News

    Ghanaians Await Arrival of US President

    “Barack Obama is coming home.  He is coming to Ghana," says an advertisement on one of Ghana's TV stations.

    In Accra, huge billboards show pictures of the U.S. president either with his wife or with Ghanaian President John Atta Mills. The caption is short and simple: “Akwaaba” -- meaning “Welcome.”

     

    Around the capital, traders are selling various goods designed for the visit. Vendor Christiana Asare's stall displays specially designed clothes with pictures of the U.S. president.

    "Ghanaians want to wear the clothes to welcome the president of America when he comes to Ghana," she says. "They are [buying] a lot, especially the shirts and dresses."

    This is President Obama’s first visit to Sub Saharan Africa since his election last year.

    The news media are speculating about why their country was chosen for the visit. Kenya and Nigeria are regional hubs, large and populous countries with a great deal of political influence, and Kenya was the home of President Obama’s father.

    The last elections in both countries were marred by accusations of fraud, and were followed by violence. Ghana’s Minister of Information, Zita Okaikoi, has expressed the view that the practice of democracy, which is thriving in the country, may have been the reason Obama chose to visit Ghana.

     

    "It is because of our good governance and democratic principles that Obama has chosen to come to Ghana. This will send the right signals that Ghana is the right place to invest," Okaikoi says.  "Our democracy has stood the test of time. We will protect our democracy and what we stand for as a people."

    Since military rule ended in the country in 1992, the country has successfully changed leadership twice through the ballot box.

    President Obama said as much in a recent interview. He said by traveling to Ghana he is hoping to lift up successful models of democracy in Africa.

    The plans for the visit are complete.  In Accra, President Obama is expected to deliver a major policy statement on Africa.  He is scheduled to visit the palace of the Ogua Paramount Chief in the central region, and the Cape Coast Castle, which played a major role in the slave trade during the 16th century.

    On the streets of Accra, Ghanaians are expressing their views about the visit.  Most, but not all, are positive.

    "Obama is coming to Ghana," says Emmanuel Abbey. "I am very happy because Ghana’s name will be mentioned all over the world."

    Not everyone agrees. "I don’t know what his visit is about," says Asare Anthony Anan, "but if it is for the good of the country, fine. But personally I know that Obama is coming for oil."

    These people and many more are expected to line the streets to welcome President Obama to Ghana.

     

    Feedback

    We'd like to hear what you have to say. Let us know what you think of this report and other news and features on our website. Email your views about what is happening in Africa to: africa@voanews.com. Please include your name and phone number if you would like us to include your comments on our programs. Or, telephone us and leave a message. In the US, call: (202) 205-9942. After you hear the VOA greeting, press the number "30" and leave your opinion. We may use it on our daily broadcasts.


    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.