Obama Tells African Hippos to Get Their Houses in Order – L’AQUILA, ITALY(ABC)

July 10th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

In a meeting this morning with the leaders of Egypt, Algeria, Senegal, Nigeria, Libya and Ethiopia, President Obama spoke about his personal connections to both Africa and poverty, and according to a top White House aide, “you could have heard a pin drop.” (more…)

In a meeting this morning with the leaders of Egypt, Algeria, Senegal, Nigeria, Libya and Ethiopia, President Obama spoke about his personal connections to both Africa and poverty, and according to a top White House aide, “you could have heard a pin drop.”

After describing a food security initiative that the president and other G-8 leaders have been working on, the president talked about development and the importance of governance.

“He shared a personal story,” said deputy National Security Adviser Michael Froman. “Everyone knows that his father was from Kenya, that he still has relatives living in poverty, and that while he’s President of the United States he feels poverty in a very personal way because of this of his family situation.”

Froman recounted that the president shared that when his father, Barack Obama Sr., came to the United States from Kenya, Kenya’s GDP was higher than Korea’s.

“Obviously much has happened since then and he wanted to make it clear that the problems that Africans face weren’t just a product of colonialism or past history,” Froman said, “that this partnership — whether it’s over food security or other development ideas — require local governments to take responsibility seriously. This wasn’t a time to make excuses. And that it was important to join together in a clear-eyed way.”

As the president put it, Froman went on, “his cousin in Kenya cant find a job without paying a bribe, and that’s not the fault of the G-8. And when companies can’t operate without paying, in some parts of Africa, without paying the 25 percent fee off the top in bribes, that’s not colonialism.”

The president said, Froman said, recounting from his contemporaneous notes, “that it is important to think about people on the ground who are focused not about who’s at fault on how to survive in Africa’s situation but are focused on how to survive and succeed and provide for their families and in that context he emphasized the importance of transparency, openness, and efficiency.”

It’s important, the president told the African leaders, that development programs are implemented so they “reach people who really need them, that the assistance actually gets to the farmers and the farmers benefit from this. That was the point he made. You could have heard a pin drop in the room. Several following speakers noting that they thought it was a very moving remark and thanked him for sharing his personal story with them. And I think it helped define the seriousness of the discussion and the importance of the subject.”

In a press conference following the meeting, President Obama acknowledged the remarks. “The point I was making was that my father traveled to the United States a mere 50 years ago yet now I have family members who live in villages, they themselves are not going hungry but they live in villages where hunger is real. And so this is something that I understand in very personal terms. And if you talk to people on the ground in Africa, certainly in Kenya, they will say that part of the issue here is the institutions aren’t working for ordinary people and so governance is a vital concern that has to be addressed.”

By bringing up the example of South Korea, the president said, he was trying to make the point that “the South Korean government working with the private sector and civil society was able to create a set of institutions that provided transparency and accountability and efficiency that allowed for extraordinary economic progress. And that there was no reason why many African countries could not do the same.”

Watch the Video .

– Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller

  1. yikerbelen
    | #1

    Most of the leaders have something in their hand in the meeting. at least they are democratically elected leaders and, they are representing their country, people and standing for their national intrest. what the hell is the beggar melese doing there? WHICH and people does this beggar represent? Whant is his relation with the ethiopia’s people? Does he under stand the meaning of accountability, transparncy and openneness? Does this beggar know that he is the only criminal who has stolen billions of dollars from the throat of poor ethiopia’s people and hidden in asia and europe?

  2. mateos
    | #2

    Somebody must let Obama know the wild animals in his native fathter country,Kenya, the wild animals treat each other with mutual respect than the so called African leaders treat their own people. Obama also must be reminded the other baboons of African so called leaders do not work for their respective country and people they represented. As of today most African leaders have proven themselves their primary goal is to be the instrumental tools of the west. The prime examples would be, the so called Ethiopian prime minister and so called Ugandan president. 1st of all I don’t understand why ugly midget of Legesse/Abebe/Melese have to jump on this thing called G-8 meeting, when WE ALL KNOW THAT HE IS THE LAUGHING STOCK OF WESTERN LEADERS. Did he really cares about the shameful jokes of Ethiopia that are being said on the diplomatic world or he is there also making joke of this beautiful country and people. Well! we all Africans know as to why he runs to such meeting! TO BEG FOR ANOTHER DOLLARS FOR HIS AGAZI PROTECTORS, HIS BOSS BEREKET, AND THE REST OF THE WEYANE MAFIA FAMILY. It is my dream and my wish these people who are making a living by distroying the most beautiful people and country to rot in the prisons they built sooner than later. Abebe/Melese/Legesse is making this country look just like him: midget, ugly, bald, and beggers for life!

  3. Biri
    | #3

    President Barack Obama is talking about this kind of corruption that keeps in Ethiopia in the cycle of misery:

    http://addisvoice.com/article/gangster-capitalism.htm

  4. D-Solomon
    | #4

    PRESIDENT BARRACK H.OBAMA
    Thank you For Explaing Those few unelected Dictators of Africa the So called African leaders ‘the problem that Africans face were n’t just a product of colonialism or past history,Whether its over food Security or other Development ideas,regional government to take responsibility”Tried to base its Succesess by how big of a donations recived from the rich nations,Like EThiopian P.M Zenawi’scase,is a DEAD WRONG at the same token to blame rich nations for own misgovernance and bribe infested system Rich nations can not be blamed ITS ABOUT TIME AFRICAN DICTATORS MUST BE REPLACED BY THE LEADERS WHO ARE DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED

  5. D-Solomon
    | #5

    PRESIDENT BARRACK H.OBAMA
    Thank you For Explaing Those few unelected Dictators of Africa the So called African leaders ‘the problem that Africans face were n’t just a product of colonialism or past history,Whether its over food Security or other Development ideas,regional government to take responsibility”Tried to base its Succesess by how big of a donations recived from the rich nations,Like EThiopian P.M Zenawi’s case,is a DEAD WRONG at the same token to blame rich nations for own misgovernance and bribe infested system Rich nations can not be blamed ITS ABOUT TIME AFRICAN DICTATORS MUST BE REPLACED BY THE LEADERS WHO ARE DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED

  6. yonas
    | #6

    PRESIDENT BARRACK H.OBAMA Thank you for Explaing those few unelected dictators of Africa the so calld leader the problem that Africans face were JUST product of colonialism or past history,whether its over food security or other

  7. Biri
    | #7

    http://ethioforum.org/wp/archives/1219

    Historic African trip for Obama
    11 July 2009 (BBC) Ghana was chosen because of its democratic track record and Mr Obama is expected to use the trip to promote good governance across the continent.

    He will hold talks with President John Atta Mills and address the country’s parliament on the subject of democracy.

    He is due to visit a former slave fort and a health centre in the capital, Accra, as part of his 24-hour visit. More »

    No Comments | አስተያየት በአማርኛ ይፃፉ »

    [[''
    Key rings and umbrellas

    Barack Obama visited sub-Saharan Africa while a US senator, making a trip to Kenya - his father’s homeland - in August 2006.

    For Ghanaians, there is little doubt that they deserve to be Mr Obama’s first real African destination since assuming office.

    Nigeria was not really suitable, given the question marks over the way in which President Umaru Yar’Adua was elected. Kenya, home of Mr Obama’s father, experienced post-election violence. Ethiopia has jailed the leader of the opposition, and South Africa’s Jacob Zuma is new in the post and something of an unknown quantity.'']]

  8. Sami
    | #8

    What Obama did was gather these African dictators and gave them a little bite of advice how growth is highly related with good governance (democracy). He put Meles just next to him, because I think Obama recognize that Meles is the one that need the advice the most. Unfortunately, evil like Meles need more than advise. Advice works on normal people. Meles and his Weyanne supporters are not normal people. They are physiologically disturbed individuals. In any case, I admire and respect Obama for his good manner, genuine and rational mind. By the way I ask all to see the interview that Obama had with one African journalist. You can find in in Abaymedia.com or the abugida guys can post it here as well.

    Thanks!

  9. Semay
    | #9

    Ethiopia doesn’t need anything from USA and the world, But stopping the Sick, inferiority and evil TPLF Ethnic policy in Ethiopia. This TPLF unbelievable action is the very bad thing the world has to stop it. If not, soon the human race situation which is the worst one could happen. TPLF Ethnic policy in the 21- century is the only/ source of problem we have. USA and the world need to stop them by stopping any support they are giving in the name of Tigry.

    Barak Obama’s speech about visiting Africa.

    “No leader is accepted if he/she is dividing and affecting the nation with Ethnicity.”

    Meles Zenawi is the only leader with distance world record ruling the nation for 18 years with Ethnicsm . Ethnicism is the TPLF system implementing in Ethiopia like capitalism elsewhere.

    Mr. Obama is not much interested about Democracy as he did visit Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
    What he is very much interested and his administration will fight it is, the TPLF type of Ethnicism. Because Mr. Obama knows Ethnicism is the worst human behavior no normal human being can accept in the 21-century let alone implementing it. But the Sick TPLF do.

    Ethiopia under the vey minority Tigrians era is the only country on earth forced to accept an Ethnic regime with very biased and lies against reality and history of the nation under Meles Zenawi in the name of TPLF. This sick Tigrians are affecting the peace loving, living together for long time and innocent Ethiopians this way for their personal benefit. The Kilil issue they have created by themselves to take vast and fertile land from wollo and Gonder is the main reason for their Ethnic rule in our beloved country. They took the vast land from Gonder and wollo and conducted ethnic cleansing and then occupied it with hundreds thousands TPLF settlement. Everything is known and recorded.

    The Rwandan Ethnic massacre and any Ethnic conflict world wide are happened after this barbaric TPLF started to use Ethnicism in Ethiopia.
    Yet, the generous and God loving Ethiopian people didn’t/isn’t/ will not follow these snakes trap to affect each other with Ethnic conflicts.

    This is the high time, we Ethiopians have to tell the USA administration, people and world wide how these 4% of Ethiopian population Tigrians are affecting the people with Ethnicity in the 21- century.

    In USA and elsewhere are living together all races, Ethnic groups and religions coming all over the world. Yet the sick TPLF are dividing the Ethiopian people that have the lowest Ethnic groups composition with population proportion based on Ethnicity which is coming from their very sick and evil brain to hurt the rest for their private benefit.

    USA and others will not allow these sick TPLF continuing playing the Ethnic card as they are doing for 18 years. As Mr. Obama has categorically said about those leaders who are playing with Ethnic division, we have to stop these TPLF Criminals. The next Ethiopian election must be based on leadership not Ethnicity. Any part with specific Ethnic group name must be banned from participating in the election. This is the way working all over the world. In Ethiopia, we have to stop these criminals conducting any election in the name of Ethnicity and ruling the nation based on Ethnicism system.

    By refusing and isolating the little and ugly criminal Meles Zenawis type who is ruling the nation based on Ethnicity doctrine, Mr. Obama is doing the best for Ethiopia. We especially the capable Ethiopians must expose to the world the woyane 18 years crimes in the name of Ethnicity.

    Ethnicity specialist TPLF Time will be soon over. Only those can lead and bring better life will rule Ethiopia. No race, No Ethnic and no religion rule USA. It is only the ability to lead. The TPLF sick mentality must be healed this way or we/the world know what to do with them. If the world ignores or allows these sick TPLF shameful and evil behavior, then soon the human race which is the worst one could occur world wide.

    Ethnic policy must be eliminated from Ethiopia. Any party with Ethnic name on it must be rejected and those refused, must be eliminated. The world is working differently than the sick TPLF that are affecting our nation for 18 years.

  10. Biri
    | #10

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090711/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama

    Obama declares to Africa: End tyranny, corruption

    [["Yes you can," Barack Obama declared, brushing off his campaign slogan and adapting it for his foreign audience. Speaking to the Ghanaian Parliament, he called upon African societies to seize opportunities for peace, democracy and prosperity.

    "This is a new moment of promise," he said. "To realize that promise, we must first recognize a fundamental truth that you have given life to in Ghana: Development depends upon good governance. That is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long. That is the change that can unlock Africa's potential."] ]

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  11. yikerbelen
    | #11

    ENDEMAMETE said,in July 10th, 2009 at . Dear president Baraka Obama, I am so happy that the marthin luther king’s dream came out in reality. The dream of equality of among different racial and religious communities , especially the rights of Black Americans as white Americans.But the question is here, Are you going to abuse or discredite the price which marthin luther king had paid in his life for human right by associating your admnistration with African’s dicators like Melese zenawi , who has been on power more than 18 years illegally? 2. USA has created an evile alliance with African’s dictators like Melese zenawi to fight aganist terrorism. Do you thing USA can win the war on terror with out the full involvement of the masses [ people] as a whole? My fear is that most African’s dictators are issolated from the people and the people are the source of information, and more over the people can cooperate [ support] with the terrorists for the simple reason the people have deep hatred to their dictator leaders. How do you over come such problems if your admnistration will continue working with dictators? 3. Historicaly, the richest and the wealthies Africa should work with westren countries, but the westren countries continue using the same old didvide and rule system, Ignating civil war, supporting dictators, giving billions of dollars for corrupted dictatorial and self assigned ” leaders in the name of poor african’s people, Selling their weapons to dictators to kill their own people , giving military and police training for dictators to kill innocent africans as USA AND Britain have been doing in ethiopia in support of Melese zenawi aganist the wish of the ethiopia’s people and others, IT IS SO SAD ,For that reasonS deep hatred and anti westreners feeling are growing among African people as the muslim’s world has deep hatred to westreners. How do you stop this bad feeling and hatred for westreners ? China is on the way to resettle over 10,000,000 chinians over the coming ten years in africa. There are over 1,000,000 in africa at this time. How do you see the expansion of china in Africa? WHo is the lossers here? The westren countries , china or Africa? 3. Is your admnistration ready to stop giving billions of dollars for Melese zenawi with out any precondidtion . accountability , openneness and transparncy? For God’s sake . stop working with africa’s dictators and support the popular struggle for freedom and democracy in Africa. I hope you will not let down africa as jandeyi frazeer, condelice rice collin and other black africa- americans did before. God bless you. amen

  12. fish
    | #12

    Shame of the beggar meles. He missed this kind of world spot light because of his endemic begging habit and hard headed nature who is ignorant and unwilling to learn. In fact this kind of mind set extends to all woyanes and their supporters.

  13. Amare
    | #13

    Obama’s advice is good only for African governments who have a real intention to do good for their country and fellow citzens, but are struggling to get over centuries old problems that they hve inherited from their colonizers and the African dictators that followed. But governments who are deliberately promoting disintergration and mistrust among different groups with in their own society with the hope of perpetuating their criminal hold on power, and who do not have any good will what so ever towrds their own country,would not beable to use it in any way. Ths is beausethe prblem of such governments is ot luck of knowledge but luck of good intentions to their country and being obssessed with ammasing power an wealth for their family o close frineds. Such governments do not need advice, thy nee to be outcasted from intrnational forums,punished n every wy possible and mentioned by name as bad example until theirconcience starts to work as tat of a normal human being. In addition, their should be a obvious support for groupsstruggling to promote democracy in their rspectie coutries. If ameria pts more weight on what itcan gt bycolaborating with dictators than to its own democratc principles, well…today’s lecture would at its best be useless.

  14. Mamo
    | #14

    Before the G8 meeting some of the so called African leaders promised by the same western governments some sort of financial assistance.so what is this clean up your mess thing said by Obama.it is obvious the money will either ended up in their pocket or use it to prolong their power.

  15. Mama Ethiopia
    | #15

    Meles monkey agazzi leader his father is satan. weyane TPLF agazzi has always been evil. wake up ethiopian. weyane TPLF has always been corrupt & thug organization. learn about TPLF, that EPLF also opposed the TPLF manifesto for independence on the grounds that Tigrai was an inegral part of Ethiopia and there was no justification for secession from Ethiopia. At this time, the EPLF was reluctant to support separatist movements in Ethiopia, not just as a matter of princople but for various other motives as well… [more excerpts will be posted later
    http://www.ethiopianreview.com/content/10314

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