"The critics of this article are making a big mistake," says Omwami, who read the document and the associated internet debate at the request of Politico over the weekend. "They are assuming Obama Sr. is the one who came up with this concept of African socialism, but that's totally wrong. Based on that, they're imbuing in him the idea that he himself is a socialist, but he is not."
Omwami says he'd instead refer to Obama Sr. as "a liberal person who believed in market forces, but understood its limitations."
"If you understand the Kenyan context, you can clearly see in that paper that Obama Sr. was quite a sharp mind," concluded Omwami. "He addresses economic growth and other areas of development, and his critique is that policymakers in Kenya were overemphasizing economic growth. We had high economic growth for years, but never solved the problems of poverty, unemployment and unequal income distribution. And those problems are still there."
Obama Sr.'s projections and critiques are so spot on, says Omwami, that he plans on assigning the paper to his classes in the future.
Omwami is currently a Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles and a former member of the World Bank.