General Electric Healthcare Dialogues Event
Remarks by DCM Christopher Lamora
Labadi Beach Hotel, Accra
Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 9:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Abban
Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, Mr. Nana Adjei Mensah
CEO of the Korle Bu Teaching hospital, Dr Daniel Asare
Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Nsiah Asare
Director of Policy, Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation for the Ministry of Health, Dr. Odame
Head of Infrastructure Development at the Ministry of Health, Mr. Nkansah
Director of the Family Health, Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Aboagye
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen;
Me ma mo akye! I am pleased to be part of this event, highlighting the work of General Electric and the wealth of knowledge and expertise they have brought to Ghana’s shores.
General Electric is not simply an American company, but an icon of American business innovation. Inventor Thomas Edison founded the company as an outlet for selling the first light bulbs and establishing the first electric power systems in the world. Today GE competes globally across dozens of industries such as power generation, television and movies, aviation, and, of course, healthcare. I am pleased to welcome GE Healthcare to establish their healthcare products and demonstrate their robust technical capabilities here in Ghana.
American companies are the world’s leaders in responsible investment and sourcing—-showcasing a path to development that respects the rule of law, safe working conditions, the environment, and the protection of human rights. GE, under their energy portfolio, employ 100 people between Accra and Takoradi, and are looking to expand their presence, and thus the number of Ghanaians they employ, over the next five years. But GE does more than just provide careers. Their Corporate/Social Responsibility programming in Ghana impacts people every day. GE invested $20 million in an aftermarket service center in Takoradi, the GE foundation provided another $20 million to rehabilitate selected government facilities nation-wide. Ashesi University benefited from $3.5 million in support from GE, and more than $100,000 in scholarships for engineering students ensure that Ghanaians will be future leaders in the oil and gas industry. The United States affirms its commitment to partnering with Ghana by bringing the best of American technology and expertise to support Ghana’s development while increasing our bilateral trade and investment flows.
Increasing investment is one of our top priorities, and in the case of GE Healthcare, a huge potential asset for Ghana. Currently, GE operates healthcare systems in more than 60 countries, and their engagement in Ghana could bring to bear the benefits of $1 billion invested in research and development annually. If Ghana chooses to be a beneficiary of GE’s research and development, they choose to plug into a network of brilliant minds supporting a strong, healthy trading partner. Increased well-being, healthier family and friends, and longer lives are a few of the dividends of these investments.
We know the value that U.S. companies bring to Ghana, and American private sector investment adds power to the healthcare investments of the U.S. Government. Through PEPFAR and USAID, including the President’s Malaria Initiative, maternal and child health programs, family planning, nutrition, and water sanitation and hygiene programs, the U.S. government provides the Ghanaian healthcare system with more than $75.5 million in assistance annually. These kinds of relationships, either through the public sector or private sector, get us further toward an environment where Ghanaian business can thrive and provide jobs to a healthy, active workforce.
President Akufo-Addo has spoken often of his vision to move Ghana beyond aid and a healthy, active workforce is key to this goal. Working efficiently to improve health outcomes, reducing costs to government, and increasing the overall quality of healthcare available to Ghanaians are stepping stones on this path. We hope that through this event GE identifies areas of collaboration with their technical solutions and capacity building workshops, and provide another concrete example of American innovation to the Ghanaian people.
I am excited by the potential of GE Healthcare in Ghana, and look forward to working together to promote a flourishing trade relationship that creates improved healthcare outcomes, jobs, and prosperity for both Ghanaians and Americans.