When Barack Obama arrives in Ghana on Friday for his first visit to sub-Saharan Africa as president, it will be the new face of America meeting “the new face of Africa,” says Irish rocker and anti-poverty activist Bono. In a New York Times column on Friday hours before Obama arrives in Ghana, Bono wrote that if America’s first black president were making a sentimental journey to Africa, “he’d have gone to Kenya,” the birthplace of his father.

“He’s made a different choice, and he’s been quite straight about the reason,” Bono added. “Despite Kenya’s unspeakable beauty and its recent victories against the anopheles mosquito, the country’s still-stinging corruption and political unrest confirm too many of the headlines we in the West read about Africa. “Ghana confounds them,” wrote Bono, the U2 frontman who has long campaigned against poverty and AIDS in Africa.

“Quietly, modestly — but also heroically — Ghana’s going about the business of rebranding a continent. New face of America, meet the new face of Africa.” Bono said the West African nation was a well-governed state where power changed hands peacefully after the last election and which was also weathering the global economic storm.

“No one’s leaked me a copy of the president’s speech in Ghana, but it’s pretty clear he’s going to focus not on the problems that afflict the continent but on the opportunities of an Africa on the rise,” wrote Bono. “If that’s what he does, the biggest cheers will come from members of the growing African middle class, who are fed up with being patronized and hearing the song of their majestic continent in a minor key.”

Bono noted that he himself had often talked of the crises and tragedies besetting Africa, “but as the example of Ghana makes clear, that’s only one chord.



4 Responses

  1. “It is lifting up successful models. And so, by traveling to Ghana, we hope to highlight the effective governance that they have in place.” Obama’s intention is clear, and so is Ghana’s growing success. Ghana’s new leader, Atta Mills has proved his worth as a transparent and sincere leader putting Ghana’s governance on par with other western super-powers. However, as Obama has said, this has not come overnight and the effort that has been put in place should not go unrecognized. Obama should also recognize the important Mills’ has placed on his own spiritual growth, enlisting the help of Nigerian philanthropist and spiritual leader, T.B. Joshua, whose reputation and record as a prophet and wise man go unparalleled.

  2. It is great Ghana has done great of late,but let us not celebrate early!Maturity of our democracies does not come overnight!In 2002,Kenya was the beautiful face of Africa,and in 2008 Kenya was the ugly face of Africa!

    None of the 53 African nations can be said to be a true democracy!We must be ever vigilant instead of singing false praises.

    • We all know democracy is evolving in the continent and there will always be mistakes. the truth is the west will not help sing about africa’s successes so the bastion falls on all of us. it is true that Kenya was the shining light a short while back, but then we must applaud efforts in ensuring kenya’s mistakes are corrected through the setting up of the post election violence tribunal and Kofi annan’s re-conciliatory work in Kenya. we must celebrate Ghana’s giant strides knowing the lowly depths it is emerging from

  3. You are right!The Western media will never cover us in a positive way,in fact they thrive on our tragedies!

    My point was that we have to judge ourselves more harshly,demand and set ever higher standards in our politics and society!

    Western students,diplomats,scholars,politicians are no more smarter than their African counterparts but they have inherited a rich heritage of rule of law,strong and enduring institutions that we are in the proces of building.We must build those institutions single mindedly!Kenya has come a long way from 2008 but we are still unable to create a local tribunal!Our politicians are headed to the Hague!( a debate for another day)

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