Accra, Wednesday, July 4, 2018.… The U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Louis Ross led a delegation from the Presidential Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) on a four-day visit to Ghana. The visit was part of a fact-finding mission conducted by the U.S. President’s PAC-DBIA.
The delegation, comprised of 60 business leaders and representatives from across the U.S. government, also made previous stops in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Cote d’Ivoire, led by the under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Gilbert Kaplan. Ghana was the only stop on the mission where Secretary Ross participated.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two countries with the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta signing on behalf of the Government of Ghana and Secretary Ross, initialling for the United States, aimed to increase development and public-private partnerships between the two countries. It was formalized at Jubilee House, following a meeting with H. E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The MoU provides a framework for the two countries to look at specific areas for collaboration, and identified steps to break down barriers to trade and investment, and make evaluations every six months to measure success. Key sectors include agriculture, infrastructure, energy and industry. At the time of signing, no monetary commitment was made.
Ken Ofori-Atta was hopeful that actionable recommendations would be derived from the engagements with the US side, to deepen commercial relationships, which will also provide jobs and economic opportunity for a young population.
“The energy of young people must be harnessed with education and entrepreneurship, otherwise we risk losing them to disruptive elements, or to the flow of migration out of the continent. This is the challenge of my generation of leaders, and we welcome the partnership of the United States”, said Ken Ofori-Atta.
“I am pleased to be here in Ghana on the final leg of this important mission to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to expanding trade and investment in Sub-Saharan Africa”, said Secretary Ross via Twitter.
The signing of the MoU was witnessed by H.E President Nana Akufo-Addo who reiterated Governments commitment to building the capacity of indigenous institutions to advance Ghana’s democracy and the rule of law.
Prior to signing, the Ghana Ministry of Energy signed a concessionaire to the Electricity Company of Ghana, which launches the next phase of Ghana’s second Compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). The MoU and the MCC compact are likely to draw additional foreign investors and open the door for future trade and investment.
A U.S.-Ghana Business Forum was held as part of the visit, where the Secretary of Commerce endorsed President Akufo-Addo’s vision of ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’.
The visit of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce comes at a time when the United States has prioritized private sector collaboration as a means to promote economic growth in Africa and promote American business interests. END