AmCham: The Spirit of Entrepreneurship
The American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham), Ghana, is the representative arm of US businesses and subsidiaries in the country, including Ghanaian businesses with strong US ties.
It was founded in September 1989 and was originally called the “Association of American Businesses”. It was formally established in August 1997 under the leadership of Mr Ladi Nylander, then Managing Director of SC Johnson, as the American Chamber of Commerce, Ghana.
Its core mandate is to promote trade and investment between Ghana and the United States of America. It is affiliated with the United States Chamber of Commerce, which is the world’s largest business organisation representing over 3 million members and 116 affiliates all over the world.
Amcham Ghana is also an active member of the Africa Business Initiative, which is the continent’s arm of the US Chamber of Commerce. The Africa Business Initiative was set up to engage the US business community on legislative policies that foster foreign direct investment between the US and African countries and to introduce US companies to the continent’s vast economic opportunities.
The Chamber is governed by a Board of Directors selected from the US business community in the country and has a current board made up of Mr Philippe Ayivor, a retired Coca-Cola Company executive, as President; Mr Leslie Nelson GE country director as Vice-President, Ms Doris Afanyedey, Country Director for SC Johnson as Treasurer.
Other members include Mr Amos Amankwah, Commercial Director of Smice International; Mr Azu Akunor, Country Manager of Cummins Ghana, Mr Felix Addo, Country Senior Partner of PriceWaterCoopers (PwC) and Mr Ken Keag, Country Manager of Kosmos Energy
The rest are Mr Dave Shummer, Country Manager of Newmont Ghana Gold; Mr Joe Mensah Country Manager of IBM and Mr. Paul Taylor and Mr Joel Wiegert, Commercial and Economic Officers from the US Embassy in Accra respectively.
The Chamber’s secretariat is located at Asylum Down, Accra and is administered on a day-to-day basis by Mr Simon Madjie, the Executive Secretary.
Amcham Ghana’s current membership strength is about 100 and has members from the various sectors of the economy including manufacturing, agriculture and agro-processing, construction &housing, mining, health care, power generation, oil & gas, banking and tourism.
The Chamber’s membership has grown about 45 per cent over the last four years, a growth which is in line with the country’s FDI position.
To fulfill its mandate of promoting U.S. Ghana trade and investment, the chamber works closely with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Embassy and other U.S. and Ghanaian agencies to highlight the benefits of investing in and trading with Ghana to the US business community.
Over the years, the chamber has assisted Ghanaian delegations to attend U.S. trade and investment forums to meet potential U.S. companies and investors interested in Ghana. It has also provided a platform for U.S. trade and investment missions visiting Ghana to meet with Ghanaian businesses to explore joint business ventures.
Amcham Ghana executives have also worked with U.S. and Ghanaian government departments and officials on trade and investment policy and issues. In 2011, the president of Amcham Ghana attended a U.S. State Department conference in Washington, D.C. on the U.S.’ Economic Statecraft policy.
The president joined Amcham executives from around the world as well as senior US government officials to discuss how to increase U.S. trade and investment around the world, promote fair trade and attract global investors to the U.S.
The Chamber also meets, when required, with senior Ghanaian government officials to discuss opportunities to enhance the environment for U.S. investments into Ghana.
AmCham Ghana has over the years contributed to various charitable causes in the country. It donated a standby generator to the School for the Deaf in Mampong-Akwapem and constructed the Mephibosheth Training School in Gomoa Ankamu in the Central Region for the technical training of the physically challenged.
The Chamber has also in the last two years focused on health care as part of its community development initiative. The chamber constructed the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit and donated equipment and supplies worth over USD 200,000 to the Atibie Government Hospital in the Eastern Region.
AmCham Ghana will host the 4th Africa AmCham Summit in Accra from November 5 to 6 this year. This summit is under the auspices of the U.S Chamber of Commerce’s Africa Business Initiative and will focus on investment opportunities on the continent, Amcham best practices and discuss the political realities in Washington and the AmCham representatives countries.
It will bring together American Chambers of Commerce executives as well as U.S Embassy commercial, economic and political officers from across Sub-Saharan Africa. Senior government officials from the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce, U.S. agencies that promote trade and investment and Amcham representatives from Europe and Latin America are also expected to attend the summit.
We welcome you to this special edition of Graphic Business on the contributions of some of our members to the development of our country.
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