Obama arrives in Ghana for talks and visit to slave fort


Nairobi/Accra : US President Barack Obama arrived in Ghana early Saturday, on his first visit to the African continent since taking office as America’s first black president.

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An overnight flight took Obama from Italy, where he had been attending both the G8 summit in L’Aquila, and a meeting with the Pope at the Vatican, to the Ghanaian capital Accra.

President Obama and his wife, Michelle, were greeted at the airport with a traditional dance, and drumming.

Obama’s father was a Kenyan academic, and the president has previously visited Kenya.

Michelle Obama can trace her ancestry to African slaves transported to the US, and the pair are due to visit a slave fort on the Ghanaian coast.

The US president was due to hold a working breakfast with President John Atta Mills of Ghana, before addressing the country’s parliament.

Analysts believe Ghana was chosen as the site of Obama’s first trip to the continent of Africa as president for its strong democratic record.

The White House has praised Ghana in advance of the trip as a “trustworthy partner” in sub-Saharan Africa.

The president’ speech to the parliament is expected to focus on Africans’ long journey to freedom and the right to vote.

The trip to the former slave fort on the Cape Coast around 160 km from Accra is expected to prove the emotional highpoint of the tour.

Tens of thousands of Africans were shipped to the US as slaves from the port, and others like it, in one of the darkest chapters of history.