President Obama to visit Ghana in July

Category: International
Published on Monday, 18 May 2009 02:19
Written by The New Sudan Vision (NSV), www.newsudanvision.com
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Then Senator Barack Obama visited Africa in 2006 and was welcomed triumphantly
(Washington, NSV) - Although US president Barack Obama is scheduled to address the Muslim world from Egypt next month, his visit to Ghana on July 10 is being touted as the “first trip to Africa as the first African-American president”.

In a written statement announcing the trip on Saturday, the White House told New York Times, “The president and Mrs. Obama look forward to strengthening the U.S. relationship with one of our most trusted partners in sub-Saharan Africa, and to highlighting the critical role that sound governance and civil society play in promoting lasting development.”

This brief overnight stop in Accra, Ghana will be the last one in a seven day itinerary for Mr. Obama, which will first take him to Russia for a meeting with the Russian President and then to Italy for a meeting of the G-8.

One senior White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity was quoted as saying, “we felt it was important to get to Africa early in the term.”

The choice for Ghana over Kenya did not come by chance. Though it is known Mr. Obama has ancestry roots in Kenya---the country where his father was from, its political image has been tarnished by the 2007 post election violence.

Ghana was chosen for two reasons: its promising role as a model for democracy in Africa as vindicated by their recent peaceful presidential election of John Atta Mills which we reported for our readers here on www.newsudanvision.com and for its bipartisan streak, because it is a point of consensus for the US Democrats and Republicans.

While in Ghana, “the President will discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues with Ghanaian President Mills," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

Mr. Obama visited Kenya in 2006 during his time as US Senator.

While also in Ghana, the New York Times has reported that “Mr. Obama may visit Cape Coast Castle, the headquarters of the British slave trade on Africa’s Gold Coast.”

It is here that “captured Africans would pass through the castle’s “door of no return” as they were carted off to ships. Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush visited African slave posts during their presidencies, but the imagery of an African American president visiting one promises to be far more profound.”

The world attention is slowly turning to few promising African spots with good governance like Ghana and where that same governance and great infrastructural investments are proving resilient like the case of South Africa, which is the first African country that will host the footballs world Cup in 2010.