Stephanie S. Sullivan, U.S. Ambassador to Ghana
Opening Remarks – INL/AME Alumni Event
at the West Africa Regional Training Center (RTC), Accra
September 12, 2019 at 10:00AM
Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department Commissioner of Police, Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, representing the Acting Inspector-General of Police, the Honorable James Oppong-Boanuh;
Frank Adu-Poku, Director of the Economic and Organized Crime Office;
Commissioner Peter Mireku, Gaming Commission;
Chief State Attorney Alfred Asiama-Sarpong; representing the Director of Public Prosecutions;
Kweku Dua, Financial Intelligence Center;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
All protocols observed:
It is with great pleasure that I welcome our partners and colleagues from the Ghanaian government, law enforcement, and criminal justice agencies to the second Alumni Event, hosted by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)’s Office of Africa and Middle East (AME). This event is in partnership with the West Africa Regional Training Center (RTC). That’s a lot of acronyms!
I am especially pleased to welcome the INL/AME Alumni represented by those of you who are here today. Events like these are important as they help us celebrate our shared progress in addressing security priorities.
Just in the nine months I’ve been in Ghana as Ambassador, I’ve had the honor to deliver remarks at, and observe, several of these course in action. I’ve consistently been impressed with both the quality of the course content and the active engagement of the Ghanaian participants.
During the past three years, the INL/AME bilateral program at the RTC has delivered training courses to build law enforcement capacity and has hosted dialogues to drive progress at the upper levels of Ghana’s security and justice institutions. The courses have covered a variety of topics including Anti-Human Trafficking, Border Management, Digital Evidence Preservation, Improving Criminal Prosecutions and Cyber Forensic Investigations
INL/AME has been particularly responsive to Ghana’s current needs and U.S. Embassy priorities. The AME program has also been critical in advancing the Security Governance Initiative (or SGI) by hosting the SGI Steering Committee Meetings and supporting SGI-related workshops.
INL established the AME program with the aim of developing and implementing strategies to address threats and improve the security sector governance and capacity of partner nations. The AME program has delivered great results across the African continent and the Middle East.
Thanks to AME, the RTC has hosted over 50 law enforcement training courses and workshops since 2015, and has a growing alumni database of 1431 criminal justice professionals in Ghana, with majority of alumni representing the following agencies:
Judicial Service of Ghana (100)
Ghana Police Service (95)
Bureau of National Investigation (43)
Ghana Prisons Service (31)
Narcotics Control Board (31)
While most of the participants come from Greater Accra, INL/AME has trained delegates from every region in Ghana. This is a testament to the strong partnership the Government of Ghana shares with the United States Government.
But after three years and 1431 individuals trained, our work is far from done. In fact, the emerging threats associated with breaches in border management give us more reason to strengthen our cooperation to attain our common interest of protecting our nations’ borders and our peoples.
We’ve seen the tangible results of our collaboration in many ways, from disrupting human traffickers to tracking down maritime pirates.
Today’s event is a celebration of a continuous collaboration to advance our mission and strive to strengthen our existing partnerships with our Alumni network, while seeking new opportunities to work together for a safer region and more secure world.
Today’s event does not only benefit the partnership between our countries. It also brings together AME alumni from various Ghanaian agencies with whom you may not cross paths on a daily basis. Today offers you opportunities to meet and get to know fellow officials who might be of assistance in your work or the work of your office.
For example, police prosecutors may get to know CID investigators, Narcotics Control Board officers, or judges, and better understand each agency’s role in furthering law enforcement efforts and access to justice in Ghana. I hope you take advantage of this day, and build your own database of relationships to have even better teamwork going forward.
Thank you for your kind attention. I look forward to the continued success of the INL/AME program, and may the U.S.-Ghana partnership grow from strength to strength!