Former UN secretary general, Kofi Annan:
"It's an historic event; one that I had not expected to see in my lifetime. Obama's victory demonstrates America's extraordinary capacity to renew itself and adapt to a changing world."
President Kgalema Motlanthe, South Africa:
"Your election ... carries with it hope for millions of your countrymen and women as much as it does for millions of people of ... African descent both in Africa and in the diaspora. In this regard, they too express the hope that your election ... will indeed contribute significantly to efforts in Africa to help bring about 'change they can believe in'. Africa, which today stands proud of your achievements, can only but look forward to a fruitful working relationship with you both at bilateral and multilateral levels in our endeavour to create a better world for all who live in it."
President Nelson Mandela:
"Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place. We wish you strength and fortitude in the challenging days and years that lie ahead. We are sure you will ultimately achieve your dream of making the United States of America a full partner in a community of nations committed to peace and prosperity for all."
President Mwai Kibaki, Kenya (who declared a holiday in Kenya to celebrate Obama's win):
"This is a momentous day not only in the history of the USA, but also for us in Kenya. The victory of Senator Obama is our own victory because of his roots here in Kenya. As a country, we are full of pride for his success. I know Obama and we share many values. We both have the determination to show that government can act to help people fairly .. And I look forward to working extremely closely with him in the coming months and years. I am confident that his presidency shall herald a new chapter of dialogue between the American people and the world at large."
Prime Minister Gordon Brown, UK:
"I applaud the American people for their great decision and I hope that this new administration, and the fact of the massive show of concern for human beings and lack of interest in race and colour while electing the president, will go a long way in bringing the same values to the rest of the world sooner or later."
Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, Grenada
"Your being the first African-American to be elevated to this prestigious office fills us with additional pride and emotion. We view your election as a new beginning for all of us."
Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany:
"I'm convinced that through a close and trusting cooperation between the United States and Europe, we will be able to confront new risks and challenges in a decisive manner and will be able to take advantage of the numerous opportunities that are opening up in our world. Rest assured that my government appreciates hugely the meaning and value of the transatlantic relationship for our common future."
President Umaru Yar'Adua, Nigeria:
"Obama's election has finally broken the greatest barrier of prejudice in human history. For us in Nigeria, we have a lesson to draw from this historic event."
President Amadou Toumani Toure, Mali:
"The US has given a lesson in maturity and democracy to other countries."
Ali Al-Sadig, spokesman, foreign ministry, Sudan:
"Your extraordinary journey to the White House will inspire people not only in your country but also around the world."
President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, Somalia:
"I am hopeful that Barack Obama will help end major crises in the world, particularly the endless conflict in my country, Somalia. This was a historic election in which a proper leader was elected. …