Global Politics

Africans speak out on U.S. presidential race

(What have your listeners in African countries been saying?) Generally there is quite a huge support for Obama, which is unsurprising, but there's support for McCain as well. They believe McCain would emulate what President Bush has done in terms of the aid and being a tough leader in Africa, whereas other people say Obama represents change and hope, which is what people want to see from their African leaders. (We just heard from one of your callers that Obama is not African, he's an American and he'll be looking out for American interests. How much are people paying attention to Obama's specific policies when it comes to Africa?) All our listeners understand that Obama and McCain have very similar policies towards Africa, but it's their personalities which set them apart. One person said that Obama represents what our race can achieve, even though he is American. But another commentator also said McCain will stand up to people like Charles Taylor, as Bush did. (Another commentator here is saying he'd love to have an American president to not interfere with African affairs as much. How often is that sentiment expressed?) Quite a bit, Ethiopians consider their corrupt government to be propped up by America. So that's one example. (But do Africans still look towards America for leadership?) Yes, but America's reputation has the pillar of democracy has been tainted a bit in the past 5 years especially since the 2000 elections where a lot of people said America has no right talking about free and fair elections.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

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