- Title: GHANA: Ghanaians expect Obama's visit will breed "good will" for the country
- Date: 12th July 2009
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIRE-FIGHTER, NII OKOE HAMMOND, SAYING: "We are here because of him, to see the man with our naked eyes, not to hide anything. That's why we are here, we all want to welcome our African brother, that's why we are here. But they [Ghana's security police] are hiding everything to our eyes. If it was like this, no one will have the money for coming." VARIOUS OF SECURITY TRUCK WITH POLICE ON TOP PEOPLE ARRIVING AT CONFERENCE CENTRE
- Embargoed: 27th July 2009 13:00
- Location: Ghana
- Country: Ghana
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA3641J8B2SXWALC2DCW1LWH4EP
- Story Text: Ghanaians express discontent over tight security but expect "a lot of good will" out of Obama visit.
Traditional Ghanaian Chiefs and Kings arrived at Cape Coast castle amid a festive atmosphere ahead of Barack Obama's visit to the historic slave fort on Saturday (July 11).
Tight security measures ahead of Obama's visit, considered the biggest security operation ever in Ghana, left many roads blocked, forcing locals hoping to get close to the first American president of african heritage, to walk at least two hours on foot, before reaching the castle.
The U.S. President insisted to visit the castle with his family as part of his first visit to a sub-saharan African country since he took office.
Meanwhile, many Ghanians expected the visit will breed positive effects on the country.
"I think the euphoria is very high and a lot of people are in expectation and I think by his visit here it will bring a lot of good will to Ghana, and stuff like that. That's why a lot of people are out there, they are having fun and at the same time expect him to come and deliver his policy speech to Ghana," said teacher Ocloo Livingston.
Other locals expressed frustration over the tight security measures.
"We are here because of him, to see the man with our naked eyes, not to hide anything. That's why we are here, we all want to welcome our African brother, that's why we are here. But they [Ghana's security police] are hiding everything to our eyes. If it was like this, no one will have the money for coming," said fire-fighter Nii Okoe Hammond.
Estimates vary widely, but somewhere between 10 and 28 million Africans are estimated to have been shipped across the Atlantic between the 15th and 19th centuries from forts like Cape Castle, which is located along the coast of Ghana. Many died on the way and those who survived endured a life of drudgery on sugar, tobacco and cotton plantations.
But the atmosphere remained positive for Obama's visit.
"I believe that Barack Obama's visit to Ghana is going to open a lot of opportunities for businesses in Ghana. It's going to bring a lot of investors to Ghana," said Henriette Ese, a business woman from Cape Coast.
Earlier in the day, President Barack Obama addressed the Ghanaian parliament where he said Western aid must be matched by good governance in Africa.
Ghana's President John Atta Mills, was elected in a peaceful, transparent vote last December, which has set precedent for the continent.
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