Barack Obama, the charismatic US president, whom I like and much respect, came to Africa bearing a message and a gift. Both spoke of Africa's need for self-determination.
This was part of his message: "Governments that respect the will of their own people are more prosperous, more stable and more successful than governments that do not ... This is about more than holding elections - it's also about what happens between them.
"Repression takes many forms, and too many nations are plagued by problems that condemn their people to poverty. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery.
"That is not democracy, it is tyranny, and now is the time for it to end."
But it is the second offering - the gift that Obama brought to Ghana - which I take great exception to, because it casts a shadow over, in fact paralyses, talk of self-determination.
People cannot achieve self-determination, if their most basic human right – food - is controlled and determined by others.
Obama's gift was the $20 billion agreed last week for financing food security at the G8 L'Aquila meeting.
No more handouts?
This marks a pronounced shift in policy toward food and Africa. Africans, we are told, will now be helped to farm their way out of hunger, rather than rely on handouts from overseas.
And Obama's message underscored this: "I have pledged substantial increases in our foreign assistance, which is in Africa's interest and America's. But the true sign of success is not whether we are a source of aid that helps people scrape by - it is whether we are partners in building the capacity for transformational change."
This is where I think Obama got his wires crossed or confused. Not because I think his message is wrong; I think the message is to be lauded.
The problem is how he aims to achieve Africa's "transformational" change which, if anything, is contradictory to his spoken intentions.
agree with Obama that governance, democracy and good policies are crucial for Africa's renaissance. But unless America, and in particular northern countries, change their policies toward African agriculture, then the continent will always just get by, if that!
"Food security" will never lead to African food sovereignty and independence until Europe and America do something about their own agricultural subsidies, which they pour on their own farmers.
These subsidies out-compete and ravage Africa's agriculture.
Ghana was single-handedly picked out by Obama as being a shining light of "good governance" in Africa. It's a shame he never mentioned what American farm subsidies did to Ghana's farmers.