President Barack Obama said Ghana serves as “a model for Africa” on issues ranging from democracy to foreign investment and food security and that business cooperation with Ghana is creating thousands of U.S. jobs.
“Ghana continues to be a good-news story,” Obama said after meeting at the White House with President John Evans Atta Mills of Ghana, West Africa’s second-largest economy.
Obama said there is a tendency to focus on the challenges in Africa and “it’s important for us to also focus on the good news that’s coming out of Africa.”
Mills said the two countries “share the same values of democracy” and that development in Africa requires peace. “We are going to ensure there is peace,” he said.
Their agenda was to include economic development, increasing U.S.-Ghana commercial and economic ties and conferring on a range of bilateral, regional and multilateral issues.
Obama met Mills during a visit to Ghana in July 2009, when the U.S. president toured a historic slave-trade castle on the coast. In a speech to Ghana’s Parliament, Obama said the future of Africa is largely up to Africans.
“Development depends upon good governance,” Obama said at the time. “That is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long. That is the change that can unlock Africa’s potential. And that is a responsibility that can only be met by Africans.”
Ghana holds presidential and parliamentary elections in December. Mills is vying for a second term after winning in 2008 by less than 1 percentage point.
Ghana is one of many African countries receiving U.S. aid in exchange for striving toward democracy and good governance. It has completed the first allocation of $547 million in U.S. aid last month to improve highway, public works and agricultural projects. A second allocation is planned to boost energy production.
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