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Washington, D.C. – The United States announced today that it has formed a new bilateral partnership with Ghana that will build on the strong bilateral ties between the two countries and support further cooperation on a range of economic development issues. On March 9, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Ghana Finance Minister Kwabena Duffuor signed a Statement of Principles reaffirming our bilateral commitment to supporting President Obama’s Partnership for Growth (PfG) Initiative. Ghana is one of the first four countries globally – including El Salvador, Tanzania, and the Philippines – to participate in the interagency PfG Initiative.
PfG aims to significantly enhance U.S. bilateral relationships with this select set of countries to accelerate and sustain broad-based economic growth with the goal of creating the next generation of emerging markets. Started in 2011, PfG involves rigorous joint analysis of constraints to growth, the development of joint action plans to address these constraints, and high-level mutual accountability for implementation. The Statement of Principles notes:
“The Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Ghana embrace the principles of country ownership, partnership, and mutual commitment and accountability. The United States and Ghana intend to mobilize a wide range of instruments to increase measurable impact, including assistance and non-assistance tools, using assistance to leverage private capital, convening the private sector to increase investment, and supporting efforts to create an enabling environment for economic growth.”
The U.S. – Ghana Statement of Principles included an agreement to initially focus on increasing investment and reform in the electric power sector, which can facilitate broad economic development in Ghana. The statement also recognizes that all constraints jointly identified through the PfG analysis are impediments to growth, including access to credit, secure land rights, and potable water.
The U.S. developed PfG to implement development efforts through a more comprehensive and creative approach that moves beyond traditional aid. The initiative will consider all the appropriate instruments of both governments to promote economic growth, including strategies to leverage the resources and tools of partners, especially the private sector, and to increase the effectiveness of policies and institutions necessary for development.
As part of the initiative, the Energy Department looks forward to engaging with the government of Ghana in the coming months to pursue reforms in the power sector, which can be an important means to unlocking broader economic growth. In addition to DOE, the PfG process will involve the active participation of numerous U.S. agencies, including the State Department, United States Agency for International Development, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Department of Treasury, and others.
The Statement of Principles was signed at an event at Blair House in Washington, DC, during Ghanaian President John E. Atta Mills’ visit to the United States highlighting the growing economic relationship between the two countries. Ghana is an important example of many of the positive economic trends occurring in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the democratic and economic development successes the country has achieved exemplify the integral relationship between democracy, good governance, and development. Africa is home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, including Ghana, offering enormous potential for enhanced trade and investment by U.S. companies.
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