Prelude: Departing for Accra

March 11, 2012 By Mark Green


"American Idol" winner Eliot Yamin joined me on my previous trip to Ghana

Today I begin my journey to Ghana. I’m excited because Ghana is one of Africa’s most hopeful places. Democracy has taken root, economic growth projections are relatively sunny, and the government’s relationship with the US is stronger than ever. In fact, as my trip gets underway, Ghana’s President Atta Mills is in Washington, D.C.  Among other things, he’s signing a Partnership for Growth agreement aimed at further liberalizing Ghana’s economy and increasing ties between the countries.

I last visited Ghana a year and a half ago, when United Airlines and Malaria No More (a USGLC member) partnered to donate and deliver lifesaving mosquito bed nets to a hospital in Accra. Joining us was Elliott Yamin, recording artist and American Idol star.

In colonial times, Ghana was known as the “Gold Coast” because of its natural wealth and beautiful shoreline. These days, observers like the Lonely Planet travel series refer to Ghana as “West Africa’s Golden Child” for its economic and political development.  In other words, there’s still gold in Ghana, but it’s as much in its people and commitment to democracy as in its legendary mines.