Ghana has accepted the invitation to join the Atlantic Cooperation initiative as a founding member.
The initiative, an idea of the United States, seeks to bring together all coastal countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean to advance shared sustainable development and economic, environmental, scientific, and maritime governance goals in compliance with international laws.
Ghana joins the United States, Angola, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ireland, Mauritania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Senegal, Spain and the United Kingdom as members of the initiative. President Nana Addo Darkwa Akufo-Addo made the announcement at the State banquet on Monday night in honour of the visiting U.S. Vice President, Kamala Harris, at the Jubilee House, Accra.
President Akufo-Addo believes that such cooperation would provide a platform to develop shared approaches to the Atlantic Ocean issues and build on shared capacities and experiences for the benefit of the Atlantic Ocean region.
He said: “As a coastal country bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Ghana recognizes that no country alone can solve the cross-boundary challenges in the Atlantic Ocean ranging from maritime security to environmental degradation.
Ghana, therefore, welcomes and commits to exploring the numerous opportunities offered by the laudable initiative on Atlantic cooperation.”
The Atlantic Ocean is home to important trade routes, significant natural resources, and essential biodiversity.
However, challenges such as piracy, transnational organized crime, illegal unreported and unregulated fishing, climate change, pollution and environmental degradation threaten the livelihood of the communities bordering the Ocean.
On the economic front, the President said he was encouraged that more American companies were investing in Ghana.
He said his administration would continue to create and maintain a conducive investment atmosphere that would guarantee the safety of their investments and bring good returns to them. With Ghana's economy now focused on value-addition, President Akufo-Addo was happy that the country's relations with the United States “are now being focused on an increase in trade and investment cooperation.”
President Akufo-Addo gave assurance that Ghana would continue to collaborate with the United States at the bilateral and multilateral levels in finding solutions to challenges such as widespread poverty, irregular migration, insecurity and human rights violations.
He also emphasized that Ghana's history had been against great power domination of the affairs world. He urged the United States to support Ghana's decision to seek help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to repair the country's public finances and restore its balance of payments.
Mrs Harris on her part said the Biden administration was committed to strengthening ties with Ghana and the rest of Africa.
She acknowledged Ghana's leadership on the continent and expressed confidence in the country's continued growth and development.
She also visited the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and laid a wreath in honour of the first President of Ghana.