Business Day / South Africa

The editorial section of a leading South African newspaper providing a perspective in reaction to the 2020 American election.

Joe Biden was proclaimed winner of the 2020 American presidential race on Saturday, Nov. 7.

Biden crossed the 270 Electoral College votes threshold needed to secure the presidency. The rest of the votes are still being counted. They are yet to be certified by each of America’s 50 states.

In electoral parlance, Biden is now considered “president-elect” of the United States while he waits to officially assume office on January 20, 2021.

When the call announcing Biden’s victory came from major US news networks, including CNN and the Associated Press (AP), it appeared there was a seismic shift around the world — people wept on TV, there was dancing in the streets in America and in faraway places such as the African continent.

While the incumbent president, Donald Trump, lost the election and is calling for a recount in some places, and with lawsuits that have been filed to change things, journalists, commentators, pundits churned out lots of writings about the story of the American election.

The US government holds an important place not just in the lives of Americans, but an even more important place in the lives of many around the world. Even while the Trump administration shuns many of the responsibilities America is often called upon to play in global politics, it remains a beacon of freedom to many, especially in places where there is continued friction between governments and their citizens on the issues of peace, security, and economic freedom. Many of those places are in the African continent.

Here we are taking a quick look at some of the perspectives written by editors and newspaper publishers in six selected African nations in the immediate aftermath of the US presidential race. Overall, I looked at stories from more than 20 newspapers from East, West, North, and Southern Africa for this story

While a lot of the websites contained current, up-to-date news and information about the American election, many of them lacked an editorial standpoint on the vote. But still, these publications, many of them operating both online and in print, impressed me with their web usage, stylistics, including their content and the numbers of subjects covered.

1. Business Day — South Africa

EDITORIAL: SA must make the most of US change

“While there is no doubt that having the US led by someone who doesn’t talk about Africa in derogatory terms — that this is even a standard to measure it by is testament to the lows of the Trump presidency — is a good thing, it is too early to judge how the relationship will be reset in the coming months or years. Even when the US had a half Kenyan president, Barack Obama, Africa and SA were not exactly top of its agenda, despite the continent’s economic potential.”

2. Nation — Kenya

Biden has huge task to reset US place in world

“The United States needed a president who can reset the button for democracy, respect for human rights, protection of the environment and leading the war against the Covid-19 global pandemic.”

3. Ghana Web — Ghana

Trump has taken America to hell and back! Will he stop there?

“Donald Trump has been behaving like your childhood playground bully. He wants to appoint referee, because the ball is his. But having appointed the referee, he’s not satisfied with that. He also wants to be able to nullify the decisions of the referee he has himself appointed. If he’s not allowed to do that, he takes his ball home!”

4. The Guardian Post — Cameroon

Biden makes “America Great again”

The Guardian Post /Cameroon

The editorial section of The Guardian Post and its reflection on the American election 2020.

5. The Libyan Express — Libya

The US election of 2020

“These elections showed the deep division in the United States, which in many places led to extremely marginal election results. The intense confrontation between the two sides and the extreme rhetoric and practice is not an isolated event and may deepen even further, having a negative impact on the country.”

 6. The Point — Gambia

Americans have decided!

“America has been a champion when it comes to promoting democratic values and principles. And these include promoting free, fair and transparent elections. We all know around the globe emerging, middle incomes and even most developed countries look up to America when it comes to promoting democracy. The whole world is watching America.”

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