The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, on Monday led a delegation of US Congressional Black Caucus to pay a courtesy call on Ghana's President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House.
Nancy Pelosi, at the meeting, commended Ghana for her role as an exporter of security to maintain global peace and lauded the country's democratic governance and relative stability within the sub-region.
"On our way here, we met with the military and they complimented Ghana on its role in global security. Militarily, politically, culturally and in every way, we salute Ghana", she stated.
Congressman, James Enos Clyburn, who explained the purpose of the visit, said, it "is to ensure that we interact in a way that will make your future and ours one of trade rather than aid."
He said it was imperative that the future of the US and Ghana was based on mutual respect, adding "what we are experiencing in the United States today is not unique to us. We have serious issues involving respect throughout our country and our continent."
On his part, President Akufo-Addo called for a new paradigm with the United States of America, where the focus is largely on trade and investments.
He said Ghana was looking for a new, more progressive agenda with the US, where Ghanaian and American enterprises would partner to promote economic relations between two countries.
This, President Akufo-Addo believes, "will lessen dependence on the generosity of the American taxpayers towards our development. I think it is a healthier and more productive relationship between our two countries."
The President said Ghana's relationship with the United States is a multi-faceted one which began with the tragedy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and slavery in America.
This, he noted, had "now metamorphosed into a shared agenda of democratic engagement, a desire to build a world where respect for human beings, respect for human rights in the order of international engagement as well as domestic construction."
President Akufo-Addo said "we pride ourselves very much of being a functioning democracy in Ghana. It has been a long struggle to get a democratic government in Ghana. A period of time involving several decades of military rule and anti-democratic governance in Ghana but today, since the establishment of the fourth Republic, the Ghanaian people have committed themselves fully to a future of democratic engagement."
The principles of democratic accountability and respect for human rights and the rule of law, the President intimated, "are now very central in our body politic and our constitutional ordering as well."
On the year of return, President Akufo-Addo said "this is a very significant year in our life here in Ghana because we have proclaimed this year as a Year of Return to signify our relations with America.
"So we see this year as a year where we can very much renew the relations with the United States and at the same time make some comments about the position of black people in the world about what has happened in that relations between our two countries over these last four hundred years," the President states.
"Our determination is never to get into that situation again, and as well, use the occasion to be able to welcome those who were taken from our shores to make a life elsewhere back to Ghana. That's the real purpose of this "Year of Return" that we are saying."
President Akufo-Addo described the presence of the leadership of the US Congressional Black Caucus as a reassuring and very comforting act of solidarity.
"The work that they do within the American political system is something that we all follow with great keenness. We see the effort that they are making to position black people in America, the right perspectives and to fight for their rights and interests and it's an honour for us to have so many of the leaders and these names that we all have heard of; the latest being our sister from Somalia."
Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)