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US pledges continued support to Ghana

BY: Musah Yahaya Jafaru
 Mr Robert P. Jackson (left) exchanging pleasantries with Prof. Mike Oquaye (2nd left), while Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (3rd left) and Mr Haruna Iddrisu (right) look on. Picture: NII MARTEY BOTCHWAH
Mr Robert P. Jackson (left) exchanging pleasantries with Prof. Mike Oquaye (2nd left), while Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (3rd left) and Mr Haruna Iddrisu (right) look on. Picture: NII MARTEY BOTCHWAH

The United States of America (USA) Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Robert. P. Jackson, has affirmed the commitment of his country to support Ghana to consolidate her democracy and improve financial accountability.

He added that energy, health and education sectors would also continue to benefit from the support of the American government.

Mr Jackson made the pledge yesterday when he paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Michael Oquaye, at the Speaker's office in Accra.

He said the USA wanted to strengthen its relations with Ghana's Parliament and government. That would include support for the work of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to enhance accountability in public financial transactions.

Besides, he said, the embassy would collaborate with Parliament to ensure the passage of the Right to Information Bill.

Mr Jackson announced that a congressional delegation from the USA would be visiting Ghana this year to interact with a number of institutions, including Ghana's legislature.

Speaker responds

Prof. Oquaye said the USA was a key partner in deepening Ghana's democracy and supporting the country's economy, adding that, "we continue to take a serious view of our relations with the USA."

The Speaker expressed the hope that the US government would support the new government to implement its policies, especially the 'one district, one factory' policy.

He said the USA could also support the country in the development of renewable energy such as a solar programme "to enable the policy to take root."

Leadership

The Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said although the USA operated a bicameral system as against Ghana's unicameral, Ghana could still learn from the best practices of the USA legislature.

For instance, he said, Ghana could learn from the committee system, especially the oversight function, and indicated that if committees in Parliament were well resourced and oriented, the PAC would have little to do to ward off corruption and wastage.

The Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, said Ghana saw the USA as an important and strong ally in the country's democratic journey and economic development.

He said the US government’s support to Parliament should go beyond the PAC to the other committees of Parliament.