The American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), Ghana, has held its 2021 Annual Thanksgiving Dinner and Awards Night in honour of the United States (US) Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Stephanie Sullivan, who leaves the country next year after a successful tenure.
Ms Sullivan was honoured for her leadership contributions to strengthening cultural and commercial relations between the United States and Ghana.
The ceremony was also used to honour some business leaders and staff of AMCHAM for their contributions to the growth of AMCHAM.
Those rewarded included the Senior Vice President and Head of Ghana Business Unit of Kosmos Energy LLC, Mr Joe K. Mensah; the Managing Partner of Kimathi and Partners Corporate Attorneys, Mr Kimathi Kuenyehia; the Chief Executive Officer of TechGulf, Mr Franklin Asare, and the Communications Officer of AMCHAM Ghana, Mr Allen Anewu.
The awards ceremony was also used to introduce the new AMCHAM logo.
Ms Sullivan used the opportunity to expressed her gratitude to the leadership of AMCHAM for holding its 2021 Annual Dinner in her honour.
US contribution to COVID fight
The Ambassador said the US had been working closely with Ghana since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing over US$30 million to support the country’s COVID-19 response across a range of sectors.
She said the US had donated over 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccines to the country, with more arriving soon.
“We have also made some long-term health infrastructure investment and we will continue to address the medium and long-term effects of COVID-19 on the health, agriculture and education sectors,” she stated.
Ms Sullivan also pointed out that the contribution of the membership of AMCHAM throughout the pandemic had been exemplary and called for the spirit of togetherness among members of the chamber.
Trade and investment
She said trade and investment remained a strategic focus of the US mission to Ghana and had been on top of her priorities as an ambassador.
“Since my arrival in Ghana, I have been very honoured to work with all stakeholders to deepen trade between the two countries.
Our economic partnership has been growing,” she stated.
With the commencement of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, she said the US was poised to capitalise on the new economic synergies and opportunities for growth “that the AfCFTA brings to the continent.”
“AfCFTA is focused on supporting women and youth in particular, which will lead to opportunities for women entrepreneurs. Fifty-five countries with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$3.4 trillion have a lot to offer to everyone, including US companies seeking to enter the African market,” she said.
Activities of AMCHAM
Commenting on the activities of AMCHAM in the year under review, she said the activities were challenged by the pandemic but not defeated.
She stated that despite the obstacles, the embassy found ways to partner AMCHAM to keep up the momentum in the business relationship.
“Together with the AMCHAM, we hosted our virtual Franchise Trade Mission that introduced many American brands to the market.
“Last year, AMCHAM also collaborated with the USAID and the West African Trade and Investment Hub to host a webinar on investment opportunities and how companies can take advantage of the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) which remains in effect until 2025,” she noted.
She said AMCHAM also held a virtual roundtable to discuss how US businesses fared during the pandemic and how they were recovering post pandemic.
The AMCHAM Ghana President, Mrs Ayesha Bedwei Ibe, in her welcome address said US companies had a lot to give thanks for, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is important to be grateful for our health and our businesses which are still standing,” she stated.
She also expressed the chamber’s appreciation to the US ambassador for her service to the US business community and to Ghana as a whole.
Mrs Ibe also congratulated all the award winners and commended all past and present board members and presidents of the chamber for their contributions.