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Views From Abroad: Africans Blog About U.S. Elections

by Newsteam Staff
October 22, 2012

A truck driver prepares for evening prayers as trucks queue up at a border crossing in Noe, Ivory Coast September 24, 2012. (Thierry Gouegnon/Courtesy Reuters) A truck driver prepares for evening prayers as trucks queue up at a border crossing in Noe, Ivory Coast September 24, 2012. (Thierry Gouegnon/Courtesy Reuters)


In this week’s Views, we head to the Ivory Coast, where Venance Konan writes for Le Temps that Africans from several countries have mixed reviews of President Obama.

After speaking to citizens in the Ivory Coast, Togo, and Benin, Konan concludes that “In spite of a few complaints, we Africans would vote 100 % for Obama again if we had the chance. We hope that during his second term he will finally give a little thought to us, his poverty-stricken brothers.”

Also in Africa, Global Voices has compiled the writings of several African bloggers on the U.S. elections.

Cameroonian George Bamu writes that GOP nominee Mitt Romney hasn’t provided enough information on his potential Africa policy and criticizes President Obama for dealing with African issues like terrorism and food security but “not paying much attention to the continent.”

Blogger Sébastien Perimony is also critical of President Obama, writing:

How quickly the hope raised by Barack Obama’s elections in Africa faded away! The dream is gone and it has made way for a growing resentment from Africans who looked forward to a change of policy. Instead they are invaded by the US Army special forces on whom the government has spent millions of dollars. Those same millions could have been used to reduce food shortages in the Horn of Africa.

It was also noted that Romney and Obama share similar views on shifting “from aid to trade .”

The Global Post reports that if people worldwide could vote in the U.S. election, President Obama would garner 65 percent of the vote compared to GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s 18 percent.

While the survey was not scientific, it also showed that 54 percent of those polled said their opinion of the United States has improved since Obama was elected.

Russia, a frequent topic on the campaign trail, would also vote for Obama with 42 percent of those polled saying that he would be the better choice for their country, reports the Wall Street Journal. Four percent said they would vote for Romney.

For an infographic illustrating the full results, click here.

From China to Israel to Russia, the op-ed pages have been full with coverage of the U.S. presidential election. Foreign Policy‘s Uri Friedman has compiled reactions in the foreign press to GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s recently improved performance in the polls:

With the U.S. presidential election now closer than ever, the press is brimming with speculation about whether Barack Obama, after turning in a lackluster performance in the first debate, can reverse Mitt Romney’s momentum  during his second outing tonight. And not just the U.S. media. News outlets from India to Israel are busy dissecting Obama’s setback, Romney’s comeback, and what the new state of play in the race means for their countries.

Highlights include a former British Ambassador to the United States’ conclusion that, “In the circumstances, we’re better off with the devil we know – and that’s Obama,” and the Voice of Russia comparing the debates to a chess match.

–Contributing Editor Kirsti Itameri

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