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General News of Friday, 10 July 2009

Source: Nkrumah Foundation

Nkrumah Foundation Welcomes Obama

*OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA*

Dear President Obama,

Let me take this opportunity to welcome you most warmly to Ghana, a warm haven at the centre of the world and wish you a memorable stay.

All the people of Ghana are ecstatic over your choice of Ghana as the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to visit. It is not by accident but by the recognition of Ghana as the shining Black Star of Africa, the country which proclaimed at the time of her independence that it was meaningless unless it was linked up with the total liberation of Africa. It did not however, rest on its oars but worked tirelessly to see Africa free.

At the time of independence in 1957, the Vice President Richard Nixon was part of the celebrations. Subsequently, Presidents Clinton and George W Bush also visited Ghana. These visits are testimonies to the cordial relationship that exists between our two nations.

There is however Mr. President, one incident that for some of us chills this relationship somewhat and that is the lead role the United States of America under President Lyndon Johnson played in the overthrow on the 24th of February, 1966 of the elected leader Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

That America was instrumental in the planning and execution of the coup d’état is not in dispute as CIA declassified information has shown.

A newly independent Ghana led by its most inspirational and visionary leader was then on a strong path of economic emancipation to give jobs and opportunities to Ghanaians. It had made education and health free and was at the stage of industrialisation and creating the conditions for a thriving economy. With the help of America, the Akosombo hydroelectric project had been completed and commissioned earlier on in the year and the Russians were in Ghana with all the equipments to kick start the Bui dam to give energy sufficiency to the industries.

We were awakened in the early hours of 24th February, 1966 to a bloody coup while the President had been lured out of Ghana on a peace mission to help end the Vietnam War. The selfish collaborators who took over the reigns of governance were to set Ghana back.

Evidence also shows how the World Bank and International Monetary Fund provided the advice and Technical Aid that halted and reversed work by the Nkrumah Government that was to bring relief and benefit to ordinary Ghanaians. Many have died through the resulting poverty and Ghana has not progressed much since that time.

Silos that were built to store cocoa and maize were abandoned to rot, industries that had been built to ensure we produced most of the essential things the population needed were halted and the Kwabenya Atomic Energy Project was stopped and the reactor destroyed. The Project had been initiated to provide Ghana with nuclear energy and also to be used among others to reduce post harvest losses. As a matter of fact, Ghana’s progress as a nation was well and truly halted by the action of America and many Ghanaians have been denied jobs as a consequence.

Ghana has been a victim of slavery, colonization, neo-colonization and the cold war. All of which have helped create the mental lethargy which has impeded progress and fuelled the desire to escape poverty by whatever means necessary that has entrenched corruption in our body politic and psyche. Change must come to Ghana and Africa.

Mr. President, many Ghanaians were part of the body of humanity who wished and willed you on to win the US elections of 2008. Some of us followed the counting and collation of results and wept when you gave your acceptance speech. The dreams of our fore-fathers, Marcus Garvey, W.E.B du Bois, Kwame Nkrumah, Martin Luther King Jnr and many others had come true. Welcome to the mother continent, where it all begun for mankind but where resources have been plummeted for the benefit of others and the locals left in utter poverty.

The change we need must also come to this continent. The developed world must realize that the world does not exist to satisfy them alone and that the world is safer if there is shared humanity. If we all create a little space and create a better world for the entire human race, we will be healing the world (to paraphrase the lyrics of Michael Jackson’s “HEAL THE WORLD”). We look forward to seeing under your watch the fusion of the energy and intellect of African Americans and that of the brothers and sisters on the mother continent to advance the cause of Africa for the benefit of Africans and the rest of the world.

Mr. President, it goes without saying that the Central Intelligence Agency and the United States of America Government owe Ghana and Ghanaians an unreserved and unqualified apology for the plotting, planning and execution of the 24th February, 1966 coup and in particular to the families of the many who died on Ghana’s day of shame in this the centenary year of the birth of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

It is important that all countries of the world be allowed space to chart different courses to achieve progress for their people. It is remarkable the rise of China and the relationship that exists between America and China now and the emerging relationship with Russia following your just ended visit.

America must contribute willingly to get Ghana’s industrialization back on track particularly in the areas of research and development of new energy initiatives which will provide jobs for our people. Create effective collaboration with our Medical and Research Institutes, and the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and their counterparts in America to enrich each other. America must help revamp the Atomic Energy Project to realize the noble dreams of Osagyefo to provide nuclear energy for Ghana in these times of energy deficiency and assist in whatever way necessary to finish the Bui project which will have given Ghana energy for the past thirty-eight years.

Welcome once again to Ghana, the true gateway to Africa.

Please permit me to say a few words to First Lady Michelle Obama. I am certain that Ghana is your ancestral home and for some reason think you were instrumental in the choice of Ghana. Feel at home even though the period is very short. I will urge the Robinson Family to consider coming home and spending a little more time to get to know Ghana well.

God bless Ghana and may God bless the United States of America in our new relationship based on true partnership to advance the course of shared humanity.

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