The Ambassador of the United States of America (USA) to Ghana has praised the 26-member Appointments Committee of Parliament for their professionalism in the just-ended vetting of ministerial nominees.

The Appointments Committee chaired by First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu saw to the vetting of some 46 appointees nominated by President Akufo-Addo’s for his second term in office.

Her Excellency Stephanie Sullivan noted their impartiality and poise for accountability during the process, indicating that it “sent a strong signal that Parliament’s work will not be business as usual and that Parliament now takes its scrutiny duties very seriously”.

In a press release by the Parliamentary Service on Wednesday, March 17, the Service revealed that discussions were held among Speaker Alban Bagbin, the Majority Leader, the Minority Leader and US Ambassador Stephanie Sullivan about the need for strong trade relations between both countries.

The Majority Leader, Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu spoke about the benefits of the many knowledge exchange programmes between the two countries and emphasized the need for improved trade relations and a further strengthening of the private sector since it is the engine of growth for any economy.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu also raised concerns about the menace of money laundering and called on the US to help state institutions to block illicit transfer of funds.

The issue of Child labour that was keenly addressed during the Committee’s vetting was also iterated by the Tamale South MP in their discussions.

According to Mr Iddrisu, the global definition for Child labour appears to be in conflict with what he perceives to be “culture” in Ghanaian society.

He said “the indicators used for measuring child labour and child trafficking which shows Ghana in a bad light and urged the US to posit the phenomenon in its proper context, saying that by our culture, Ghanaian children do assist their parents and relatives in their economic endeavours and this, by no means has anything to do with child labour,” the statement added.

Again, Her Excellency Stephanie Sullivan also took the opportunity to congratulate Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin on his ascension to the high office of Speakership of the 8th Parliament.

Speaker Alban Bagbin expressed gratitude in response to her accolade and also for the good relationship between Ghana and the US.

According to him, his election as Speaker emphasises that “Ghanaians are no longer interested in partisan politics and that they expect the two main political parties to put the interest of the country first and to collaborate more for the ultimate good of the country.”

He, therefore, entreated all state officials and Ghanaians to uphold the virtue of accountability as it is a key ingredient for Ghana’s progress.