June 10th, 2009
NewsRescue– On Obama’s second visit to Africa,- his visiting Ghana in Sub Saharan Africa- Ghana’s only international Airport in Accra has been shut down for the window of the Presidents arrival. International flights scheduled to arrive the same period have been postponed for up to a 24 hour period.
A NewsRescue reporter flying in from Britain on a British airway flight scheduled to land Ghana at 8pm local time today filed in this report, that her flight had been postponed for 24 hours due to this unusual shut down.
The little Ghana country has been over enthusiastic about Obama’s visit and the capital has been painted over with Obama’s face on almost all bill boards and other street signs.
The shut down of Ghana’s only international airport is unprecedented of official presidential visits, and can only happen in such a small, ‘underdeveloped’ Nation. During presidential visits to other countries like neighboring Nigeria, International airports remain open, and the Nation has several alternative airports to redirect air traffic and re-route via domestic flights, in case of a rare shut down.
Ghanaian’s are very enthused about the half-Black US presidents visit to their country. He is viewed as a hero, thought to be coming to solve their many problems. Ghana is a Nation where almost half the population live below the poverty line. With a once booming Agriculture industry, Ghana as with many African nations is now industrially dysfunctional.
NewsRescue Update, July 10th 2009- Obama acknowledges the effects of the legacy of colonialism and Western foreign policy on Africa’s predicament.
View: ABC News video
“…what you heard is true……the question I asked in the meeting… (the disparity between South Korea and Kenya)- why is that…there had been some talk of the legacy of colonialism, other policies by wealthier Nations… without in any way diminishing that, I said…”
The reason for the death of the African industry was- in the seventy’s when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank imposed Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) restrictions on African Nations after encouraging them to take massive loans. The SAP restrictions including the lifting of Agriculture and other industry subsidies and forcing Africans to only produce export goods for the western world lead to the death of the African industry.
In Ghana, US subsidized rice now sells while Ghanaian farmers sit by their abandoned tractors, unable to continue their prior booming industry.
Since the inception of the IMF-World Bank SAP program, Africa has paid back up to 4000 Billion dollars to western Nation banks, an amount several times the total aid African Nations have received in total from the west. The President of France said in 1994:
‘Despite the considerable sums spent on bilateral and multilateral aid, the flow of capital from Africa toward the industrial countries is greater than the flow of capital from the industrial countries to the developing countries’ (see Touissaint and Comanne 1995: 10-12).
During the 1970s loans were given freely at very low interest rates but this situation changed dramatically in the early 1980s. The USA pushed up interest rates drastically in an attempt to stop inflation. ‘Developing’ countries that had taken out loans with US banks now had to pay huge interests. The major lending banks in Europe followed suit and the debt crisis was born (see George 1995: 21). ‘Developing’ countries were unable to repay their loans and were forced to take up new loans to pay the interest.
In 1980 the total debt of developing countries stood at US$ 567 billion. Between 1980 and 1992 these countries paid back US$ 1662 billion. However, because of the high interest rates, the debt increased to US$ 1419 billion in 1992 – despite the repayments! The rising interest rates forced developing countries to take out new loans to avoid bankruptcy.
Debt repayments drain about US$ 160 billion each year from ‘developing’ countries. This is about 2.5 times the total development aid that these countries receive!
Since the 1980s, debt repayments are a major mechanism of transferring wealth from the South to the North.
So the question is- will Obama really rescue Ghana by promising to attend to the root cause of the poverty crises, or will he as his predecessor did, discuss HIV and AIDS prevention in Africa?
Small arms and conflicts in Africa
Another pertinent issue that plagues some parts of Africa that we hope Obama will discuss is that of war. Ninety percent of local wars are fought with small arms. USA is the major seller of small arms world wide to conflicting parties. These guns lead to majority of the deaths. Unfortunately during all UN unanimous proposals for embargoes to ban small arms trade, only the US opposed and vetoed these efforts by the global community, and the trade and death of Africa continues.
Is Obama going to promise Ghana to address this bloody issue or not? We wait to see.
There has been a hot debate on the internet and media as to whether Obama’s selection of Ghana is only because of the US mission for AFRICOM military control of Africa in a contest with China, and Ghana’s willingness to accept this.
Majority of African nations have clearly stated their unambiguous opposition to U military bases in Africa under the proposed US AFRICOM program. Due to this, the head center was moved to Germany as Africa rejected this initiative. Ghana already has US military troops, and is a favorite for this initiative. Could this be the reason why the president selected Ghana for his second Africa trip? The suggestion of good democratic governance being the reason for his selection is thrown out easily, knowing that in his first visit to Africa he went to Egypt, a monarchy. He has also been to Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, all monarchies, and the last being the Nation of birth of almost all suspected 911 terrorists. So AFRICOM become a more likely reason why Obama selected Ghana, unless there is some other reason we don’t know of.
Will the President of the United states promise Africa to take the guns and boots away from Africa and give Africa true freedom and equal opportunity in the world economy or will he seal the AFRICOM deal? View article: Obama To Visit Ghana- All About AFRICOM?
We at the NewsRecsue desk wish our President a wonderful trip and hope Ghana soon reopens its only internaional airport.