A friend once asked me, why have I been interested in the US presidential election, especially the race to white house between the incumbent president Donald Trump and the former vice president Joe Biden.
I will try to make this clear for others who sees it as a waste of time to engage in the affairs of other countries while our own election is still not balance in Nigeria
First, the office of the US president is currently the most powerful office in the world due to the US dominance of world economy and military might. Like my friend EldaDavid Kehinde Samuel once wrote about the need to think and dominate at global level even though you operate at local level, it is therefore important to note how policies enacted by the US president will affect our country’s economic and political structure.
Secondly, it is important to be interested in the US election, because it gives you an avenue to do your comparative analysis on the level of growth the Nigerian electoral system is witnessing. How is the US election conducted? What is the importance of electoral college? What are the battle ground states and why do they seem special? We must be able to pick lessons that speak about best practices for our electioneering processes.
Thirdly, It allows you to understand the different patterns and political permutations that goes on at the global level by countries, public and private organizations, so you can understand how policies and global competition through which the US election can affect you in your village without stepping a feet out of your country. A good example is the tussle for the appointment of Director General for the World Trade Organization where other countries voted for Ngozi Okonjo Iweala as the Director General, but the Trump administration had raised its preference for the South Korean contender.
Also, it helps you understand how the US power tussle with other countries affects you, how the current trade war between US and China affects Nigeria as we have turned to China for major construction and importation, how has it affected the TIKTOK app you use on a daily basis on your mobile phone, or why is Google being disintegrated from Huawei phones and so on.
Lastly, getting interested in the US election will help you understand how some of the sanctions placed on Nigeria will affect us or how they will support our growth level or keep us impoverish through manipulations and exploitation. What role will the US immigration policy play in our economy or how will their travel ban change our intention to growth and self reliance?
All these add up to different indices that determine a lot in global economic competition for dominance, National political and economic growth and local understanding of major global issues like COVID-19 or how the emergence of the first female and the first person of color to become the vice president will be a source of inspiration to other women at national and local levels to understand their importance in the political space of the nation.
Lawal G. Olamilekan is a social entrepreneur, life coach and social development professional with focus on youth development and participation in governance. He is the director of Social Impact and Integrity for Development in Africa, a youth led not for profit organization established to raise the voices of young Africans against corruption. He can be reached via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook and LinkedIn: @lawalgolamilekan, Instagram: @LifeWithLawal.i and Twitter: @LifeWithLawal