Over the past week, the White House has been collecting questions, comments and words of welcome for World President Obama via SMS, Twitter, Facebook and from newspapers across Africa. The White House shared these responses with 3 journalists in Africa, Ms. Angela Quintal of the Independent Newspapers in South Africa, Mr. Mamadou Thior of Radio Television Senegal (RTS) and Mr. Peter Kimani of The Standard in Kenya. These journalists, in turn, picked a few of the questions for the President to answer. The White House will post a video and audio recording of those answers on Monday.
In the meantime, the White House has shared an interactive map which samples 43 of the more than 5,000 questions received.
There are pertinent questions about the ever-present vice of corruption:
"Goodmorning Mr.president,the former sec.of state Mr.Collin Powel once said that every Nigerian is corrupt.As a Nigerian I know he is 99% correct.what policies do you propose to inorder to deliver the largest African nation from this 'cancer'.may Allah protect and guide you."Some of the questions address contemporary issues like the environment, such as this one from Swaziland:
Mr. President, thank you 4 ur commitment to improve lives of ordinary ppl. I work 4 an env regulating agency. There a companies who we find difficult to get to comply with env stds because they exploit our vulnerabilities (poverty, unemployment,etc). Politicians then find it hard to support compliance enforcement measures because of fear of making the economic situation worse. What is ur policy 4 US companies operating in developing countries and how it enforced?And, of course, the most interesting question had to come from Kenya:
"Mr President, there is currently a lot of interesting and healthy debate in traditional and online media about appropriate development models for Africa. Three schools of thought are emerging: Jeffrey Sachs, Bill Easterly, and Dambisa Moyo. Which of these three does your administration feel most comfortable with when developing and designing US aid and development policies and strategies for Africa?"And you, what would you ask Obama when given the opportunity?