The Mayor of Accra, Hon Elizabeth K.T. Sackey has held bilateral talks with visiting United States of America (U.S.) Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Marisa Lago in Ghana.
Areas of discussion between the two centred on ways to create and strengthen partnerships between underserved communities in the U.S. and businesses in Accra.
Setting the tone for the discussion held in Accra, the Under Secretary Lego said she was leading a delegation made up of representatives from some 18 U.S. companies and 5 trade associations, to the Global Diversity Export Initiative Trade Mission to South Africa, Ghana, and Nigeria, focused on the businesses in the U.S. that are part of the African diaspora.
She noted that the U.S. was fortunate to be a part of the diasporas from all around the world hence the need to focus on historically underserved communities in the U.S. since there were opportunities for business-to-business ties.
It was disclosed that as part of the visit, meetings had been set up between the businesses in the U.S. and Ghana adding that the intent was to establish shared interest.
Accordingly, the U.S. – Ghana Business Expo sought to prioritise opportunities to form new partnerships between U.S. and Ghanaian companies adding that the Expo trade pavilion featured more than 40 companies. It would showcase visiting U.S. companies and trade associations, American Chamber of Commerce member companies, and local companies from various industries.
The Mayor also enquired about priorities for the development of Accra and how the AMA was addressing urgent issues of housing, flooding, lack of green spaces, and sanitation as well as what role U.S. companies were playing in addressing them.
The U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade announced the opportunity for leading U.S. brands to establish franchises in Ghana where entrepreneurs would have rights to operate a business under established and successful U.S. brand names.
The Mayor of Accra who welcomed Secretary Lago and her delegation to the city of Accra expressed appreciation to the US government for deciding to host the U.S.-Africa Business Expo in her city and urged strong collaboration between Ghana and the U.S.
The first female Mayor of Accra expressed joy at the opportunity to create franchises between US brands and businesses in Ghana adding that the move would help produce business owners in Ghana while benefiting from the resources and expertise of an established brand.
She also solicited for support to help fisherfolks package seafood to maintain the quality, freshness, and safety in the city since the majority of residents along the coast were fishermen.
She also touched on the sister city relationships between Accra and cities in the U.S. including Texas, Chicago, Columbus (Ohio), Columbia, and South Carolina.
The Mayor after the meeting visited the U.S.-Ghana Business Expo organised by the US Embassy in Ghana, in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) Ghana to familiarise herself with businesses at the pavilion.
Present at the meeting were, Maggie Jackson, Acting Chief of Staff, LJ Dusthimer, Special Assistant to Under Secretary Lago, Giancarlo Cavallo, Deputy Director, Office of Africa, U.S. Department of Commerce and Coordinating Director of AMA, Mr. Douglas N.K Annoful among other dignitaries.
This is Under Secretary Lago’s fourth visit to the African continent this year to strengthen U.S. commercial and economic relationships across the continent.
In February, she visited Tanzania and Zambia for a series of bilateral engagements. In May, she visited Egypt to co-host the first-ever U.S.-Egypt Joint Economic Commission. In June, she travelled to Abuja as a member of the U.S. Presidential Delegation to the inauguration of the President of Nigeria Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Under Secretary Marisa Lago, was appointed by President Joseph R. Biden and sworn in on Dec. 28, 2021, to lead the federal government’s efforts to assist American businesses entering or expanding into international markets, enforce fair trade policies, promote travel and tourism to the United States and U.S. products and services overseas, provide in-depth trade analyses, develop strategies that will shape the future of international trade, and engage in commercial diplomacy across the globe.