Final: If Only The Weakest Could Benefit

One of the intentions for this “Power Africa” is aiming at China’s rising influence in Africa. While the United States have been preoccupied with smaller issues and crisis in many different regions in the world, China has been building significant relationships with countries in Africa. In The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, John Mearsheimer analyzed and stated that If China’s per capita GNP is half of Japan’s; China’s overall GNP would then be roughly 2.5 times bigger than Americas. Also he added that China has the potential to be more powerful than the United States. In his offensive realistic point of view, China will be an aggressive state for achieving its regional hegemony (Mearsheimer). Considering China’s nature and circumstances, it is a rational move for Barack Obama’s investment in Africa. In the Eyes of Others emphasized that “Neutrality and impartiality…are essential ingredients of effective humanitarian action,” (In the Eyes of Others). Although the campaign’s hidden intentions are not fully neutral, the legitimacy and the promising outcomes will surpass the downsides and problems of typical humanitarian movements.  At this particular matter that takes place in a less serious crisis zones, “Power Africa” campaign will eventually benefit more people.

“Ultimately the goal here is for Africa to build Africa for Africans.” quoted by Barak Obama and he continued, “And our job is to be a partner in that process, and Tanzania’s been one of our best partners. We are looking at a new model that’s based not just on aid and assistance.” Rather than claiming and promising to support Africa unconditionally, Obama used the term “Partner.” This is one of the most appealing ideas that I have heard lately: teaching them how to catch a fish, not just giving them a fish. Certainly the United States will have benefits by the “Power Africa” campaign including keeping China contained and acquiring more access to resources and the markets. In addition, Obama applauded China’s investment in Africa and quoted that he welcomes the attentions that Africa is receiving from China, Brazil, India, and Turkey (CNN). Obama welcomes the rivals. These countries also have intentions behind their investments and aids. At the end of the day, they all want something from Africa. This can be led to a competition, hopefully a good competition. In this particular matter, at least the aid will not go to the warlords or oppressors who use the money to kill more people. There will be a lot of corruption from local governmental officers and persons whom dealing with electricity power plants. At the atmosphere like this, I welcome a competition. If more African people can get benefits from the supports, and if more African people can bloom their potential fully by electricity, I truly think that the “Power Africa” campaign is worth it.

While Obama visited Tanzania few days ago, not everyone was excited about, especially for those who are struggling for their survival daily. “There are some people who will benefit from his visit but for us petty traders and ordinary residents, who struggle daily to make ends meet, we are the losers,” said Dennis Mwendwa, 31, a street vendor. “For some of us have been roughly treated and others ordered to move their business away (during Obama’s visit)” (USA Today). Naïvely yet sincerely speaking, I want this plan to be unconditionally helping another human being, but not considering Africa as a tool. If this “Power Africa” can make a struggling African street vendor’s life, I will be more than happy.

When I asked him, he told me that a bajaj(three-wheel taxi) driver makes about 10,000TSH($8) per day(before gas and vehicle rent). If only this driver could gain more economic power, "Power Africa" is a success.

When I asked him, he told me that a bajaj(three-wheel taxi) driver makes about 15,000TSH($9) per day(before gas and vehicle rent). If only this driver could gain support and more economic power through Obama’s new campaign, “Power Africa” is a success.

 References

“In the Eyes of Others: How People in Crises Perceive Humanitarian Aid.” In the Eyes of Others: How People in Crises Perceive Humanitarian Aid. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2013. http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/publications/book/perceptions/.

Karimi, Faith. June 30, 2013. July 2, 2013. “Obama Pledges $7 Billion to Upgrade Power in Africa” http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/30/world/africa/south-africa-obama-pledge/

Mearsheimer, John. The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2001. Print.

Mwanzi, Josephat. “Obama, Bush mark Tanzania U.S. Embassy bombing.” USA Today.  (July 2 2013): n. page. Web. 3 Jul. 2013. <http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/07/02/obama-tanzania-africa/2481771/>.

Linda Polman. “The Crisis Caravan: What’s Wrong with Humanitarian Aid?” New York: Metropolitan, 2010. Print.

Office of the Press Secretary. July 3, 2013. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/06/30/fact-sheet-power-africa

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