Ghana, US relations should be a progressive agenda – President
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said Ghana looks forward to a new, positive and progressive agenda with the United States.
That agenda, he said, should be one where American and Ghanaian enterprises forged partnerships that would promote the economic relations of both countries.
The President made the call when he addressed a delegation of United States Congressional Black Caucus, led by Mrs Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, in Accra.
The Caucus’ three-day historic visit to Ghana, a result of months of deliberations between the government of Ghana and the US Congress, coincides with the ‘Year of Return’ celebrations that marks the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans landing in America.
The visit is also part of government’s push to get the wider diasporan community to take part in the ‘Year of Return’ celebration.
President Akufo-Addo told the delegation that both countries, which shared a longstanding history dating back four centuries, could benefit from a more systematic approach to sharing ideas, knowledge, and best practices in order to address the challenges that confronted them.
“We are looking for a more progressive agenda between us, an agenda where Ghana and American enterprises would meet together to promote the economic relations between our two countries, whereby investments by American companies and Ghanaian companies would become the order of the day to lessen the generosity of American tax payers. We think it would be a healthier and productive relationship,” the President said.
The President said it was reassuring the solidarity shown by the leadership of the Black Caucus of Congress with the visit to Ghana, saying, “the work that they do within the American political system is something that we all follow with great keenness.”
President Akufo-Addo told the delegation, Ghana prided itself very much, of being a functioning democracy, with the Ghanaian people determined and fully committed to a future of democratic engagement on the principles of accountability, respect for human rights and rule of law.
The President acknowledge the generosity of the US government to Ghana in the areas of education, defence, health and support for our electoral system.
He was optimistic that the relations between both countries would transcend that of aid giving, to one of mutual interest based on fair trade, to transform Ghana’s economy and reduce poverty.
Mrs Pelosi commended Ghana for its democratic credentials and lauded the country’s role in being an exporter of peacekeepers around the world.
“We complement you on the strength of Ghana being exporters of security and peacekeepers on the continent and elsewhere. Ghana’s role in global security is very commendable…militarily, politically, culturally, we salute Ghana,” she said.
On his part, Mr Jim Clyburn, the Majority Chief Whip of the US House of Representatives and a member of the Black Caucus, said that future interaction between America and Ghana ought to be based on trade rather than aid.
“It is very simple. We believe very strongly that if we are not careful, the continent will find themselves in the 21st century of sheer cropping, work hard all day and find at the end of the week or month that you’re much more in debt than ever. The future of our two nations must have mutual respect… and we must ensure that that respect is recognized the world over,” he said.
Mrs Pelosi would address the Parliament of Ghana on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, as part of her visit to the country.