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Ghanaians are gearing up to welcome President Obama on Friday.

 

 

The Ghanaian Chronicle, Ghana

Ghana Should 'Cash In' on Obama's Visit

 

"Obama is the first U.S. President of African-American heritage to visit the slave castles on the Cape Coast. Ghana is central to the ancestral origins of hundreds of thousands of African-Americans, who trace their lineage and heritage directly to Ghana."

 

EDITORIAL

 

July 8, 2009

 

Ghana - Ghanaian Chronicle - Original Article (English)

A young boy sells American flags along a street in Accra, the capital of Ghana, July 8.

 

ALLAFRICA.COM VIDEO: President Obama answer questions about Africa, July 3, 00:15:00WindowsVideo

President Barack Obama's visit to Ghana will be a historic occasion. According to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson, this is to recognize the progress Ghana has made, which serves as an example to the rest of Africa, particularly in the area of democratization.

 

President Obama will be in Ghana on July 10 and 11. In fact, this will not be the first time an American President has visited Ghana. Richard Nixon (then Vice President) graced Ghana's independence celebrations in 1957; former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush visited Ghana in 1999 and 2008, respectively.

 

What makes this visit a historic one, however, is that President Obama is the first U.S. President of African-American ancestry to visit sub-Saharan Africa, and this first stop has fallen to a small West African country of only 23 million people: Ghana.

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Our nation has been internationally commended for the ground-breaking fifth successful democratic transition of power since 1992 - and it was only the second time that an opposition party defeated the incumbent one, clearly suggesting that in Ghana, democracy has taken deep and strong root.

 

Location of Ghana in West Africa

 

During his visit, President Obama will address a number of bilateral and regional issues with his Ghanaian counterpart, President John Evans Atta Mills. The American President is also expected to use the platform of Ghana to make a major policy statement to the rest of the continent about Africa.

 

As a nation, the international spotlight will be on us for the two days of President Obama's visit, so there is the need for our nation to cash in on the august occasion. Ghana is setting a path of progress on the African continent, both economically and politically. We have also been a strong force for regional stability by contributing to peacekeeping missions in West Africa and the world over. During Obama's visit, Ghana must take advantage of these brand qualities and sell them to the world.

 

Information Minister Zita Okaikoi is quoted as saying that the visit would be a boon to Ghana. She said "Once Obama comes, we should expect good things. Investors will want to come and see what Ghana has to offer." However, neither her ministry nor any other ministries would confirm her comments.

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The Tourism Ministry should also cash in on the fact that Barack Obama is the first U.S. President of African-American heritage to visit the slave castles on the Cape Coast. Ghana is central to the ancestral origins of hundreds of thousands of African-Americans, who trace their lineage and heritage directly to Ghana.

 

Whiles looking at the diplomatic niceties and benefits that the Obama trip brings, we also shouldn't forget the fact of America's core strategic interests, with oil being one of them.

 

The coincidence of Ghana's recent oil discovery of billions of barrels in reserves, and a U.S. National Intelligence Council estimate that by 2015, 25 percent of American oil imports will be derived from West Africa, can not be ignored. With the massive unpredictability of Nigeria's Niger Delta, Ghana's stable environment offers a valuable addition.

 

But whatever motive has caused America to descend on Ghana and use it as a launching-pad for reaching the rest of the continent, we should accord President Obama the warmest of famed Ghanaian hospitality. For once, we should all put aside the things that divide us and show the world that Ghana has indeed progressing toward democratic maturity.

   

 

SEE ALSO ON THIS:

Modern Ghana, Ghana: 'Snub' from Obama Reflects 'Death of Nigerian Diplomacy'
My Joy, Nigeria: Residents of Elmina, Ghana 'Demand' that Obama Visit the Town
The Ghanaian Times: Minister Denies Obama-Visit Cloth Printed with State Funds
Ghana News Agency: Obama-Visit Souvenir Cloth Goes on Sale

The Ghanaian Times: 'Why Obama Snubbed Nigeria'
The Daily Sun, Nigeria: The 'Stoning' of President Barack Hussein Obama
This Day, Nigeria: Obama's Choice to Visit Ghana and Not Nigeria Should Be a Lesson to Us

Boobab, Nigeria: If Obama Comes to Nigeria, 'I Will Stone Him'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US July 9, 6:28pm]