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Ambassador Marantis Travels to Ghana, Focuses on Strengthening Bilateral Trade Relations

On Sunday, Ambassador Marantis completed the first full day of a two-day visit to Accra, Ghana. Marantis is traveling to Ghana and Liberia this week to meet with Ghanaian and Liberian officials and private sector stakeholders to discuss strengthening our bilateral trade and investment relationship with these countries.

After arriving in Accra from Washington, D.C., Saturday night, Ambassador Marantis participated in a roundtable discussion with American and Ghanaian business representatives, including African banks and U.S. infrastructure and energy companies. The conversation ranged from the investment climate in Ghana to the effectiveness and future of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade preference program. Participants discussed the growing role of Chinese investment in Africa, the competitiveness of Ghanaian textiles and agriculture exports and incentives to greater U.S. private sector involvement in Africa.

On Sunday, Ambassador Marantis visited the West Africa Trade Hub (WATH), a USAID-funded initiative to provide technical assistance and training to export-ready firms in 21 West African countries. Since 2007, WATH has trained over 2,000 people from 15 countries in business, facilitated over $23 million in investment and at least $62 million in exports. Ambassador Marantis learned about WATH’s recent projects to facilitate West Africa trade, including “Borderless,” which promotes free movement of goods between West Africa countries by documenting and highlighting road harassment like bribes and other delays. Marantis also heard directly from companies benefitting from WATH’s technical assistance, including exporters of textiles, shea, and cashews.

Ambassador Marantis visits the West Africa Trade Hub
Ambassador Marantis visits the West Africa Trade Hub

Following his visit to WATH, Ambassador Marantis visited two WATH-supported exporters. The first, 1888 Lucky Mills, a U.S. invested textile factory, exports aprons and scrubs to the United States. He also visited Tekura, a Ghanaian producer of handicrafts. Tekura exports its goods to U.S. retailers like Target and TJ Maxx with assistance from WATH.

Ambassador Marantis visits Tekura
Ambassador Marantis visits Tekura

On Monday, Ambassador Marantis meets with Ghanaian government officials and delivers public remarks.