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AFRICOM Commander Solidifies Security Cooperation with Ghana

Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command with President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo, as part of a two-day visit Feb 23-24.
Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command with President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo, as part of a two-day visit Feb 23-24.

U.S. Army General Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command, conducted a two-day visit to Ghana, Feb. 23-24. This was Townsend’s first visit to the country, where he met with Ghanaian leaders and U.S. Embassy personnel in Accra.

“Ghana is an African security leader and a key partner of U.S. Africa Command. Ghana’s peacekeeping contributions, protection of vital sea lanes in the Gulf of Guinea, and leadership help prevent the advancement of violent extremism. I look forward to exploring ways we can continue to deepen our partnership.”

Townsend met with several Ghanaian leaders, including President Nana Akufo-Addo; Chief of Defense Staff, including both current and immediate past Chiefs of Defense Staff Rear Admiral Seth Amoama and Lieutenant General Obed Akwa, respectively; Minister of Defense, the Honorable Dominic Nitiwul; and other senior members of the Ghana Armed Forces.

Topics of discussion included the shared commitment to degrade the influence of regional violent extremist organizations. Ghana contributes to efforts to counter violent extremism through its leadership within the Accra Initiative, which supports regional information sharing and cross-border security operations between the littoral West African states and the Sahel.

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“West African security requires collaboration and partnership. The challenges faced cannot be faced by one nation alone,” said Townsend.

As violence in the Sahel and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea both steadily increase, Ghana’s strategic location makes it a critical anchor for multiple efforts, including activities to improve maritime security and counter transnational crime.

“U.S. Africa Command is committed to working with the Ghanaian military on regional challenges. We are improving out military ties through exchanges and Non-Commissioned Officer development,” Townsend said. “It’s important we grow our partnership with Ghana to advance shared security goals.”

While in Accra, Townsend also met with members of the U.S. Embassy, including Ambassador Stephanie S. Sullivan.

“We were pleased to welcome General Townsend, whose visit reaffirmed the broad and longstanding partnership between the United States and Ghana,” Sullivan said. “The visit underscored our shared values and the United States’ interest in working together to pursue mutually beneficial security solutions.”