Ghana to Deploy 10,000 Police for Obama Visit

Watch or listen to President Obama’s speech live from Ghana, Saturday, 11 July, at 1230 UTC.

Authorities in Ghana say they will deploy 10,000 police officers to handle security for a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama this week.

Mr. Obama is due to arrive in the West African country late Friday for a 24-hour trip, his first to sub-Saharan Africa as president.  His visit is expected to generate large crowds eager to see the first U.S. president of African descent.

The White House says Mr. Obama chose Ghana as his first destination in sub-Saharan Africa because of what he considers to be its strong democratic system.

Ghanaian President John Atta Mills took office in January after a narrow election victory that saw the ruling party peacefully concede defeat.

In an interview with VOA, Mr. Mills said he believes President Obama wants to highlight Ghana's peaceful transition of power and democratic credentials as an example for Africa.

Mr. Mills says many people in Ghana and neighboring countries want to see the first African-American U.S. president because they regard him as a hero and his visit as a homecoming.  

Mr. Obama and Mr. Mills are expected to meet late Friday and have breakfast Saturday with former Ghanaian leaders John Kufuor and Jerry Rawlings.

The U.S. president also will address Ghana's parliament and tour a former slave trading center, Cape Coast Castle, where African slaves were shipped across the Atlantic for almost 300 years. He is due to return to Washington at the end of the visit.

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