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US Ambassador to Ghana pays courtesy call on Speaker

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Speaker Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin (3rd from right) and Madam Virginia Palmer (4th from right) in a group photograph with the leadership of Parliament.

Madam Virginia Palmer, the United States Ambassador to Ghana, has paid a courtesy call on Speaker Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin at Parliament House in Accra.

During the meeting, Mr Bagbin reiterated the urgent need for countries on the African Continent to come together to fight terror and extremist attacks threatening the people of the sub-region.

“We just want democratic advancement to enhance peace and security both in Ghana and the West African sub-region,” he said.

He noted the need for a second look at Ghana’s current hybrid system, which did not enhance strict separation of powers, adding, that the time has come for a review of the 1992 Constitution to remedy these challenges.

Speaker Bagbin said Ghana enjoyed an appreciable amount of soft power which needed to be harnessed in a leadership drive to steer Africa to achieve economic and political success.

On her part, Madam Palmer emphasized the importance of the Legislature as the true embodiment of democracy, which must be accorded the requisite respect in the political space.

She commended the Speaker for being an exceptional leader and noted that he made the oversight role of Parliament more meaningful.

Madam Palmer noted that she was intrigued with information about Ghana’s security, democracy, and how the country had worked over the years to increase inclusive economic growth.

The Ambassador assured Ghanaians of her country’s preparedness to help Ghana in conflict resolution endeavors and to secure the country against extremist terror attacks.

She also mentioned the need for an integrated approach to handling issues related to proper sexual behavior in a context of human rights, adding that Ghana must be mindful of how the world is handling such issues.

Mr Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader, said the composition of Ghana’s Parliament now, had led to many useful lessons on consensus building and negotiation in the business of politics, drawing an analogy of the US Senate, which has a similar composition as Ghana.

He expressed concern about the threat to security in the subregion, citing Libya and Mail as poignant examples.

He said recent skirmishes at some of the Ghanaian borders had been of major concern to government and Parliament and called on the US to help countries in the subregion and Ghana in the efforts at preventing terrorist attacks.

Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, appealed to the Ambassador to help strengthen Ghana’s democratic structures by facilitating the works of such bodies as the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Media Commission.

He reiterated the need for strengthened political and trade ties between Ghana and US, adding that initiatives like the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) remains relevant for maintaining active trade relations between the two countries.

At the meeting, the delays in Visa processing were discussed with the Ambassador promising that the US Embassy had put measures in place to clear the backlog caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic was cleared as soon as possible.

Source: GNA

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