US Embassy issues record 12,000 visas to Ghanaians in 2011

Over 12,000 Ghanaians were issued with visas to travel to the United States of America, (USA), either for business or education in 2011, the US embassy in Ghana has disclosed.

Making the disclosure yesterday in Accra on the premises of the US embassy, outgoing US Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Donald Teitelbaum said the number was unprecedented in the history of US-Ghana relationship.

Trying to proffer a reason for the large number as he delivered a speech during the Ghana embassy staff’s celebration of US’ 236th Independence Anniversary and National Day, he said “America is Ghana’s second largest group of visitors and America is Ghana’s most popular foreign destination.”

“We issued over 12,000 visas in 2011, more than ever before, and we are good business partners,” Ambassador Teitelbaum divulged.

According to the US Ambassador, the United States’ trade with Ghana has hit an all high 220%  over the past five years. “Trade between US and Ghana was $650 million in 2007, and $1.97 billion in 2011,” he explained, citing businesses that have been given a boost through the Millennium Challenge Account with special reference to the N1 Mallam-Tetteh Quarshie Highway named George Walker Bush Motorway after the immediate past American president.

H.E. Teitelbaum was however of the view that the cordial relationship that exists between the two governments is only a small part of what actually exists between the two countries, saying, “I see thousands of Ghanaian students studying in the United States, and thousands of Americans studying in Ghana.”

Making mention of notable American enterprises doing business in Ghana, he said; “I see many US companies like General Electric, Hewlett Packard and Trimble opening up new offices  and even regional headquarters in Ghana, I see Ghanaian religious leaders visiting America and American religious leaders visiting Ghana.”

“Not long after I arrived, I came to the conclusion that Ghana and America, that Ghanaians and Americans have a special relationship, but it was only last year at the opening of the Ashesi University campus, that I could really define and articulate that relationship,” he told guests at the reception.

By Edmund Smith-Asante

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.