United States President Barack Obama is
scheduled to meet Ghana's President John Atta-Mills when he arrives Friday in
the capital, Accra.
Ghanaian officials said that as the first black U.S.
President, Obama would be given a traditional hero's welcome or as they say in
President Obama is also scheduled to address Ghana's parliament at
the international conference center on Saturday. Ghana is the first sub-Saharan country to be visited by Mr. Obama. In May, he delivered a major address to the Muslim world in Cairo, Egypt.
Honorable Alban Bagbin is the
majority leader in parliament. He told VOA that Ghana's
democratic credentials could have played a pivotal role in President Obama's
decision to address parliament.
are expecting him to give us a statement that would give us the path to deepen
and widen the frontiers of our democracy. We also expect that he will, in the
statement, give us an idea as to the commitment of the United States of America
towards supporting us in developing our democratic culture and structures,"
said there is need for Washington to offer fiscal backing to strengthen Ghana's
democracy and economy.
are expecting that President Barack Obama will also leave a legacy of some
financial support to enable us not just deepen our democratic practice, but to
extend and share our achievement with the rest of the African continent," he
hoped the rest of Africa would embrace and solidify the tenets of democracy.
know Ghana is the shining star and a symbol of democracy in Africa. And we
expect that the democratic achievements of Ghana would be meaningless unless it
is linked up with the total democratic liberation of the African continent,"
said President Obama's decision to address parliament could be interpreted as a
symbol of Ghana's growing democracy.
are aware that he (President Obama) expressed his desire, in fact, insisted
that he was going to deliver his speech on the floor of parliament and nowhere
else. And we are proud that we have been part of that leadership in trying to
entrench democratic practice in the country," Bagbin said.
Honorable Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, minority leader in Ghana's parliament said
President Obama's visit is essential to strengthen Ghana's democracy.
fact that he is coming to Ghana, the first country of his visit in [sub-Saharan] Africa about
six months after his own [inauguration], is most significant. And that should urge
us on to strive to attain higher levels in democratic governance," Mensah-Bonsu
Obama and first lady Michelle
Obama are expected to tour the Cape Coast Castle, which was used in the
trans-Atlantic slave trade.
political analysts say Ghana was the obvious choice for Mr. Obama to visit due
to its burgeoning democracy as well as its promising economic growth.
began a strong diplomatic relations with Washington soon after gaining independence
from Britain in 1957.