Is the optimism surrounding Obama warranted?

THE FIRST black President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, will be inaugurated today in Washington D.C with the world’s media broadcasting live pictures of the ceremonial proceedings to the tens of millions who will be watching. 

Barack ObamaIt follows quickly on the heels of the President elect’s ‘We Are One’ concert that saw the world of jazz, soul, rock, country, and Latin music take pride of place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and all at a cost of £100m.

And today’s ‘timetable’ will require a similarly energetic approach from Obama with his swearing-in ceremony commencing from 1:30pm local time and concluding well into the early hours of Wednesday morning with the then President hosting a neighbourhood inaugural ball at the Walter E. Washington Convention Centre.

Come Wednesday, however, and the real work will begin for President Obama and his cabinet, ever-mindful of the fact officials from the Republican party openly referred to him as the “world’s biggest celebrity”.

No pressure then, especially when you want the world and all therein to take you seriously by projecting a sober and serious image in keeping with America’s current circumstances.

And on the same day President Obama commences his first day in office and takes on the status as the world’s most powerful man, Coventry Conversations will be holding a special media lecture to assess his impact, with particular reference to the nation of Africa, to which Obama has close ties.

The guest speaker will be Professor John Oucho, the distinguished Marie Curie Professor at Warwick University who was acquainted with Barack Obama Senior at Nairobi University.

Professor Oucho taught at Nairobi for two decades and in Ghana, Botswana and the USA and has a well developed interest in the future of Africa and its future.

John Mair, organiser of the Conversations series, said: “Professor Oucho is the ideal person to be talking about the Obama phenomenon, and his knowledge of Africa and the US is second to none.

“What he has to say about the Obama effect will be very interesting and a must for anyone interested in politics.”

Professor Oucho will discuss Obama, Africa and his hopes on Wednesday 21st January at 13:00pm in the Ellen Terry Building, room ETG34.

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