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    11 July 2009

    Obama: Africa must accept responsibility

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    President Obama has wound up his whirlwind visit to Ghana, with a high-profile trip to a former slave trading post. Thousands of people flocked to Cape Coast to see him, but few were able to get close.

    The President has roots in Kenya, while his wife Michelle’s ancestors were shipped to America as slaves. The tour of Cape Coast will have been deeply emotional for them, and he said his family had experienced the triumphs and tragedies of Africa’s history.

    Earlier, he addressed parliament, warning Africa to take more responsibility for its future. The President congratulated Ghana as a model of democracy in Africa, but said every nation on the continent must accept its obligations.

    “History is on the move,” the President said. “But these things can only be done if all of you take responsibility for your future. And it will not 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.”

    It was Obama’s first trip to sub-Saharan Africa as President, and he said Ghana is an example of what can be achieved. Last week’s G8 summit promised to support development, but Obama said real change must begin with Africans themselves.

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