While Africa and the world awaits the birth of a new government in the United States, a growing concern has been raised as regards what the African community stands to benefit from the agenda of the incoming administration. Asides the debates on how to go about the disbursement of grants and that of foreign direct investments(FDI), the growing challenges of terrorism have also been listed as one of those things that may affect US relations with Africa in the coming years. Hence, Africa’s kin interest in the electoral process.
Elections the world over, have been a process people look forward to with its unique intriguing moments which tend to unveil the inner personalities of the major characters involved. The US Presidential Elections in particular, have over the years left many spell-bound as it has taken different surprising turns in the past years.
This year’s US presidential election process has brought about not only very interesting revelations, but has also broadened the thinking of the average US citizen and the rest of the world especially with the debates and city campaigns of its two major candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Many have had numerous doubts about billionaire businessman Trump, who has vehemently driven home his ardent desire to strengthen the American dream which he thinks, has been weakened by past administrations. His bombastic approach towards strengthening his followers though criticized seems to have bought him the Republican Party ticket in the forthcoming elections. However, Trumps wide vision of foreign relations, the migrant community, and issues relating to US allies, have been perceived as very hostile when compare to the fair treatment which these groups have received in the Obama administration. Critics have also condemned his approach as regards the kind of trade liberalization agreement that the US has been pursuing. All of these are evident in his various campaign speeches were he is quote to have said “Obama treated Iran with tender love and care and made it a great power in the Middle-East”. Also, in his rally at Wichita, Kansas, the businessman is quoted to have said “To Make America great again, we need to get rid of the Muslims, Mexicans and the Africans, especially the Nigerians. They take all our jobs, jobs meant for honest hard working Americans, and when we don’t give them the jobs, the Muslims blow us up”. These statements have brought about provoking thoughts among African-Americans. For instance, many Africans have the belief that given the nature of their future visions, the American environment will be most suitable for their dreams to be fulfilled. These robust dreams will be cut short if Trumps words are put into action. It is already a downside that the statements are not only intimidating to Africans who live in the US, but are also seen as racist in every sense. It is however amazing how despite these strong facts, Donald Trump, seems to have knock down the barriers in his paths.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the other hand, has assumed a rather passive role even as she has firmly maintained that she is not a natural politician like her husband. Taking a more subtle approach to wining her votes, Clinton has being perceived as naïve especially on cases regarding Russia. Nevertheless, her exceptional American dream of appealing to the consciences of middle and low income earners through her agenda which spells out creating good-paying jobs, giving working families a raise and tax relief, unleashing small business growth, and closing corporate tax loopholes and making the most fortunate pay their fair share, have kept her going till this point of the process. Having being in the system, many are confident that her aim of helping families to not only get ahead but stay ahead, as well as harnessing the strength of manufacturing nationwide will be actualized if and when she is given the opportunity.
Even though criticism against her style of politics keeps mounting, she has done well especially among the African-Americans and Latinos.
The world stands still, as they watch poll figures roll out and events unfold in unexpected manners. Even odds on bookmakers such as William Hill has 4/11 on Clinton and 5/2 on Trump as viewed on http://sports.williamhill.com/bet/en-gb/betting/e/3686164/2016-US-Presidential-Election.html while Paddy Power has 4/11 and 9/4 on Donald.One thing remains- the importance of bilateral relations of which Africa is a part. This is a key aspect of the continents growth and development even as lessons from this dicey political race will be adopted in the quest to achieve free, fair and credible elections in Africa. It is also an important decision for the US as there are stills mutual benefits both parties can enjoy by nurturing existing relations.