West Africa Hope and Ideals

A tale of two leaders

Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso (pop. 6.9 million), formerly Upper Volta, has lost little of its charm since the country gained independence from France in 1960. But the spacious avenues, bustling with mopeds and bicycles, belie the surrounding poverty. About 850 miles away in Accra, the capital of neighboring Ghana (pop. 14.3 million), where decrepit vehicles clog potholed streets, decay is all too evident. Yet despite the dilapidated economies of the two countries, they share a surprising amount of hope, largely because of the determination of their leaders. Once backed by extreme leftist elements, both men now appear committed to...

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