Business News of 2014-07-08

US, Ghana to conclude talks on $500m Millennium Challenge Compact

The United States (US) and Ghana will soon conclude negotiations for a second Millennium Challenge Compact worth $500 million for projects in the energy sector.
The US Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Gene A. Cretz, who announced this during a reception at his residence in Accra to mark the country’s 238th independence, said: “We have been keen on helping Ghana to develop its critical power sector.”
Mr Cretz recently joined Vice President Amissah-Arthur to lead a high-level delegation of Ghanaian government officials and private sector companies to Houston, Texas, where they participated in a global conference on offshore oil and gas.
“We are confident that trip will lead to more involvement by American companies in developing Ghana’s petroleum resources,” he noted.
Mr Cretz said President Barak Obama would host the US-African Leaders Summit, which would focus largely on trade and investment, in August.
“We are delighted that President John Dramani Mahama will be leading a strong delegation to Washington, DC, to take part in this historic event,” the US envoy stated.
According to the ambassador, the state of the bilateral relationship between Ghana and the US has never been better and America’s commitment to the welfare and development of Ghanaians has never been more evident.
He observed that Ghana had become one of the United States’ most important partners on the African continent.
Currently, Ghana and the US work together on a wide range of issues regarding economic growth and development, democracy and good governance, peace and security.
Challenges in energy sector
The Minister of Education, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, who led a government delegation to the anniversary celebration, said Ghana continued to face formidable challenges in the area of energy generation.
She, however, pointed out that “Government is hopeful of overcoming this test as Ghana is due to sign the second compact of the Millennium Challenge Account in the next few months.”
The second agreement, she confirmed, would focus on improving the energy sector, especially in the power generation and distribution chain.
The minister expressed the hope that the move would help the country to provide reliable energy for Ghanaians, and also help in its goal of becoming a net exporter of energy in the sub-region, under the West Africa Power Pool initiative, which will in turn sustain Ghana’s economic growth.
“Ghana appreciates the gains made in the past years under the Millennium Challenge Account and will ensure the judicious use of the funds approved for the second compact,” Prof. Opoku Agyemang said.
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