Deliver accountable and inclusive democracy by fighting corruption— US Ambassador to govt
The United States (US) Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia Palmer, says Ghana and America need to stand up against corruption and deliver accountable and inclusive democracies that truly serve the interest of their people.
She said corruption erodes competence in public institutions and deprives citizens of basic needs and a prosperous future, and when delivery of public services stalls, people lose faith in their governments and extremists take advantage of the failures.
At the celebration of US’ 247th Independence day in Accra on Tuesday, she said “that’s why we work together to deliver on the promise of democracy, the solutions to these problems, to corruption, to a lack of faith in public institutions.”
“So we need to stand up against corruption, work together to promote peace, tolerance, opportunity and inclusivity and champion human rights for all, no matter a person’s race, creed, gender, or sexual orientation,” she added.
The US Independence Day otherwise called the 4th of July, marks the day that the second continental congress ratified the declaration of independence in 1776.
The event which was the first-post COVID-19 celebration in Ghana brought together high-profile personalities, government officials, the diplomatic and business communities, and religious leaders for a night of few speeches, short parade, music, food, drinks and fireworks.
The dignitaries included the Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin; the Chief Justice, Getrude Torkornoo; Former President John Mahama; Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare; the Dormaahene, Oseadeeyo Agyamang Badu II and the UN Resident Coordinator, Charles Abani.
Ms Palmer said the three bilateral programmes that made the past year amazing included the conclusion of the $390 million Millennium Challenge compact, which built power infrastructure in Ghana.
She also mentioned Ghana’s hosting of Flintlock, a major military exercise that involves 29 nation militaries, and hinted that the US would soon hand over two ships and multi-dollar equipment to the special boat squadron of the Ghana Navy to enhance maritime security.
She said the visit of US Vice President Harris to Ghana was a testament of the historic ties between the two countries and Ghana’s leadership in regional security, on the UN Security Council and her model for democratic governance globally.
On behalf of Ghana, the Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, acknowledged America’s contribution to Ghana’s socio-economic development in areas, including democracy, health, education, security, energy, agriculture, manufacturing, and technology.
On trade, she said although Ghana-US bilateral trade reached $3.7 billion last year, there was more room for improvement, and thus the two countries needed to find new ways of engaging each other economically for mutual benefit.