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General News of Wednesday, 10 March 1999

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African-American business group calls on Mills

Accra (Greater Accra) 9 March ?99 The 16-member African-American business delegation currently on a fact-finding mission on Tuesday called on Vice- President John Atta Mills and expressed support for the country's investment drive.

The group, drawn from the larger National Black Masters of Business Administration (NBMBA) of United States and United Kingdom, arrived in Accra last Thursday as a follow-up to President Jerry Rawlings' trip to the U.S.

Its membership includes representatives of financial and banking institutions, export and import, education and literary programmes as well as air travel.

The Reverend Alfreddie Johnson, leader of the group, said since their arrival, the group has held forums with the respective sectors and partners, especially in the private sector, to explore areas of assistance.

Their main focus would be on supporting the educational system as the basic foundation for socio-economic development.

For instance, the group will be assisting some business schools in the country with material and human resources. Besides attracting investment to Ghana, it is also the aim of the group to link the Black-American society to its roots in Africa, Rev Alfreddie said. "We have realised the need to bring investment home and also boost the image of Africa." Vice-President Mills told them to feel free to explore the country, particularly the countryside, for investment and development.

He was glad the group had earmarked the educational sector, saying education and agriculture are the prime areas in addition to road construction and health. Prof. Mills lauded the willingness of members of the delegation to forge partnership with Ghanaians, especially the private sector which has been identified as the hub of the economy. Government is creating an enabling environment and opportunities to promote the private sector to function effectively, the Vice-President said, citing the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) as a body set up to boost investment.

Government is determined to eliminate bottlenecks hampering private investment and the public sector is also being reformed to make it viable. Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Chief Executive of the GIPC and Ms Barbara Ocansey, a Ghanaian businesswoman who is hosting members of the group, accompanied them to the Castle.