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General News Fri, 16 Jan 2004

ADF delegation to visit Ghana

Accra, Jan. 16, GNA- A high-powered delegation from the African Development Foundation (ADF), a United States Government Agency that supports community-based development programmes in 15 African countries, would visit the country next week.

The delegation, to be led by Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services, Claude Allen, would meet with President John Agyekum Kufuor and leading Ministers of government.

A statement from the United States Embassy on Friday, said while in the country the group, would also evaluate progress toward implementing projects to help Ghanaian entrepreneurs scale up their operations and develop high quality products for sale in international markets.

ADF has provided support for development in Ghana since 1985. It is currently supporting 14 projects estimated at 23.5 billion cedis. The statement said last year, ADF entered a five-year strategic partnership with the Government of Ghana to help the country expand its international trade and investment efforts and to assist Ghanaian entrepreneurs in marketing consumer goods in the United States under the provisions of the African Growth and Opportunity Act of 2000. It said the United States Congress enacted AGOA with the goal of strengthening trade ties between the United States and African nations and helping African Businesses compete in an increasingly global economy.

The two strategic objectives of the new ADF programme in Ghana included supporting the development, increased competitiveness and profitability of indigenous small and medium enterprises and increased enterprise participation in trade and investment partnerships with the United States and other countries.

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Both ADF and the Government of Ghana have committed about 8.5 billion cedis annually in support of approximately 40 Ghanaian businesses with the aim of creating an active cluster of profitable businesses capable of selling goods widely in Ghana, West Africa and Internationally within five years.

It said: "The goal of ADF's trade and investment partnership with the Government of Ghana is to help a wide range of Ghanaian entrepreneurs improve the quality of their operations and scale up those operations to the point where they can sell competitively in international markets," said ADF President Nathaniel Fields.

"We will also measure the success of the initiative according to how many jobs it produces and its capacity to provide workers with real and sustainable increases in income."

ADF had already designed and was finalizing funding arrangements for four projects involving: tomato processing and canning, maize grits production, organic citrus peel and juice processing and bamboo furniture manufacturing.

The Foundation will have four additional projects ready for funding later this year. These projects are seen as a strong start for a dynamic strategic partnership that will support President J A Kufuor's special initiative to create a "Golden Age of Business" in Ghana and expand opportunities under AGOA, the statement said

Source: GNA
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