Remarks of President Obama to the Ghanaian Parliament -- 'A New Moment of Promise' – Accra International Conference Center, in Accra, the capital of Ghana: 'I am 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 have 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. ... 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 – as partners with America on behalf of the future that we want for all our children. That partnership must be grounded in mutual responsibility, and that is what I want to speak with you about today. We must start from the simple premise that Africa's future is up to Africans. I say this knowing full well the tragic past that has sometimes haunted this part of the world. I have the blood of Africa within me, and my family's own story encompasses both the tragedies and triumphs of the larger African story.
'My grandfather was a cook for the British in Kenya, and though he was a respected elder in his village, his employers called him 'boy' for much of his life. He was on the periphery of Kenya's liberation struggles, but he was still imprisoned briefly during repressive times. In his life, colonialism wasn't simply the creation of unnatural borders or unfair terms of trade – it was something experienced personally, day after day, year after year. My father grew up herding goats in a tiny village, an impossible distance away from the American universities where he would come to get an education. He came of age at an extraordinary moment of promise for Africa. The struggles of his own father's generation were giving birth to new nations, beginning right here in Ghana. Africans were educating and asserting themselves in new ways. History was on the move. But despite the progress that has been made – and there has been considerable progress in parts of Africa – we also know that much of that promise has yet to be fulfilled. ...
'To realize that promise, we must first recognize a fundamental truth that you have given life to in Ghana: development depends upon good governance. That is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long. That is the change that can unlock Africa's potential. And that is a responsibility that can only be met by Africans. ... America will not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation – the essential truth of democracy is that each nation determines its own destiny.
'Building on the strong efforts of President Bush, we will carry forward the fight against HIV/AIDS. We will pursue the goal of ending deaths from malaria and tuberculosis, and eradicating polio. We will fight neglected tropical disease. And we won't confront illnesses in isolation – we will invest in public health systems that promote wellness, and focus on the health of mothers and children. ... The people of Africa are ready to claim that future. In my country, African-Americans – including so many recent immigrants – have thrived in every sector of society. We have done so despite a difficult past, and we have drawn strength from our African heritage. ... Fifty-two years ago, the eyes of the world were on Ghana. And a young preacher named Martin Luther King traveled here, to Accra, to watch the Union Jack come down and the Ghanaian flag go up. This was before the march on Washington or the success of the civil rights movement in my country. ...
'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. You can! 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.
'Opportunity won't come from any other place, though – it must come from the decisions all of you make, the things that you do, and the hope that you hold in your hearts. 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. YES, WE CAN. Thank you very much. God bless you. Thank YOU.'
Source: Mike Allen's Politico Playbook Daily Update