American Chamber of Commerce-Ghana’s New Office Opening
Remarks by Ambassador Stephanie Sullivan
December 17, 2021
Good morning! I’m very pleased to be here today to celebrate the opening of AmCham’s new office here in East Legon. What an exciting day and WOW, what a fantastic new facility! AmCham Ghana has its eye on the future as it looks to position itself for success in Africa’s rapidly changing business environment.
Ghana’s political stability, security, growing middle class and its new role as host to the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat are attracting more and more U.S. companies as they look for growth opportunities on the African continent. AmCham plays an important role in attracting and keeping those companies in Ghana.
And as Africa’s economy continues to develop, the opportunity is ripe for the AfCFTA to deliver on its promise to expand intra-regional trade and capture new foreign direct investment.
I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating: the AfCFTA has the potential to be a game changer, not only for doing business across the continent, but also for how the rest of the world thinks of Africa. It can truly make Ghana a gateway for the African market. U.S. companies already see the opportunity.
AfCFTA, when fully implemented, will represent the world’s largest free trade area, with 54 participating countries, covering 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion. That’s why, with the opening of this new office, AmCham Ghana is also launching its AfCFTA Resource Centre – an effort to help U.S companies understand more about the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement.
The Free Trade Area aims to significantly accelerate intra-Africa trade, using it as an engine of growth and sustainable development. Its implementation will affect U.S.-Africa trade relations and present immense opportunities for U.S. company trade and investment across the continent. And with this new Resource Center, AmCham Ghana will be there to help American companies navigate those opportunities.
When American companies come to set up shop in Ghana, they can use this new facility as a temporary office and to conduct meetings with potential business partners and other local stakeholders. As the number of American companies grows in Ghana, so too does AmCham.
This move to a bigger and better facility in East Legon is proof the trade and investment relationship between Ghana and the United States continues to grow from strength to strength.
Since my arrival in Ghana three years ago (actually three years just this week), I have been honored to partner with AmCham to strengthen the commercial relationship between our nations.
An example of this partnership was on display just last week when AmCham – together with the U.S. Embassy – launched a new committee focused on developing the franchise industry in Ghana. Franchising enhances community prosperity by providing small business ownership opportunities, competitive wages, skills training, along with jobs and the career growth of individuals – from entry level to management. It gives Ghanaians the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder, too. U.S. franchise brands are focused on ensuring their local partners are supported by world-class training and market development.
I witnessed – and tasted – this firsthand last week when I attended the relaunch of the Pizza Hut franchise here in Ghana by the Melcom Group of Companies. As locally owned businesses, franchises tap local resources and are more likely to give back to their communities. We see enormous potential to grow U.S. franchise brands in Ghana, and we look forward to working with AmCham to enable the environment in Ghana for this industry to thrive.
I’d like to close by saying how much we appreciate the leadership of our American Chamber of Commerce in Ghana – both in supporting U.S. companies in the market – and in serving as a catalyst for positive change in Ghana’s business environment. American businesses can be and, in fact, are a force for good in Ghana, and we appreciate AmCham’s role in that.
The future is rich with opportunity for Ghana and the continent as a whole. I know this new AmCham facility will serve as an anchor for U.S. and local companies alike as they seek to network, build partnerships, acquire technology and know-how, and find success in the marketplace.
Thank you and welcome to your new home!