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Africa’s Mixed Feelings about Donald Trump’s U.S. Election Win: America not ready for a Female President yet?

More than a few Africans are worried about the policy changes Trump may implement.

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Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga speaking to U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec during an election results watch breakfast at the ambassador’s home in Nairobi, Nov. 9, 2016. VOA
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Nairobi, November 10, 2016: Feelings about Donald Trump’s U.S. election win are mixed in Africa.

In Kenya, where President Barack Obama has familial roots, many were hoping Hillary Clinton could carry on his legacy, but were prepared for disappointment.

“Personally, I think it [Trump’s win] was expected because I don’t think America was ready for a female president just yet,” said Jamila Wafula, a student at Jomo Kenyatta University near Nairobi. “We were really hoping that Clinton would win, but it was expected for Trump to win.”

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally, Nov. 6, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. VOA
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally, Nov. 6, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. VOA

Sara Asafu-Adjaye, a Ghanaian social activist, says she would have loved to have seen the first female U.S. president.

“Not only is it that she is a woman. She’s a competent woman,” said Asafu-Adjaye. “And the fact that millions, over 48 percent of Americans believe that she’s not the better person for the job, it scares me.”

Charles Eboune, an international relations expert in Cameroon, was dismayed Clinton’s decades of experience in Washington was not enough to carry her to victory.

“[If] you look at the caliber of the lady who was in front of him in the election and all those who backed her, it was another translation that [the] majority is not always right,” said Eboune.

Change in style

Now, Africans have to adjust to the fact that a president with a very different style and priorities from both Obama and Clinton is going to take office.

More than a few Africans are worried about the policy changes Trump may implement.

“It might slow down immigration, probably from African countries toward the U.S.,” said Francis Kouamé in Ivory Coast. “It is going to make it more difficult. Really, I’m not happy that he won.”

Cardboard cutouts of both candidates on display during a breakfast at the home of U.S. ambassador in Nairobi, Kenya. VOA
Cardboard cutouts of both candidates on display during a breakfast at the home of U.S. ambassador in Nairobi, Kenya. VOA

A Congolese newspaper reported the election results as “The Trump Surprise,” while a popular Senegalese website displayed a photo of Trump, with a headline playing on the president-elect’s last name and the French verb se tromper, “to make a mistake.”

But an administrative worker in Dakar tries to remain optimistic about America’s choice of president.

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“I am a little disappointed, because I supported Hillary Clinton, but I see that the people of the United States have chosen their president,” said Moussa Traore. “Donald Trump is not bad. The essential is that the people are a little unhappy to hear this, but maybe there will be change.”

President-elect Donald Trump pumps his fist after giving his acceptance speech as his wife Melania Trump, right, and their son Barron Trump follow him during his election night rally, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York. VOA
President-elect Donald Trump pumps his fist after giving his acceptance speech as his wife Melania Trump, right, and their son Barron Trump follow him during his election night rally, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York. VOA

Keith Benon Robe was active in Uganda’s opposition during his country’s presidential elections earlier this year. He says he is excited because he believes Trump will stand up to Africa’s dictators.

“I jumped off my feet in celebration. I was so joyous and I’m still, it’s just unbelievable,” said Robe. “I’m sure the economy will be better, better than it is right now. And I trust him because he’s a businessman; he’s going to change everything. But the main point is he’s going to help us change this regime, which we’re tired of.”

A good example

The fact that Trump was legitimately elected was not lost on some Africans, who have seen many rigged or suspect elections in their time.

Stanley, a history teacher at the Institut Supérieur Pédagogique de la Gombe in Kinshasa who preferred not to give his last name, says that regardless of winner, the American election cycle sets a good example for other countries.

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“The lessons which I draw as a Congolese citizen, as an African, is that it’s a handover of power, clear and clean, without problem. Mrs. Clinton has even called Trump to congratulate him,” said Stanley.

FILE - Malik Obama, half-brother of President Barack Obama, seen in a Nov. 4, 2012 photo. VOA
FILE – Malik Obama, half-brother of President Barack Obama, seen in a Nov. 4, 2012 photo. VOA

African leaders and politicians in Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, the Democratic Republic on Congo and Somalia, to name a few, have already sent or tweeted messages to Trump, congratulating him on his victory. Malik Obama, President Obama’s half-brother, has also congratulated Trump. (VOA)

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  • gene

    No, we do NOT need a woman president! We don’t need a man president, either..or a gay president, or a Hispanic president, or whatever. We need a GOOD president. (Hopefully, we’ve finally elected one.) We are ELECTING A LEADER; NOT choosing a MASCOT.

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U.N. Donald Trump’s Impeachment may be Possible: Key Lawmaker

Comey testified to a House panel on Friday about his role in 2016 election-related investigations of Trump's campaign.

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U.S.A., Trump
House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., arrives for a House Judiciary hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 7, 2017, on oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. VOA

A key U.S. lawmaker said Sunday that Democrats in the House of Representatives could pursue impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump, saying that the U.S. leader had “surrounded himself with crooks” and was part of a broad “conspiracy against the American people” to win the 2016 election.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat set to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee when Democrats take control of the chamber next month, told CNN that lawmakers have to decide “how important” allegations are against Trump, but should pursue impeachment charges “only for serious offenses.”

U.S.A., Trump
In these 2018 photos, Paul Manafort leaves federal court in Washington, left and attorney Michael Cohen leaves federal court in New York. VOA

Nadler offered his thoughts two days after federal prosecutors accused former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, “in coordination with and at the direction” of Trump, of orchestrating $280,000 in hush money payments shortly before the 2016 election to two women who alleged they had affairs with Trump so they would stay silent before Election Day.

Nadler said that if proven, the allegations against Trump were “certainly impeachable offenses.” That could lead to his removal from office, if the Senate were to convict him by at least a two-thirds vote, a doubtful proposition with Republican control of the Senate continuing in the Congress that takes office in January.

Nadler said lawmakers will have “to look at all this,” along with weighing what special counsel Robert Mueller concludes about allegations that Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia to help him win and that, as president, Trump obstructed justice by trying to thwart the ongoing 19-month probe.

The U.S. Justice Department has a standing guideline against indicting sitting presidents, although they can be charged after leaving office. Nadler said, however, “There’s nothing in the Constitution that prohibits the president from being indicted. Nobody should be above the law.”

U.S.A., Trump
Stormy Daniels speaks during a ceremony for her in West Hollywood, Calif.. VOA

Trump has dismissed the latest allegations against him in connection with the payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal and allegations of Trump campaign contacts with Russia to help him win the election.

He used Twitter on Monday to repeat his frequent statement of “NO COLLUSION” between his campaign and Russia.

“So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution,” Trump said. He went on to say “it was done correctly and there would not even be a fine,” further adding that if there were any problems then Cohen would be the one who was liable.

“Cohen just trying to get his sentence reduced,” Trump said.

Trump has called for the end to the Mueller probe, but a Republican lawmaker, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, told ABC News, “I’ve always supported the Mueller investigation and continue to do so because I think it’s in the best interest of everyone involved, including, by the way, the president.”

U.S.A., Trump
Seven-page government sentencing document for Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer. VOA

Aside from Cohen, who is set to be sentenced Wednesday and faces several years of imprisonment, Mueller so far has secured guilty pleas or won convictions of Trump’s first national security adviser, his former campaign manager, his former deputy campaign manager, a foreign policy adviser and other lesser figures.

On Sunday, Trump assailed former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, whom Trump fired while he was heading the Russia investigation before Mueller was named to lead the probe.

U.S.A. Trump
Former FBI Director James Comey, with his attorney, David Kelley, right, speaks to reporters after a day of testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

Comey testified to a House panel on Friday about his role in 2016 election-related investigations of Trump’s campaign and that of his challenger, Democrat Hillary Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of state.

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“On 245 occasions, former FBI Director James Comey told House investigators he didn’t know, didn’t recall, or couldn’t remember things when asked,” Trump claimed on Twitter.

“Leakin’ James Comey must have set a record for who lied the most to Congress in one day. His Friday testimony was so untruthful! This whole deal is a Rigged Fraud headed up by dishonest people who would do anything so that I could not become President. They are now exposed!” (VOA)