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Posted on on July 4th, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (

President Obama will this week become the first African American President to make an official visit to an African country.

The most interesting fact is that he does not go to South Africa or Nigeria – the two countries that compete for the unofficial title of leaders of black Africa. President Obama decided to go to the oil producing belt of West Africa, and this cut out South Africa;   then he chose the unassuming Ghana, rather then the feisty Nigeria – the most populous black state and important partner of the US in oil trade.

Why? What does he teach in this visit?

Nigeria is a corrupt state to its bone. Even its son, the Nobel Price winning Wole Soyinka said that neglecting Nigeria was just the right medicine that Nigeria needed. He continued then with the shocking statement: “I’d ‘stone’ Obama if he showed up in Nigeria and conferred legitimacy on its sorry government.”

Ghana on the other hand, a much smaller West African nation, as of now with little US trade, did hold fair multiparty democratic elections since 1992, and   has a history of incumbents stepping down once they reach their term limits.

Ghana is a beacon of hope to Africa and has produced the only two-terms African UN Secretary-General, Koffi Annan, who we hope will be at hand when President Obama arrives for a day at the end of this week.

Yes, we know, it is rumored that the US is interested in Ghana also as it is the newest arrival to the West Coast Oil-belt, and with China making inroads in the region, the US might be interested to establish here a military base as well as an oil trade relationship.

But even so, this US President showed preference for clean government if this is at all possible.

Africa watch and learn!

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