DEPARTMENT OF STATE BIDS AMBASSADOR LT. GEN. SMITH GOOD BYE
His Excellency, Lt. Gen. Joseph Henry Smith (Rtd), has stated that his mission on assumption of office in October 2014, was to deepen strategic and security cooperation, broaden economic and trade relations with the United States of America and ensure technical cooperation was given a boost.
Ambassador Smith, who was speaking at a reception organized by the Department of State to mark the end of his tour of duty in the U.S. said, he achieved his mission and made significant progress with achievements worthy of celebration
“The reception”, he said, “organized by the Department of State to mark the end of my tour of duty in the U.S., crowned a very worthwhile two years of effective cooperation, deepened economic, trade, security and technical cooperation between the Ghana Embassy and the Department of State, both of which represented the government of the United States and the government of Ghana”.
Ghana’s Envoy, who first served in the U.S. as the Defense, Military, Naval and Air Attaché in the Ghana Mission in Washington said, his two years as representative of the Republic of Ghana, has been fruitful and beneficial to Ghana as well as the United States, which to all intents and purposes, was a wonderful host, a good collaborator and a partner for the development of Ghana.
He said with the active cooperation of the Department of State, the Department of Labour, USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Ghana could count several successful projects.
He highly commended, the government and people of Ghana saying, “once again, Ghana has done it stamping its name and credentials among the well-established democracies in the world” adding “the graceful manner the sitting President conceded defeat and honourably congratulated his opponent from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and ensured a smooth transition, led to the installation of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the fifth President of the fourth Republic of Ghana, gives me cause to be happy and proud of my country Ghana”.
Ambassador Smith said, the cooperation and mutual respect that former President John Dramani Mahama and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, accord each other encourage every Ghanaian to believe in the nation and its leaders.
Ghana since 1992, he said, has taken the path of constitutional democracy and has had seven general elections and peacefully and orderly ensured smooth transitions, a feat that shows the country is peaceful, stable and secured.
The result of the foregoing is the massive infrastructural development that the nation witnessed in the last four years of President John Dramani Mahama’s rule, Ambassador Smith added.
The out-going Ghanaian Ambassador praised the Mandela Washington program (YALI) and said, through the program, many young Ghanaians, have benefited from exposure to different facets of knowledge and skills they would need in their adult lives, as young people and as leaders of tomorrow.
His Excellency, Lt. Gen. Smith ended his speech by thanking the President, John Mahama for giving him a unique opportunity to serve as Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States of America and said he was very grateful to former U.S. President Barack Obama for accepting him and giving Ghana and Africa the attention necessary for economic, security and technical advancement.
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Robert Scott of the Department of State responded on behalf of the U.S. government and described Ambassador Smith as an accomplished Military officer, astute politician and diplomat, with exceptional expertise, who first arrived in Washington as Defense Attaché and the first Ghanaian to have served in the two capacities in the United States.
He said with Ambassador Smith’s leadership, the U.S. and Ghana have worked together to strengthen trade and economic development, democratic institutions and mutual understanding.
Citing areas the two countries have achieved significant successes, the Deputy Assistant Secretary pointed sighted the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Ghana Power Compact by which Ghana has begun implementation of the $498 million project.
The power compact, the largest U.S. government transaction to date under Power Africa programme. It is to help turn around Ghana’s electricity sector and stimulate private investment and also serve as an anchor for increased U.S. engagement in Ghana and across the region, he said.