“There is sometimes a tendency to focus on the challenges that exist in Africa — rightfully so,” Obama said after the talks.
“But it think it’s important for us to also focus on the good news that is coming out of Africa. Ghana continues to be a good news story,” Obama said, praising the country’s increasingly strong tradition of democracy.
Obama said he and Mills had swapped notes on their looming reelection races this year, and noted that both the United States and Ghana enjoyed similar democratic freedoms.
“Regardless of who wins and who loses, our countries’ commitment to ensuring that people have a voice in determining who represents them in their government is what gives both our countries such strength,” Obama said.
Obama said Mills had shown a commitment to root out corruption, increase transparency and pursued policies that had made his country a “wonderful economic success story in Africa.”
Mills thanked Obama for his warm reception, and said that both nations shared common values of democracy.
“There can be no development without peace which means we should do the things that ensure there is peace,” he said.
Since taking office in January 2009, Obama — born in the United States to a Kenyan father and a white American mother — has only travelled once to sub-Saharan Africa, taking a trip to Ghana in July 2009.
In Accra on that visit, Obama — the first black US president — urged Africans to demand stronger governments and pledged more US help to battle disease.