The arrival of America's first black president whose father

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Ghana Web, Ghana

Mr. Obama: It's Time for America to Give Back to Africa


"We fought alongside the West for freedom and to preserve its values and culture, but Westerners responded by destroying ours. Can we begin to make up for this with a bit of reparation for the millions of slaves that represented our youth and who labored to create the wealth of the 'free world'?"


By Kojo Tamakloe


July 10, 2009


Ghana - Ghana Web - Original Article (English)

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah: Ghana's first post-colonial leader, many Ghanaians haven't forgiven the CIA for helping topple him in 1966.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: People of Ghana 'enormously proud' as President Obama and his family arrive, June 11, 00:02:17WindowsVideo

Hello brother and sister Obama. Welcome to Ghana. We're especially proud that you chose the land of the philosopher and innovator extraordinaire, Dr. Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah. I hope you know that due to his efforts, even U.S. Blacks have benefited. For example, Ghanaians had the vote before African Americans. Please open your eyes to see the long journey, particularly of your wife and chief counselor. I don't only refer to physical distance, but the distance between slavery and being your first lady and confidante.


We want to assure you we're with you on your journey, which aims to transform your own country, the West and the wider world. I know this trip is part of that plan - and you have described this is the New Dawn. The continent of your father and your kinfolk shall not continue to be marginalized. You and your wife are here to sound a clarion call. The eagle must spread its wings and fly and take its rightful place among nations.


You've already made a statement by not going to Nigeria or to your fatherland, Kenya. You eschew corruption. I hope my fellow Ghanaians listen and back President Mills in removing this cancer from our midst. This I got from your speech at the G8 in Italy when you mentioned Kenya as an example. We grapple with this here, since some want double standards. Drivers are jailed for speeding, while [former presidential chief of staff] Mpiani and others are untouchable.


I'm sure you'll listen to our plea for a Marshall Plan for Africa. We fought alongside the West for freedom and to preserve its values and culture, but Westerners responded by destroying ours and continuing to colonize us economically. Can we begin to make up for this with a bit of reparation for the millions of slaves that represented our youth and who labored to create the wealth of the "free world"?


Not content with this, during the 60s and 70s you used to raid us through a program called African Scholarship Program of American Universities - taking our best and brightest to the U.S. No compensation was ever paid.


President Barack Obama addresses Ghana's Parliament in

Accra, Ghana, July 11.



And on a fateful February morning in 1966, your intelligence agency under the mistaken guise of battling communism, removed Ghana's dynamic President Kwame Nkrumah, replacing him with a group of retards and stopping short our march to progress. We haven't recovered since. His "replacements" shut down all factories and projects that were in progress - some of which had been begun with money borrowed from your institutions that which still had to be repaid. We're still paying for these by way of interest and capital. This is a loss of revenue that could go instead be spent to our development.


[Editor's Note: While President Nkrumah was on a state visit to North Vietnam and China in 1966, his government was overthrown in a military coup, which was backed by the CIA, according to former decorated CIA officer John R. Stockwell].




We thank you for the aid and grants you continue to give us. God bless you. But as the Chinese say, "Give me fish and I eat for a day; teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime." It's time we were treated as adults. We want fair trade - whereas you subsidize your farmers you instruct and punish us when we do the same. "Trade" is when you tell us how much to pay for our own products and services but you tell us how much we must pay for yours. Can we call that free or fair trade? I can tell you that we were on the verge of self sufficiency in rice before the 1966 coup, but now have to import everything. Beyond that, our oceans have been fished dry. And can you help change the rules so that we can industrialize? We import toothpicks, sugar, milk, toilet paper and many other things. Soon we'll be importing water and air. How can we support our growing population like this? You have an immigration problem, do you not? Wouldn’t it help if we were able to keep our people home and having you trade with us? Wouldn't that make us better allies rather than having to create Africom? [the United States Africa Command]. How many must die before we realize that isn't the solution? It is poverty and hunger that create radicals and militants. Let us prevent this.


It has been said [by President George W. Bush] "If you're not with us, you're against us." But Nkrumah was never against you. He loved the West - but loved Ghana and Africa more. This can also be said of leaders like Thomas Sankara [Upper Volta], Mobutu Sese Seko [Zaire], Ahmed Ben Bella [Algeria]. Do you recall that Nelson Mandela was only removed from the U.S. terrorist watch list last year? He, too, wanted freedom for his people. My president, can you describe that as a crime or anti-West? We can be pro-West while using the instruments of development to suit local conditions.


Ghana President John Atta Mills welcomes President Obama to the Presidential Castle in Accra, July 10.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Obamas visit slave fort; door of 'no return', June 11, 00:03:07WindowsVideo

Being a social democrat is not anti-West. I'm glad you yourself are one. So will you allow Africa to adopt developmental methods without the doctrinaire approach of capitalism? Isn't it time to restructure and change the policies behind the Bretton Woods System? We neither have the capital nor the enterprises, so allow us to use whatever we have to acquire what we need. 



The African market and union have been a sore point. From an accounting point of view, instead of producing things on a small scale for a limited market and at great financial loss, as we and other African countries have been forced to do, it makes sense to lower the cost per unit and avoid duplication.


In the current economic downturn, can you imagine the effect that building new roads, offices, houses, water supply networks, hospitals, schools and factories would have on the global economy? This is virgin territory so let's give it a try. Let's put the words, "land of the free and home of the brave" into action. In light of the corruption the $10 billion a month spent in Iraq, can you imagine the amount of progress that could have made in regard to our wellbeing and development such money could have had here, setting aside the 12 million mosquito nets [provided by the Bush Administration]? Don't you think that's insulting to us? Furthermore, we need an end to conflicts in Somalia, Sudan, Nigeria and Kenya - all of which are a direct result of poverty translated into clan and tribal war.


I'm sure the world will be a better place with some technology transfer to Africa and solutions to the energy crises and the West's war with the Arab's over its support of Israel, which also set us back during the 1970s. We, too, can benefit from the development of solar, wind, geothermal, oceanic and aquatic forms of energy production - despite Ghana's recent discovery of oil. I'm sure that with less demand on the continent due to the alternative sources of energy, oil prices would stabilize and be a less effective tool in the armory of Islamist radicals.


"There is no Blue America, Red America, only the United States of America." I'm sure this is a message you will want to translate across divided Africa. In Ghana, we don't have an Akan-Ghana or a non-Akan Ghana, but one Ghana. In Africa, we have neither an Arab Africa, Muslim Africa, a Black Africa nor a Christian Africa, but one Africa. Together we are one.


Mr. President, You and President Mills have a lot in common, both displaying humility and having been university professors. I see the strength of purpose and resolve that binds both of you. President Mills may not be a communicator like you are - and is probably not as speedy, but I'm sure that together you will change the world. Always remember that it was the tortoise that won the race - despite its slow pace. Good luck.


*Kojo Tamakloe is a Nkrumaist who believes that African unity is the real solution to our underdevelopment. Forward ever, backward never. Nkrumah never dies.



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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US July 11, 7:08pm]