By Dr. Delore Zimmerman, Praxis Strategy Group
The Ghanaian agriculture delegation’s final day in Washington, DC to promote the North American launching of the National Farm and Agriculture Show (FAGRO 2011) and the Farm Channel was highlighted by a visit with United States Senator John Hoeven.
The delegation members in attendance included Cecilia Erzuah, Finance and Administration Officer at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture; Adam Sulley, Executive Head of Retail Banking at the Agricultural Development Bank and Chair of FAGRO 2011 and; Tony Mensah-Abrampah, Country Director for Praxis Africa in Ghana and Project Leader for the Farm Channel.
The delegation took a few minutes to apprise Senator Hoeven of the enormously positive impact of the investments in Ghana by the USA’s Millennium Challenge Corporation. These investments in infrastructure and training have helped to make Ghana the second fasted growing economy in the world and a pillar of political freedom, securtiy and democratic principles on the African continent. Senator Hoeven is a member of the Senate Foreign Operations Subcommittee, which reviews and approves the foreign assistance budget.
The discussion then turned to Ghana’s desire to modernize its farming sector by connecting with technology and expertise in the United States. Senator Hoeven, who served as the State’s Governor, encouraged the delegation to connect with the North Dakota Trade Office, several companies in the machinery and equipment sector and the agricultural expertise at North Dakota State University.
As the meeting with Senator Hoeven came to a close, Mrs. Erzuah presented Senator Hoeven with traditional kente cloth items – a scarf for him and a shawl for his wife; in the words of Mrs. Erzuah – “the woman behind him.”
Kente cloth is a royal and sacred cloth worn only in times of extreme importance. Kente was the cloth of kings. Over time, the use of kente has become more widespread, but its importance remains, and it is held in high esteem throughout Ghana.