The White House
Office of the Press Secretary (Accra, Ghana) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release March 23, 1998
President Clinton's Trip to Ghana
As a leader in Africa in promoting economic reforms and political stability, Ghana is a key ally of the United States. In an effort to strengthen the partnership between the United States and Ghana, President Clinton today announced the following initiatives:
Strengthening Energy Capacity. Due to a severe drought, energy production in Ghana has been reduced by 50 percent and much of the country is experiencing regular power outages of 12 hours a day. In the spirit of partnership and to help Ghana cope with this energy and power crisis, the United States will guarantee a $67 million loan from the Department of Transportation (DOT) to the Ghanaian government for the purchase of two barge-mounted power plants. Using funds available under the Title 11 Loan Guarantee Program, DOT will use natural gas that is a by-product of Ghana's National Petroleum Corporation operation to generate 130 megawatts of electricity. This project represents the finest example of international cooperation in which a US loan support program is used to create jobs for Americans at the Westinghouse Corp. And in turn assist the Ghanaian government help its population maintain their electric power needs and improve their quality of life.
Promoting Democracy. As part of Ghana's ongoing progress in support of democratic principles, the United States will donate $500k under the International Criminal Investigative and Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) to assist the Ghanian police force in improving and strengthening their non-lethal crowd control capabilities, help further professionalize the officer corps, and enhance the organization, structure and resource management of the police force. ICITAP helps countries train and educate police forces by running such educational programs as "The Role of the Police in a Democracy; Community Policing; and Human Dignity." This effort in Ghana will further efforts to promote human rights and strengthen the confidence and relationship between the Ghanaian police and its citizens.
Technology and Education. President Clinton and President Rawlings discussed the importance of education as a means to improving the lives of all Ghanian people, particularly women. Towards that end, the United States will provide:
School to school partnerships. The United States will donate $1 million over the next three years as part of AID's Technology for Education program to link 1,000 African primary schools to sister schools in the United States. As part of the Leland Initiative, named after former Congressman Mickey Leland, this effort is aimed at bringing Internet connectivity to African schools and helping them establish educational partnerships with their American counterparts in the US. One of the first links is between Piney Branch Elementary School in Takoma Park, Maryland and St. Martin de Pores School in Accra.
Internet hookup for the Ghanian's Association of Women Entrepreneurs (GAWE). Will strengthen the business associations ability to use the Internet to bring customers, market information, investors and business assistance to its membership.
Access to Globe Network. The President announced the establishment of the "Globe Initiative" for the Ghana education system which designed to enhance the environmental awareness and scientific understanding of the earth by linking schools all around the world. Currently over 4,000 schools with over 70,000 students are participating in the Globe program and Ghana marks the 65th country to participate in this program.
PowerNet. Creating electronic bridges -- web pages, on-going electronic conversation and conferences -- to link women from the United States and Africa, PowerNet will provide innovative ways for women to share success and strategies for the future to resolve conflicts, to create micro-enterprises, discuss ways to raise healthy families, and improve education for young girls.
Support for Peacekeeping. In support of Ghana's role in peacekeeping efforts, the United States finalized an agreement with the Ghanian government to receive six modern military helicopters in 2000 for the Ghanaian armed forces under the excess defense articles program. As part of this program, the President is authorized to transfer excess defense equipment to countries that exhibit a positive and constructive regional role in supporting peacekeeping efforts. Ghana will pay for transport and other related transit costs.
Protecting the Environment. To assist Ghana with its effort to maintain the country's natural beauty and heritage, the President pledged a $2 million endowment to preserve and conserve important biodiversity sites in Ghana. The grant agreement with the Ghana Heritage Conservation Trust establishes an endowment to fund the long-term management of the Kakum National Park and three historic monuments. This endowment will strengthen natural resource management of the National Park, and the cultural heritage of the monuments, but also the economic growth and development of the Ghanaian tourism industry.