Biden has huge task to reset US place in world

What you need to know:

  • He pledged to pull America out of the rut and, importantly, reconnect with the rest of the world.

The victory of Joe Biden in the nail-biting and viciously contested American presidential election is a win for the 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.

Under outgoing President Donald Trump, the US lost glory and honour among the comity of nations. America became insular and lost values that had stood it in pole position for centuries.

An intolerant and extremely belligerent leader, Trump created enemies all round. Human rights abuses soared. The economy faltered.

Worse, his response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed about 240,000 Americans, was pathetic. When the world expected the US to lead in the scientific discovery of a vaccine, or even cure, for the virus, President Trump dithered.

The felicitations and outpouring of goodwill messages for President-elect Biden illustrate the world’s desire for a more united and prosperous America — one that promotes universal values and mutual respect.

Vouched for unity

President-elect Biden is seized of the situation. He struck a strong cord in his acceptance speech as he vouched for unity, healing and shared prosperity.

He pledged to pull America out of the rut and, importantly, reconnect with the rest of the world. His rallying call was: “Let this grim era of demonisation in America begin to end, here and now.”

The immediate assignment he set for himself is the search for a solution to the coronavirus, announcing that he will put together a team of leading scientists to pursue the cure for the world’s grimmest threat, which is an urgent mission.

For Kenya and the rest of Africa, the expectation is that the Biden Administration will extend and deepen cooperation frameworks beyond the existing ones, such as the African Growth and Opportunities Act (Agoa).

The continent is seeking more opportunities for trade and investment with America and renewed commitment to democracy and the rule of the law.

History has placed on Mr Biden a monumental global assignment; he has to seize the oar and paddle.