What Africa Expects from Barack Obama

07/04/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The premise of a Barack Obama presidency brings great expectations from Africa. GroundReport Kenyan journalist Fred Obera explores why.

"Africa is hurt by factors unique to the continent and our place in the world. There is our distance from viable markets and problems with trade. And Senator Barack Obama is aware of this," says a Kenyan living in the backyard of Obama's ancestral village in Alego Siaya, where his father used to herd goats.

Barack Obama is Kenya's beacon of hope. His quest for the US presidency is timely and symbolic to both Kenya and the entire continent, and Kenyans identify with him so easily as a new African- American man in the land of hope. We're aware that Obama knows that Africa is gradually shrinking from prominence on the world stage, and that he knows some of the biggest issues plaguing Africa: ethnic conflict and conflict between groups living within the borders of the dual monarchy, democratization, accountability and transparency-- all these are expected to be addressed during his tenure.

Obama's candidacy is welcomed with enthusiasm and an overwhelming audacity of Kenyan hope, even while most analysts say he will do little nil to usher in better African leadership. But there is plenty of hope as the senator infuses the continent with hope and ambition.

But even he must be wary of being perceived as righteous or condescending.

The prodigal American son with Kenyan roots will severely tested if he manages to achieve his presidential quest.

Barack Obama is the man that all of Africa wants in the White House next January. What then are the implications of an Obama presidency for both Kenya and Africa? Are African's expectations for an Obama presidency too high? Are they misplaced?...

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