Monday, September 15, 2008

Good News From Africa

Roger Cohen had an op-ed in the New York Times last month about how good news from Africa is buried while bad news is, well, news. He also mentioned that Ghana, where I lived for a semester in high school and again in college, is one of the places in Africa that's experiencing somewhat of a boom. Indeed, when I was there in 1997 there were only a handful of stoplights in the capital, Accra. Later, in 2003, there were too many to count. Their government has also been undergoing positive changes. In 1997, Jerry Rawlings was president, and had been since 1981 when he seized the country in a coup. But by 2003, John Kufuor was president after Rawlings peacefully relinquished power in 2001 through democratic elections - the first such transition in the country's history. Kufuor will make history again this coming January by peacefully handing over power as well.

So it seems appropriate that now, while Kufuor is visiting president Bush to discuss good news which is buried by the horrible news of the market (to the extent that this was true even in their joint press conference), we take note of the amazing progress that has been made. For once Bush said something true when welcoming Kufuor to the US, "Your country is a model of entrepreneurship and democracy and peace on the continent of Africa."

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