Ambassador Stephanie Sullivan’s Remarks
Cargill Sod Cutting School Project
Tema | Friday, July 9, 2021, 10:00am
Hon. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, Ghana Chief of Staff to President;
H.E. Ron Strikker, The Netherlands Embassy in Accra, Ghana;
Mr. Aedo van der Weij, Cargill Managing Director
Hon. John Ntim Fordjour, Deputy Minister of Education;
Hon. Michael Baafi, Deputy Minister of Trade & Industry
Hon. Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, MP for Tema West Constituency;
Ms. Rose Tchwenko, Country Director, CARE Intl. Ghana
Nii me, Naa me, and dignitaries;
All protocols observed.
Good morning! Wow, let’s try again. Good morning! …I used to be a teacher, oh. I want everybody to be paying attention. There will be a quiz later!
I’m delighted to be here with you at this sod-cutting event. This particular location, at project Kojo, is representative of the several school sites that Cargill will hand over to the Ministry of Education when construction is completed in the Greater Accra Western North and Western Regions. Today, we celebrate this public-private partnership between Cargill and the Government of Ghana (GoG), with the support of the local nongovernmental organization here, that will improve learning opportunities for local school children.
As a former student, and also a teacher, this warms my heart! And as all of us are inhabitants of this planet, I am sure we all recognize how important a well-educated and healthy youth population is to our collective future! Today’s sod-cutting for this wonderful school project has been made possible by Cargill’s global leadership in cocoa processing, and Ghana’s leadership in raw cocoa production.
Cargill’s Corporate Social Responsibility in Ghana, and indeed all around the world, is outstanding. In addition to its main focus in Ghana on cocoa production, Cargill works with 156 cocoa growing communities in Ghana to advance education access, child protection, community governance, and food security and nutrition. We need companies like Cargill to set the social responsibility tone for the industry.
These are challenging times for the cocoa sector. During the pandemic, global cocoa demand has declined, while COCOBOD has tracked a record raw cocoa harvest. Even as Ghana looks to diversify into value-added cocoa processing, the current cocoa market has reduced prices for both raw cocoa and value-added cocoa products.
To weather this season, Cargill and the GoG will strengthen their mutual partnership, and partnerships with cocoa growing communities, to be more resilient, adaptive, supportive, and innovative. And working together, including with concerned diplomatic partners, we are determined to build a more resilient and more ethical environment for Ghana’s cocoa sector.
The United States is a strong supporter of public-private partnerships in Ghana, across all sectors. In 2019, the United States Agency for International Development invested over $158 million in partnership with Ghana on development; additionally, U.S. foreign direct investment in Ghana topped $1.6 billion in 2019. These U.S. investments represent our strong commitment to Ghana’s prosperous development, and the sustained desire for a robust bilateral trading relationship and partnership with Ghana.
A Ghanaian proverb says, “The parrot that knows how precious its feathers are does not build its nest by the roadside.” Likewise, in this setting, the feathers of public-private partnerships are precious and must be well cared for. We can take joy in nurturing and strengthening our bilateral economic relationship through partnerships like the one between Cargill and the Government of Ghana.
So today, we celebrate this sod-cutting event. We celebrate another U.S.-Ghanaian partnership, and we look to increase two-way trade between our countries. Cargill, thank you for being an outstanding example of what a U.S. company can be. And Ghana, thank you for your welcoming atmosphere and continuous efforts to improve the investment climate.
The United States of America is here to celebrate this milestone with you, and to work with you to secure and grow our collective prosperity.
Thank you for your kind attention.