I have been given (and accepted!) the privilege of attending the Willow Creek Summit, locally in a couple of weeks. I cannot wait. Bono is one of the speakers (video cast).
While reading an article earlier this morning written by none other than the man of the hour, I learned that President Obama will be heading over the Ghana in the very near future. And apparently, the nation is excitedly awaiting his arrival.
Soon, Air Force One will touch down in Accra, Ghana; Africans will be welcoming the first African-American president. Press coverage on the continent is placing equal weight on both sides of the hyphen.
And though Obama's father was Kenyan, he obviously isn't going over to fulfill a heritage seeking-mission.
But President Obama’s African-ness is only part (a thrilling part) of the story today. Cable news may think it’s all about him — but my guess is that he doesn’t. If he was in it for a sentimental journey he’d have gone to Kenya, chased down some of those dreams from his father.He’s made a different choice, and he’s been quite straight about the reason. Despite Kenya’s unspeakable beauty and its recent victories against the anopheles mosquito, the country’s still-stinging corruption and political unrest confirms too many of the headlines we in the West read about Africa. Ghana confounds them.
Quietly, modestly — but also heroically — Ghana’s going about the business of rebranding a continent. New face of America, meet the new face of Africa.
Ghana is well governed. After a close election, power changed hands peacefully. Civil society is becoming stronger. The country’s economy was growing at a good clip even before oil was found off the coast a few years ago. Though it has been a little battered by the global economic meltdown, Ghana appears to be weathering the storm. I don’t normally give investment tips — sound the alarm at Times headquarters — but here is one: buy Ghanaian.So it’s not a coincidence that Ghana’s making steady progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Right now it’s one of the few African nations that has a shot at getting there by 2015.
And so while I'm not sharing this to rant and rave about the wonders and beauty of what is seemingly becoming a healthier, stronger country (I am currently reading about similarly encouraging recounts in a book I would highly recommend); I think it's important to reflect upon a nation who is rising up.
It is summed up nicely in what was likely my favourite part of the article...
...proving once again that a picture truly is worth more than a thousand words.