President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on the US government to invest heavily in Ghana’s railway infrastructure sector.
He made the appeal when he received a US bipartisan congressional delegation at the Jubilee House on Friday.
The President said the railway network bequeathed to the country by its colonial powers were largely not built upon, and had, thus, become extremely necessary to develop the sector to meet the increasing transportation needs of the nation.
“We are looking for a major American investment, and I am particularly excited about the possibility of attracting American investment in our rail infrastructure. It is an important development for us. The colonial powers left us with a limited but efficient railway infrastructure in the country. Unfortunately, instead of building on it, and expanding on it, we allowed it to deteriorate,” the President said.
President Akufo-Addo said the choice not to build on the country’s existing rail infrastructure “had proven very costly”.
“We have now embarked on a very extensive programme of expanding and developing our rail infrastructure, and we think that there is space there for American investment,” the President indicated.
The President noted that railway infrastructure and transportation are areas the United States “has a lot of expertise and capabilities in.”
He assured that Ghana is ready to open her doors to all American investors who would want to venture into the sector.
Touching on issues of security in West Africa, the President observed that the new accord, Accra Initiative, was designed to ensure a collaboration among major West African countries, including Ghana, Ivory Coast, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso and others.
This, he intimated, needs support from the region’s partners, particularly the United States, in order to guarantee the territorial integrity of all West African States.
“The issue of security is primordial for us. We are determined to do everything we can with our limited means to make sure that it does not germinate here in our country,” President Akufo-Addo said.
Fact finding mission
A member of the US Congress and chair of the subcommittee on State operations, Barbara Lee, who led the delegation, said that her delegation was on a fact finding mission on the African continent to gather sufficient evidence in order to go back to the US congress to make recommendations on how best the US can support Africa’s development.
She further disclosed that the delegation would also conduct oversight on its foreign relations assistance programmes.
“We will also be conducting oversight on our foreign relations assistance programmes. We have been able to visit the fishing harbour, the Canoe village in Tema and also the shea processing plant. We are very excited to see the progress in the manufacturing and processing of shea butter. We intend to continue to work with you and to strengthen this relationship,” Miss Lee added.
In a related development, the President has assured faith-based organisations in the country that his administration will continue to maintain a strong collaboration with them in order to achieve the goal of improving the living standards of the people.
The President said this when he received a Salvation Army delegation in his office, led by the faith-based organisation’s international leader, General Brain Peddle.
“We will continue to work with the Salvation Army. We will continue to work with all the faith based organisations in our country because we see a mutuality of interests, mutuality of goals between what government is trying to day and what you are trying to do,” he stated.
“Ultimately, we are working on different sides of the scoop, but to raise up the living stands of our people, and at the same time create a society where faith, belief in God, are important foundational concepts in the development of the society,” President Akufo-Addo said.
The President further acknowledged the manner in which the Salvation Army had comported itself in the country, saying “it has been admirable”.
“You can find across the country, our people recognising the value and the work that you have done in our country. We are looking forward to yet another hundred years of close cooperation between the people of Ghana, their government and Salvation Army,” he added.