, maybe not asking for more information. Where exactly does she think she is? That woman has spent too much time in Washington and not enough time around students, kids, or non-Americans. Can America ever have a good Secretary of State who is American?
Why is it that every time we see new of an American official in Africa, the Africans are getting schooled? I am not sure a student from the Congo really needs to understand the politics of a powerful marriage between two American politicians. Surely, she has the graciousness to understand the question or answer it without anger. I simply think she has not spent enough time around students or young people and has some anger issues.