Hon Volta Regional Minister Dr A. Letsa witness Hon Alima Mahama and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signing the partnership deal on Wednesday in the State Capital, Little Rock

Ghana’s Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama, last Wednesday signed a partnership agreement with the State of Arkansas in the United States of America that provides a comprehensive framework for doing business between the parties.

The signing of the MoU for establishing a sister state relationship and regional economic development partnership and that of agricultural development partnership, was part of the visit of the Local Government Minister to Arkansas to represent President Akufo-Addo at the 84th annual convention of Arkansas Municipal League on Sister Cities Sustainable Economic Development.

Governor Asa Hutchinson signed the agreement to establish a sister-state relationship for Arkansas.

The partnership deal, which has been on the drawing board for long, according Governor Hutchinson, would increase not just an agricultural development, but a cultural exchange as well.

“Both Ghana and Arkansas are committed to agricultural development and increasing cultural exchange and it is these mutual goals that bring us together today,” the Governor told the gathering at the State Capitol, in Little Rock.

Arkansas with population of about 3million generates over $20billion from agriculture, serving as a food basket for the United States, with rice production in the lead.

“The Arkansas Agriculture Department, State of Arkansas of the United States of America and the Ghana Ministry of Food and Agriculture of the Republic of Ghana have agreed on the basis of friendly cooperation, equity and mutual benefit to continue to develop relationships to promote and broaden agricultural development, cooperation and cultural exchanges between the two sides,” the MoU stated.

It provides regular contacts and exchange of ideas between the two leaders in order to strengthen the bond of friendship among the two governments.

Governor Hutchinson said the agreement will help in boosting trade between the parties which, as at 2016, saw Arkansas exporting goods worth nearly $6 million to Ghana.

Hajia Mahama said Ghana has its own success story to tell.
“Ghana has got the kind of leadership that is looking forward, moving forward to change the fortunes of our country, and we are looking for partnerships that will enable us move forward,” she indicated.

She enumerated some of the programmes of the government as free SHS, Planting for Food and Jobs, which she said Arkansas investors can take advantage of to invest in Ghana’s agro sector.

She said government’s One District, One Factory (1D1F) is a good vehicle for businesses in Arkansas to venture into.

She also called for more sister cities partnerships between the Arkansas municipal authorities and Ghana’s MMDAs.

On the minister’s team were deputy minister, OB Amoah; Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Letsa; Head of Local Government Service, Dr Nana Ato Arthur and Majority Chief Whip in Ghana’s parliament, Kwasi Ameyaw Cheremeh, among others.

From Fortune Alimi, Little Rock, US