GHANA is to sign the first ever bilateral Child Protection Compact Partnership with the United States of America to secure funding to combat child trafficking.
Under the partnership, to be signed this week, the US government will provide five million dollars to Ghana over the next five years to help prevent and prosecute those engaged in child trafficking.
The outgoing United States Ambassador to Ghana, Gene Cretz, who disclosed this during an interaction with newsmen in Accra, said the amount was also meant to support Ghana to protect the victims of child trafficking.
“We have also recently initiated a project to build the capacity of Ghana’s prosecutors so they are better prepared to successfully conclude cases involving human trafficking, drug trafficking and money laundering,” he said.
Interacting with a section of the media after a three-year duty tour in Ghana, Mr. Cretz said he had enjoyed working in Ghana and would never forget the Ghanaian hospitality.
“My wife and I enjoyed our time here, and we will be able to look back on these three years with fondness because of the warm hospitability, partnerships and accomplishments we have witnessed,” he said.
During his tenure of service in Ghana, Mr Cretz said he had worked closely with the government and “been able to achieve success in areas that are very near and dear to my heart”.
The areas, include education, food security, trade, security, infrastructure.
Particularly in the area of education, he said the United States had undertaken projects such as the construction and rehabilitation of 250 schools across the country, and also offered scholarship for students and teachers to study in the United States.
“Just last week I was delighted to launch the USAID Partnership for Education Learning Activity which will benefit an estimated 2.8 million Ghanaian children,” he said, stressing “we strongly believe this 71 million investment will equip young people with the basics to learn to read – and read to learn – ultimately helping to improve the quality of basic education”.
In the area of power, Mr Cretz said the implementation of President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative – which Ghana and five other African countries were beneficiaries – was a sign of the solid relations between Ghana and the United States.
“The stage has been set for greater progress – most notably through the signing of the second compact between the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Ghanaian government which will transform the power sector through a 498 million-dollar investment,” he said.
The outgoing Ambassador said his leaving would not impact the United States-Ghana relations, saying they had been solidly built on a foundation of shared values and mutual respect.
By Kingsley Asare