An Early Trip to Ghana

Something very rare recently happened in Ghana. A fair, open, and tight election ended with a peaceful transition. Sadly, such events are rare in Africa and seem to becoming rarer. The whole nation of Ghana should be applauded for their triumph and rewarded for their dedication to democracy.

Barack Obama currently has an unprecedented level of favorability throughout Africa. He should use his popularity to travel to Ghana and make it clear that America stands with, protects, and promotes democracies. The symbolism of America's first African-American president visiting Africa's most successful democracy would be powerful. A simple trip to Ghana could do more to promote the "freedom agenda" than all the billions spent fighting the war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Obama is going to have the first year of his presidency filled with pressing issues. With the economy, health care reform, the war, and the conflict in Gaza, I can't fault Obama if he is forced to put Africa on the back burner. But it would be unfortunate to miss this amazing opportunity.

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