President Barack Obama's speech before Ghana's Parliament on July 11 marked his fourth major discourse on international affairs since taking office. Just as he did in Cairo little over a month ago, Obama outlined his vision of a region of the world -- this time sub-Saharan Africa -- and America's role in it.
Obama emphasized the need for more equal relations between the United States and Africa, a shift from patronage to partnership, and the importance of Africans taking responsibility for their own destiny. He lamented that "the West has often approached Africa as a patron, rather than a partner." Obama announced that the guiding premises of his Africa policy will be that "Africa's future is up to Africans," and that "mutual responsibility must be the foundation of our partnership."
But although Obama's speech was enthusiastically received across Africa, his message was not new.