Ghana must fully leverage economic opportunities with Kamala Harris’ visit – AmCham Ghana
Ghana needs to position itself to fully leverage the economic opportunities that the visit of the Vice President of the United States of America (USA), Kamala Harris brings, the Executive Secretary of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), Ghana, Simon Madjie, has advised.
“Ghana should take advantage of this opportunity and moment because the focus of the US would be on our country to drive home the need for more US foreign direct investment (FDI), increase diaspora engagement, and strengthen cooperation in the creative, educational, health, security, and cultural sectors,” he said in a release issued in Accra today.
Mr Madjie said the visit of Mrs Harris, next week presented an immense opportunity for Ghana and the US to strengthen their relations, especially in the areas of trade and investment.
Kamala Harris and husband, Douglas Emhoff, are sxcheduled to arrive in the country as part of a three-nation African tour which ends on April 2.
The crucial visit is a time when the country’s economy is facing one of its worst economic crisis following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the reging Russian/Ukraine war, leaving businesses in difficult state.
Mr Madjie said as the country's largest bilateral development partner, the US has always maintained a keen interest in the economic development of Ghana.
Mr Madjie said bilateral trade between Ghana and the United States is reported to be US$1.6 billion as of 2021 adding that “Ghana continues to enjoy substantial foreign direct investment from the United States as U.S. FDI into Ghana is estimated to be over US$22 billion over the last decade.”
He said the US businesses, through their operations have made significant contributions to the country’s socioeconomic development.
“Apart from being large tax-paying entities, they continue to employ and develop the skills of thousands of Ghanaians,” he added.
Mr Madjie said the government of Ghana must continuously institute the needed reforms that will allow the private sector to lead the country’s economic recovery and position Ghana as the preferred destination for investors.
These reforms, he said were critical to reassure investors of the country’s commitment to a private sector-led economy and ensure the growth of free enterprise.
“Government must also properly align its engagement with the four key pillars of the US strategy towards Sub-Saharan Africa: to foster open societies; deliver democratic and security dividends; advance pandemic recovery and economic recovery; and support conservation, climate adaptation, and a just energy transition.
On behalf of all U.S. companies, subsidiaries, franchisees, and businesses in Ghana, we say Akwaaba (Welcome) to Vice President Kamala Harris and her entourage to the country, and we look forward to a productive and fruitful engagement with the Government of Ghana,” he added.
He said the Republic of Ghana and the United States of America continue to maintain their long-standing close relations anchored on their mutual commitment to freedom and democratic values.
“Ghana has in the past hosted several American dignitaries, including Former President Bill Clinton, Former President George W. Bush, Former President Barack Obama, Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Former First Lady Melania Trump, and other Senior Members of past and present US Administrations,” he said.
Mr Madjie said the visit of the US Vice President was of unique significance because she is the first female vice president of the United States and the first woman of Indian and African heritage to hold that office.
“Her visit to Ghana and other parts of Africa is an inspiration for the next generation, especially for women leaders working on the continent,” he said.