There are some who says Obama's ancestors were not slaves so he is not truly African American. To that I say complete nonsense. Obama's ancestors were colonised, an equally brutal form of oppression. What is most important, however, is what we can learn from Obama's attitude towards history. While he has no illusions about racism and the scars of slavery, he believed in himself, celebrated the opportunities he was afforded and took charge of his destiny. For Africa, especially African leaders, it is time to change their attitude towards the colonial history. Always focusing on colonial masters et al obscures the opportunities we have and the differnce we can make.
Trumpeting "Experience" to cover up for quackery
The McCain campaign, and before that Hillary Clinton's campaign, tried and failed to bring down Obama by claiming he had no experience. Even Sarah Pallin dared claim she would lead better. Obama triumphed because he was willing to learn, he chose his staff from the young and the old, based on their knowledge and expertise, to be in his team. What we can learn from Obama is that honest experience is an asset but age alone does not bestow wisdom or indeed useful experience. McCain in his concession speech admitted as much. Africa's leadership in government and beyond continues to be peopled by individuals who use age as equal to experience. This denies many millions the oportunity to make a difference in government, business and elsewhere. But the phenonmenon is more widespread. Developing country organisations such as South Centre have been turned into retirement homes. Experience is trumpeted to cover up for quackery.
As Obama said in his acceptance speech there is new energy to harness. It is in the young and dynamic. Countries such as Rwanda which have understood this are starting to reap handomely.
In praise of women
There were many people in Barack Obama's life that supported him and inspired him. But five women seem to stand tall among them. These are his mother and his grandmother (may God bless their souls), Michelle Obama and his two daughters. You cant help but see in this victory women allover.....The great thing about Obama is he never forgot this. For Africa and many other places in the world the lesson is to cherish and celebrate women in our communities. The story of Hadijatou (http://www.interights.org/niger-slavery/index.htm) which has been in the new recently reminds us that there are far too many women still suffering through the lack of opportunity, oppression and discrimination.
When you dare to hope you must be prepared to act
Obama dared to hope and deliberately acted on his hopes. It is this that has made a difference. This teaches us that hope alone will not change our fortunes. While it is true that Obama has inspired hope for millions, if not billions, the lesson we should learn from his story is that he hoped and acted. The problem for Africa and many others might be that we just to hope for a better world without acting to create a better world.