Barack Obama: How will Africa remember him?

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As Barack Obama steps down as US president, the BBC’s Nancy Kacungira looks back at his legacy in Africa.

The election of the first African-American US president led many Africans to believe that the continent might gain more prominence in US foreign policy.

While some high expectations remain unfulfilled, Mr Obama’s eight years in office initiated a pivot to US-Africa policy, a little further away from aid and closer towards business.

An art studio in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi offers a glimpse of the Obamamania that swept across Africa when the “son of the soil” became president.

Yegonizer, an artist, says his portraits of Mr Obama have sold well because “generally he’s loved by many people, so quite a number of people who walk in are interested in the paintings”.

He is now trying to move on to the President-elect Donald Trump, but with little success so far.

Image caption Paintings of Obama are hugely popular in Kenya – those of his successor might be less so

After his win in 2008, Mr Obama’s portrait was painted on walls, buses and T-shirts across Africa. Restaurants, schools and even children were named after him.

During his two terms he went to seven countries in the four visits he made to Africa – more than any other US president.

He also became the first sitting American president to visit Kenya and Ethiopia.


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