Vice President Harris Announces Initiatives to Strengthen United States (US) Partnership with Ghana and Promote Regional Security
The United States and Ghana enjoy a strong bilateral relationship based on deep historical, cultural, and economic ties, as well as shared democratic values. The United States and Ghana partner closely to solve common challenges, in West Africa and globally, and the United States is committed to strengthening that partnership.
The Vice President’s travel to Ghana reaffirms our relationship and collaboration on a range of issues, including: supporting conflict prevention and stabilization in Coastal West Africa; promoting inclusive economic growth, innovation, and regional integration; investing in women and youth; elevating engagement with the African Diaspora; addressing shared health challenges; and partnering to build climate resilience and steward our shared Atlantic Ocean. In support of the breadth and depth of our bilateral engagement, the Administration intends to provide $139 million in bilateral assistance for Ghana in Fiscal Year 2024.
As part of her visit to Accra, the Vice President is announcing the following U.S. plans, working with Congress as appropriate. She will also highlight additional resources requested in the FY 2024 President’s Budget.
Regional Efforts to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability
On March 24, 2023, President Biden transmitted to Congress the 10-year plan for implementing the U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability with the Coastal West African countries of Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, and Togo. Today, the Vice President announced that the Biden-Harris Administration intends to invest more than $100 million to support conflict prevention and stabilization efforts in Coastal West Africa, including at least $86 million in funding over three years specifically dedicated to implementation of the new 10-year plan. The plan is intended to address regional threats of violent extremism and instability in Coastal West Africa and enable the U.S. Government to work with Congress to marshal additional assistance to support efforts in the region over the coming years.
The United States supports the holistic approach being taken by Ghana, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, and Togo to address threats of violent extremism and instability, combining security, development, and peacebuilding. In support of these efforts, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of State have begun implementing new programs to help strengthen economic development and increase governance and resilience in at-risk communities, including in northern Ghana. For example, USAID’s Africa Trade and Investment program, which the Vice President launched during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Diaspora Forum, is working to increase regional trade and provide access to finance to entrepreneurs. The United States is also collaborating with international partners to bolster joint investments in border governance to build unity of effort between local populations and security actors. The Department of Defense complements these programs with civil-military engagements and robust capacity building and training for partner forces.
Support for Ghana’s Economic Recovery and Debt Restructuring
- Department of Treasury Technical Advisor: The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) will deploy a full-time resident advisor in 2023, to Accra to assist the Ministry of Finance in developing and executing medium- to long term reforms needed to improve debt sustainability and support a competitive, dynamic government debt market. The project will complement and build on the Government of Ghana’s debt restructuring efforts. This project is part of OTA’s ongoing engagement to strengthen public financial management and financial sector oversight across sub-Saharan Africa. For 2023, OTA will execute 25 projects in 15 African countries. This includes eight new projects in Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Tanzania, The Gambia, and Zambia in revenue policy and administration; budget and financial accountability; government debt issuance and infrastructure financing; banking and financial services; and economic crimes.
- USAID Finance Fellows: To further support Ghana’s debt management, USAID is funding fellowships for a team of ten specialists to work within the Ministry of Finance, providing surge support for a two-year period. The Fellows are all young, qualified Ghanaians and recent university graduates.
Strengthening Economic Development, Regional Integration, and Women’s Economic Empowerment
- AfCFTA Small Business Development Center: The Department of State is working with Congress to provide support for women and youth entrepreneurs from multiple African countries by creating a Small Business Development Center at the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, which is headquartered in Accra. The AfCFTA forms the world’s largest free trade area by connecting almost 1.3 billion people across 54 African countries into a single market for goods and services. The center aims to build the capacity of woman- and youth-owned small and medium enterprises by providing the training and skills necessary to grow their businesses, export, and become stronger players in the African and global economy.
- Support for Women and Youth Within the AfCFTA: In December 2022, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation for trade and investment with the AfCFTA Secretariat. The Office of the Trade Representative will work with the AfCFTA Secretariat and a range of African and U.S. stakeholders to support the negotiations and implementation of this trade arrangement. As part of this support, the USAID-funded Commercial Law Development is providing a series of workshops and trainings on the AfCFTA Protocol on Women and Youth under a $950,000 program.
- Action to Empower Workers and Combat Abusive Labor Practices: The U.S. Department of Labor has increased funding for its programming to combat child labor, forced labor, and trafficking in Ghana with new investments of over $2 million and continued support and engagement with the Government of Ghana through the Child Labor in Cocoa Coordinating Group.
Addressing Shared Health Challenges
- Global Health Security: As part of the overall U.S. Government global health security efforts and in support of the National Biodefense Strategy target to directly support 50 countries to improve their health security capacities, the U.S. Government, through USAID and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), plans to provide approximately $20 million over the next three years (Fiscal Years 2022-2024 funds), pending the availability of appropriations and final funding allocations, to strengthen Ghana’s ability to prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks. The President’s FY 2024 Budget includes an additional $9 million in USAID funding for this purpose, requested to be provided during this timeframe. Funding will support communities to identify and mitigate risks for the spread of infectious diseases between animals and humans; improve community surveillance systems to quickly identify and respond to emerging health threats; and strengthen laboratory capacity to safely and accurately detect prioritized infectious diseases.
- Malaria Investments through PMI: The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) plans to invest $27 million over the next year in partnership with the Government of Ghana to deploy lifesaving interventions proven to fight malaria, including bed nets, fast acting malaria medicines, rapid diagnostic tests, and preventative treatments in pregnancy. These funds will also support stronger, more resilient health systems by training health workers, strengthening supply chains, and improving data monitoring.
Advancing Creative Economies
- OneBeat Ghana Exchange Program. OneBeat, the Department of State’s international musical exchange program that uses the power of music as a gateway to engage youth and rejuvenate local economies, will launch in Ghana in November. OneBeat Ghana will bring together 10 leading musicians between the ages of 19 and 35 from the United States and Ghana for an intensive residency. The program will help artists pursue business strategies that support the creative economy and enhance their networks. The launch in Ghana will be the first OneBeat Abroad dedicated to scaling social entrepreneurship projects through creative collaboration.
Pursuing Innovative Solutions for Climate Resilience, Adaptation, and Clean Energy
- YALI Climate Tech Innovators and Leaders Program: USAID plans to launch the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Climate Tech Innovators and Leaders Program, which will bring together young leaders and entrepreneurs committed to solving emerging challenges related to climate change, global warming, resilience, and sustainability. This pilot program intends to convene a cohort of 50 young leaders and entrepreneurs from across the continent at the YALI Regional Leadership Center in Accra.
- The Blue Carbon Inventory Project: Over the coming year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will provide technical assistance and capacity building support for Ghana to incorporate coastal wetlands in their national greenhouse gas inventory and enhance the management of these ecosystems for multiple benefits, including mitigation, adaptation, and ecosystem services.
- Weather and Climate Forecasting: As part of the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), and in response to the UN Secretary General’s call for Early Warning for All by 2027, NOAA is working to expand access to multi-hazard early-warning systems across Africa, including for heat wave forecasting and climate-informed health early warning. To carry out this work, NOAA will build on longstanding relationships with national and regional weather services in Africa. NOAA scientists and emergency preparedness experts will work with African partners to communicate heat and health early warnings and support communities, leaders, businesses, and people in applying weather and climate information to reduce impacts and save lives. A 2023 workshop hosted in Ghana will assess needs and requirements for further climate training of meteorologists in Africa, identify gaps for improving climate predictions, and discuss strategies for future climate training.
- Pan-African Nuclear Energy Training Program: The Department of Energy is partnering with Ghana to establish a Clean Energy Training Center and will sponsor the Pan-African Nuclear Energy Training Program. The Ghana Clean Energy Training Center will offer a series of live online nuclear education and training courses made available to all African countries free of cost. The educational series is being offered in support of African countries considering nuclear energy as they work to advance economic development, energy security, and decarbonization.
- Equality Ambassadors Program: The Department of Energy-led Equality Ambassadors Program is seeking distinguished individuals from Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia in the clean energy field who can act as advocates for gender equality and take actions to attract, retain, and inspire the next generation of women leaders in the clean energy sector. The Ambassadors Program, which is part of the multilateral Clean Energy Ministerial’s Equality in Energy Transitions Initiative, recognizes distinguished individuals in the clean energy field who can advocate for gender equality and inspire future women leaders in the clean energy sector. The Department of Energy is reviewing a number of nominees from Ghana and Tanzania for 2023. These nominees would be the first Equality Ambassadors representing Africa.
- Clean Energy Technology Integration and Investment in Ghana: The Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will provide technical power systems assistance and capacity building to Ghana’s publicly owned power generation company, the Volta River Authority, to support large scale adoption of hybrid photovoltaic-wind systems. This support will include technical and advisory services to improve bankability of Ghana’s forthcoming competitive Independent Power Producer process. NREL will also provide technical assistance to Ghana’s transmission company and system operator, Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo), to perform advanced modeling for variable solar and wind resources.
- Clean Cooking for Air Quality: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and partner organizations are working with the Government of Ghana to expand energy access and reduce emissions from cooking that impact indoor and ambient air quality, climate, forests, health, and livelihoods. Research and testing of cookstoves and fuels are foundational to this work, and EPA’s support of the Ghana Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) lab is essential to the clean energy transition toward the sustained use of clean stoves and fuels.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The White House.