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Today: March 23

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Trip to Africa

Today, the President and First Lady arrive in Ghana at Kotoka International Airportand begin their historic trip through Africa. The major events of the President's dayinclude:

Arrival Ceremony at Kotoka International Airport

Bilateral Meeting with President Rawlings at Osu Castle

Address to the People of Ghana at Independence Square

Peace Corps Project Visit at TechnoServe


Arrival Ceremony at Kotoka International Airport

At Kotoka International Airport, Ghanaian President Jerry Rawlings greetsPresident and Mrs. Clinton with a traditional libation ceremony. Conducted by the SeniorChief of the Chieftancy Council, this ceremony evokes ancestral spirits to witness andbless the occasion. It is an essential rite for Ghanaians during state visits. Afterwards,President Clinton joins President Rawlings in a review of the Ghanaian honor guard.

Bilateral Meeting with President Rawlings at Osu Castle

President Clinton's bilateral meeting with President Rawlings takes place inChristiansborg Castle, also known as Osu Castle after the section of Accra in whichit is located. Osu Castle overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Its walled-in grounds host rarespecies of trees and free-roaming peacocks. Today's visitors are struck by thehistory and majesty of its ancient walls, its spacious gardens and its sparkling whiteinterior buildings. Adjacent to the "Old Castle" are modern offices, known asthe "New Castle", containing the Office of the Vice President. PresidentRawlings lives and works in the Old Castle, while his wife and family reside elsewhere.

Address to the People of Ghana at Independence Square

President Clinton articulates the central themes of his trip in an address to thepeople of Ghana held in Independence Square. The square is located in downtownAccra just a few minutes drive from Osu Castle and only a few hundred meters from the Gulfof Guinea. The ocean offers a stunning backdrop. Independence Square was constructed in1961 in preparation for the visit that year by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke ofEdinburgh. Since then it has served as the locale for Ghana's most important paradesand other public ceremonies.

PeaceCorps Project Visit at TechnoServe

President Clinton visits a site that exhibits the work the Peace Corps and TechnoServehave done in rural communities to encourage grassroots business development as part ofUSAID's trade and investment program in Ghana. He will also meet with Peace Corpsvolunteers and their respective Ghanaian counterparts who will discuss and explain theirproject activities in Ghana.

TechnoServe is a private, non-sectarian, non-profit organization based in the UnitedStates with offices worldwide. TechnoServe's program in Ghana is the largest of itsfive African programs. Over 100 TechnoServe staff, almost all Ghanaians, strive tostrengthen the rural private sector through projects in three crucial areas: the promotionof non-traditional export crops, including cashews, cola, shea nuts and pineapple;improving access to savings and credit bu rural farmers; and teaching basic literacy towomen involved in community businesses.

TechnoServe staff work directly with over 560 farm groups, cooperatives and othercommunity-based organizations to identify sources of credit and improved markets and tohelp rural entrepreneurs add value to their raw commodities by using local processing toenhance the product. They also work with rural banks and other institutions to strengthencapacity to provide loans to rural entrepreneurs.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Peace Corps worktogether at TechnoServe's Ghana operation. USAID funds TechnoServe and five PeaceCorps Volunteers work on TechnoServe projects.

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