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