>Equal Partner Visit

>Tonight, America’s 43rd president will be stepping on the red soil of Ghana. The “Trip to Africa” is according to the White House webpage a six day event where five African countries – one being Ghana – will be visited. An investment package will be launched, African policy will be discussed, and earlier presidential initiatives to combat HIV/AIDS and Malaria will be followed up on. In Ghanaian newspaper Accra Mail, the American Embassy spokesperson clarifies the US-Ghana relationship:

It is a partnership, it is not a top-down relationship, it is not imposition, it is a partnership among equals on issues of great concern.

What people on the street wonder is if while discussing “African policy”, the equal partner US is going to mention the far along plans of setting up a military base on Ghanaian territory, supposedly to protect nearby oil interests. Will then the equal partner Ghana feel free to decline a foreign militia without fearing any slowdown in the 55 million USD anually in aid? or in the mile long daily queu for American VISAs outside the newly built enormous American Embassy in Accra?

Or are we just worrying too much?

According to Ghana’s foreign minister Akwasi Osei-Adjei, there will be no talk of any American military base on Ghanaian soil, discussion will only relate to

some international issues of interest to both countries, particularly Ghana’s role in addressing security concerns in the troubled sub-region.

BBC also reports that “US drops African Military HQ Plans”, stating that the interest was low in African countries to host the US Africa Force, the Africa Command (AFRICOM), and that the headquarters will be based in Germany until further notice. My guess is that this disclaimer was launched to not start the “Trip to Africa” off on the wrong foot. Hey, if you don’t want to help us, thats ok. Really, we’re not upset…We’re just coming over to discuss some international issues of interest to us both…

It is difficult to remain balanced when a superpower is knocking on your door. To say it’s a partnership of equals is at best expressing a wish, not the reality.

The pic by Eric Draper was borrowed from whitehouse.gov, and showing Bush in Tanzania yesterday.

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