Pres. Obama in Ghana

Interesting article from BBC News about President Obama’s  speech in the African nation of Ghana, where he addressed some of the many corruption issues that plague many African countries.  I found this part of the article particularly interesting (and pertinent to this site):

Barack Obama said the partnership between Africa and America must be one of mutual responsibility. […]

It will not be easy to change some old, corrupt habits but if Africa plays its part Barack Obama is promising a great deal in return including assistance to boost agriculture, trade and healthcare.

But, in a difficult economic climate, the US may be hard pushed to fulfil some of its promises.

In Uganda, for example, there is mounting concern as funding constraints are forcing health centres to stop enrolling new patients for US-funded anti-retroviral treatment under the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) initiative which George Bush started.

Being an African-American means Barack Obama is listened to as a brother in Africa rather than as a condescending visitor.

“Tough love from a brother” (BBC News)

That last sentence is especially interesting, I thought.  Some people I know visited an African country earlier this spring, and as their group went around, many people who recognized them as Americans would call out “Obama!” with a big grin and a thumbs-up.  Taking into account the tortuous history of Western colonialism (and worse) in Africa, it truly is a remarkable thing that an American president can travel to Africa and be greeted almost like a long-lost family member.

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~ by h.e.g. on July 12, 2009.

One Response to “Pres. Obama in Ghana”

  1. Did you get a chance to see the article written by Bono of U2 at New York Times online? Very similar article… you might like it as well. I did. Anyway – it is nice to see countries like Ghana being supported and getting the attention they need.

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