General News of Monday, 3 July 2017
The United States wants a strong, equal, partner, with both countries contributing to the global economy and security, and whose knowledge and products flow back and forth; Ambassador Robert P. Jackson, has said.
The United States’ Ambassador to Ghana said the partnership that the United States envisages with Ghana was one where a private sector innovates his vision for both countries was also to see their private sector “innovates, pushes us forward, and partners with government to tackle evolving challenges”.
Ambassador Jackson said these at a ceremony organised by the US Embassy to commemorate the 241st Independence anniversary of the United States of America and 60 years of official diplomatic relations with Ghana.
“I know there’s always some scepticism when I say we want a strong, equal partner,” he noted, but explained that that desire was playing out in various forms in the partnership between the US and Ghana.
He said Ghana’s hosting of the multi-lateral military exercise; United Accord, last month, during which more than 60 US soldiers were trained by their Ghanaian counterparts for a week at Ghana Jungle Warfare School at the Achiase Military Base, was an example of the partnership of the future.
“…this is the first time an African partner nation trained US Army forces. These are US Soldiers who are now better able to defend the United States and our allies, because of the training they received,” he stressed.
The US also launched the Blood safety information system in Ghana through Ghana National Blood service, making Ghana the second country in Africa to implement the system, which Ambassador Jackson maintains will help Ghana and the US share knowledge back and forth on how they manage blood supplies to protect the health of their citizens.
Ghana was also the first African country to participate in the SelectUSA Summit when eight Ghanaian companies attended the summit last week to explore opportunities for investment in the United States. “At the same time, American companies are establishing and expanding their operations in Ghana; investing and creating opportunities for Ghanaian and American citizens,” he said adding that other areas of US-Ghana partnership and investment includes in agriculture, education, and energy.
“60 years from now…I hope some of you will be here, I hope you’ll tell the new ambassador how you’ve watch US-Ghana partnership strengthen and grow and change the world,” he toasted.
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Finance, responding to the toast, said it was inspiring to hear what the Ambassador’s vision for the US-Ghana partnership, adding Ghana shared in the vision of the two countries becoming significant contributors to the global economy and global security.
He Ghana had received remarkable support from the US throughout the 60 of partnership and was pleased to call the US a friend. Such support includes strengthening of Ghana’s democratic system by providing technical assistance through the ‘Strengthening Responsive, Democratic Governance Program’, as well as supporting Ghana’s Electoral Commission during elections.
“Through the US’s support, our democratic credentials are unchallenged globally” he said, acknowledging the US’s support in other areas such as energy, access to credit for SMEs, and private sector development.
“It is significant to note that economic relations between the two countries are robust and have been characterised by several business ventures and exchanges, especially within the private sector,” he stated.
Mr Ofori-Atta said the US was among Ghana’s principal trading partners with trade between them currently at $1.2 billion per annum. Trade numbers under AGOA, have eclipsed over $200 billion dollars in the past four years, while trade in Ghana between 2012 and 2015 has given Ghana a positive trade balance of nearly $2.8 billion.
“We look forward to enhancing this collaboration, particularly in relation to of Ghana’s current policy of light industrialisation; the one-district, one factory flagship policy, so that our value-added products will be hedged against the price fluctuations of commodities” he noted.
“The USA remains a key and strategic partner for Ghana and we believe that opportunities exist for our two countries to engage in mutually beneficial cooperation” he said, while congratulating the US on its independence anniversary.