Ambassador Robert P. Jackson on Thursday, November 16th, 2017 hosted the American Chamber Commerce in Ghana and its Members at his residence for the 16th Annual General Meeting. Activities at the meeting included a brief welcome address by the Ambassador, President’s report, a presentation of the Chamber’s financial statement under the year of review, approval of new and existing board Members and a question and answer session.
President of the Chamber, Mr. Joe Mensah gave a recap of the Chamber’s activities during the year under review, and expressed his excitement on the attendance at these events. “I wish to thank all Members for their cooperation and support over the past two years I have been President. Over 1,000 persons have attended the various events of the Chamber under the year in review.”
The President also took time to acknowledge the new companies who joined the Chamber.
Mr. Joe Mensah also commended the efforts of Members and the Board in building a strong brand for the Chamber. He particularly singled out Ambassador Jackson and his team at the U.S. Embassy for their contributions to Chamber.
Ambassador Jackson in his remark reaffirmed America’s commitment to Africa and Ghana. This was after the he commended Ghana for once again demonstrating its political maturity in the recent election.
The Ambassador also referred to the visit by the Congressional delegation led by Senator Chris Coons from Delaware;he said,“Their presence here alone demonstrated their sincere interest in Ghana, and their desire to understand Africa and its potential.”
Talking on power, the Ambassador said United States continues to work toward making improvements in Ghana’s power sector. He made mention of the U.S. Government initiatives like Power Africa, an initiative he said will help make Ghana’s “one district, one factory” vision a reality through the provision of reliable and affordable power.
“Our Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact continues to move forward. The compact will provide $498 million to improve Ghana’s power distribution” the Ambassador added. He also said through Power Africa, they will work closely with American companies General Electric and Endeavor to bring the Early/Bridge Power project to financial close by December. “Once completed, this project will bring 400 megawatts of affordable and reliable gas power to Ghanaian homes and Businesses.” He added.
Ambassador Robert Jackson also expressed his excitement to see U.S. companies find success in Ghana. In a commendation, the Ambassador applauded measures adopted by the new government led by President Akuffo Addo to improve the business environment; he stated that “indeed the government has taken important steps to improve business processes, lower taxes, and reform customs clearance processes.”
On the issue of visa acquisition, the Ambassador assured that the Embassy is committed to facilitating legitimate travel to the United States. He said his consulate has been working hard to ensure the visa adjudication process is lean and efficient. “I’m proud to tell you that over the last three months, the average wait time for a visa appointment has fallen from more than three weeks to just a few days. We will strive to keep our wait times under one week.” He added.
This year’s AGM also saw some outgoing board members honored for their service to the Chamber.Amos Amankwah of Smice International and Rodrigue Bila of Equatorial Coca Cola were presented with a certificate ofappreciation by the president of the Chamber. “We trust you will continue to make your services available to the Chamber.” Mr. Joe
It was also announced at the meeting that the Chamber will organize the 1st U.S. Ghana trade and investment exhibition in the coming year. The president also urged Members to continue to pay their dues on time to ensure sustainability of the Chamber and its membership activities. He further encouraged Members to provide feed backs.
Mr. Felix Addo, vice president of the Chamber in his closing remark encouraged Members to take active part in Chamber activities and assured them that, the board and the secretariat is ready to serve them.