On behalf of the African Diaspora Directorate and the people of African Descent in the USA, I, Dr. Kofi Agyapong, Chairman of the African Diaspora Directorate, send my congratulations to all Ghanaians on the 63rd celebration of our independence (March 6th 2020).
|In March 1957, Martin Luther King, Jr., and his wife Coretta Scott King traveled to West Africa to attend Ghana’s independence ceremony. King’s voyage was symbolic of a growing global alliance of oppressed peoples and was strategically well timed; his attendance represented an attempt to broaden the scope of the civil rights struggle in the United States on the heels of the successful Montgomery bus boycott. King identified with Ghana’s struggle; furthermore, he recognized a strong parallel between resistance against European colonialism in Africa and the struggle against racism in the United States. While in Ghana, Dr. King Jr. told then U.S. Vice President, Richard Nixon, who was also in attendance at the event’s festivities: “I want you to come visit us down in Alabama where we are seeking the same kind of freedom the Gold Coast is celebrating”.
At the ceremony, the recently incarcerated Nkrumah and his ministers wore their prison caps, symbolizing their struggle to win Ghana’s freedom. King wrote: “When I looked out and saw the prime minister (Ghana’s new Prime Minister, Kwame) there with his prison cap on that night, that reminded me of that fact, that freedom never comes easy. It comes through hard labor and it comes through toil”
Ghana’s Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah
and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is currently the President of Ghana.
As we mark this important occasion, we as an American Civil Society Organization for the African Diaspora, reaffirm our shared values and interest in promoting democracy, prosperity, and security. The United States and Ghana share a long history of promoting democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Ghana has set an example for countries throughout Africa in promoting resilient democratic institutions, transparent and peaceful transitions of power, and regional stability. Our important mission is foster cooperation to bolster good governance, cultivate economic opportunity and international trade, and promote regional security which speaks to the enduring partnership between the United States and Ghana. As the Ghanian nation celebrates its Independence Day, we look forward to advancing shared priorities in the spirit of continued collaboration.
Bilateral Economic Relations – The United States and Ghana enjoy a strong economic partnership that has the potential for further growth. Bilateral trade between the two countries reached $1.6 billion in 2017, with the U.S. maintaining a $110 million trade surplus, and Ghana’s exports more than doubling due to a surge in oil production. Political stability, generally sound economic management, a low crime rate, competitive wages, and an educated, English-speaking workforce, enhances Ghana’s potential as a West African hub for American businesses. A number of major U.S. companies currently operate in the country, including IBM, ExxonMobil, Coca-Cola, Cargill, and Newmont Mining. Complementing the presence of American companies, Ghana also houses a fairly engaged American Chamber of Commerce that reports over 100 active members.
In December 2016, the current government was elected on a platform to promote private sector-led growth, attract foreign direct investment, and to make Ghana “the most business friendly country on the continent.” Notably, the Administration received international attention with the announcement of President Akufo-Addo’s “Ghana Beyond Aid” campaign, and the ultimate goal to eventually eliminate the country’s reliance on aid funds. In this year of Remembrance and Return we look to be partners in the “Ghana Beyond Aid” campaign, in part, based on the new U.S. International Development Finance Corporation funding mechanisms.