The public engagement of US President Barack Obama in Accra, where he is to make a major policy statement on Africa, has been shifted from the Independence Square to the International Conference Centre because of the uncertainty of the weather.

The Communications Director at the Presidency, Mr Koku Anyidoho, told the Daily Graphic that the government was concerned that rains might disrupt the programme scheduled to take place on Saturday.
Mr Anyidoho said from the reading of the weather, the state ought to be saved from the embarrassment of the rain disrupting the programme, since the international spotlight would be on Ghana during the visit.

Besides, he said, it would amount to “a waste of resources” to the state if the government mounted tents, arranged seats and decorated the Independence Square only for the programme to be disrupted by the rain.

“It is unlikely the government will host President Obama at the Independence Square. The main reason is the weather. We do not want to cause any financial loss to the state,” he stressed.

On the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) function, Mr Anyidoho said it would be by invitation to personalities across the political divide, members of the diplomatic corps and identifiable bodies.

He said the function would be telecast live on various television networks in the country, to allow Ghanaians to observe all the proceedings.

According to the programme, President Obama and his wife, Michelle, will arrive in Ghana on Friday night. They will be met on arrival by President Mills and other high government officials at the Kotoka International Airport.

The two Presidents would then hold consultations that night. They would have a breakfast meeting on Saturday morning. Thereafter, President Obama and his wife, Michelle, would visit the La Polyclinic.

After that the couple would leave for Cape Coast, where they would visit the palace of the Oguaa Omanhen, Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II, who would sit in state with his sub-chiefs to receive the American First Family.

The chiefs would honour Mrs Obama with the title of a queen. Afterward, they would visit the Cape Coast Castle.

According to Mr Anyidoho, President Obama’s visit to Cape Coast would leave “a lasting impression” at the place. “Subsequent visitors will feel Obama’s presence there,” he stressed.

Mr Anyidoho said President Mills was encouraged by President Obama’s scheduled visit to Ghana and added that it was a recognition of the country’s democratic credentials.

He said President Mills felt that the visit indicated that America was keeping a close eye on Ghana. Mr Anyidoho said President Mills was of the view that the credit should not go to the government only but Ghanaians in general, since the democratic march did not start with the current government.

Besides, he said, it was a joy that President Obama’s visit coincided with the same year that the country was going to celebrate the centenary birthday of the founder and first President of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

Source: Daily Graphic Ghana
 


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