President Obama praised “good news” Ghana today as a democratic model for Africa, after welcoming Ghana’s President John Evans Atta Mills to the White House.
“This is a country that has established a strong tradition of democracy, and President Mills and I were comparing notes,” Obama told reporters following an Oval Office meeting with Mills. “We’re both up for re-election. But, you know, what we agreed to is the fact that regardless of who wins and who loses, our countries’ commitment to making sure that the people have a voice and determine who it is that represents them in their government is what gives both our countries such strength.”
Obama said there is often a tendency to focus on the many challenges that exist in Africa. Yet, he said, “It’s important for us also to focus on the good news that’s coming out of Africa, and I think Ghana continues to be a good news story.”
Obama went on to laud Ghana as an economic “success story” on the continent, and a strong and responsible partner on the international stage.
Mills thanked the president for his warm reception and noted that their nations share the same values of democracy.
Obama traveled to Ghana in July 2009, his only trip to sub-Saharan Africa during his presidency.
Today’s meeting, the president said, was an “opportunity to return the extraordinary hospitality that they showed not only me, but also Michelle and Sasha and Malia when we had the opportunity to visit last year.”