Yesterday, President Obama addressed the Parliament of Ghana.
Yesterday, the President gave a speech in Accra, Ghana. He laid out his vision for human rights and democracy in Africa’s future, and he described what America’s role in promoting better governance in Africa will be. President Obama said:
"I'm speaking to you at the end of a long trip. I began in Russia for a summit between two great powers. I traveled to Italy for a meeting of the world's leading economies. And I've come here to Ghana for a simple reason: The 21st century will be shaped by what happens not just in Rome or Moscow or Washington, but by what happens in Accra, as well. (Applause.) ...So I do not see the countries and peoples of Africa as a world apart; I see Africa as a fundamental part of our interconnected world -- (applause) -- as partners with America on behalf of the future we want for all of our children. That partnership must be grounded in mutual responsibility and mutual respect. And that is what I want to speak with you about today."
In his remarks, the President focused on four areas that are critical to the future of Africa and the entire developing world: democracy, opportunity, health, and the peaceful resolution of conflict. The President began with the premise that Africa's future is up to Africans. He concluded by saying:
"I am particularly speaking to the young people all across Africa and right here in Ghana. In places like Ghana, young people make up over half of the population.
And here is what you must know: The world will be what you make of it. You have the power to hold your leaders accountable, and to build institutions that serve the people. You can serve in your communities, and harness your energy and education to create new wealth and build new connections to the world. You can conquer disease, and end conflicts, and make change from the bottom up. You can do that. Yes you can -- (applause) -- because in this moment, history is on the move.
But these things can only be done if all of you take responsibility for your future. And it won't be easy. It will take time and effort. There will be suffering and setbacks. But I can promise you this: America will be with you every step of the way -- as a partner, as a friend. (Applause.) Opportunity won't come from any other place, though. It must come from the decisions that all of you make, the things that you do, the hope that you hold in your heart.
Ghana, freedom is your inheritance. Now, it is your responsibility to build upon freedom's foundation. And if you do, we will look back years from now to places like Accra and say this was the time when the promise was realized; this was the moment when prosperity was forged, when pain was overcome, and a new era of progress began. This can be the time when we witness the triumph of justice once more."