Barack Obama escogió Ghana, el país de Kwame Nkruma, el primer gran líder de las independencias africanas, el hombre que junto a Julius Nyerere y Nelson Mandela representa lo mejor del África optimista frente a esta otra África aplastada por el clima, la pobreza, la corrupción, el saqueo y la desesperanza. Obama escogió Accra para hablar claro para reconocer el peso brutal de siglos de esclavitud en la economía continental (y en las mentes de sus habirantes) y los excesos del colonialismo. Pero el hombre que puede empezar un discurso diciendo “I have the blood of Africa within me” también puede recordar a los africanos las muchas responsabilidades de sus líderes y de sus élites incapaces de crear bases de progreso colectivo y que ven el poder como oportunidad de saqueo, para ellos y para el clan al que pertenecen. Revertir años y siglos va a exigir un monumental cambio de mentalidad, en el mundo rico y en África. No sé si los discursos mueven montañas, pero sé que las palabras significan mucho más que los silencios y que las palabras de un hombre con el poder real de acompañarlas con hechos deben ser escuchadas. Al menos, tengo esperanza de algo pueda ponerse en marcha. Aunque merece la pena el discurso completo ante el Parlamento ghanés, voy a destacar las frases e ideas que más me han gustado:
-It’s easy to point fingers and to pin the blame of these problems on others. Yes, a colonial map that made little sense helped to breed conflict.
– The West has often approached Africa as a patron or a source of resources rather than a partner.
-Development depends on good governance. That is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long. That’s the change that can unlock Africa’s potential. And that is a responsibility that can only be met by Africans.
-Each nation gives life to democracy in its own way, and in line with its own traditions. But history offers a clear verdict: Governments that respect the will of their own people, that govern by consent and not coercion, are more prosperous, they are more stable and more successful than governments that do not.
-No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves … or if police — if police can be bought off by drug traffickers. No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top … or the head of the port authority is corrupt. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy, that is tyranny, even if occasionally you sprinkle an election in there. And now is the time for that style of governance to end.
– Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions.
-I have no doubt that Africa holds the promise of a broader base of prosperity. Witness the extraordinary success of Africans in my country, America. They’re doing very well. So they’ve got the talent, they’ve got the entrepreneurial spirit.
-oil cannot simply become the new cocoa. From South Korea to Singapore, history shows that countries thrive when they invest in their people and in their infrastructure … when they promote multiple export industries, develop a skilled work force and create space for small and medium-sized businesses that create jobs.
-Aid is not an end in itself. The purpose of foreign assistance must be creating the conditions where it’s no longer needed.
-Africa gives off less greenhouse gas than any other part of the world, but it is the most threatened by climate change. A warming planet will spread disease, shrink water resources and deplete crops, creating conditions that produce more famine and more conflict. All of us — particularly the developed world — have a responsibility to slow these trends — through mitigation, and by changing the way that we use energy. But we can also work with Africans to turn this crisis into opportunity.
-In recent years, enormous progress has been made in parts of Africa. Far more people are living productively with HIV/AIDS, and getting the drugs they need. I just saw a wonderful clinic and hospital that is focused particularly on maternal health. But too many still die from diseases that shouldn’t kill them. When children are being killed because of a mosquito bite, and mothers are dying in childbirth, then we know that more progress must be made.
-Yet because of incentives — often provided by donor nations — many African doctors and nurses go overseas, or work for programs that focus on a single disease. And this creates gaps in primary care and basic prevention.
-Let me be clear: Africa is not the crude caricature of a continent at perpetual war. But if we are honest, for far too many Africans, conflict is a part of life, as constant as the sun. There are wars over land and wars over resources. And it is still far too easy for those without conscience to manipulate whole communities into fighting among faiths and tribes.
-These conflicts are a millstone around Africa’s neck. Now, we all have many identities — of tribe and ethnicity; of religion and nationality. But defining oneself in opposition to someone who belongs to a different tribe or who worships a different prophet has no place in the 21st century. Africa’s diversity should be a source of strength, not a cause for division.
-It is never justified, never justifiable to target innocents in the name of ideology. It is the death sentence of a society to force children to kill in wars. It is the ultimate mark of criminality and cowardice to condemn women to relentless and systemic rape. We must bear witness to the value of every child in Darfur and the dignity of every woman in the Congo. No faith or culture should condone the outrages against them.
-Africa’s future is up to Africans (pronunciada dos veces).
-Ghana, freedom is your inheritance. Now, it is your responsibility to build upon freedom’s foundation. And if you do, we will look back years from now to places like Accra and say this was the time when the promise was realized; this was the moment when prosperity was forged, when pain was overcome, and a new era of progress began. This can be the time when we witness the triumph of justice once more. Yes we can.