Praise and reflection from world on Obama re-election

Students in Tanzania expressed their joy at Barack Obama's re-election

Story highlights

  • International iReporters hoped for an Obama win
  • Reaction came in from the UK to Italy to Philippines
  • Many call for further action on foreign policy issues such as EU economic crisis, Africa

Altaf Mansoorali Hirani watched with anticipation from his home in Tanzania as the U.S. election results came in. When U.S. President Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term, he was delighted -- but also had some advice.

"Congratulations, Obama. Now let's have more initiatives for Africa."

People from Tanzania to the Philippines to the United Kingdom reflected on what the result could mean for their own countries, mindful of the fact that decisions made by the world's only superpower reach far beyond the country's own borders. Like American voters, international iReporters said they expect more from Obama's second time in the White House.

And they called for action on issues ranging from relations with the African continent to climate change and the global financial crisis.

Americans demand more from Obama's second term

Hirani warned that much needed to be done both within the U.S. and his own continent to remedy the nation's political polarization.

"The election is over, but as you said in your speech, the work starts now," he said. "America is a democracy we all look up to, [so] you need to work together as a bipartisan country, not just for the party."

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Hirani's comments were echoed on Facebook by Thabo Mtaner from Johannesburg in South Africa, who said America's position on foreign policy should not be confined to the Middle East and Europe.

"[Obama] needs to be more engaged with the American economy [and] have Africa's interests at heart," he said.

In the Philippines, iReporter Rummel Pinera, who had been watching the election keenly from his Manila home, felt Obama's victory was a vindication of his hopes for a president with a strong sense of fairness and equality.

"Obama is a huge icon for racial equality and social justice," he said. "I'm so happy to hear the news."

'I'm happy and ecstatic' says Filipino iReporter

He also noted that Obama's victory will work well for citizens of his own country, many of whom work overseas and send invaluable remittances back home to the Philippines to support their families.

"The Obama administration's job-creating programs will certainly benefit Filipino migrant workers who are employed in the US, as well as such workers' families here in the Philippines," he said.

Economic issues were also at the forefront of many people's minds. In West Africa, Joshua Ameh from Nigeria praised Obama's victory and implored him to work on reducing the U.S.'s deficit.

He was also one of the few commenters to mention Obama's rival, Republican candidate Mitt Romney, commending the former Massachusetts governor for his dignified concession speech and determined campaign.

"Kudos Romney for a hard-fought campaign," he said. "You gave it your best."

And in Europe, where a financial crisis has roiled many nations in the continent, Welsh iReporter Harry Hayfield expressed concern about the U.S.'s looming "fiscal cliff" which he argues will have repercussions not just for America.

"That cliff is coming around the corner, rather like an oncoming juggernaut," Hayfield said.

Italian iReporter offers Obama congratulations

Ultimately, foremost in global commenters' concerns was that the new U.S. president would remember that his policies would have a far reaching effect -- potentially for the greater good -- across the world.

For example, Italian iReporter Martina Lunardelli says she was thrilled by the result -- and 'hopeful' for real change.

"I watched Obama's victory speech and his words made me hopeful. Him saying 'no matter who you are or where you come from ...we can make it and do it' was inspiring," she said. "Let's unite, and Obama, please, let's make this world a better one!

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