The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Ghana Mission Director, Andrew Karas, traveled to the Central and Western Regions from March 27-31 to meet with stakeholders and visit USAID programs and activities.

USAID/Ghana Mission Director Andy Karas meets with former victims of child labor and trafficking in Moree. These are now anti-child labor advocates, with support from USAID. Credit: Yooku Ata-Bedu, USAID/Ghana
USAID/Ghana Mission Director Andy Karas meets with former victims of child labor and trafficking in Moree. These are now anti-child labor advocates, with support from USAID. Credit: Yooku Ata-Bedu, USAID/Ghana
The objective of the visit was to fortify USAID’s partnerships in Ghana’s Central and Western Regions to achieve positive development results.

During the trip, Mr. Karas met with Central Regional Minister Hon. Kwamena Duncan to discuss ways to accelerate economic growth in the region by improving access to quality education. Mr. Karas also met with fisherfolk in Kokrobite and Bortianor to discuss the adoption of responsible fishing practices to preserve fish stocks and marine ecosystems. At the University of Cape Coast, Mr. Karas met with the Pro Vice Chancellor and toured the research laboratories of the fisheries department, which was recently renovated and furnished with support from USAID.

While in the Central Region, Mr. Karas visited several USAID-supported health sites, including the Community Health Nurses Training College in Winneba and Nyame Tse Ase, a private maternity home in Komenda that provides maternal and child health services to more than 1,000 patients each month. He also met with anti-child labor and trafficking advocates in Moree, where USAID supports efforts to eradicate child labor in the region.

In the Western Region, Mr. Karas met with the Regional Minister, Dr. Kwabena Afriyie, to discuss child labor in the cocoa sector, as well as ways to curb illegal and unregulated gold mining operations, or galamsey.

While in the region, Mr. Karas met with members of a small-scale mining and processing community to learn about the challenges they face, and to discuss potential alternative livelihoods. Following this visit, Mr. Karas toured a mangrove nursery along the banks of the Ankobra River where, with Feed the Future support, community members are taking the lead to preserve their valuable natural resources.

Through Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative, USAID works with coastal communities in the Central and Western Regions to encourage more sustainable fishing practices and the preservation of key natural resources.

“USAID is strongly committed to supporting development in the Central and Western Regions,” said Mr. Karas. “We work closely with the Government of Ghana, civil society, health workers, fisher folk, and other stakeholders to improve food security, health, and education, and to combat child labor and trafficking.”

USAID/Ghana works in four key areas: economic growth, education, health and democracy. USAID works with the Ghana Government to boost agricultural productivity, increase access to education, improve health services and promote good governance.