USAID asked to consider needs of Ghanaians

Mr Carlos  Ahenkorah  addressing the participants.Photo Michael Ayeh

Mr Carlos Ahenkorah addressing the participants.Photo Michael Ayeh

A DEPUTY Minister of Trade and Industry, Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, has urged the United States International Development Agency (USAID), an American international development agency, to consider the needs of Ghanaians in its assistance package rather than the American point of view.

Mr. Ahenkorah commended USAID for its support for Ghana over the years across all sectors of the economy, but said it was time Ghana was made to decide where such assistance should be directed to.

At the Trade Africa Learning Event in Accra, yesterday, Mr. Ahenkorah said “the USAID and our other donor partners, because we are moving beyond aid this time, we would appreciate if they take on the Ghana project instead of their projects.

“This is because USAID is handling a USAID project for Ghana, but can the USAID handle a Ghana project for Ghana?” he asked.

The Trade Africa event, an initiative of the American government, launched in 2013, is aimed at strengthening the US relationship with Africa, and to expand the US-African private and public sector collaboration to increase trade with and within the continent.

Signed on by Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Tanzania among other countries, the event aims at reducing the time it takes to import or export from ports to landlocked countries on the continent.

Since Ghana joined in 2015, Trade Africa has been working with stakeholders to implement the World Trade Organisation Facilitation Agreement, implement sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, reduce technical barriers to trade, and support for policies and programmes to facilitate trade, investment and regional integration.

According to Mr. Ahenkorah, who is also the Member of Parliament for Tema West, fruitful talks were ongoing between his outfit and the USAID with regards to his proposal.

“I have had interesting conversation with the Deputy Director of the USAID and he is seeing my viewpoint, and thinks that in the next five years when they are going to reengage Ghana, this is the direction they are going to look at,” he said.

Some of the areas the deputy minister wanted Americans to invest in, include value addition to Ghana’s raw materials and energy.

The Director USAID, Ghana, Steven Hendrix, said in the next four years, the agency would focus on trade facilitation to boost Ghana’s trade export sector.

Mr. Hendrix said since he arrived in Ghana, USAID has spent US$140 million on projects in the country to promote health, education, governance and economic growth.

He hinted of plans to establish separate development cooperation for the realisation of Ghana beyond aid.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI & EVANGEL KELVIN AINO

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