HUD No. 07-025
March 5, 2007
HUD SECRETARY JACKSON LEADS U.S. DELEGATION TO GHANA FOR 50TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson is leading a five-person, three-day, Presidential delegation to Accra, Ghana today to attend the country's 50th Anniversary celebration.
"I am honored to be asked by President Bush to lead this delegation to celebrate Ghana's Golden Jubilee for independence," said Secretary Jackson. "Fifty years ago, American relations with Africa entered a new era when Ghana, a former British colony, gained its independence. The gathering of world leaders in Accra this week underscores the continued importance of Ghana to Africa and world."
As part of their three-day visit to Ghana, Jackson and the U.S. Delegation will join other prominent international leaders at a commemorative Parliamentary Session and will attend a re-enactment of the signing of Ghana's Declaration of Independence. The highlight of the Golden Jubilee celebrations will be a national parade, which the Secretary will review with Ghana President John Kufour and several other top African leaders. The U.S. Delegation will conclude their visit to Ghana with a State Banquet.
Since March 6, 1957 the two countries have continually worked together on a broad range of issues. President John Kufuor of the Republic of Ghana recently visited the White House to discuss regional security, trade, debt relief, education, combating HIV/AIDS, and Ghana's upcoming compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation, an organization created by President George W. Bush that calls for a "new compact for global development," where U.S. aid is provided to those countries that rule justly, invest in their people and encourage economic freedom.
The trip to Ghana is Jackson's second visit in six months. In November 2006, Jackson met with President Kufuor and discussed the housing and the mortgage market in Ghana while attending the first conference on the issue of housing in Africa. Jackson has deep personal ties to the country: in 1976, he served as a lecturer at the University of Ghana.
"Over the past 50 years, Ghana has continued to demonstrate its commitment to democratic, social, and political reforms. By bringing honesty to government, Ghana's economy is stronger, there is peace in the region, and Ghanaian's have an opportunity to enjoy their independence for years to come," Jackson added.
Other members of the U.S. delegation include United States Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana Pamela E. Bridgewater; CEO, Millennium Challenge Corporation John J. Danilovich; Director of the Peace Corps Ronald A. Tschetter; Assistant Secretary of State (African Affairs) Jendayi Elizabeth Frazer; and Coordinator for the President's Malaria Initiative; and R. Timothy Ziemer, Rear Admiral, United States Navy (Retired), Coordinator for the President's Malaria Initiative.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.