July 10th, 2009
02:55 PM ET

Obama's Ghana trip sends message across Africa

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/africa/07/10/ghana.obama/art.obamarose.gi.jpg" caption="President Obama says he chose Ghana partly because of the country's commitment to democracy."]


President Barack Obama was due in Ghana Friday, generating excitement in the west African nation and envy among its neighbors with many seeing his visit as sending a message to governments over their poor records on stability.

Across Ghana, street vendors were stocking miniature American flags while citizens donned attire with pictures of the U.S. leader.

"People in Ghana are printing clothes for this occasion," said Adrian Landry, general manager of a beach hotel in the capital, Accra.

"The fact that his father is African and he picked us makes us special," he said. "He is endorsing our strong democracy in Ghana. This is historic."

The president's visit to the nation is the third by a sitting American leader. Bill Clinton was the first U.S. president to visit Ghana in 1998 as part of a six-nation Africa tour. Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, stopped there as part of a four-nation Africa tour during his last year of office.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Africa • President Barack Obama
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Ahmed

    Let's face it. Barrack's visit to Ghana is symbolic and in support of the emerging democracy in that country. As we all know it, most African countries are ruled by corrupt dictators; littered with fake elections; rampant ethnocentrism and clannism.
    Sure this trip may not change much or mean much to those dictators, it, at least, shows that the continent is not forgotten by America, and that those who promote democracy can and will be rewarded for their efforts.
    How I which such democracy can emerge in my home country, Guinea!

    July 10, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  2. Darrell in Iowa

    After all those years of the Neo-Cons talking about making us safer...at last I do feel our country is safer. The Obama outreach to the world has made such a significant change in how the world views us. The world finally once again views us as we view ourselves.

    July 10, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  3. Akua Agyei

    Anderson, while I love CNN and your show, I must say I find it somewhat offensive that despite the fact that Ghana is one of over 50 countries in Africa and is by no means a representative of all of those countries, that CNN still feels the need to perpetuate the myth that Africa is one country and any one of the countries in this continent is a good representation of the rest. I would have expected a much better showing from a news network with such prestige. Please correct your show and call in what it is...Obama visits Ghana period...same as when he visits China he is visiting China and not Asia.

    July 10, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  4. Cindy

    So..a black/white man visits Ghana and it's all the rage huh? He's not the only president to ever go to that area of the world. The way CNN is acting you would think that he is.

    Big deal! Is him being there going to stop all of the raping, pillaging, and murdering going on? NO!! Those groups doing this stuff could care less about Obama.

    IMO this is just another one of his photo ops. He's great at doing those world wide while our economy is tanking, the unemployment rate is rising and more and more people are losing their homes and everything that they own. Yet there he is...photo op central with no care in the world. While here we are tanking and his party is wanting to do another stimulus package because the first did not work.

    Yeah..Ghana is the place to be right about now for him. That way he doesn't take the heat and can look good while they pass off more bills under our noses while we are gazing at him in the castle which takes us deeper in debt.


    July 10, 2009 at 3:18 pm |