General News of Friday, 23 March 2018
“An economically independent Ghana that is thriving and creating new jobs for its citizens maintains regional stability and [sic] is in America’s national security interest”, MYNEWSGH.com can confirm as the exact words of United States Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson, addressing American businessmen and women in Ghana at the Golden Tulip hotel.
He enumerated some specific areas the United States has been partnering with Ghana to chalk significant milestones, adding, that he was particularly happy about the strides Ghana was making in the area of health, education, trade and investment among others with the United States and expressed hope for more growth.
“We’ve worked with the government [of Ghana] to invest in the health of Ghanaians, with significant results. Malaria deaths declined 52 percent between 2016 and 2017. Under-five mortality and neonatal mortality are also on the decline”, he said, from the transcript of his speech obtained by MYNEWSGH.com.
“In the north, where most of our assistance is targeted, skilled delivery has increased from 36 to 59 percent. Last year I participated in inaugurating the first phase of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital at Ridge. This 420-bed expansion project, financed by the Government of Ghana with a credit facility from U.S. ExImBank and HSBC, provides a thoroughly modern health facility in the heart of Accra”, he added.
On trade and and investment, the United States top diplomat who is due to leave the Ghana post in July this year had this to say:
“Taking greater advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Ghanaian non-oil exports to the United States doubled in 2017. We saw continued growth in apparel, as well as new products such as frozen orange juice and dried mango. Ghana’s apparel exports increased from approximately $500,000 in 2010 to $8.5 million in 2017.”, he said.
“That number is expected to double again over the next two years. Diversifying Ghana’s exports beyond cocoa, gold, and oil is good for Ghana. Developing the manufacturing sector is good for Ghana. In fact, those two things are essential for Ghana! And what’s good for Ghana is also good for the United States”, he added.
That was not all. In the area if education, he listed some key strides made.
“We have trained more than 30,000 Ghanaian primary school teachers, head teachers, and curriculum leads in phonics and reading. We have provided public primary schools with approximately five million books and teacher training aids to help children learn to read in 11 indigenous languages and English.”, he told the American Chamber of Commerce.
“I witnessed this first-hand when I traveled to the Upper West Region a few weeks ago. Local school children read to me using the phonics-based materials provided by the American taxpayers through USAID. Combined with the decision to offer free senior high school, I have a renewed sense of hope for the future of Ghana’s children”, the diplomat continued.
The Robert Jackson, United States Ambassador has been in the news recently following an extensive interview with GhanaWeb’s Kwabena Kyenkyenhene Boateng in which he spoke freely about a host of issue including sanitation, homosexuality, visas and our political leadership as a nation.
He is recently back into the news again, this time over a clandestine agreement with the government of Ghana on the establishment of a US Military ‘base’ in Ghana.
He has denied, and ruled out plans by his government to establish a base in Ghana and expressed surprise at the public uproar that has greeted the deal.
“We are going to have three major military exercises this year – navel exercise, judicious response and then United Accord a counter-terrorism/security exercise. These exercises bring a few hundred Americans and several hundred troops from Ghana’s neighbours together with the Ghanaian armed forces so that they can learn to work more effectively together”, he told the media.
“Once the exercise is over, the Americans will leave. There is no persistent presence and we have a very small group of military officers and soldiers at our embassy as defense attache and security cooperation officers and they are the only US military who are in Ghana on a permanent basis. This is not an invasion,” Mr Jackson stressed.