(Politico) – Beneath the ecstatic welcome President Barack Obama will receive when he arrives in his father’s homeland of Kenya on Friday is a lingering sense of disappointment.
More than the first black president, he’s the first African-American U.S. president, and that’s accentuated a frustration among many Africans — and some Americans — who see his record on the continent over the last six-and-a-half years as modest at best and falling short of the successes of his predecessor, George W. Bush.
“There’s been a feeling that up to now, maybe he hasn’t really achieved all the expectations,” said Witney Schneidman, who’s done extensive governmental, non-profit and corporate work in Africa and co-chaired the Africa Experts Group for Obama’s 2008 campaign.
Though he thinks the assessment is unfair, Schneidman said the sense of disappointment in Obama himself has fed into what many Africa watchers say is a sense of abandonment: “The general view of the U.S. in Africa is: ‘Where is the U.S.? We see China. We see India.’ There’s a desire to see more of the U.S. on the continent.”