GHANA EMBASSAY HOLDS FIRST INTERACTIVE ENGAGEMENT WITH STAKERHOLDERS
The Ghana Mission in Washington DC on Thursday, February 25, 2016 held an Interactive Engagement with Stakeholders on the theme, “Strengthening Collaboration For Sustainable Development …2016 Stakeholder Engagement”.
The objective of the engagement was to forge a closer partnership and provide a sustainable link between the Mission and various development partners within the United States government system.
Opening the meeting, Ghana’s Ambassador to the US, His Excellency Lt. Gen.(Rtd) Joseph Henry Smith, noted that the cordial relationship between Ghana and the US after many years of cooperation, has been characterized by strong bonds of friendship and partnership which cut across political, economic, trade, education and other areas of national endeavour.
Ambassador Smith said the event is very appropriate because it fits into the government of Ghana’s unfailing search for genuine partnership with foreign governments and or their private sector agencies to propel the “Better Ghana Agenda”.
“I have no doubt in my mind that this engagement, the first in the series would lead to a positive contribution towards development and economic growth of our dear nation” he added.
The Ambassador expressed the hope that the “Ghana Feed the Future” project being pioneered by USAID would greatly impact the people in its catchment area because apart from providing adequate nutrition, the beneficiaries would also earn additional income from their surplus produce.
The US government agencies that participated in the engagement were the US Department of State, USAID, US Department of Labour and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
The US government agencies that took part in the IES meeting, shed light on their respective activities, initiatives, projects and investments in Ghana and also provided an over-view of their future programmes and plans for the country.
The agencies also outlined the opportunities that exist within the various US government sectors for Ghana in the field of education, skills training and technology transfer.
Speaking on Child Labour, a representative of the US Department of Labour said, the engagement of children on cocoa farms was an area of disagreement with Ghana.
Even though the US government is well aware and understand the need for Ghanaian children to help their parents and thereby learn the trade, they still consider it an enterprise that is to be off limit to children.
Touching on the mining sector, a second representative of the US Department of Labour expressed concern about the scale of degradation of the environment, especially the pollution of the rivers and other water bodies with the use of mercury by small scale and illegal miners.
The Department of Labour is to start a pilot programme in Ghana to address the issue of children in mining as well as addressing the environmental concerns through education and other interventions.
When successful, the programme would be replicated in other countries on the African continent.
Closing the event, His Excellency Lt. Gen. Smith expressed satisfaction that by the collaborative effort of the Mission and the Department of State the first of the series had been successful.
He mentioned that the platform had offered the singular opportunity for officers in the various Department of the US government system working on the different programmes in Ghana to meet and know each other.
The meeting equally enabled officers of the Embassy and their collaborators to put faces to the names they know so well on paper.
Ambassador Smith was hopeful that the new doors of cooperation should be natured to guide relations between the Mission and the various institutions of the government of the United States.