What does Africa expect from Obama?

Experts are optimistic that the re-elected US president Barack Obama will focus on boosting US-Africa trade relations and work towards re-directing private investments and jobs to Africa.

 

Obamas father was Kenyan; he is half- African. Somewhere, Africa feels that an Obama-led America is well-positioned and equipped to help them on their path to economic and social progress by deepening US-Africa trade ties and creating jobs in Africa for the millions of unemployed.

 

In his first-term Obama made only one, cursory trip to sub-Saharan Africa during his first term and made no remarkable efforts like his predecessors to increase US-Africa relations although he defended the African Growth and opportunities Act (AGOA), initiated by President Bill Clinton, to offer African goods unfettered market access into the US.

 

The US was Africa’s biggest trading partner until China beat it to top position. Many US multinationals are already present in the continent and have created many jobs in Africa. When talent is not available locally Africa recruitment agencies are assigned to find skilled professionals looking for careers in Africa to fill up vacancies created in Africa by the US majors.

 

The US could take a cue from China. Chinese run companies are one of the biggest employers in Africa and have created many permanent jobs and contract jobs in Africa. The US must try to beat China and renew its trade ties with the continent. This will be a win-win situation for both continents, as both American and Africa jobs will be created.

 

It is Africa’s hope now that Obama in his Second-term will have Africa on his priority list, will focus on  establishing stronger trading relations like China, establishing more partnerships in sectors like Information Technology (IT), health, education and agriculture that can help economic and social progress and provide jobs in Africa.

 

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