Why Obama would snub Uganda

US President, Barak Obama has been on an African tour where he visited Kenya and Ethiopian. NET PHOTO

What you need to know:

US President has visited a number of African countries in his two term tenure and recently he was in Kenya on a three day visit. Our report spoke to experts and they explain why he might not visit Uganda.

To understand why President Obama skipped Uganda, which is the most influential powerbroker in the region and instead visited its neighbour, one would have to first look at where he has been.
The last time a sitting US president visited was July 11, 2003 when George W. Bush met with President Museveni in Kampala. Before that, William J. Clinton had visited on March 23-25 1998, where he too met Mr Museveni along with the presidents of Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, and the Congo.
Mr Obama has racked up numerous trips in his tenure; ranking high on the globe-trotting charts for US presidents and has so far been to Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa. However, most notable of those countries is Senegal, Ghana and Tanzania. The three are considered amongst Africa’s most stable democracies.
When Mr Obama visited Senegal, he applauded its ability to hold free and fair elections.
Earlier in March 2015, Mwangi S. Kimenyi a senior fellow at the U.S. Brookings Institution’s Africa initiative, in the Quartz online digital news column, advanced three Africa countries that are ideal for the US president’s 2015 itinerary. “I propose that the president’s last in-office trip to Africa cover at least the following countries: Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Kenya,” he noted
“Nigeria, is the most important country in Africa, and it is the country that has the most influence on the direction that Africa takes…Nigeria has, in recent years, undertaken major reforms that are helping stimulate the economy and shift away from an over-reliance on oil exports.”
He also argued that much as Ethiopia still lags far behind other countries in deregulating some key sectors of the economy — especially telecommunications, land markets, banking, and finance. That the country deserves a visit by president Obama leadership and Addis Ababa has demonstrated willingness to reform. “Although it remains work in progress, the reform process is on a positive trajectory, and is a good example for other African countries to follow. Second, the country is an important ally in the war against terrorism, and has been pivotal in efforts to neutralise al-Shabaab,” he said.
“The president should use an Ethiopian trip to visit the headquarters of the African Union, located in Addis Ababa. A visit to the A.U. by a U.S. president would be a significant endorsement of the role the continental organisation plays, and would, indeed, be the best forum for which to hold the next US-Africa Leaders’ Summit,” he added.
And finally Kenya; “As the country of president Obama’s father, Kenya must be included in the itinerary. Kenya has made major political and economic reforms in recent decades. It now has one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, and the implementation of this constitution is continuing steadily,” he noted. So where is Uganda in all this?


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