Saturday, 11 July 2009
Politics: Barack and Michelle Obama in Ghana
"We think that Ghana can be an extraordinary model for success throughout the continent" President Barack Obama
"Part of the reason that we're travelling to Ghana is because you've got a functioning democracy, a president who's serious about reducing corruption and you've seen significant economic growth," President Barack Obama
The first family of America landed in the motherland yesterday. President Barack Obama, first lady-Michelle, and their two beautiful daughters landed in Ghana on his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa since taking office [at 9 p.m. local time] and met a group of dignitaries, -led by President John Atta Mills. Ghana Rising (Paulina Opoku-Gyimah) thanks God for this historic visit [an indicator to the rest of the world that Ghana is moving in the right direction]. And even though I am forever -wanting our government to; move/progress/improve etc -I am pleased that 'our' Ghana is a beacon of light/Hope in Africa. As I was researching and searching for materials and pictures to accompany this story, -I came across http://allafrica.com/stories/200905180910.html -a reflective piece about why The Obamas chose Ghana -and it is an eye opener. The following is an extract from the aforementioned website:
Africa: Why Obama Chose Ghana
The question of why Barack Obama has chosen Ghana rather than Kenya, his father's homeland, or Nigeria, Africa's giant, for his first trip to Africa as President of the United States, is exercising newspapers from Nairobi to New York. Nairobi's Daily Nation said Monday that "in skipping Kenya, the first African American president is signalling that he puts political values over ancestral allegiances." Although the Nation quoted Kenyan foreign minister Moses Wetang'ula as denying that Obama had snubbed the country, it also referred to recent U.S. criticism of the country's struggling coalition government." Mr Johnnie Carson, President Obama's top Africa official, recently made a stop in Nairobi where he delivered a stern warning to President [Mwai] Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to get the reform process on track or face unspecified sanctions," the Nation reported.
In Lagos, This Day carried a harshly-worded opinion piece from 'Jibola Asolo, a Nigerian lawyer based in Britain, saying that the failure of the first black U.S. president to stop over in the world's most populous black country "should really serve as a moment of reflection for us as a nation. It should shame us as a people." But, wrote Asolo, Obama's decision should not be a surprise. "The reality is: on the world stage Nigeria is not ready to play ball. We, as a nation, are still stuck on stupid while other countries are buckling down and taking the issue of good governance seriously. This considered, the President of America would be hard-pressed to grace our land with his presence in light of the joke that is Project Nigeria."
In the U.S., the New York Times reinforced the African commentary. In a report based on unnamed White House sources, it said that "A year after Kenya exploded in political violence, it remains a tense and unsettled place. Ghana, by contrast, is an outpost of democracy and civil society in a volatile region." The Times quoted a senior official as saying that ideally Obama would have preferred a longer trip to Africa. But time constraints meant that such a trip would have to wait until later in his tenure." So his advisers agreed to tack the quick Ghana stop onto the end of his Russia-G-8 trip to at least get a marker down before too much time passed," said the paper. And, in a reflection of how difficult it is to get yourself onto the agenda of an American president, the Times quoted the official as saying Ghana offered an opportunity to promote important values even on a one-night visit: "We have limited time and we tried to figure out where we could get the most out of limited time," the official said. *Credit: John Allen (18 May 2009) to read the rest please visit: http://allafrica.com/stories/200905180910.html
I have to confess that the commentaries made [above] by our fellow African brothers were a, 'breath of fresh air'. Their commentaries were based on their truths and not hate for Ghana. I have found over the years that when it comes to us Ghanaians, -some of our fellow African brothers -are very harsh indeed. I have [often] come across -what I can only describe as pure an adulterated jealousy -where we Ghanaians are concerned. Like the Jews -it would seem that we too are a 'thorn in the side' of some [Africans]. Because there are some [and I use the word -some, please note) fellow Africans that can not get their heads around the fact that God (and only God oO) chose Ghana to become the first sub-Saharan African country to gain Independence. And this jealousy manifests its self -in so many ways. For me, -it's the, 'you can not be a Ghanaian because; -you are too beautiful/not dark/speak good English/ you dress well etc -and I know that many of you will have experienced this.
From our pioneers (Kofi Annan-7th UN Secretary-General, Awe Kludze-Nasa, David Adjaye-Architect, Freddy Adu-Soccer, Freema Agyeman-Actress, Ama Ata Aidoo-writer, Kwame Anthony Appiah-philosopher and novelist, Ayi Kwei Armah-writer and social critic, Yaa Asantewaa-Anti-colonial resistance leader, Kofi Awoonor-writer, Reynold Bediako-Entrepreneur, Ozwald Boateng-Fashion Designer, Paul Boateng-Politician, Marcel Desailly-footballer, Edward Enninful-Fashion Stylist, Michael Essien-footballer, Nana Gbewonyo-actor, Jeanette Kwakye-sprinter, Nazr Mohammed-basketball player, Azumah Nelson-world champion boxer, Kwame Nkrumah-founder of Pan-Africanism, Lawrence Henry Yaw Ofosu-Appiah-author, scholar (John) Atukwei Okai-poet and President of Pan African Writers' Association, John Paintsil-football player, Francis Ernest Kobina Parkes-poet, Nii Ayikwei Parkes-author and social commentator, Hugh Quarshie-Actor, Danny Sapani-Actor, June Sarpong-TV presenter, Cynthia Torto-Writer, Nana Ama Serwah Nyarko-British Entrepreneur, Adelaide Damoah-Artist, Marilyn Heward Mills-novelist, Jacqui Agyepong-Athlete, Johnnie Sarpong-world renown Hair-Stylist, Adjoa Andoh-actress, Lisa I'Anson-TV and Radio, Shirley Selase Anku-model, Dizzee Rascal-Musican, Julius Amedume-Filmmaker, Adam Afriyie-Politcs, Amma Asante-Actress and Director, Claire-Hope Ashitey-Actress, Ekow Eshun-social critic,writer and TV Presenter, Idris Elba-Actor, Neutrino of Oxide & Neutrino-Music and Rugby, Belinda Owusu-Actress, Arthur Wharton-footballer, Tinchy Stryder-Musician, Joey Ansah-Actor, Joe Casley Hayford -Fashion Designer, Bridgette Amofah-music, Karen Cummings-Palmer-Entrepreneur, Ben Addo-Furniture Designer, Adwoa Aboah-Model, Vicky Boateng-Model, Belinda Baidoo-Model, Doreen Adusei MBE-Fashion, Didi Danso –fashion writer, Reggie Yates-TV Presenter, Samata Angel-fashion designer and socialite, Lethal Bizzle-Music, Akwesi Duodu-Finance/ Columnist, Kojo-Comedian, Michael Blackson-Comedian, The Mitchell Brothers-Music, Priscilla Kwateng-Fashion (The Guardian), Kanya King-MOBOs, Charles Thompson-Screen Nation Awards, Boris Kodjoe-Actor, Patrick Awuah-cofounded Ashesi University, V.I.C-Music, Sheriff Ghale-Music, Anna Reynolds-Music, Betsie Dsane-Model, Okomfo Kwadee-Music, Salimi Akill-Fashion Designer, Selasi Kwanu-Beauty, Arabella Kiesbauer-TV Presenter, Angela Asare-Beauty, Elsie Owusu-Architect, Dorothy Koomson-Novelist, Freddie Opoku-Addaire-Dance, Yvette Nsiah-Beauty, Andrew Mensah-Fashion/Entrepreneur, David Mensah-Musician, Zandile Blay-fashion/Blogger, Teiko Dornor-Beauty/Entrepreneur, Pearl Amoah-Beauty, Adowah Hagan & Lloyd Mensah -Food (founders of the Jollof Pot), King Ayisoba-Music, Koranteng Ofosu-Amaah-Blogger, Atongo Zimba-Musician, Margaret Busby CBE-Publisher, Faustina Agolloy-TV Presenter...-to name but a few) -it seems that even though Ghana is not the richest African country, nor the most populous or the largest -whenever there is an African making headway's [be it: Art, TV, News, Innovation, Fashion etc] -they are always Ghanaian.
And still; -we continue to fear God [Amen], are laid-back, never boastful -and respected by the world -to God be the glory. Haters of Ghana must marvel at just what makes us great. They must wonder why a nation, with [just over] 23 Million inhabitants -have made such an impact-globally. And that's why, -like Jewish people -they do not want us to be [also] beautiful, well dressed, or speak well, or prosper etc. But thank God, -because, whom God Blesses, no man can curse [Amen]. So while I plead the 'Blood of Jesus' on all Ghanaians -around the world (now that the Obamas have paid us a visit -ooOO -we need God more....hehehe) -we must all continue to fear God and put him first, -and stay humble. Bye for now...................................xx