Obama Lands in Ghana
By Liz Heron
President and Michelle Obama landed tonight in Accra, Ghana, a capital city abuzz with anticipation over the first presidential visit to sub-Saharan Africa, according to reports in the local press.
The Ghana Daily describes a country bursting with excitement, as large crowds of well-wishers, journalists and others have descended upon the city where Obama will tomorrow meet with Ghana's President John Atta Mills.
Finally Air Force One, with the 44th American President on board, touches down at the Kotoka International Airport tonight, and out of it comes the much awaited President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. This will, unequivocally, mark another significant epoch in Ghana-US relationship, for which some 507 journalists, both local and foreign, have formally applied to the Ministry of Information for the opportunity of recording the event into history... Some hotel managers, who declined to be named, though pleased at the business prospects, were overwhelmed with the demands for accommodation during the period.
Tomorrow's presidential talks are expected to touch on the global economic downturn's impact Ghana, Ghana Daily reports:
...President Mills would be expected to commend the U.S. President for recognising and extolling the country's democratic credentials and solicit from him what his country could offer to strengthen the various democratic structures in the country. President Mills, the presidential staffer added, would thank the US government for his support, which ensured the smooth conduct of the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections in the country. Mr Anyidohu mentioned that President Mills would also assure President Obama of his preparedness and commitment to deepen democratic governance during his term of office. He said the global financial downturn, which had impacted negatively on the economies of developing countries, including Ghana, would also feature prominently in the discussions between the two leaders.
And in the Ghanaian Times, DR Kwesi Jonah, Resident Scholar at the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), unpacks what the Ghana visit signals about the president's political priorities:
[He] said on Tuesday that if oil was an attraction to President Barack Obama, he would have chosen Nigeria over Ghana for his first visit to Africa. He noted that it was estimated that Ghana would be drilling 1,000 barrels of oil a day, and Nigeria was drilling two million barrels a day, yet President Obama chose to come to Ghana.
Dr. Jonah told the Ghana News Agency that President Obama, as the first African-American president of the United States, chose Ghana, the first black African country to gain independence, to make his major policy statement on American's relationship with Africa. "There could not have been any better platform on the continent for President Obama to completely re-define America's relationship with Africa," he said.
Web Politics Editor
July 10, 2009; 7:41 PM ET
Categories: Obama Abroad
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