President Barack Obama flew into Ghana on Friday on his first visit to sub-Saharan Africa since taking office as the first African American president of the United States.

His roots in Africa, through his Kenyan father, assure him a hero's welcome and he will deliver a message on the importance of good governance in a country that defies stereotypes of a continent blighted by conflict, coups and crisis.

 
 
Accra, July 11, GNA - US President Barack Obama on Saturday hailed Ghana for the country's stellar performance as a thriving democratic state and gave the assurance that his administration would make it a cardinal part of US policy by partnering with their Ghanaian counterpart to develop a growth strategy that would enable her become a successful nation.

Admitting to be a "long admirer" of Ghana, President Obama declared that a centrepiece of his administration would be to ensure that progressive countries like Ghana were not made marginal, but a cardinal part of US foreign policy.

 
 
The official text of President Barack Obama's speech Saturday in Accra, Ghana, as prepared for delivery and provided by the White House: 

Good morning. It is an honor for me to be in Accra, and to speak to the representatives of the people of Ghana. I am deeply grateful for the welcome that I've received, as are Michelle, Malia and Sasha Obama. Ghana's history is rich, the ties between our two countries are strong, and I am proud that this is my first visit to sub-Saharan Africa as President of the United States. I am speaking to you at the end of a long trip. 

 
 
Accra, July 11, GNA - US President Barack Obama was on Saturday morning officially welcomed to Ghana at a brief ceremony at the Castle, Osu. The US President and President John Evans Atta Mills arrived at the Castle in the "Beast", the official vehicle of the US President, at about 0910.

 
 
Accra, July 11, GNA - US President Barack Obama has lauded the La Hospital for its maternal health programme. In brief remarks during his visit to the Hospital as part of his two-day visit to Ghana, the US president said:

 
 
Accra, July 11, GNA - President Barack Obama made his long-awaited historic Africa policy speech to an enthusiastic crowd that defied the long queue, hours of waiting and elaborate security checks. The people came from far and near and not even the long queue, hours of waiting and elaborate security checks could daunt the spirits of Chiefs, Parliamentarians, and Priests not to partake in the historic occasion.

 
 
 ... describes it as "extraordinary" experience

Cape Coast, July 11, GNA - Visiting US President Barack Obama on Saturday toured the Cape Coast Castle with his family and described it as an "extraordinary" experience.

 
 
Accra, July 11, GNA - US president Barack Obama left Accra on Saturday evening after his first visit to sub-Saharan Africa since his inauguration.

 
 
Arrangements have been made to enable former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor to share a common breakfast table with Presidents John Evans Atta Mills and Barack Obama when the latter visits the country this week.

The Minister of Communications and MP for Tamale South, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, gave the hint in a contribution to a statement by the Foreign Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, on the visit of the US President to Ghana.

 
 
Jubilee House, Peduase Lodge or US Embassy ?

Speculation over where the 44th President of the USA, Barack Obama, would sleep continues to pop up in various media reports, with the latest speculation being that he may stay at the recently completed Holiday Inn Hotel close to the Kotoka International Airport in Accra.

The speculation, which has been downplayed by management of the hotel, follows earlier denials by the Ghanaian presidency that the US President may be received or hosted at the swanky Jubilee House presidential residence built by the Kufuor administration with opposition from the then opposition NDC.

 

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