Following on the heels of President Obama’s historic visit to Ghana, the US Congress has sent down a delegation to encourage trade between the two countries.
The seven-member delegation headed by Representative G. K. Butterfield during a three-day visit to Ghana from August 17-19 had meetings with President John Atta Mills, the Minister of Finance, Dr. Kwabeba Duffuor and the Trade and Industry Minister, Ms Hannah Tetteh and other American government officials.
A member of the delegation, Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee of Texas told the media at a press conference at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra on Tuesday August 18, 2009 that the United States of America is making a “new emphasis on Africa.”
She said the visit by members of Congress is a follow-up to President Obama’s visit and they are in the country to promote investments and entrepreneurship.
“We are here to encourage private investments from Americans and to have effective trade and investments between Ghana and the US,” she said.
Admitting that Ghana needs aid, she said the US was interested in collaborating to work with the World Bank and the IMF in respect of Ghana. She indicated that the US will be able to impact World Bank and IMF decisions on Ghana.
Touching on Ghana’s new found resource – she said the US has recognised new opportunities for Ghana in oil and is looking at how to generate returns for Ghanaians.
Congresswoman Lee indicated the US’ interest in creating opportunities for Ghanaians in education and building the capacity of Ghanaians.
Commending Ghanaians for the peace and democracy in the country, she told the media that the US was ready to stand up against corruption.
Other members of the delegation included Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay, Congressman Cohen, and Congresswoman Moore.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi