John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Showing posts for "Ghana"

Is the IMF Going to Save Ghana’s Troubled Economy?

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama attend the Ghana Compact Signing Ceremony at the State Department in Washington, August 5, 2014. (Yuri Gripas/Courtesy Reuters) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama attend the Ghana Compact Signing Ceremony at the State Department in Washington, August 5, 2014. (Yuri Gripas/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Cheryl Strauss Einhorn, a journalist and adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Long hailed as evidence of Africa’s growing political and economic stability, Ghana is suffering a reversal of fortune. One week ago as President John Mahama arrived in Washington for the U.S.-Africa Summit, his government finally admitted it needed urgent help to fix its faltering economy and contacted the International Monetary Fund for financial assistance. Read more »

Big Men: Ghana, Nigeria, and the United States

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Ebiowei, 48, carries an empty oil container on his head to a place where it would be filled with refined fuel at an illegal refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) Ebiowei, 48, carries an empty oil container on his head to a place where it would be filled with refined fuel at an illegal refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Emily Mellgard, research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program.

A great discovery often brings together strange bedfellows. Such is the case when the Jubilee Oil Field is discovered within Ghana’s national waters in the Gulf of Guinea. The heights and depths of the relationships between the people and groups pulled together around this oil field is the subject of the new Rachel Boyton (director) and Brad Pitt (producer) documentary Big Men. The documentary was filmed over five years from first discovery of the oil field to nearing “first oil” -when actual production begins. Read more »

President Obama in Africa: Light Up Africa

by John Campbell
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the University of Cape Town, June 30, 2013. (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters) U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the University of Cape Town, June 30, 2013. (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters)

Important though President Barack Obama’s evocation of Nelson Mandela’s spiritual and political legacy has been, and powerful though his Africa trip’s symbolic references were–the Door of No Return at Gorée and Robben Island–many friends of Africa will most warmly welcome his Power Africa initiative. During his South Africa stop, he proposed to double access to power in Sub-Saharan Africa. Initially, Power Africa will partner with Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania. The U.S. government will look to securing some U.S. $7 billion in funding with an additional $9 billion from the private sector. Most of the public-related money will come from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation ($1.5 billion) , the U.S. Export-Import Bank ($5 billion in support of U.S. exports related to power), and the Millennium Challenge Corporation ($1 billion investment in African power systems). Congruent with the president’s emphasis on trade and investment rather than aid, only $285 million would come from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Read more »

An African Agenda for President Obama

by John Campbell
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) jokes with patients and staff of the Heal Africa clinic in Goma August 11, 2009. (Roberto Schmidt/Courtesy Reuters) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) jokes with patients and staff of the Heal Africa clinic in Goma August 11, 2009. (Roberto Schmidt/Courtesy Reuters)

There is criticism in Africa and in the United States that, given Africa’s growing strategic, political, and economic importance, President Obama paid insufficient attention to it during his first term. In fact, the Obama administration has many program initiatives in Africa; and cabinet officers, led by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, regularly visited the continent. During her four year tenure as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton visited Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Benin, Somalia, South Africa, Kenya, and Malawi, among others. Read more »

The Odds on an African Pope

by John Campbell
An empty papal throne is pictured before the Ash Wednesday mass at the St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican February 13, 2013. (Alessandro Bianchi/Courtesy Reuters) An empty papal throne is pictured before the Ash Wednesday mass at the St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican February 13, 2013. (Alessandro Bianchi/Courtesy Reuters)

British, Irish, and Australian bookmakers will place odds on anything. They are already looking at possible successors to Pope Benedict XVI.  The odds change by the minute, but the three favorites include two Africans: Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana and Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria. The bookies’ other favorite is Cardinal Marc Ouellet, of Canada. The British bookmaker William Hill gives Cardinal Arinze two-to-one odds. Coral, also British, gives Cardinal Arinze seven-to-four. An Australian and an Irish bookmaker (among others) makes Cardinal Ouellet the favorite for the moment. Read more »

Ghana: An African Poster-Boy?

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama (L) takes the oath during his inauguration ceremony at the Independence Square in Accra January 7, 2013. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters) Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama (L) takes the oath during his inauguration ceremony at the Independence Square in Accra January 7, 2013. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Fr. Giles Conacher, a Benedictine monk based in Ghana. 

Ghana is often portrayed as Africa’s answer to sliced bread, a political and economic role model for all of Africa–does it deserve so much credit?

Politically it shows creditable maturity. In elections in 2004, 2008, and 2012 it successfully and peacefully changed president. The margin between losers and the victors, in the 2008 presidential runoff, was 48.1 percent to 51.9 percent, and yet there was a change of government, party, and president; no riots. I was proud of “our Ghana,” I tell you! Read more »

President Obama and Sub-Saharan Africa: What’s Missing

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A man with a flag stuck to his forehead waits to catch a glimpse of U.S. President Barack Obama in Accra 11/07/2009. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Courtesy Reuters) A man with a flag stuck to his forehead waits to catch a glimpse of U.S. President Barack Obama in Accra 11/07/2009. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Courtesy Reuters)

Richard Joseph is the John Evans Professor of International History and Politics at Northwestern University and a Senior Fellow with the Program on Global Economy and  Development of The Brookings Institution.  He has been deeply engaged with American policy toward Africa for a generation.  In his guest post below, Dr. Joseph analyzes the Obama administration’s June 2012 policy paper on Africa and he provides specific policy recommendations for the President’s second term. Read more »

Ghana Burnishes its Democratic Credentials

by John Campbell
Ghanaian President John Atta Mills attends a ceremony marking the first flow of oil from the Jubilee offshore oil field, at Takoradi, Ghana, December 15, 2010. (Reuters staff/Courtesy Reuters) Ghanaian President John Atta Mills attends a ceremony marking the first flow of oil from the Jubilee offshore oil field, at Takoradi, Ghana, December 15, 2010. (Reuters staff/Courtesy Reuters)

President of Ghana John Atta Mills died July 24. Though never officially confirmed, it was said that he suffered from throat cancer and he went to New York several times for medical treatment. The immediate cause of death at a military hospital was cardiac arrest. The chief justice immediately swore-in as president the former Vice president, John Dramani Mahama. He will serve until the regularly scheduled December presidential elections. Read more »

Guest Post: At Victory Temple, “Leading By Example, Not By Doctorate”

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
RCCG Pastor Lagosian Shina Enitan at Victory Temple courtesy Jim Sanders, Alexandria, Virginia, July 24, 2012. RCCG Pastor Lagosian Shina Enitan at Victory Temple courtesy Jim Sanders, Alexandria, Virginia, July 24, 2012.

This is a guest post by Jim Sanders, a career, now retired, West Africa watcher for various federal agencies. The views expressed below are his personal views and do not reflect those of his former employers.

Why am I  running a guest post on a Nigerian church in Alexandria, Virginia?  We sometimes overlook West Africa’s growing and vibrant social and cultural influence in the United States.  Jim Sanders recently visited a Redeemed Christian Church of God parish and interviewed the Nigerian pastor. The conversation provides fascinating insights into a Nigerian community in suburban Washington, D.C. and  also into aspects of Nigerian religious sensibility at home. His post  provides an opportunity for we Americans to “see ourselves as others see us.” Read more »

U.S. Energy Trade Mission to Africa

by John Campbell
A general view shows a cross-section of the Olkaria Geothermal power Plant, near Naivasha, 145 km (90 miles) west of Kenya's capital Nairobi, April 2, 2011. (Thomas Mukoya/Courtesy Reuters) A general view shows a cross-section of the Olkaria Geothermal power Plant, near Naivasha, 145 km (90 miles) west of Kenya's capital Nairobi, April 2, 2011. (Thomas Mukoya/Courtesy Reuters)

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Johnnie Carson is leading an eleven day trade mission to Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana, with a brief stop in Kenya, starting on February 6. The focus of the mission is to look for opportunities for U.S. companies to invest in power generation. The mission is co-sponsored by the Corporate Council for Africa, a private organization that brings together potential business partners as well as seeking to raise Africa’s profile among American investors. According to a State Department announcement, participating U.S. companies are Anadarko Petroleum, Caterpillar, Chevron, Energy International, General Electric, Pike Enterprises, Strategic Urban Development Alliance LLC, and the Symbion and Zanbato Group. In addition to the assistant secretary, the delegation will include a vice chair of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, representatives from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and from the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources. Companies cover the cost of their participation, not the U.S. government. Read more »