Speech

February 1, 2010

As Prepared by

Ghana

Remarks at a Visit to Winneba Land Registration Office

Thank you for welcoming me to Ghana.

The U.S. Government through the Millennium Challenge Corporation is proud to partner with the people of Ghana to achieve sustainable economic growth.

When President Obama travelled here last July, he spoke of redefining development assistance through partnership, not patronage; through Africas homegrown solutions that embrace civil society, defend good governance, stand up to corruption; and through private sector engagement.  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who chairs MCCs Board, said it best: Aid chases need; investment chases opportunity. 

MCC is working with the people of Ghana to chase opportunity.  This is how development assistance can be innovative.  This is how the MCC-Ghana partnership can succeed. 

Ive come to Ghana on my first trip abroad as the leader of the MCC to see the progress underway myself.  I am here to listen and learn from our Ghanaian partners: I want you to tell me what is working and what we can do better.

Im honored to be part of this ceremony to open this new land-title registration office.  I look forward to meeting some of the men and women who have received tenant certificates or titles in the Awutu Senya district. 

Todays event would not be possible without the commitment and leadership of the governments land agencies, communities, district officials, and traditional authorities.  MCC and MiDA have made the initial investment.  Now, the Government of Ghana, land users, and community leaders must actively participate to sustain this investment.

Protecting the property rights of the poor is really fundamental to achieving economic growth and sustainable development.  So, we appreciate your active participation.  Secure tenure is key to accessing credit, promoting investment, and generating market opportunities for growth.  It is a pillar of a transparent property rights system.  For the poor, secure tenure creates a safety net that protects them and their families. For women, secure tenure is a step toward empowering them and recognizing their major contribution to the agricultural sector.  Sustainable development requires strong gender integration in all our programs. Ghanaian producers, entrepreneurs, and citizens understand these facts.  Thats why improving land tenure security is a major part of Ghanas MCC compact. 

This includes necessary policy reforms.  A registry office here in Winneba will give citizens easier access to register their ownership and transactions. This increased access will help ensure that the registry remains up to date.  This will sustain our investment.  Farmers, households, and businesses are more willing to protect and invest in land or property if their relationship to the land is well-defined.

So, behind every issued land-titlebehind every visit to the land-title registration officewe are making an investment in the farmers and businesses of Ghana.  We are improving land tenure security to create opportunities for sustainable growth.

I have come to Ghana to see how the MCC compact is making this possible.  It remains up to the government and the people of Ghana to fully implement their MCC compact. We will continue to monitor progress.   I assure you that the U.S. Governments Millennium Challenge Corporation stands with Ghana in the pursuit of sustainable economic growth for a more prosperous future.  Thank you very much.