Break out the tuxedoes and fancy gowns. It's time for a rare state dinner at the White House.
Not fond of parties, President Bush has thrown only five state dinners in the nearly eight years of his presidency.
No. 6 will be held on Sept. 15 in honor of Ghana's president, John Kufuor, an Oxford-educated leader who came into power about the same time Bush did. Kufuor is given credit for economic reforms, open government and regional leadership. Ghana, working through the United Nations, has sent peacekeepers to Lebanon, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Pakistan and the Balkans.
Kufuor and his wife, Theresa, will get the full blast of White House pomp and ceremony, with herald trumpets and a South Lawn welcoming ceremony featuring the U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps. Kufuor threw a state dinner for Bush when he visited Accra in February.
"The United States and Ghana enjoy warm relations and a shared commitment to promote peace and prosperity in Africa and throughout the world," a White House statement said in announcing Kufuor's visit. "The two presidents will discuss efforts to combat malaria and neglected tropical diseases, as well as Ghana's efforts to promote democratic values, peace and stability in Africa."
The five previous state dinners were for the leaders of Mexico, Poland, the Philippines and Kenya and for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip.