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Ghana, U.S. Partner to Improve Air Travel in West Africa

13 July 2011
Barack and Michelle Obama waviing from top of airplane stairway (AP Images)

President Obama and his wife, Michelle, board Air Force One at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana, July 11, 2009. A new grant aims to help upgrade the airport.

Washington — The United States and Ghana are working together to advance an airport development project that will improve air travel in West Africa.

A $600,000 grant from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will support Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) as it refurbishes the passenger terminal at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra.

The U.S. contribution will fund work to develop construction design specifications and draft necessary documents for the renovations. The grant builds on past USTDA support to advance this project and complete the final steps needed before construction can begin.

Ghana has experienced significant economic growth in the past several years, leading to a considerable increase in air traffic and pressure on the country’s primary international airport. When completed, the passenger terminal will facilitate higher volumes of passenger traffic at the airport, reduce congestion and greatly improve the efficiency of airport operations.

“Our relationship with the Ghana Airports Company has already yielded great results, and we are excited to continue our support,” said USTDA Director Leocadia Zak. “Expanding aviation infrastructure is a priority in Ghana, as well as a strong opportunity for U.S. businesses interested in working there.”

U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Donald G. Teitelbaum signed the grant agreement on behalf of the United States alongside Doreen Owusu Fianko, managing director of GACL, on June 7 at the U.S. Embassy in Accra.

In a statement released June 8, Fianko said the partnership will “help achieve our vision of making KIA the hub and gateway of the West African sub-region.” She added that renovations are in line with making Ghana the gateway to Africa.

GACL is responsible for planning, developing, managing and maintaining all airports and aerodromes in Ghana — KIA and the regional airports.

USTDA, an independent U.S. government agency, builds partnerships between American companies and overseas project sponsors to create solutions to development challenges. In carrying out its mission, USTDA funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. Projects extend to a wide variety of sectors, but many focus on clean energy, transportation, telecommunications and environmental services.

Many USTDA transportation projects support closer commercial relations under U.S. trade agreements and the adoption of international security standards. USTDA recognizes that trade is an essential catalyst for developing and establishing modern, efficient and secure transportation infrastructure, which is necessary to achieve economic growth.

In addition to this grant, USTDA provided funding for a study on the location and technical details of a new air traffic control center at Kotoka International Airport.

(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/iipdigital-en/index.html)