ONE co-founder Bono wrote a great a column for the New York Times today about President Obama’s historic visit to Ghana this weekend. Bono writes about the relationship between the U.S. and Africa and about how countries like Ghana, with its peaceful transition of power and growing business sector, are challenging old stereotypes about Africa.
The Times also links to our brand new “Yes, Africa Can” video about Ghana. The video, which we shot in Ghana just a few weeks ago, includes Ghanaians talking about their views of Ghana today and their excitement about President Obama’s trip.
In his column Bono writes:
No one’s leaked me a copy of the president’s speech in Ghana, but it’s pretty clear he’s going to focus not on the problems that afflict the continent but on the opportunities of an Africa on the rise. If that’s what he does, the biggest cheers will come from members of the growing African middle class, who are fed up with being patronized and hearing the song of their majestic continent in a minor key.
I’ve played that tune. I’ve talked of tragedy, of emergency. And it is an emergency when almost 2,000 children in Africa a day die of a mosquito bite; this kind of hemorrhaging of human capital is not something we can accept as normal.
But as the example of Ghana makes clear, that’s only one chord. Amid poverty and disease are opportunities for investment and growth — investment and growth that won’t eliminate overnight the need for assistance, much as we and Africans yearn for it to end, but that in time can build roads, schools and power grids and propel commerce to the point where aid is replaced by trade pacts, business deals and home-grown income.