African silence speaks volumes

“With better governance, I have no doubt that Africa holds the promise of a broader base for prosperity.” The words of Barack Obama in his groundbreaking speech in Ghana back in the heady days of July 2009.

How tempting it must be for African ministers, long tormented by accusations of dysfunctional government, to bounce this message with United States inserted as the subject.

As Congress staggers towards its latest Punch and Judy show on raising the debt ceiling, I’ve tried and failed to find a single sniping comment from the African continent. Is this a silence of prudence, dignity or just indifference to a fading power?

I don’t think the restraint will last long, not least because most of the aid promises announced in that 2009 speech are about to be extinguished in the bonfire of US discretionary spending cuts.


this post was first published by OneWorld UK