Once again, President Barack Obama and the United States have electrified the world. It is a tribute to the people of the United States that they have re-elected an African American President amidst an intensely trying economic environment that would have tested any incumbent. It is therefore also an outstanding personal triumph for President Obama.
Tonight’s electoral outcome will reignite faith worldwide, but especially in Africa, in the restorative capacity of democracy to deliver change and discard entrenched divisions.
In 2008, Mr. Obama and the people of the United States finally smashed the bitter and centuries old legacy of slavery and racial discrimination.
The current election outcome has put to rest whatever doubts there might have been that Mr. Obama’s initial success was indeed the turning point in the history of the continuing struggle for a world free of racial and ethnic bias.
This latest example of the power of true democracy will inspire minorities throughout the world to struggle harder for equality within their nations, in particular people of colour who live in traditionally white societies in the northern hemisphere
Mr. Obama’s success is particularly resonant in Africa this morning because not only is he an African American but the first American of immediate African descendant to have not only ascended to but succeeded in the most powerful and challenging office in the world.
This success is resonant in the continent also because in far too many of our countries, ethnic divisions stand in the way of building prosperous, inclusive societies in which human security and opportunity exist for all. This latest American achievement will inspire us to chart our own inclusive future
Nowhere is the global celebration more intense than in Kenya, and particularly in Nyang’oma Kogelo, the lakeside village of President Obama’s paternal family where the young Barack once sold vegetables with his grandmother Sarah during a 1988 visit. On Kenyans’ behalf, and on behalf of the people of Kogelo, I wish him and the people of the United States my heartfelt congratulations