On Friday, Ambassador Punke attended the African Union Trade Ministers’ Conference in Accra, Ghana. Punke is in Ghana to join African ministers as they work on coordinating trade policy positions and consider strategies for boosting intra-African trade and integrating Africa into the global economy. During the AU Conference, Ambassador Punke highlighted trade’s important role in Africa’s economic growth and development. He also discussed the many ways the United States partners with African countries in the region, and with African entrepreneurs to ensure that they take advantage of the market access provided by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and other U.S. initiatives.
While in Ghana, Ambassador Punke visited the West Africa Trade Hub (WATH), a USAID-funded initiative to provide technical assistance and training to export-ready firms in 21 West African countries. Since 2003, WATH has trained over 4,200 people from 15 countries in U.S.-African trade, facilitated over $23 million in investment and at least $62 million in exports, and created over 3,000 jobs in the region. Ambassador Punke also heard directly from companies benefiting from WATH’s technical assistance, including exporters of textiles, shea, and cashews.
Ambassador Punke visits the West Africa Trade Hub