WHY US CONGRESSWOMAN ILHAN OMAR’S VISIT TO SOMALIA IS IMPORTANT
American policy on Africa is traditionally misguided, exacerbated by Western pseudo-experts on African affairs. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s visit to Somalia is, first and foremost, symbolizes re-engagement of African diaspora in positions of influence in the US Government with native countries of origin, and visits of this kind could help flash out the enormous misconceptions of US policy-makers on African realities.
Recent Puntland Diaspora Summit in Garowe, Puntland, together with Ms Omar’s current visit to parts of African continent, including Somalia, would re-awaken the potential for deeper understanding of African issues and cooperation between Africa and Western World.
US Congresswoman ilhan Omar will gain first-hand experience on the failed state of American foreign policy on African affairs, and hopefully, her visit would help re-direct US engagement with the continent. Ms Omar could now challenge certain circles of US establishment, who continously misread Africa. For US foreign policy, Ukraine has been deemed more important, drawing huge US assistance package than the fifty plus countries in Africa. According to many economic analysts in different countries, African Continent is the future of the world in terms of much needed resources in raw materials and manpower. Amidst global competition for resources with China and India, Western nations would need to re-think and reset their cooperation and relationships with Africa. Ms Omar’s visit to Puntland State of Somalia could be a small step towards correcting the devastating wrong ideas on African realities by Western academia and policy-makers. In line with the new political and economic realities, African leaders would be required to urgently work out public policies on re-engaging with their respective diaspora. It is no longer a business as usual.
[Feature picture: WDM Chief Editor shaking hands with Representative Ilhan Omar at Garowe, Puntland, airport.]
[This article has been updated since posting.]