Monday, 3 October 2016

The Africa in Obama: analysis

“Since Barack Obama’s rise to national
and global stardom, much has been
written about him from several
standpoints: politics, leadership,
communication, race and social media
notes Ghanaian scholar and
journalist, Dr. Etse Sikanku in a new
book about the 44th president of the
United States of America.
The response and patronage to
my book the #AfrocentricObama
has been awesome. I'm so
grateful to everyone
It is also fair to note that none of
these writings have probably delved
deeper into how Obama’s multiracial
background, especially his African
heritage impacted his persona, a theme
which runs through Dr. Sikanku’s book:
“The Afrocentric Obama and Lessons
on successful political campaign”.
Blending storytelling with academic
research, the author examines how
Africa has impacted Barack Obama’s
values and policy making in his eight
years at the helm as leader of the ‘free
For Dr. Sikanku, the timing of the book
is crucial especially as Barack
Obama’s days in the White House are
numbered. “The time is ripe to have
conversations about him (Obama), his
legacy and values as well as what he
represents,” he told Africanews from
his book tour in the U.S.
But what does Obama represent?
“Obama stands for certain things—
communalism, compromise, civility and
cooperation. These are things we need
in our political and governance systems
in Africa. His legacy stands for
something more enduring beyond
dollars or financial aid,” he said.
Most of these values, Dr. Sikanku
believes were borne from Obama’s
‘Africanness’. The book thus draws
lessons from the Obama phenomenon
that could prove useful for politics in
Africa and around the world.
But beyond establishing the links
between Obama’s African origins and
his persona or governance, what
message does the book convey?
“The message is that African leaders
must inspire, work for the good of the
people, not personal selfish interests
and look within the continent rather
than depend on external sources for
development,” Dr. Sikanku told
Africanews adding that “the message
is for leaders to have people at the
center of policy making”.
Owing to the style of writing adopted
by the author, “The Afrocentric
Obama” is ideal for general reading but
can also serve as a vital resource
communication, political science and
social science students.