A boat on the Afram river

Is the present government of Ghana assisting the US to recolonize Ghana? Will it allow the US to build a military base in the most fertile part of Ghana, the Afram plains, Ghana’s bread basket? It is no secret that the US wants a military presence in West Africa.

Please make no mistake, a US base would mean recolonization. The present US government are contemptuous of their European allies, even their own people. The Republicans who run the government have for the most part been brought up to be contemptuous of people with darker skin, and are not likely to give up these attitudes. They may deny that, but race baiting is still one of their core campaign tactics. The Bush government destroys just about everything it touches, and we don’t want its heavy hand on Ghana. In so far as a base might bring jobs, those opportunities would be opportunities to be servants to colonial masters, with no upward mobility.

In recent decades the US has a habit of encouraging anti-democratic forces within countries, because the representatives of those forces are often much more willing to sell out their countries and countrymen to short term US interests. A US base in Ghana would mean even more attempts by the US to meddle in Ghanaian politics. And it would not be in order to help Ghanaian democracy flourish.

Ghana has an enormous amount to be proud of, maintaining an independent democracy in the midst of often very undemocratic surrounding countries. Certainly there are problems in Ghana, but the stable government encourages businesses and economic opportunities. The peaceful transfer of power is critical to economic development and opportunity. The story from the Afram plains is particularly worrisome.

From the Headlines at the GhanaHomePage:

The agenda of building US military base(s) in Ghana has now been exposed.

Months gone by a number of our Ghanaians drowned on the Volta Lake when they were forcibly removed from a forest reserve they called home. The reasons that the State gave to the Ghanaian public, at the time of tragedy was that, the victims were cutting down trees in the forest reserve. Not much was done for the survivors by our Government.
. . .

Contrary to the official version of the event, certain citizens leaked disturbing information, which alleged that the Ghanaian government was planning to use the area to build forward bases for the US military. Equally troublingly is the fact that, the Afram Plains is the nation’s breadbasket. It stretches along some of the most fertile lands needed for food production.

Why Afram plains many might ask? The reason is simply. It will be ideal for military bases. The bases will easily have access to fresh water, via the Volta Lake. The Afram Plains is a flat land, which makes it a suitable environment for the construction of airstrips. There are no hills or forests to hide enemies, whether real or imaginary. The lake serves as an easy and reliable route to transport heavy munitions, personnel and vital supplies such as food to the bases. From what this writer has read and seen the US military plans to open up an entrance, via Volta Region and Ada, for their frigates and other small to medium naval vessels.

The government of Ghana did deny and still denies that, there are any such plans for the US forces in Ghana. . . Unfortunately for our government, its attempt to shield the truth from the Ghanaian public was exposed by recent interviews granted by US military officials and strategist who are now openly talking about building bases in Senegal, Uganda, Ghana, Djibouti, Cameroon, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. In one such interviews, which was reported by the Insight newspaper, one official stated that, “The United States of America is seriously considering the establishment of a military base in Ghana for the sole purpose of protecting its access to West African oil.” Marine General James L. Jones, Head of the US European Command, who made the disclosure said the Pentagon was seeking to acquire access to two kinds of bases in Senegal, Ghana, Mali and Kenya and other African Countries (Source: The Centre for Research on Globalization. (CRG)


When you consider the expressed purpose of a base is US oil interests, one has to think of the devastation western oil interests have created in the nearby Niger delta. Are they likely to be any more responsible, democratic, and inclusive in Ghana?

The Afram plains are north of the Afram river, which is a major tributary of the Volta, and also forms part of the Volta lake. You can see the Afram plains marked on the map here.