In anticipation of his Friday trip to Ghana, his first visit as president to sub-Saharan Africa, President Obama gave an interview to AllAfrica.com in which he criticized his late father’s home country, Kenya, and explained why he’s visiting Ghana on this trip.
“Well, part of the reason is because Ghana has now undergone a couple of successful elections in which power was transferred peacefully, even a very close election,” the president said. “I think that the new president, President Mills, has shown himself committed to the rule of law, to the kinds of democratic commitments that ensure stability in a country. And I think that there is a direct correlation between governance and prosperity. Countries that are governed well, that are stable, where the leadership recognizes that they are accountable to the people and that institutions are stronger than any one person have a track record of producing results for the people. And we want to highlight that.”
The president added that “in my father’s own country of Kenya, I’m concerned about how the political parties do not seem to be moving into a permanent reconciliation that would allow the country to move forward. And Kenya is not alone in some of the problems that we’ve seen of late, post-election or pre-election.”
While there has been progress in Africa, the president said, “we’re also seeing some backsliding.”