DOES M7 REAP ANYTHING FROM OBAMA DEC VISIT?
By Mulengera Reporters
Ex-US President Barack Obama is finally by default coming to Uganda in the first week of December this very year. He will be here to participate in a week-long conference reflecting on the suffering and marginalization Africans endured during Slave Trade.
The week-long conference is being organized by Bugema University and Mukono-based Ankrah Foundation whose head Dr. Maxine Ankrah (a black American who is a great-grand daughter of black slaves) confirms Obama will present a paper in the same session with President Museveni who is renowned for equally being fascinated by prolonged discussions focusing on how the Developed North marginalized Africa originally through slave trade and later on through mineral exploitation.
Unlike his two predecessors, GW Bush and Bill Clinton, Obama never visited Uganda during his 8-year reign as leader of the world’s greatest power. It was largely construed that this was his administration’s way to protest against Kampala’s poor human rights record. He visited Kenya which is his father’s birth place.
Bugema University’s Director of Research Dr. Paul Mukasa says whereas its true Uganda didn’t directly suffer slave trade to the scale Ankrah’s native West Africa did, its in order for Uganda, being a strong supporter of Pan-Africanism, to host such a high profile gathering at which academicians and eminent leaders of the African diaspora will speak out on the contemporary challenges facing blacks globally. Saturday Monitor quotes Dr. Ankrah as saying they will be using the gathering to impress upon Ugandan authorities the need to introduce a University course called Black Studies. She adds the formal invitation has already been extended to Mr. Obama’s office and she is confident the very inspirational speaker will be in town come December this year.
The conference will be very refreshing to Mr. YK Museveni who has been president for close to 35 years without break. The Obama visit brings the inevitable publicity which the government badly needs to create additional awareness and raise Uganda’s profile as a great tourism destination. That free global visibility is very good for tourism which, at $1bn, last year consolidated itself as the chief foreign exchange earner for Uganda.
The bad thing though is that the resultant publicity also comes with the inevitable scrutiny on the country’s record when it comes to good governance and human rights. Slavery being the topic must be another very good news for our big man from Rwakitura because, unlike democracy over which many say he hasn’t scored highly, marginalization subjects (like slave trade) is naturally a very comfortable subject for him to eloquently discuss besides Obama. The visit also comes at a time when Obama’s US is seen as having diminished moral authority to lecture the rest of the world on good governance when they themselves are under Donald Trump who some (including Museveni’s own man John Nagenda) already describe as a tyrant. (For comments, call, text or whatsapp us on 0703164756 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).