U.S. involvement in Africa in general, Ghana in particular, has shown ebbs and flows according to a broad range of factors including, most notably, political stability, economic growth and safety measures. Probably, Obama's much hyped visit to Ghana in 2009 is an indication of U.S.-Africa's dynamic relation which has historically been centered on aid. Ghana, a West African country, has witnessed a steady economic growth over recent years and, by virtue of her political stability achieved via fair and free elections, has managed to be home of a growing number of U.S. businesses. Departing from an aid-centered model of U.S.-Africa relations, Ghana is redefining her educational, economic and social relationships with U.S. True, U.S. remains a source of significant aid to Ghana. However, U.S. aid investments in Ghana are helping convert Ghana into a economy of increasing growing force not only regionally but also in whole African continent. To better understand U.S.-Ghana relations, more specifically U.S. growing influence in Ghana, in areas of education, agriculture and immigration, present brief offers an overview of U.S. influence on Ghana.
U.S. assistance to Ghana is mainly offered by USAID ("U.S. Relations With Ghana"). The agency has, in fact, helped Ghana introduce radical changes in Ghana's educational system. This is manifest in USAID/Ghana’s Education Development Objective which aims to enhance basic skills for primary school students ("Education"). The project is, in fact, converting – as far as USAID and Ghanaian Government's Country Development and Cooperation Strategy goal to help convert Ghana into an established "middle income status accelerated [country]" is concerned ("Education") – Ghana from a model based on missionary-styled, learning-by-rote into one which develops critical skills required to succeed in 21st century.
In agriculture, as well, U.S. is helping shape Ghana's agricultural landscape. Given how agriculture is critical many rural communities, particularly in Northern rural Ghana, U.S. has launched a set of initiatives which are helping not only pull individuals and communities out of poverty but establish sustainability as an adopted practice in Ghanaian agricultural sector. One most notable initiative is Feed the Future ("Agriculture and Food Security"). The initiative focuses on rice, maize and soybean given poverty and nutritional indicators are worst, particularly among children. Interestingly, Feed the Future is not limited to agricultural practices per se but considers for broader social factors including for example household income patterns, particularly in households headed by women ("Agriculture and Food Security").
Moreover, Feed the Future enhances crop productivity research by increasing seed varieties, farmers' access to credit and input, irrigation infrastructure, marketing products and collaborating with Ghanaian Government to help adopt policies promoting private sector investments. Recently, Feed the Future has expanded into a new agro-forestry project in northern Ghana focusing on improving natural resources offering income to women ("Agriculture and Food Security"). These activities are, according to USAID, are aligned with Ghana Government's strategic objectives of minimizing poverty, expanding food security net, developing sustainable management strategies and ecosystem conservation.
Immigration is, as well, a significant issue in U.S.-Ghana relations. Given growing number of West Africa immigrants, particularly from Ghana, into U.S., U.S. Government has developed a set of measures which aim to connect Ghanaian-Americans with families at home and assist Ghanaians wishing to immigrate to U.S. One most notable measure is establishing Accra Field Office which covers countries of Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. That U.S. immigration service chose Ghana as her base of operations is a proof of Ghana's political and economic stability but also of her immigrants' growing presence in U.S. and increasing influence of expatriated returning home.
"Agriculture and Food Security." USAID. USAID, 16 July 2015. Web. 21 July 2015.
"Education." USAID. USAID, 16 July 2015. Web. 21 July 2015.
"U.S. Relations With Ghana." U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of State, 22 January 2014. Web. 21 July 2015.