Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, on Thursday morning hosted a twelve-member representative of the Attorney General Alliance (AGA) of the United States of America who paid a courtesy call on him at the Speaker’s Conference Room in Parliament House.
The delegation was in Ghana to attend the ongoing Second Annual Attorney General Alliance-Africa (AGA-Africa) Conference, being hosted by Ghana from March 2-9, in Accra. It is on the theme “Tackling the Reality of Transnational Crime in Africa-Cross Border Solutions and International Cooperation.”
Among the delegation were State Attorneys General Letitia James of New York, Karl Racine of Washington, D.C., Denise N. George Virgin Islands Attorney General, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Aaron Ford of Nevada, Kwame Raoul of Illinois and AGA-Africa Executive Director Karen White.
Attorney General Karl Racine of Washington, D.C. speaking on behalf of the delegation disclosed that AGA-Africa is a U.S.-based organization established in 2016 that seeks to build and foster robust relationships with justice and law enforcement agencies and officials throughout Africa to support the rule of law and combat transnational criminal activity.
He said the Alliance provides an important platform for U.S. and African law enforcement officials and other key stakeholders to collaborate on strategies to combat transnational crime networks that pose a serious threat to the security and stability of the U.S., Africa, and the entire international community.
The Washington D.C. Attorney-General said notable areas of co-operation include global terrorism, human and child trafficking, cybercrime, money laundering, sex trafficking, cyber security and hijacking, marine piracy and trans-border crime.
He asserted that AGA-Africa views Ghana as a valuable partner to convene the all-important AGA-Africa Conference considering it sits at the heart of West Africa and is an important African trafficking route, making it an important player in combating the growing illicit trade in persons, drugs, artefacts and wildlife across West Africa.
The Attorney-General pledged AGA-Africa’s collaboration with the different stakeholders in the justice and law enforcement sectors in Ghana to share information, training, technology and experience in the fight against transnational crime networks, including human trafficking, wildlife trafficking, counterfeit drugs, corruption, money laundering, and cybercrime.
He was confident of AGA-Africa’s collaboration with the Ghana Tourist Authority in signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will promote responsible tourism in Ghana as part of the Beyond the Return initiative.
The Speaker of Parliament the Rt. Hon. Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye in his welcome address commended the State Attorneys Generals for their leadership and commitment to help put an end to these cross-border problems including human trafficking, corruption, and counterfeit drugs.
He said challenges of this magnitude can only be solved through international cooperation and coordinated action by African law enforcement officials and key stakeholders to combat transnational crime networks that pose a serious threat to the security and stability of both USA and Africa as well as the entire international community.
The Majority Leader Hon. Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu remarked that elections have a tendency to generate conflict especially in Africa and suggested everything must be done to protect its security, hence the call for cyber security.
He said Ghana has undergone three successful peaceful changes of governments since the advent of constitutional rule in 1992 and called for capacity building of the House and its staff in its quest to carry out the core functions of legislation, financial control and oversight responsibilities.
Honourable Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, (MP-Mampong) who is the Vice Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament and senior officials of the Parliamentary Relations, Protocol and Public Affairs Department accompanied the Speaker to welcome the delegation.