Obama In Ghana


As most people will say, history was once again made when Obama made that trip to Ghana.
I did watch in full the live event on any of premier news networks, however I did get an ocassional glimpse of what was televised when he visited one of the castles in Cape Coast.
I took my usual morning trip to Facebook and read a comment Felix aka Tae made.
His comment or should I say question (or even probabaly concern) was this:

Obama had a message for Ghana/Africa. Did Ghana/Africa have a message for Obama/America? I’m playing back all the events and it seems it was a uni-directional conversation. What did we tell him apart from thanking him? Anyone remember?

Anyway, you might be interested in reading the number of responses this have so beeen  generated on Facebook.

Eliza Olympio
Eliza Olympio at 06:21 on 12 July
They are still in a trance. Probably looking at pictures they took with their mobile phones on the tarmac

Julius Sowu
Julius Sowu at 06:39 on 12 July
Sad but true, and that went across the whole of the social media sites, looks like setting agenda is still potent play , even in the so called openness of social media.

CNN did do a reasonable dissection of the speech with regard substance, but afraid everywhere else I looked it was “all hail the king” hehehehe

Felix Duku
Felix Duku at 06:40 on 12 July
Isnt’t this the time to be running documentaries on Ghana’s tourism and investment potential in the foreign press. I see Amgola, Azerbaijan, Croatia and Greece doing it and yet we dont seem to be taking advantage of the ‘free’ focus on us. Do we have ministries of information and tourism? Where’s initiative? HUH? Why cant we do a 5 minute thingy on the Cape Coast Castle as a follow up to his visit? Are we brain dead? No insult intended. I’m just frus…

Jasper Cudjoe Adamah
Jasper Cudjoe Adamah at 06:40 on 12 July
hahahaha…

Ruby Dumesh-Lee
Ruby Dumesh-Lee at 06:40 on 12 July
I think we gave him a traditional stool and a batakari….with some salo mango and yoyi for the road…hahaa. Give em a moment to bask in his presence. I wonder what the Bushes and the Clintons were doing??? hmmmmm

Zulu Ghana
Zulu Ghana at 07:33 on 12 July
Tae, the impression Ghana has given and will probably always give is that we need Obama/America and not the other way round, so its my thinking that we have to sit and listen.

Kwabena Boakye Yiadom Fosu
Kwabena Boakye Yiadom Fosu at 07:33 on 12 July
Man for a minute I thought I was the only one sick of this Obamamania/pomp and circumstance…Ghana and all of Africa’s ‘times will not get better unless WE make our times better’ ~ Malcolm Little (X). Speeches filled with rhetoric have served our people nothing but heavier, deeper, debt and set us farther back in time. We got to do our own thing.

Zulu Ghana
Zulu Ghana at 07:38 on 12 July
@Kwabena…i totally agree with you and have been saying this to guys and gurls who have suddenly gone into some trance of deluded excitement because Obama has come to Ghana. then they go into another level of delusion because Obama has pledged sixty something million to Ghana. boy. we all know what that means

Kwabena Boakye Yiadom Fosu
Kwabena Boakye Yiadom Fosu at 07:44 on 12 July
@Zulu…that 60 mil pledge is nothing but a trojan horse. 60 million ia a paltry sum especially when 100 billion is ‘stolen every quarter out of Ghana. Obama is still going to protect America’s interests, and that primarily is oil.

Zulu Ghana
Zulu Ghana at 08:06 on 12 July
@ Kwabena..LOL – trojan horse…i love that! Man, where have you been? you and i should hook up one day…your last comment is parallel to what i was telling someone yesterday. we cannot account properly for what we have and yet we are happily going to receive more dosh into our coffers? hmmm its like feeding the lion not with just ordinary meat, but with marinated meat dressed with virgin olive oil in a bed organic salad.

Isaac K. Neequaye
Isaac K. Neequaye at 08:22 on 12 July
Tae, notwishstanding all the comments above, particularly @Zulu and @Kwabena, did Ghana/Africa even pay attention and listen to what Obama said? Would have done us good if even that was the only thing we did, but I fear too many of our ‘big men and women’ were too focused on their phones and cameras and photo ops.
The moment’s gone now and hope weRead more will do an honest dispassionate post-mortem. I fully share your frustration…why does it seem we never seem to do a swell job going forward and are forever doing post-mortems? Don’t we learn?

Kwabena Boakye Yiadom Fosu
Kwabena Boakye Yiadom Fosu at 08:31 on 12 July
@Isaac obviously had ‘Bama had anything worthwhile listening to they’d listen…’Bama aint got the answers or solutions. You puting a bandaid on one’s tummy when one’s suffering from a stomache is not the panacea. “Bama’s speech is not what we need. When one asks the teller at the bank, ‘what time does the bank close?’ the appropriate answer is the time and not, ‘well sir it is open now’. GHANA

Zulu Ghana
Zulu Ghana at 08:38 on 12 July
@ Isaac..i just did a quick dash to the BBC site and dug this up
“Repression takes many forms, and too many nations are plagued by problems that condemn their people to poverty. No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves, or police can be bought off by drug traffickers… No person wants to live in Read morea society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy, that is tyranny, and now is the time for it to end. … Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions.”
now i understand, in one aspect why you are asking if Ghana paid attention and listened to what Obama said.

Nana Dennis Manu
Nana Dennis Manu at 08:41 on 12 July
@felix…what i heard from the ghana side was a plea for more aid due to the global economic situation…i don’t expect our leaders to get off the aid/beg tip anytime soon but do we have to lead with that??? i am sure in private that is what we (and the americans) will talk about BUT in public why don’t we have a more positive message which affirmsRead more our confidence in our own abilities to move the country forward irrespective of whether or not we are getting aid?? such an attitude will do wonders for our collective confidence and psyche IMO. But as long as our leaders cannot seem to fathom us developing without begging (and say so publicly) then it will be difficult to tell those lower in the pecking order in our society to engage in the kind of behavior that leads to productive societies…i

Isaac K. Neequaye
Isaac K. Neequaye at 08:41 on 12 July
@Kwabena, well the bank is (was) open and what did (are) we do other than photos? We’ve known about this visit since May/June, did we prepare a policy position? Did we brainstorm and prepare our negotiators beforehand? Did we back up our arguments with facts, figures, plans, deadlines etc. Or were we too busy trying to nail Asabee’s wife to plan Read moreproperly?
Maybe I misunderstand you Kwabena, but I for one have gone beyond looking up to and blaming others for the mess we find ourselves in. Obama came with a position, even if it was only cosmetic. What did we have in return?

Nana Dennis Manu
Nana Dennis Manu at 08:43 on 12 July
n short, we need more pride in ourselves and have the mindset that aid is temporary… i don’t want to be reading 25 years from now about how ghana needs another WB/IMF injection to tide us over due to some global financial crisis…wasn’t it just 25 years ago (1983) when we saw this movie? i beg oh!!!

Isaac K. Neequaye
Isaac K. Neequaye at 08:49 on 12 July
@Nana, couldn’t agree better with you.

Wilma Longdon
Wilma Longdon at 08:50 on 12 July
Ike, I couldn’t agree with you more. Are we really hearing what the man is saying? Not just the big men and women, but the so called “ordinary Ghanaian” (whatever that’s supposed to mean). Beyond the euphoria, will we even internalize “Yes We Can” and apply it to our situation?

Will we stop saying “aban mbeye mayen” and make an attempt to take Read moreresponsibility for anything? Will we quit stuffing our drains with solid waste/building on water ways and turn round to blame the government when our homes flood?

Until the attitude of the Ghanaian and African changes to take responsibility for his own life nothing will change. We will keep expecting that our very survival depends on handouts from the West.


Kwabena Boakye Yiadom Fosu
Kwabena Boakye Yiadom Fosu at 08:50 on 12 July
@Zulu…Hmmm the BBC report begs the question…if no person wants to live in such a decadent society I wonder why millions of people want to live in the US and EU, where brutality and bribery are the untold unspoken order of the day. A bill of rights that are circumvented at the whim of govt.? Friends once again be not taken in by the rhetoric, pomp and circumstance of the so called developed democratic nations…and oh Isaac we paid attention that is why we are certain of the ‘demagoguery’.

Zulu Ghana
Zulu Ghana at 09:07 on 12 July
@ Isaac…you have nailed it as per your comment
“We’ve known about this visit since May/June, did we prepare a policy position? Did we brainstorm and prepare our negotiators beforehand? Did we back up our arguments with facts, figures, plans, deadlines etc. Or were we too busy trying to nail Asabee’s wife to plan”
sometimes i wonder at the mental state of our leaders!!!

Kwabena Boakye Yiadom Fosu
Kwabena Boakye Yiadom Fosu at 09:08 on 12 July
@ Isaac the analogy of the teller/bank is to say when we ask for what we require we know what we want. We do not need any hype. Cometics may make a person look and even feel well; we want and need to be well not feel, for too long we’ve been hoodwinked into accepting ‘feeling’ as ‘being’…and that is what ‘Bama and his speechwriters want us to accept…to that we say NO MORE!!!
@Wilma we aint waiting on Joe!!!

Zulu Ghana
Zulu Ghana at 09:08 on 12 July
guys and gurls…i am off to church. i am on car parrk duty this morning. i will surely return. Tae..wake up, this thread needs some shito and kobi injection. where are you?

Kwabena Boakye Yiadom Fosu
Kwabena Boakye Yiadom Fosu at 09:10 on 12 July
Why do we have to prepare for Obama’s visit…quit the pomp and circumstance people…

Julius Sowu
Julius Sowu at 09:27 on 12 July
This is great, a conversation in the light of transparency, and where our next generation politics should come from, and may I add accountability! a word used oh so often but without the true essence.

Where was the appeal to Obama, to for instance use the invasive laws and agreements across the globe put in place to catch terror monies from being moved, to notify us when some of our so called “corrupt” leaders are chopping?

This cynic suspects we would not get the info any ways due to companies working in the name of National Interests of the same countries who tar us with the corruption tag, but at least the world would have heard us ask the question, therefore pointing out we knew where the problem lay.Read more

Where was the question on agricultural imports to Ghana using rice as an example, and the effect of US rice on our rice production and sale? Yes we might get the tired answer of free markets but hey we asked and the world heard.

Keep up the dialogue we listen


Brigitte Dzogbenuku
Brigitte Dzogbenuku at 09:49 on 12 July
He got his messages through the people he saw, the conversations he had, and the places he visited. I am sure of that. The worry though is the type of messages he got from people like our President, our ex-presidents and the ministers of state.

Kwaku Sikahene Ampomah
Kwaku Sikahene Ampomah at 09:53 on 12 July
Guys the time will come soon when we as africans and the african continent will take political, technological, economic and cultural leadership in this world – the key to this is when we become truly comfortable with who we are and the vast diversity that we have – we need a CURE (Cultural Revolution) – we need to take our rightful place as Read moreoriginators of civilisation, science and technology – at the moment our political system is foreign – our education is foreign – our economic systems do not benefit us – our religions are foreign – the legacy of slavery, colonialism and neo colonialism still haunts us – however we are still here alive and kicking – there are still massive threats to our existence and our ways of life – but we are too strong and in the end we shall prevail and and overcome –
Felix thanks for starting this debate – its great to share and receive such fantastic ideas from all of you.

Julius Sowu
Julius Sowu at 10:13 on 12 July
@Kwaku well said on cultural diffs re Education , political and economy,and Brigitte though “he” might of heard his people would not have.
In a way I feel for him as leader of US at this time of flux, damned if he does damned if he does not, what has to be done in so far as not just Africa, but the whole world politic, goes against not only the Read morestatus quo, re standard of living, sharing of responsibility, all covered by the term National Interest that it is only when these words whispered behind closed doors are shared by the peoples of Western Nations as valid points of view will there be a change in “National Interest”
Which leads me to Felix’s point about advertising our wares, until we are considered credible, the response will always be “Oh look how well they are doing” with a pat on the head, when we all know the unsaid That unless some miracle cure for energy addiction is found, those of us under the sustainable standard of living of this planet, have not a hope of reaching it

Yaw Nsarkoh
Yaw Nsarkoh at 10:36 on 12 July
It is for me a question of whether we aim to, and have the confidence to aim and work to become HIGHLY developed or whether we will simply settle for and be content with minor steps to become LESS UNDERDEVELOPED. Whatever I do, I want to believe I can be the very best at it that there is in the world. Not merely a little better than the worst.

Kwaku Sikahene Ampomah
Kwaku Sikahene Ampomah at 10:41 on 12 July
@julius – thanks for bringing sustainable energy – totally on point

Sara Asafu-Adjaye
Sara Asafu-Adjaye at 10:45 on 12 July
@ Eliza – u noticed too? i was so freaked out by a soldier taking photos of obama with his phone … wasnt he there to protect him? anyway, i would probably have done the same.

Robert Ebo Hinson
Robert Ebo Hinson at 11:01 on 12 July
People we have been pontificating about how Ghana should be positioned globally for too long and we do nothing about it in Ghana. To go back to Felix’s original point, we do not have any key messages as a country to the various stakeholders we interface internally and externally. It stands to reason then that we interact with the likes of Obama andRead more his ilk, we simply do not have the ability to articluate to him in whatever media the current ideals that characterise our national development, where we have come from, where we are and where we are going. All said everybody has a sense of what Ghana means and what we are all about but no-one knows really what we represent a collective….. It is no wonder therefore, ministers of state we nearly shoving camera phones into Obama;s noise; for whatever reason I will never be able to fathom……Crazy how be bro?

Kwaku Sikahene Ampomah
Kwaku Sikahene Ampomah at 11:03 on 12 July
Ebo – well said, nuff respect

Tawia Dadson Addo-Ashong
Tawia Dadson Addo-Ashong at 12:06 on 12 July
I’m unsure that a cultural revolution is the solution. As Africans, I’m afraid we have no common cause to build any platforms of innovation and development on. The world’s systems- like them or loathe them- have been established, so how do Ghanaians grow smart to work the system for our collective good- like the Chinese, Indians etc have doneRead more. The bottom line is education, growing ppl who can think, innovate, create- people of vision- it’s no wonder that the Good Book says that without vision a people will perish…

We need to have answers when the spotlight turns on us. Unforunately we only had camera fones..


Ruth Wade Kwakwa
Ruth Wade Kwakwa at 13:05 on 12 July
Oh Charley. Is true o-h-h! Here we were, basking in the glory of the media-glow…and we missed the op to give the world our message. our big shot at glory, and there we were on CNN, big men chewing gum in the audience like we were doing Wrigleys a favour. And no message. Whoops.

Re: the publictiy. This was OUR moment to do some big time brand Read morethink, and launch our brand to the world….with some major brand messages being beamed to the world in the weeks following, now that people know that Ghana is in Africa and not South America (as in Guyana) and following the free publicity.
Do we get a second chance?

Robert Ebo Hinson
Robert Ebo Hinson at 13:07 on 12 July
2nd Chance? Well…… Depends Ruth…. Are we switched on now… or just chewing on the gum still…..Hehehe. Depends…
Now I will leave you with pictures (well some) of Obama in Ghana.

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