Obama Delivers Speech in Ghanaian Parliament
    2009-07-11 21:57:01     Xinhua      Web Editor: Sun Yang

U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday delivered a major speech in the Ghanaian parliament, focusing on the themes of democracy, opportunity, health and peace, according to reports reaching here.

The U.S leader admitted that there has been considerable progress made but much more still remains to be done in Africa.

He hailed Ghana as a model of building democratic institutions for the African continent. "The people of Ghana have worked hard to put democracy on a firmer footing, with peaceful transfers of power even in the wake of closely contested elections."

"And with improved governance and an emerging civil society, Ghana's economy has shown impressive rates of growth," Obama said.

The U.S. president said development depends on good governance and that is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long.

"This is the change that can unlock Africa's potential. And that is a responsibility that can only be met by Africans."

Obama called for good governance by Africa leaders.

On opportunity, Obama said deployment provides opportunity for more people.

"With better governance, I have no doubt that Africa hold the promise of a broader case for prosperity. The continent is rich in natural resources. And from cell phone entrepreneurs to small farmers, Africans have shown the capacity and commitment to creating their own opportunities."

The U.S. president said "History shows that countries thrive when they invest in their people and infrastructure. When they promote multiple export industries, develop a skilled workforce, and create space for small and medium-sized businesses that create jobs."

"With better governance by African leaders, there is strong opportunity for partnership with the United States" he added.

"We will put more resources into the hands of those who need it, " Obama promised, adding the 3.5 billion U.S dollars food initiative is in line to ensuring more partnership between developed and developing countries.

On health, Obama said enormous progress has been made in parts of Africa in recent years.

"Far more people are living productively with HIV/AIDS, and getting the drugs they need. But too many still die from diseases that should not kill them,"

"Yet because of incentives often provided by donor nations, many African doctors and nurses go oversees, or work for programs that focus on a single disease. This create gaps in primary care and basic prevention," he said.

Individual Africans also have to make responsible choices that prevent the spread of disease, while promoting public health in their communities and countries, he noted.

As regard to peace in the continent, the U.S. president said conflicts have become too akin to Africa.

"Diversity should not be the source of conflict but rather to unite and to strive for peace which is necessary for development," he said.

He welcomed the steps taken by AU (the African Union) and ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States) to bring the peace needed in Africa.

The speech is the fourth major one made this year by Obama on the U.S. foreign policies following the first one in Prague on April 5, the second one in Cairo on June 4 and third one in Moscow on July 7.

The U.S. president is in Accra for a two-day visit starting on Friday.



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