Youth Ambassador attends President Obama’s speech in Ghana
This past weekend marked an historic moment for many in Africa, especially in Ghana, as President Barack Obama visited Ghana on his first presidential trip to Sub-Saharan Africa.
Instead of visiting Kenya, his father’s home, Obama decided to visit Ghana to draw attention to the country's history of democracy — of free elections and peaceful transfers of power between opposition parties — and growing economy.
African youth inspired and motivated by ObamaAn historic moment for all in Africa, Obama’s visit was particularly poignant and inspirational to the millions of African youth — youth who see President Obama as a ray of hope for their own future.
One youth, Abigail — a Youth Ambassador for Plan Ghana — was among those present as President Barack Obama addressed the Ghanaian Parliament on Saturday:
“I thought it [President Obama’s speech] was very inspirational. I liked the part where he talked about young people, saying that it’s time young people should take over Africa – how it is up to children and the youth to start something.
“We can take over those who are leading us today and follow in their footsteps and we will also become good politicians in the future. And, yes — we can.”
Obama, democracy and the future of youth in AfricaAbigail later sat down with two other Youth Ambassadors, Justice and Christian, to discuss with Ahuma Adodoadji, Plan USA’s President/CEO, their reactions and feelings about Obama’s visit to Ghana and what democracy means to them.
Ahuma: “What did you think about Obama coming to Ghana?”
Abigail: “I think Obama’s visit to Ghana was a lot of fun and also inspirational. I was very excited when he chose to come to Ghana because I really wanted to see him and draw inspiration from him from the way he talks. He is the first African American to become a President of the U.S. and coming to Ghana, my country, inspires me to work on my studies very hard so I can get to where he is and even further.”
Ahuma: “What do democracies mean for children?”
Abigail: “Democracies will help children to participate effectively in decision-making. Sometimes when our parents decide for us, we don’t like the decisions they make for us. And it’s time that we children participate effectively, by bringing our views about something that was approved by our parents and our leaders so that we can develop our potential as children too.”
Christian: “Democracy supports the development and survival of children. The increased participation of children is making us fruitful.”
Justice: “I think democracy supports the course of children in their survival, participation, development, and education. As Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as the system of government by the people for the people and through the people, it has to come to the people so that they decide what is best for them.”
Helping children realize their full potentialPlan's vision is of a world in which all children realize their full potential in societies that respect people's rights and dignity. We work to provide a better world for children now and in the long-term future by putting children’s needs and concerns at the center of all our programs and encouraging children to participate and contribute their ideas and opinions so they are truly heard in their community.
Watch an interview with Justice as he talks about promoting children's rights in Ghana.
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