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.
The MP told the House that the arrangement was to enable the eminent personalities to share their views on the needs and concerns of the country.

He said he had been reliably informed that invitations had been sent to the two former presidents.

The MP lauded the contribution of the USA to the development of the country, indicating that aside development initiatives by the US government for the country, many Ghanaians had also benefited by way of education and training from the US.

He said the choice of Ghana reflected the fact that the country had a peaceful and stable democracy.

He said it had been the government’s wish that the Ghanaian public would have had some interaction with the US President, but said because of uncertainty over the weather and other security considerations, there was not going to be such direct public interaction.

He, however, indicated that there would be live broadcasts of the major events. Contributing to the statement, the MP for Kwabre West, Mr Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, said although Obama was not the first US President to visit the country, his visit was unique because Ghana was the first country south of the Sahara to host the US President.

He said the choice of Ghana did not come by accident but by painstaking development of the country’s democratic credentials and the effective management of socio-economic challenges.

He said in order to deepen and improve the country’s democratic credentials, there was the need to ensure a more credible electoral process through the introduction of an electronic system of voter registration, voting and declaration of results.

In his contribution, the MP for Garu/Timpane, Mr Dominic Azumah, said the visit of the US President would deepen relationship between the two countries.

He, however, suggested that President Obama’s schedule should have included a visit to the northern part of the country where he could have a better appreciation of the country’s development challenges.

The MP for Subin, Mr Isaac Osei, told the House that the democratic experiment that was instituted more than 50 years ago was working, adding that the country had benefited tremendously from its association with the US.

He said the life and achievements of the US President reinforced the belief that the country could make it.

The Minority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, for his part urged that necessary measures be put in place to enable the US President and his entourage to interact with the private sector.

He said President Obama should also make clear the policy direction of his administration and assured the US President and his entourage of the “proverbial Ghanaian hospitality”.

The Majority Leader, Mr Alban Bagbin, said the visit was unique because it was the first time a US President was visiting the country not only with his wife but his children as well.

He said the visit was also in recognition of the country’s achievement as a united people and added that the country was fortunate to host the US President.

The Second Deputy Speaker, Professor Mike Oquaye, said Ghana had been the natural choice for Obama’s first visit to sub-Saharan Africa and urged Ghanaians to “sustain and develop that which makes us special”.

Source: Graphic


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