The collective sigh of relief issued from the world this night was only rivaled by the cheers.
The hostel is throwing a party for "Our Barack Obama" this evening. People were shouting "Obama! Obama!" all night and when the victory was a fact, the shouts and cheers were loud enough to wake those who dared sleep.
It is a historic election, it would be no matter what the outcome was. I won't comment much on what this means for policies within the US, but outside this is potentially huge. That Barack Obama won this election signals to the rest of the world that the US is willing to change, and to take a chance to do so.
We don't like the position the US has had in the world the past decade, and Americans have now proved they don't like it much either. My hope for the next president is that fear and cynicism will be replaced by hope for the future. It's not about the man, it's about his opinions, policies and views of society.
Much can be said about the guy himself, all I'll say is although it might be true he is inexperienced in politics and might have a lot to learn, he seems to mean what he says, and say what he means. He seems to have a very different outlook from Bush and McCain and I hope and believe this will prove to be a good thing - both within the US and as far as relations with the outside world goes.
The world wants to like the US again. We want this superpower to be nice again and we hope the most powerful man in the world, starting in February, will have a broader perspective than the current one. Obama talks of us and we, not you and me.
And listening to his speech from Chicago, I hadn't realized how great it would feel to hear a man who will have such an important position in the world express opinions I completely agree with. He won't be able to do all he wants, but just the fact that he wants to try and do the right thing, in what I believe is the right way, is a good start.
So from a European in Africa - America, you did good!