Five students from La Cañada High School’s World Affairs Club, who are also members of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, were invited to attend a dinner hosted at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel on October 1st, where His Excellency John Mahama, the President of Ghana, gave a lengthy speech on the rise of his country in the context of the greater African region.
The night began in a small room filled with students where His Excellency greeted his audience and answered a few policy questions. His answers provided insight into why the small African country is growing to be a powerhouse in the continent as well as how the country has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Topics ranged from Ghana’s neutral
stance on the status of the LGBT community to how his presidency has affected his family in unprecedented ways.
The students then joined other groups in a grand ballroom where the president gave a more broad speech, focusing on his childhood experiences during the overthrow of the First Republic of Ghana and how it affected him and his father, a senior Minister of Parliament at the time. A majority of this speech was just reading from his first book, My First Coup D'état, and detailing his interactions with the revolutionaries in 1966 at his boarding school in the republic’s capital.
After his speech, LAWAC opened the floor up for more questions. Many people who had already met him during his previous visits to the U.S. stood up to ask him questions, comparing his past policy to his present. At every turn, His Excellency answered each question with the same eloquence and humor he used to get elected to the presidency in the first place, making it an enjoyable experience for all.
World Affairs Club President Junior Christopher Morillo said, “This event was a great experience for the World Affairs Club because it gave us an inside look into the growing success of an African country. We definitely would not have had access to this otherwise.”
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