US To Rescue Ghana’s Economy … But Prez Mahama Insists Medium Term Prospects Are Bright

The government of the United States of America has expressed its willingness to support the government’s home-grown solutions in resolving the economic challenges confronting Ghana, Penny Pritzker, U S Secretary of Commerce has disclosed.

The support, she added, would include, helping to rectify the fiscal challenges confronting the economy, and aiding the next steps of financial reforms that the government would roll out. Madam Pritzker announced this on Monday, when she led a 20-man American trade mission to confer with President John Mahama at the Flagstaff House in Kanda.

The delegation, which comprises high-level executives whose companies are into power generation, management and transmission, are on an African investment tour, with Ghana as their first destination.

The government, in the face of economic challenges, has chosen to adopt home-grown solutions to the challenges, through measures, including addressing the high wage bill, and adopting austere measures to rein in the economy.

“We want to work closely with your government to grow the local economy, because the partnership between our countries is extremely important, whether fiscal matters or energy issues,” Ms. Pritzker added.

To reinforce the commitment of the U S government’s determination to support Ghana to emerge from its current challenges, she extended an invitation from President Barrack Obama to President Mahama to attend the first-ever US-African Leaders’ Summit in Washington in August, to advance issues on economic growth, trade and investment.

Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Ghana and General Electric of the USA, she indicated that a project, to provide 1,000MW of power, would soon be rolled out in Ghana to support the government’s vision of achieving about 5,000MW of power by 2016.

Ms. Pritzker said the project also fed into President Obama’s ‘Power for Africa Project,’ of which some $1.2 billion had been invested to help African countries overhaul their energy requirements.

She added that the delegation had already held extensive consultations with the ministries of Trade and Industry, Finance and Energy, and hoped the consultations would facilitate new partnerships and linkages.

President Mahama indicated that though the country was experiencing short-term fiscal challenges, the medium term prospects were bright, and stressed the need for the country’s international partners to support Ghana, as it strives to turn things around.

“We are implementing difficult measures, because we know they are good for the economy,” he said. President Mahama stated that Ghana was open for business and investment, citing its peaceful and stable atmosphere as major facilities.

He said Ghana was positioning herself to be a net exporter of power to sub-regional neighbours through the West African Power Pool, and added that it was looking to sign the second Compact of the Millennium Challenge Account, which would focus on improving energy supply and generation.