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May 18, 2009

 
 
 
 
 

US President Obama to visit Ghana

Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, Ghanadot

Accra, May 18, Ghanadot - The President of United States of America, Barack Obama will make a historic visit to Ghana from Friday July 10 to Saturday July 11, 2009.

He will be accompanied by his wife Mrs. Michelle Obama and other key government officials.

President Obama (M) Ex-President Bush (R)

According to Ghana’s Foreign Ministry, the first Black US President will hold bilateral talks with Ghanaian President, John Evans Atta Mills aimed at strengthening the fraternal relations existing between the two countries.

The visit, the first trip to Sub-Sahara Africa by President Obama and wife Michelle Obama since assumption of office, will be symbolic to advance the strategic role Ghana is used to playing on the world stage for Africa.

It is an indication of strong democratic governance and freedom that thrives in the fibre of Ghanaian society.

It is also a manifestation of the fundamental role that governments of the past and non-governmental organizations have played in molding Ghana as a success story on the African continent.

Talking to the public, Ghanadot got the impression that Ghanaians want their government to take this opportunity to make the African-American President personally aware of the most challenging issues confronting the nation and the African continent.

They said is important that, we make clear cut statements of our needs with specific time frame and budget to achieve such goals. Simply asking for support without plan, action and budget will be noise to the ears of the US President.

Meanwhile, some civil society organizations like the Volunteers Partnership for West Africa are urging the Ghanaian government to use the visit to further solicit support for a number of activities initiated by the Former US President George Bush in the country.

They claimed that for those in the civil society, especially campaigning for Malaria Eradication in Ghana and Africa, White House Press Releases indicate that President Obama will highlight critical role that ‘’good governance and civil society play in promoting development’’ and this affords them then opportunity to make their voice heard by requesting for new and refreshing approaches for tackling malaria through the President Malaria Initiative (PMI) put in motion by George Bush, the former President of the United States.

It is estimated that, Ghana alone will be receiving a $ 17million grant this year from PMI towards malaria projects and it is time we call for proper usage of the US tax payer’s money on malaria in Ghana and Africa while urging African governments to adopt policies that are geared towards eradication of the disease which kills 1 person every 2 hours on average in Ghana and 2 people per minute globally with 90% of this deaths occurring in black Africa.

The civil society organizations are saying that it is instructive to point to the US President under whose authority the PMI is been managed to consider adopting strategies that his country used after the second world war in eradicating the disease in America to also do the same for the African continent rather than going the conventional ways which has failed over the years hence the increase in malaria deaths for instance in 2007 in Ghana as cited by the WHO.

Ghana, they said, should take lead as it has always done in difficult times on the continent to move from policies of controlling the disease to policies of eradicating the disease since it is that which will propel a change in donor rules for controlling the disease which has failed and continues to fail to a more compelling eradication policy.

Some of the strategies these NGOs are recommending are holistic in approach; investment in treating people with existing malaria parasite, aerial insecticide dispersal, and intensive public education on the disease. This approach should help Ghana to eradicate the disease within three years, they claim.

Ghanadot




 

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US President Obama to visit Ghana


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