President Obama is on world tour with a stop this coming weekend in Ghana. In an interview with reporters from allAfrica.com he explained why Ghana is the first stop on his visit to sub-Saharan Africa.
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. 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.
President Obama goes onto use the word governance several more times in the interview
And so, by traveling to Ghana, we hope to highlight the effective governance that they have in place.
… and we think that Africa – the African continent is a place of extraordinary promise as well as challenges. We’re not going to be able to fulfill those promises unless we see better governance.
Well, a couple of points I would make. Number one, you’re not going to get investment without good governance.
Mr. Obama, trust me we get it. You, and apparently those who voted for you, feel that prosperity is some how allowed by or flows from government. And with a Democratic Party Congress, you’ve been able in your first 6 months in office, to apply more governance to every portion of our lives and economy, and in manwich size portions no less. So why are we not rolling in prosperity? Is it right around the corner and we are just too impatient? Right…I wouldn’t bet on that. Socialism doesn’t have a very good track record of prosperity.
Say, while you are in Ghana, you may want to flip around the agenda and ask them what it takes to bring prosperity to a nation. We seem to need help, and they seem to be going the right direction. Reach across the aisle, extend an ear, they have some good ideas. Last fall President Kufuor of Ghana visited then President Bush and in his address he mentioned governance as you did, but he also mentioned one extremely important detail that you, my president seem to have missed.
Mr. President, I scheduled this state visit to celebrate the enduring strength of my government, which is our commitment to the practice of good governance, respect for human rights, the rule of law, the different culture of democracy, and promotion of the private sector to become the main engine of economic growth. These principles have gained for Ghana international recognition as a stable and transparent nation, attractive for increased economic investments and activities — and that translates into general improvements in the lives of her people.
Did everyone catch it? No? Here it is again.
… and promotion of the private sector to become the main engine of economic growth.
We used to be like that. We used to have a private sector as the main engine of economic growth. Our government used to be less of an owner/partner and more of a promoter. However, over several decades increased government involvement has turned our economic growth to economic decline. Again, socialism does not lead to prosperity.
So really, seriously, Mr. President listen. We won’t survive, let alone prosper on the path you are leading us down. If you won’t take to heart the significant roll that individual liberty and capitalism has in prosperity, then at least ask yourself if it is a lack of audacity or mere arrogance that is standing in your way.
Here’s a great little Ghanian/US tangent.
Last fall, Rick Warren gave credit when credit was due in the form of a peace award for President Bush, an award I felt was well deserved. I know that giving President Bush credit for anything positive is a radical notion, yet if you cotton up your ears to the left an left leaning media, all of the sudden there are positive things all around. We just don’t hear about them.
So listen up to another portion of President Kufuor’s address to President and Mrs. Bush
… The African Education Initiative, which Mrs. Bush is sponsoring by donating books and other educational resources to promote literacy among the youth of my country. (Applause.)
The African Financial Sector Initiative which avails to Ghana access to the U.S. Ex-Im Bank and OPIC. The President’s Malaria Initiative, which is helping many nations on the continent of Africa, including Ghana, in our fight against perhaps the biggest killer disease on the continent of Africa. Then President Bush’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief which has dramatically increased financial resources to Ghana and other afflicted countries in the fight against the pandemic. (Applause.)
These are only some of the great benefits to Ghana and some other African countries, which can only be described as your humanitarian policies to Africa, Mr. President.
When was the last time you read anything in American press about the humanitarian George Bush?
And how about this little piece of trivia.
A strategic road in the capital city, Accra has been named after the President of the United States of America, George Walker Bush.
President John Agyekum Kufuor, who announced his government’s decision on Wednesday at a state banquet in honour of President Bush and his wife Laura, said the gesture was in appreciation of the contributions of the US President to the development of Ghana and other parts of Africa.
Some got a little chuckle from Ferndale Mayor Gary Jensen’s joke comment about renaming 2nd Street in honor of President Obama if he were to visit our town. Wally wonders what route President Obama will take traveling through Ghana’s capital. :)
By the way, the street formerly known as 2nd avenue would become dead to me.