The American Ambassador, Her Excellency Stephanie Sullivan, on Wednesday, March 16, 2021, called on the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, to congratulate him on his election as Speaker.
The meeting offered the two leaders an opportunity to speak on several issues including the development of their respective countries.
The discussions also covered health, agriculture and environmental issues.
The Speaker, Alban Bagbin expressed gratitude for the good relations between Ghana and the United States and referred to the fragility of Ghana’s democracy, saying that 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 further indicated that accountability is a key ingredient for Ghana’s progress and urged the political class to be mindful of this.
Mr. Bagbin noted that there was a need to strengthen the institutional capacity of the legislative branch of government.
He also added the need for Members of Parliament to be given offices and personnel in their constituencies for ease of consultation and work in the constituencies.
On her part, Ambassador Sullivan commended the Appointments Committee for the work they did in vetting the ministerial nominees.
To her, this sent a strong signal that Parliament’s work will not be business as usual and that Parliament now takes its scrutiny duties very seriously.
She also spoke about the need for strong trade relations, referring to an earlier statement made by the Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, which stressed the need to strengthen the private sector since it is the engine of growth.
The Majority Leader, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu spoke about the benefits of the many knowledge 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.
The Minority Leader, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, spoke about the indicators used for measuring child labour and child trafficking which shows Ghana in a bad light and urged the US to posit the phenomenon in its proper context, saying that by our culture, Ghanaian children do assist their parents and relatives in their economic endeavours and this, by no means has anything to do with child labour. Hon Iddrisu also spoke about the menace of money laundering and called on the US to help state institutions to block the illicit transfer of funds. He also mentioned the need to make state institutions more responsive to the Covid 19 pandemic than they are being.
The Speaker was assisted by the 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.