United States Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie Sullivan has commended the Appointments Committee of Parliament for the way it conducted its business during the vetting of ministerial nominees.
The process, she said, sends a strong signal that Parliament’s work will not be business as usual and that the legislature takes its scrutiny duties very serious.
The US Ambassador offered the commendation during a courtesy call on the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, to congratulate him on his ascension to the high office of Speakership.
The two discussed a number of key issues pertaining to the development of their respective countries including health, agriculture and environmental issues.
Ambassador Stephanie Sullivan spoke of the need for strong trade relations between Ghana and the US and the need to strengthen the private sector since it is the engine of growth.
On his part, Speaker Bagbin expressed gratitude for the good relations between Ghana and the United States and made reference to the fragility of Ghana’s democracy.
According to him, a look at the country’s political make up points to the fact that Ghanaians are no longer interested in partisan politics and that they expect the two main political parties to put the interest of the country first and to collaborate more for the ultimate good of the country.
He emphasized the fact that accountability is a key ingredient for Ghana’s progress and urged the political class to be mindful of this.
Mr Bagbin also called on US to support Ghana to strengthen the institutional capacity of the legislative branch of government and for MPs to be given offices and personnel in their constituencies for ease of consultation and work in the constituencies.
The Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu spoke about the benefits of the many exchange programmes between the two countries and emphasized the need for improved trade relations and a further strengthening of the private sector since it is the engine of growth for any economy.
Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu disagreed with the indicators used for measuring child labour and child trafficking that shows Ghana in a bad light and urged the US to posit the phenomenon in its proper context.
According to him, in the Ghanaian culture, children do assist their parents and relatives in their economic endeavours and this, by no means has anything to do with child labour.
He also bemoaned the menace of money laundering and called on the US to help state institutions to block illicit transfer of funds.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu called on state institutions to be more responsive to the COVID-19 pandemic than they are being.
Second Deputy Speaker, the two Leaders of the House and two Deputy Whips as well as the Clerk to Parliament and some staff of the Parliamentary Service were present at the meeting.