Former U.S. President Barack Obama warned that the world is sliding into a brutal and dangerous new era where autocrats are exploiting fear to subvert democracy.
Globe and Mail:
“Look around. Strongman politics are ascendant suddenly, whereby elections and some pretense of democracy are maintained but those in power seek to undermine every institution or norm that gives democracy meaning.”
Mr. Obama was cheered with standing ovations from about 15,000 people at a Johannesburg cricket stadium on Tuesday as he made his highest-profile public appearance since leaving office last year. The crowd greeted him by enthusiastically chanting “Yes, we can” – an echo of Mr. Obama’s famous election slogan.
More: The Atlantic, The Guardian
This week, Barack Obama is travelling to Africa for the first time since he left office.
In South Africa, the Obama Foundation will convene 200 extraordinary young leaders from across the continent and I’ll deliver a speech to mark the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.
In preparation for the trip, Mr. Obama wanted to share a list of books that I’d recommend for summer reading, including some from a number of Africa’s best writers and thinkers.
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
A true classic of world literature, this novel paints a picture of traditional society wrestling with the arrival of foreign influence, from Christian missionaries to British colonialism. A masterpiece that has inspired generations of writers in Nigeria, across Africa, and around the world.