A trade mission to the African country of Ghana was organized this past week by Houston International Trade Development Council President and CEO, Val Thompson. The ten-member delegation was led by Houston City Council member Hon. Jolanda Jones and Mr.Chris Wilmot. The purpose was to pursue trade opportunities in Ghana, especially in the fields of energy, health, and education to build an international friendship and development new partnerships.
Houston, as the energy capital of the world and as an international business and commerce hub that fosters an environment where global trade and partnerships are developed is a natural choice to partner with the country of Ghana. The City of Accra, where the delegation met with Ghanese leaders, is the country’s capital and largest city of Ghana and is a leading business center that is rich in culture and history.
On September 13th, 2011, at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, the Trade Delegation from Houston led by Council Member Hon. Jolanda Jones, on behalf of the Mayor of Houston, Annise D. Parker, signed, along with the Mayor of Accra, Alfred O Vanderpuije, a Bilateral Partnership Agreement between the City of Houston and City of Accra, Ghana.
Through this bilateral partnership, the City of Houston and City of Accra will have the ability to formalize a channel through which they can cooperate and share insights for success in meeting the challenges of global competition. On this basis, it is proposed that the City of Houston and the City of Accra will endeavor to support the following objectives:
- Welcome reciprocal trade delegations (from Accra to Houston; from Houston to Accra);
- Organize outbound/inbound trade shows;
- Promote trade and investment forums;
- Promote urban development (environment, sanitation, water, energy).
Additional meetings were held with key individuals including the following: John Dramani Mahama, Vice President of Ghana; Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah (MP), Ministry of Energy; Richard A. Y. Anamoo, Director of Port Tema, and George Kuntu Blankson, Ghana Airports, Board Chairman.
The City of Houston and City of Accra committed to fostering greater commercial links, goodwill, and bilateral business development between their citizens/members, and mutually agreed that this commitment shall be for the betterment of both cities.