US announces new energy-focused bilateral partnership with Ghana

The United States on March 16, 2012 announced it has formed a new bilateral partnership with Ghana that will build on the strong bilateral ties between the two countries and support further cooperation on a range of economic development issues.

A statement issued by the US Department of Energy said the US Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Ghana’s Finance Minister Kwabena Duffuor on March 9, 2012 signed a “Statement of Principles reaffirming our bilateral commitment to supporting President Obama’s Partnership for Growth (PfG) Initiative.”

The Statement of Principles was signed during President John E. Atta Mills’ visit to the US.

The US – Ghana Statement of Principles included an “agreement to initially focus on increasing investment and reform in the electric power sector, which can facilitate broad economic development in Ghana.”

According to the Energy Department, the Statement of Principles also recognizes that all constraints jointly identified through the PfG analysis are impediments to growth, including access to credit, secure land rights, and potable water.

As part of the PfG initiative, the Energy Department said it “looks forward to engaging with the government of Ghana in the coming months to pursue reforms in the power sector, which can be an important means to unlocking broader economic growth.”

Both the US and Ghana governments also agreed to embrace the principles of country ownership, partnership, and mutual commitment and accountability.

The United States and Ghana intend to mobilize a wide range of instruments to increase measurable impact, including assistance and non-assistance tools, using assistance to leverage private capital, convening the private sector to increase investment, and supporting efforts to create an enabling environment for economic growth, according to the statement.

The PfG which started in 2011, involves rigorous joint analysis of constraints to growth, the development of joint action plans to address these constraints, and high-level mutual accountability for implementation.

By Ekow Quandzie

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