Ms Cheryl Anderson, out-going United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – Ghana Mission Director, on Wednesday hailed the country’s economic success story, describing it as a model for Africa.
She said Ghana’s economic progress over the last 20 years has been laudable, with an economic growth averaging more than six per cent each year.
Ms Anderson said the country is among the few in Sub-Saharan Africa expected to meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving the poverty rate by 2015.
Ms Anderson made the remark during an encounter with the media in Accra to say farewell to Ghana after a four year duty tour.
She takes up her new appointment in Pretoria, South Africa, as the USAID Southern Africa Regional Representative on August 12.
She said during her tenure Ghana attained a middle-income status but despite the significant growth and improvements in the quality of life, Ghana still faces persistent development challenges such as erratic electricity supply and access to credit.
This Ms Anderson said should be resolved in order for the nation to emerge as a true middle-income country.
She said the United States Presidential Initiative on Malaria, Power Africa, Feed Future, among other interventions are designed to help Ghana and four other developing nations.
Ms Anderson said although Ghana’s democratic credential is a laudable it must be nurtured and protected.
“The outcome of the on-going electoral petition before the Supreme Court will strengthen Ghana’s democracy,” she noted.
She said to help consolidate Ghana’s democracy; the USAID is strengthening civic participation in democratic processes and ensuring that government is responsive to the needs and interests of people.
She encouraged the government to continue to sustain the programme of making drugs available to HIV and AIDS patients, which serves as major relief to them.
Ms Anderson said the goal of the USAID Education programme is to ensure that children could read with understanding by the end of primary school and transition successfully to junior high school.
She said over the past four years, the Agency had put up more than 200 educational infrastructures across the country.
She urged policy makers to involve women and girls in the nation building in order to guarantee a secured future.
Ms Anderson cautioned the media against publishing sensational headlines and continues to play critical roles in national development.
She described the USAID – Ghana five-year strategic plan development (2013-2017) as the most outstanding achievement during her tenure.
Her successor, Mr James Bevere will assume office in September.