After being lowkey for years since leaving the White House as President, Barack Obama is currently on tour visiting Kenya and South Africa on two different missions both based on pushing the culture of freedom, strength and innovation in Africa through his presence, speeches and well, a list of books dedicated to ‘wonderful diversity, thriving culture, and remarkable stories’. He listed books like Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Return by Hisham Matar and The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes.
This week, I’m traveling to Africa for the first time since I left office – a continent of wonderful diversity, thriving culture, and remarkable stories. As I prepare for this trip, I wanted to share a list of books that I’d recommend for summer reading: https://t.co/W4Jc0N23iy
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 13, 2018
His first stop was Kenya, the native country of his father on a two-day visit to support the launch of sports, training and vocational centre founded by his half-sister, Dr Auma Obama, through her foundation Sauti Kuu. Dr Auma Obama grew up in Kenya and returned there, after living in Germany and the United Kingdom, to work for the charity CARE International, Sauti Kuu. Her work at CARE focused partly on familiarizing girls with sports as a vehicle for social empowerment. Sauti Kuu, based in Nairobi, serves children and young people, particularly from urban slums and rural communities.
The good news is that Kenya has a new constitution, it has a new spirit of investment and entrepreneurship. Despite some of the tumultuous times that seem to attend every election, we now have a president and a major opposition leader who have pledged bridges and have made specific commitments to work together. So, what we see here in Kenya is all part of an emergent, more confident and more self-reliant Africa. – Barack Obama In his speech Monday at the Sauti Kuu foundation.
— NTV Kenya (@ntvkenya) July 16, 2018
Barack Obama and his half-sister also met with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and his deputy over what they called a ‘refreshing chat’. “It was a great pleasure to welcome you back,” Mr Kenyatta wrote on Twitter.
— Uhuru Kenyatta (@UKenyatta) July 15, 2018
His next visit was to South Africa for the annual Nelson Mandela lecture on July 17, where he delivered a powerful speech in front of 15,000 people preaching against the Strongman politics which is both a jab at Donald Trump who’s currently losing the ratings of the Americans every day because of his terrible politics and old political leaders in African countries still holding power after years of being in charge, an act a lot of African countries are guilty. He also spoke about the terrible human rights conditions in most African countries.
This is particularly important in some countries in Africa, particularly in my own father’s homeland—and I’ve made this point before—that basic human rights like freedom to dissent, the rights of women to fully participate in society, or the rights of minorities, for people not be beat up and jailed because of their sexual orientation, we have to be careful about saying that somehow that doesn’t apply to us, that those are western ideals rather than universal imperatives.
Strongman politics are ascendant, suddenly, whereby elections and some pretense of democracy are maintained, the form of it, but those in power seek to undermine every institution or norm that gives democracy meaning.
“We can take this continent far.” #ObamaLeaders: Africa welcomed 200 emerging leaders from 44 different countries to collaborate and exchange ideas. Watch yesterday’s recap: pic.twitter.com/PQSdjkFnay
— The Obama Foundation (@ObamaFoundation) July 16, 2018