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Opinions of Friday, 10 July 2009

Columnist: Kanduri, Moses

Obama’s Visit to Ghana: the Social implication to Youth

People from around the world have drawn inspiration from U.S. President Barrack Obama’s messages about hope and empowerment. It is no doubt that the election of the first black president of the United States of America will be one historical moment in the black history of the world and young people across the world will always use this as one inspiration to meet the challenges that life brings to us as we journey the road to academic, economic and social success.

On Tuesday, 7th July 2009, at the staple center in Los Angeles, the world witnessed one historic moment of all time, the memorial service of the legendary King of Pop Michael Jackson, Queen Latifah another entertainment legend and Rev. Al Sharpton, a renowned Civil Right Activist in the massages to the world, all of whom referred to the Ghana Black Star and square as a symbol of the late legend’s fight for unity, hope, love and success for all people of the world. The black star is indeed a significant symbolic representation of our beloved country and should be seen as a symbol that provides for the young generation of our country and the world with a signal of hope for a better future. At this same time when we are mourning the King of Pop Michael Jackson, we Ghanaian youth celebrate the visit of the first black president of the United States of America, President Barack Obama, who by all means is a youth by state of mind. The visit of President Obama is also indeed a blessing and a signal of greater hope, not just for the economic improvement of Ghana, but a challenge to the youth to be inspired and strive to achieve greater success and to give back to society quality and transparent guidance that will help close the gap between the so-called High class and lower class—or, in other words, the rich and the poor. His visit will not only be an inspiration to the youth of Ghana, but to the rest of the continent and should be a moment of actualization of dreams in young people who will soon take over leadership roles in the very near future, thereby contributing to social development, building personal confidence as well as taking up challenges of finding solutions to societal issues.

Young persons in Ghana should recognize the educational opportunities both in Ghana and abroad, particularly the United States of America. Innovative programs that are geared towards promoting the exchange of culture and ideas should be encouraged by both governments since this will provide a quality way of learning and understanding about international issues and will also help to achieve the first and last of the Millennium Development Goals, ” Ending Hunger and Poverty and a global partnership for development”. By this, we will be acknowledging education as a critical instrument for enabling people to develop their full capacities in health and dignity and to participate actively in the social, economical and political process of development in Ghana.

I will once again commend the president of Ghana, His Excellency Prof. Evan Atta Mills for his trust in the youth of Ghana and giving us the opportunity to have representatives in his ministerial team. This is absolutely a clear demonstration of his commitment towards providing for youth a platform to voice their needs and make our voices our heard, giving us resources to promote youth participation at all levels. As a youth activist, I have had an opportunity to interact with the newly appointed Acting Minister for youth and sports, Hon. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo and I trust that his work with the National Youth Council will put him in a better position to address the concerns of youth in Ghana. With greater educational opportunities in the United States of America, it will be a great moment to hear that under the first black president of America and the government of Ghana, student exchange and study abroad programs will be initiated to provide for Ghanaian youth (and foreign students in Ghana) an opportunity to have a global sense of belongingness, especially at a time that one internationally recognized resource, oil, has been found in Ghana and will need experts to take up the challenge of working in the industry.

I wish to congratulate Prof. Mills and all Ghanaians for receiving President Obama and at the same time, on behalf of the Ghanaian students studying in the United States, I wish to thank President Obama and his team for selecting Ghana, our motherland, for this historic visit. It is our belief that your visits to Ghana will deepen the relationship that we Ghanaian students in the United States have with our American peers, both students and professors. AKWAABA to Ghana and to the Family of the late Legend and the King of Pop; we will miss Michael Jackson and he will always be remembered for his humanitarian contribution and efforts to make the world a better place for young people.

By: Moses Kanduri

City University of New York (KCC)