Obama Challenges Africa To Take Control

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President Obama is back in the White House Sunday morning after a weeklong trip overseas. His last stop was the West African nation of Ghana, where Obama noted that his family has shared in the tragedies of Africa's past, but added that today's Africans must take responsibility for their own future.

LIANE HANSEN, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Liane Hansen.

President Obama is back in the White House this morning after a week-long trip overseas. His last stop was the West African nation of Ghana where Mr. Obama noted that his family has shared in the tragedies of Africa's past, but added that today's Africans must take responsibility for their own future.

NPR's Scott Horsley reports from the Ghanaian capital of Accra.

SCOTT HORSLEY: As the son of an African father, Mr. Obama said this trip was particularly meaningful. Yesterday, he and his wife and daughters visited the Cape Coast Castle, a 17th century fort where thousands of Africans passed through the door-of-no return on the slave ships, never again to see their families or their homeland. Earlier, Mr. Obama told the Ghanaian parliament while it's easy to point fingers at past suppression, not all of African's modern problems can be blamed on the West.

He held up Ghana as a prosperous model of what democratic rule and good government can do for an African country but he said too much of Africa is plagued by corruption and strong-armed rulers. He urged the young people of the continent in particular to demand better.

President BARACK OBAMA: You can conquer disease and end conflicts and make change from the bottom up. You can do that. Yes, you can.

(Soundbite of applause)

Pres. OBAMA: Because in this moment, history is on the move.

(Soundbite of music)

HORSLEY: Ghana threw a festive farewell party at the airport last night with hundreds of invited guests singing and dancing on the tarmac as Air Force One idled in the background. The Ghanaian president said the visit had ended all too soon, but for Mr. Obama, the door to return to Africa is wide open.

Scott Horsley, NPR News, Accra, Ghana.

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