Obama's Africa Visit: Ghana the Right Choice

Published on 19th May 2009

Africa
The first official trip to Sub-Saharan Africa by the first African American president in July this year is loaded with deep symbolism.  No other choice was better placed than Ghana - a door through which Africans passed to slavery, as well as a door to Africa’s independence.

For almost 150 years, Ghana was the centre of the transatlantic slave trade that saw approximately 10 million Africans kidnapped and shipped in appalling conditions to Europe and the Americas. The remnants of this trade- that had replaced gold as the most important export commodity in Ghana in the 17th Century-  are still visible in the dozens of forts and castles built by Europeans between 1482 and 1786.

Obama’s  visit points out the fact that although both Europeans and Africans founded America - Europeans by choice but Africans in chains - an environment that makes individuals believe in themselves; rewards work done and  provides equal opportunity will make individuals  take  charge of their destiny.

Obama’s visit to the first African nation to be independent is an entreaty to African leaders to remember their aspirations at independence; trace their pledges to the citizenry and make a deliberate effort to honor them. It is an appeal to African leaders and elites to shun the hypocrisy of denouncing slavery while they keep the citizenry in social, political and economic slavery.


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