SPEAKER of the United States (US) House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, says Ghana and the rest of the African continent mattered in US’ foreign policy, trade and development.
She said her country would, therefore, explore avenues to support the continent in its journey to be self reliant.
Ms Pelosi was addressing a press conference held at the US Embassy in Accra on Wednesday to round up the four-day state visit of the high level US congressional delegation to Ghana.
Made up of members of the black congressional caucus, the delegation’s historic visit which started on Sunday, coincided with the ‘Year of Return’ celebrations that marks the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans landing in America.
Commending Ghana for its democracy, peace and security, and contribution to peace keeping around the world, Ms Pelosi said the relations between Ghana and US would endure because they shared a common value of democracy, culture and human rights.
Commenting on how Ghana and the continent could become self-reliant, she said trade deals that involved the exchange of their natural resources for other offers, was problematic and bad, and must not be a development option.
A good trade deal, she said, was one that foreign countries invested in the economic development of the endowed countries and enabled them to harness their natural resources to their own advantage, instead of exploiting them.
“A trade is if we we’ll invest in the economic development of your country so that you can explore the minerals or assets and that’s when the country can really make its own fulfilment, using its own assets, employing its own people and with a bold vision for the goal they have to be less reliant on aid,” she said.
The US speaker described the visit, her second to Ghana, as a successful and humbling one that presented the opportunity for US to solidify the relation between US and “its true friend”.
Ms Barbara Lee, a member of the Budget Committee said in the coming months, a new federal agency would be set up to facilitate trade relations with Ghana and the continent.
Mr Jim Clyburn, the Majority Chief Whip of the US House of Representatives and a member of the Black Caucus, reflecting on the visit to the Cape Coast Castle, said he stood ready to work with the Ghanaian leadership to ensure that the sordid history of slave trade was not repeated.
Other caucus members, including John Lewis, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Ilhan Omar took turns to affirm their commitment to the socio-economic development of the continent.
The press conference was preceded by a wreath laying ceremony at the W. E. Du Bois Memorial Centre for Pan-African Culture, the final resting place of Pan Africanist, William E. Du Bois and his wife.
Photo caption: Ms Pelosi flanked by members of the caucus, while addressing the press conference.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR