Curren De Mille Price Jr., Los Angeles City Council Member for the 9th District, has urged African leaders and the African diaspora, particularly Ghana to prioritise their relationship with US and steer its future development.
In an interview with The Daily Statesman at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra, he said it is of crucial importance to deepening US-Ghana comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership, promoting solidarity and cooperation among developing countries as well as global cooperation.
The Councilman said it will also make the international order and global governance system more just and equitable to propel development among the two cities, Accra and Los Angelis.
He gave the assurance that Los Angelis will never forget the profound friendship of Ghana-Accra, and remain guided by the principle of sincerity, real results, amity, good faith and the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests.
Curren Price noted that the US and Ghana had enjoyed cordial relations in various forms for a very long time and the situation was not expected to change now.
“We have worked and enjoyed productive friendship under various administrations, including the late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, former President John Agyekum Kufuor and former President, John Dramani Mahama. And we’re still enjoying similar relation with current President Nana Akufo-Addo, and we are sure this beneficial friendship will continue,” he assured.
“Los Angelis will work together with Ghanaian friends to promote and carry forward the spirit of US – Ghana friendship and cooperation from generation to generation. We will work with African friends to live up to our expectations, firmly oppose and reject moves that harm Ghana – America friendship, and make cherishing Africa- America friendship a widely-held consensus and habit,” he stated.
Explaining the rationale behind his current visit to Ghana, the Councilman explained that he intends to still experience the beauty of the Ghanaian culture and people to the maximum. He hopes the visit increases collaborations between both countries and create an avenue to build on the existing synergy.
The former California State Senator announced that he would explore opportunities to do business, targeting trade and investment chances between the country’s cities, thus Los Angelis and Accra.
“Both countries trade in similar businesses so we can take advantage to increase both export and import of products and services. Also, I believe that we both can benefit from the agricultural expertise of US,” he indicated.
He expressed hope that there would be very interesting collaboration in that regard, saying “hopefully meeting with individuals, public sectors and private sectors, who will also be willing to explore those opportunities for the betterment of our countries”.
The Councilman disclosed that the most urgent avenue that required investment between Ghana and America would be in the agricultural sector.
He added: “Imported technology, supporting businesses and giving chances to micro businesses, entrepreneurship is very important. So we really want to know how we forge a connection between Africa, specifically Ghana, and the US in ways that we have been before”.
According to him, there is an increasing desire to establish connections and relationships to ensure that both countries solidify their relations and increased cooperation.
He believes that through the interactions, he would gain market insights and build relationships with potential consumers and partners in the food and agriculture sector.
To make the difference in tackling the most urgent challenges and seizing opportunities for the growth of Africa, the Councilman emphasised that “it is important that we understand ourselves to the brim”.
He reiterated the United States government’s commitment to boosting two-way trade and investment while promoting enterprise – driven development, and better development outcomes for Ghana’s most vulnerable citizens.
“We will stay here till the end of the year; we will also use that avenue to explore business opportunities. We would be embarking on a couple of side trips. We will be going to Kumasi, and several villages, so I really want to have the chance to explore and experience. The cultural beauty of Kumasi is welcoming; the hospitality is endearing. I have tasted some of the local delicacies and I look forward to tasting more,” the Councilman happily said.
On Pan-Africanism, he stressed the need to know each other, adding that “when we do that, we realise that we have much in common than our differences”.
Curren Price also reminded African-American to always give ourselves the opportunity to share best practices, provide chances to build collations and to carry them out. That, he indicated, “will bind us to help one another understand all of these and know the value of relationships in doing business”.
He said he will use the opportunity to deepen the many partnerships America has on the African continent and focus on efforts to strengthen these partnerships across a wide range of sectors spanning from businesses to health to peace and security, with focus on Africa, particularly Ghana.
He recalled that he was in Ghana about 40years ago as a student, where he had the chance to travel to University of Ghana to stay there for a week or so. “I enjoyed the campus and the beauty of the country and the people. So at such early age, it really made me understand the essence of working together; the goals, objectives that African-American have, are very similar. And I learned that at an early age as a student.
Touching on his memorable experience in Ghana, he said he enjoyed travelling to the countryside especially, Kumasi in the Ashanti Region. According to him, he had the chance to go to Kumasi and that made him experience food and culture of diverse ethnic groups in the country.
Consequently, the Councilman revealed that he also brought his family, and grandchildren to have a feel of Ghana’s culture, history, and legacy.
He said that Christmas is a time of reflection and celebration. “We have a lot to be thankful for in both countries, however, we also have a lot of problems of poverty, homelessness, inequity in terms of how the system works,” he added.
He believes that it’s time to “redouble our efforts in eradicating these challenges to make life more comfortable and dignifying for the people”.
That notwithstanding, he noted that it was important to appreciate what African-America have achieved and do more to make things better. He emphasised that the onus lies on everyone to give back to assist those who are less privilege and that must be embraced by all in the Africa diaspora.
“The inequalities are not limited to Accra, Los Angelis, Ghana or US but the world wide, and we are responsible to make things better. Approaching the new year, we must be dedicated in efforts to reduce inequality if not eliminate it among individuals to the barest minimum,” Curren Price concluded.
Story written by: Bright Philip Donkor
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