Vice President meets Ghanaians in Washington D.C metropolis
Vice President, John Dramani Mahama in his brief remarks stated that Ghana was making strides in the fight against HIV/AIDS. He noted that the prevalence rate which stood at 4 per cent ten year ago had dropped to 1.5 per cent through the efforts of Ghana AIDS Commission and its many stakeholders.
Mr. Mahama said this when he was addressing Ghanaians in the D.C Metro area as part of his visit to the US.
Touching on the Economy, the Vice President observed that the cedi had stabilized, inflation had dropped, the interest rate was slowly declining and the economy grew by 7.7 per cent last year.
He said despite the impressive economic indicators, Ghana still had to do more to achieve its goal of becoming a middle income economy.
The Vice President raised the concern that the services sector had overtaken the agriculture sector as the largest contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and reiterated that measures were being taken to revamp the agriculture sector.
Commenting on the Oil and Gas Industry, he mentioned that the discovery of oil and gas in Ghana would serve as a catalyst for accelerated economic growth. Currently Ghana is producing between 60,000 and 70,000 barrels of oil a day and production is expected to increase to 120,000 barrels a day at maximum capacity.
He projected that in the next six years Ghana would be the fourth largest oil/gas producer in Africa. To make this a reality the government is taking cautionary measures to avoid pitfalls of other oil-rich countries by learning from their experiences.
Ghana, he was happy to mention, is currently working towards becoming a major exporter of energy/electricity in Africa, citing that 80 megawatts of power is presently exported to major neighboring countries. Overall, Ghana is poised and ready to accelerate development in all areas of its economy.
The President of the Council of Ghanaian Associations, Mr. Kofi Afful, expressed sincere gratitude to the Vice President for granting audience to the Ghanaian community. He stated that it was essential for Ghana to develop and educate more professionals in areas of expertise to take on the new opportunities being created by the rapid growth of the economy, especially in the Oil and Gas sectors.
While in Washington, the Vice President also held series of meetings with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, where he discussed matters pertaining to Ghana’s successful implementation of its current $547 million compact and the prospect for a second compact which commences in 2012.