How I wish I were in Ghana right now. There is so much excitement as Barack Obama begins his first trip (Correction: OMG it’s his second trip, i forgot Egypt) to Africa as President of the United States of America. He is due to deliver a speech at 1.pm South African local time. It will be broadcast live on CNN, Al Jazeera and BBC. Live stream: http://www.whitehouse.gov/
Live stream: https://townhall.connectsolutions.com/conx_obama
In the meantime read Bono on this Ghanian trip. This is what he says about why Ghana:
He’s made a different choice, and he’s been quite straight about the reason. Despite Kenya’s unspeakable beauty and its recent victories against the anopheles mosquito, the country’s still-stinging corruption and political unrest confirms too many of the headlines we in the West read about Africa. Ghana confounds them.
Not defiantly or angrily, but in that cool, offhand Ghanaian way. This is a country whose music of choice is jazz; a country that long ago invented a genre called highlife that spread across Africa — and, more recently, hiplife, which is what happens when hip-hop meets reggaetón meets rhythm and blues meets Ghanaian melody, if you’re keeping track (and you really should be). On a visit there, I met the minister for tourism and pitched the idea of marketing the country as the “birthplace of cool.” (Just think, the music of Miles, the conversation of Kofi.) He demurred … too cool, I guess.
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.
Here is an AP image of the Obama family arriving in Accra last night: