We issue 15,000 visas every year – US Ambassador
The US Ambassador to Ghana says, the Embassy issues 15,000 visas to Ghanaians travelling to the US every year.
Mr Robert P. Jackson, on Tuesday said the bilateral cooperation between Ghana and the US continue to be stronger and robust in major sectors.
The bilateral cooperation span agriculture, health, energy, security, economic empowerment, environment, trade and education sectors, he said.
Mr Jackson said these on the Volta Premier morning show programme at the regional capital as part of of his three-day tour of US-funded projects in the region.
He said the American Mission additionally provides regional cooperation and is working in 23 countries in West and Central Africa collaborating in governance, health environment and security matters.
He said the procedure for visa acquisition to the US hinges largely on honesty of the applicant devoid of visa brokers and stating that “The perception of refusing everyone visas was not true.”
“In fact we issue 15,000 visas annually.”
The Ambassador said the 7,000 Ghanaians, who have overstayed their visas and illegally living in the States would be deported according to the timetable.
Mr Jackson said apart from immigration, there has not been any major change in the US foreign policy with Africa and Ghana in particularly.
He said the bilateral trade with the country grossed $1.1 billion with exports in agricultural products topping the list in addition to textile worth $1 million being exported into the US market monthly, the highest in West Africa.
Mr Jackson said the “Power Africa Programme” to provide a reliable and affordable energy for the country’s industrialisation and socio-economic development is progression sturdily.
He said several discussions have evolved on government’s flagship programme of one-district-one-factory and one-village-one-dam projects to better the lot of Ghanaians.
On education, the Ambassador said 3,000 Ghanaians are studying in the States with 80 scholarships issued annually from Foundations and hope that Ghanaians would take advantage of this robust investment to make themselves more versatile and marketable.
He announced that a US firm into sanitation would soon launch a model toilet project that would rely on local materials to build these facilities with huge prospect for scalability.
Mr Jackson said the region abounds in many beautiful scenery, it’s landscape, mountains and rivers but getting notoriety with child trafficking on its water bodies and Lakes.
Following form this, he intimated a $5 million job compact has been established to build child protection activities and reintegrate children with parents by providing “vocation to empower parents economically” to the point that they would have no option to sell their children.”
On health, Mr Jackson disclosed that 50 Community Health Planning Schemes (CHPS) would be constructed for the Volta and Northern regions this year.
He said the fight against malaria and HIV/AIDS and mother-to-child interventions are continuing unabated.
Mr Jackson welcomes Ghanaians to the Embassy, entreating them to take great interest in the activities of the US Mission in Ghana hoping for more rewarding relationships between the two countries.
By Maxwell Awumah