Thursday, July 26th, 2018. The American Chamber of Commerce in Ghana, Newmont Mining Corporation and the Ghana Chamber of Mines held a private breakfast meeting with the visiting Governor of Nevada, Gov. Brian Sandoval. The breakfast meeting which was hosted at the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana’s residence was to interact with the Governor and his ‘Nevada in Africa Trade Mission’ delegation.
U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson in his opening remarks said, excellent is a constant word he uses anytime he is asked about the United States relationship with Ghana. “When people ask me about the relationship with Ghana, I characterized it in several ways, but excellent is the constant word that I use.” The ambassador said.
He took turn to share some developmental projects being undertaken in Ghana with assistance from the United States. The Ambassador mentioned the ECG Concession Agreement which seeks to introduce private sector participation to improve efficiency and service delivery. He also talked about some entrepreneurship and agricultural projects, and touched on health as well. On health, the Ambassador mentioned the construction of chief’s compounds which provides health services to people in rural areas.
“Ghana can also be proud about its democracy and it is a real star of African democracy.” Ambassador Jackson made this statement whiles commenting on Ghana’s democratic achievements. AmCham Ghana President, Mr. Joe Mensah reiterated this during his remarks saying, it is one of the main reasons investors choose Ghana.
Mr. Joe Mensah also said the singular objective of the Chamber is to embrace the American companies coming in to do business, help them and work at creating an enabling environment for business to thrive.
He said that, the coming in of the Governor and the delegation is welcomed. “We are quite excited about it because we think, this will take the relationship to the next level as we continue to see the trade gap between the United States and Ghana narrowed.” He added.
This is Nevada’s first ever trade mission to Africa, and Governor Brian Sandoval opened his remarks by stating that history was being made. “I feel like I am standing in a moment of history because this is Nevada’s first ever trade mission to Africa, and Ghana.”
Governor Sandoval went on to say the key reasons for embarking on the trade mission is to give Nevada a global foot print and also, to diversify the State’s economy. He said Nevada was the worst hit during the 2008 recession with unemployment hitting 14% and a $2 million dollar budget deficit.
As part of diversifying Nevada’s economy, the Governor said the State has seen the influx of companies such as Apple and Tesla, the two he said are building a huge data center and a battery factory respectively. Top among them is Switch, a company the Governor said is building the world’s largest data center of over 5 million sq. ft. in Nevada.
These and other investments he said has helped Nevada recover from the recession with a 10% reduction in unemployment and half a billion dollar budget surplus from a 2 million dollar deficit. The governor also said the State is carrying out some infrastructure projects such us the widening of Las Vegas highway systems.
“If you move in around here, you automatically get a 10% raise because you don’t have to pay no income tax.” The Governor said the tax system in Nevada serves as a great incentive for investors.
Other speakers at the event were Alwyn Pretorius, Senior Vice President, Africa at Newmont Mining Corporation and Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry. The two spoke on the relevance of mining to the Ghanaian economy and the readiness of the Ghanaian government to collaborate and work with developmental partners respectively.
The private breakfast meeting also witnessed a panel discussion on the “State of Mining in Ghana – Challenges and Opportunities.” Panelists discussed how citizens can be best made to feel the positive impacts of mining, local content, the menace of gallamsay and responsible mining.
Also present at the event were Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Dr. Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah, CEO of GIPC, Yofi Grant, business executives from AmCham member companies and officials from the Ghana Chamber of Mines. The event was sponsored by Newmont Ghana.
The event gallery in below.