The Commander of the U.S.-Africa Command Centre (AFRICOM), General Stephen Townsend, has paid a two-day visit to Ghana for the first time.
He was in the country from February 23 to February 24, 2021.
During the visit, he met with several Ghanaian leaders, including President Nana Akufo-Addo; both current and immediate past Chiefs of Defence Staff Rear Admiral Seth Amoama and Lieutenant General Obed Akwa, respectively; Minister of Defence-designate Dominic Nitiwul and other senior members of the Ghana Armed Forces.
General Townsend stressed the need for joint security cooperation between the two countries.
“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”, he said.
Other topics of discussion included the shared commitment to degrade the influence of regional violent extremist organisations.
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.
“West African security requires collaboration and partnership. The challenges faced cannot be faced by one nation alone,” General Townsend further noted.
“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,” he reiterated.
While in Accra, Townsend also met with members of the U.S. Embassy, including Ambassador Stephanie S. Sullivan.
Welcoming General Townsend, Ambassador Sullivan said, “We were pleased to welcome General Townsend, whose visit reaffirmed the broad and longstanding partnership between the United States and Ghana.
“The visit underscored our shared values and the United States’ interest in working together to pursue mutually beneficial security solutions.”