Speaking during a farewell call on him by the outgoing US Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Gene A. Cretz, at the Flagstaff House yesterday, the President said, “We want to take new dimensions with respect to AGOA and see how we can increase Ghanaian exports to the United States.”
Mr Cretz, who is leaving the country after a three-year duty tour, received high commendation from the President for the great work he had done.
In April this year, the Obama administration announced the decision to renew AGOA after approval had been given by the US Senate Finance Committee.
AGOA, which was established by a US legislation 13 years ago, provided for about 6,500 African products with preferential quota and duty-free access to the US.
The legislation that established AGOA is, however, expected to expire in September 2015.
Consequently, African and US representatives had a series of engagements on how the US could renew and improve on it to make it more compatible with the changing economic landscape in Africa.
President Mahama also focused on Power Africa, an initiative of the US government, to increase the number of people with access to power in sub-Saharan Africa.
He described it as a fantastic initiative and said it would increase the continent’s power generation and accelerate socio-economic development.
Shortage of power, he said, could work against economic growth, adding, therefore, that an initiative such as the US-led Power Africa was very important.
President Mahama said the government was working with many US companies on how to position Ghana as the most efficient power producer in Africa.
Cataloguing areas where the outgoing ambassador worked with passion to improve Ghana’s development, President Mahama said his output demonstrated the ever-growing relationship between the two countries.
“We came to developed a very close working relationship and score him excellent for the work he did in Ghana.”
The relationship between Ghana and USA was raised to a whole new level during his stay in the country,” President Mahama said of Mr Cretz
Millennium Challenge Account
President Mahama said one area where the outgoing ambassador made a huge contribution was in respect of the signing of the second compact of the Millennium Challenge Account.
He said it was refreshing that the agreement for the consultancy for the programme had been signed, describing it as a step towards achieving the objective of the compact.
President Mahama also commended Mr Cretz for supporting him during his chairmanship of ECOWAS.
“The relationship between Ghana and USA is solid and is based on shared values,” he said.
Mr Cretz thanked the President for the collaboration and support given him in his duties in Ghana.