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13 July 2009 

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Pres Obama Address to Africa

U.S. President Barack Obama took his first trip to Sub-Saharan Africa as president 10-11 July.
Mr. Obama chose Ghana for his first visit to the region because of the country's strong democracy and peaceful transitions of power. Ghana’s President John Atta Mills took office in January after a close election that he won by just 40,000 votes.

President Obama addressed the Ghanaian parliament Saturday in a speech outlining U.S. policy towards Africa.

VOA produced a special program for TV, radio and the Web introducing and analyzing the president's speech. Our discussion guests from Washington D.C. and Accra included Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater, who has served as U.S. ambassador to Ghana and Benin, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.  Also joining the program was Ghanaian native George Ntim, Founder and President of the Africa Development Foundation in New York City.  VOA's "Straight Talk Africa" host Shaka Ssala joined the discussion from Accra.

Read text of President Obama's speech
On-Demand links to our special program, including President Obama's speech in Ghana (click on links to Listen or Watch)
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 President Barack Obama smiles before delivering speech to Ghanaian parliament, 11 Jul 2009
Slideshow: Obama Visits Ghana (click on link to view)

President Barack Obama, Speaker of Parliament Joyce Bamford-Addo, left, greet crowd following address, 11 Jul 2009
Obama Ends Ghana Visit  Audio Clip Available  Video clip available
He says Africans must take more responsibility for wiping out poverty, war and disease
US President Barack Obama addresses members of Ghanaian Parliament at the International Conference Center in Accra, 11 Jul 2009
Obama Addresses Africans from Ghana  Audio Clip Available
US president tells Ghanaian lawmakers democracy, opportunity, health and resolution of conflict are keys to future of Africa, developing world
President Obama (right) and his family arrive in Ghana, 10 Jul 2009
Obama Arrives in Ghana  Audio Clip Available
Visit to Ghana is Mr. Obama's first trip to sub-Saharan Africa as US president
President Obama's visit to Ghana has sparked new Facebook groups
Obama Using New Media to Reach Ghanaians  Audio Clip Available  Video clip available
Popular social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter figure prominently in White House's new media plan
Preparations for President Obama's visit are visible on Accra's streets
Ghana Prepares for Obama Visit  Audio Clip Available  Video clip available
US president is going to Ghana after stops in Russia and Italy
A member of Friends for Obama, Ghana dances to music of a brass band at a recent rally in Accra, 06 Jul 2009
Expectations High in Ghana Before Obama Visit  Audio Clip Available
Thousands of cheering Ghanaians likely to meet President Obama at the airport when he arrives in Ghana Friday
President Barack Obama speaking at the White House, 16 Jun 2009
Africans Await President Obama's Message with Great Anticipation  Audio Clip Available
Renown African political analyst Ali Mazrui says President Obama has raised the expectation of young Africans about what is achievable even in developing regions such as Africa
President Barack Obama at the White House, 25 Jun 2009
Ghananain Writer Says Obama Will Cry For Africa
When Obama goes to the Cape Coast Castle he will witnesses first hand where and how slaves were kept before they embarked of the “journey of no return,”.
A banner bearing photographs of President Barack Obama and President John Atta Mills of Ghana at the Independence Square in Accra (File)
Ghana Hopes Obama Brings Tourism Boom  Audio Clip Available  Video clip available
Tourism earned Ghana $1.4 billion last year; government expects as much as a 20 percent increase from Obama visit

Location: Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo
President: John Evans Atta Mills
Population: 23,832,495
Economy: Revolves around agriculture which accounts for 35% GDP
Religion: Christian 68.8%, Muslim 15.9%, Traditional 8.5%
Literacy: 57.9%
Language: English (official)