U.S. Election 2016: The African Continent Reacts to A Trump Victory

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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.Voice of America

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.

In the United States, the reaction to victory on Election Day by the Republican (GOP) candidate, Donald Trump was swift.  While many Democrats were stunned that their candidate, former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, failed to gain the 270 electoral votes needed to clinch the presidency, GOP faithful rallied to praise Trump.

Cable News Network (CNN) reported there were protests in at least 7 U.S. cities on November 9,  the day after the election. Protesters targeted buildings owned by businessman and president-elect, Trump, according to the CNN report.

Meanwhile candle light vigils were held in other places to mourn the loss of the election by Clinton to Trump.

In Africa, a continent with vast ties and relations with the U.S., citizens and leaders reacted differently.  The reactions are mixed, according to German broadcaster, Deutsche Welle (DW).

“While some fear that a Trump presidency could have disastrous consequences, others remain cautiously optimistic.”

According to DW, Tanzanian leader, John Magufuli, was one of the first to congratulate Trump via his twitter feed, saying, “Tanzanians and I assure you of continued friendship and cooperation.”

Cameroon’s president, Paul Biya, writing in French, expressed his congratulations to Trump as well.

Elen Sirleaf Johnson, the first female president of Liberia expressed disappointment at the fact that the American people missed an opportunity to elect a woman to the highest office in the United States.

“Johnson Sirleaf was also bold enough to list her concerns over president-elect Donald Trump’s rule,” according to Quartz Africa.

Other African leaders have also congratulated Trump, including controversial Burundi leader Pierre Nkurunziza, as well as South African president, Jacob Zuma.

According to Newsweek magazine,“Trump has not had much to say about foreign policy in Africa during his controversial presidential campaign, but that has not stopped people across the continent chipping in with their thoughts on his victory.”

While the leaders of African nations have been quick to offer messages to Trump, the reaction from the citizens of these nations is much different.

In Nigeria, with a very vocal press, the reaction on the internet has been nothing but swift, funny and caustic.

According to The Pulse newspaper, Nigerians are now reminding Wole Soyinka, the 1986 Nobel laureate in literature, to tear up his U.S. Green Card, as he promised he would do, if Trump is elected U.S. president.

The Nigerian poet and playwright recently said he would do just so if ever Trump became U.S. president.

“Soyinka is currently a scholar-in-residence at New York University’s Institute of African American Affairs,” according to Quartz Africa.

One Response

  1. Trump, a real estate business owner has business mind. He work for the sake of world. His ability of thinking and vast vision raises new hopes for the world community, lets see wait and watch.

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