‘Government to renew AGOA in September-President Mahama

Accra, June 15, GNA – Government will in September this year renew its business activities with the United States of America (USA) under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA ), President John Dramani Mahama announced on Monday.

The renewal, he added, would take new dimensions to ensure maximum mutual benefits in the coming years.

President Mahama announced this when Gene Cretz, out-going US Ambassador in Ghana, called on him to announce his departure after completing his three-year duty tour of Ghana.

The AGOA was signed into law in May 2,000, as a title-one of the trade and development Act of 2000, which offers tangible incentives for African countries to continue their efforts to open their economies and build free markets.

Ghana signed onto the programme in the early 2000s, but the trade links had for sometime now dwindled, and therefore renewing it would provide another opportunity for businesses, especially the private sector, to export to the USA and maximize profits.

Ghanaian small-scale exporters would also benefit from the duty-free attached to their exports to the US under the AGOA programme.

On Energy, President Mahama said Ghana would continue to collaborate with all active partners, including the US, to become a major exporter of the commodity in the next few years.

He said, Ghana though facing some challenges in the power sector, would rise up to the occasion to produce about 5,000 megawatts of power and export the excess to neighbouring countries.

He commended the American government for the tremendous support, especially the Millennium Challenge Act, to expand the energy and other major sectors of Ghana’s economy.

He also commended Washington for supporting to fight the Ebola virus disease in affected countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea during his tenure of office, as the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States.

“The USA’s support towards the elimination of the Ebola virus disease to the affected countries in the West African sub-region will go down well in the records and history, as one of the best that has come out of relations between Africa and the USA.”

Internally, President Mahama commended the US for supporting and involving Ghana in many of the military exercises and equipment supplies.

Mr Cretz commended Ghana for the effective collaborations with his country over the years.

He mentioned the areas of education, health and military co-operation, where various agreements had been signed between them.

The out-going ambassador expressed happiness in the signing of a 71-million-dollar programme with the Ministry of Education that would be used in the improvement of Ghanaian languages at various levels of the education sector.

“I cannot forget the good collaborations we have had in the fight against malaria and HIV and AIDS over the years,” he added.

GNA


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