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USTDA AWARDS FEASIBILITY STUDY GRANT TO EXPAND METEOROLOGICAL SERVICES IN GHANA

GMet Director General Michael Tanu (left) and U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Donald G. Teitelbaum (right) signed the USTDA grant agreement that will strengthen the capacity of GMet to provide accurate and timely weather information.
GMet Director General Michael Tanu (left) and U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Donald G. Teitelbaum (right) signed the USTDA grant agreement that will strengthen the capacity of GMet to provide accurate and timely weather information.

ACCRA, GHANA (April 29, 2009) – USTDA awarded a grant yesterday to strengthen the capacity of the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) to make accurate and timely weather information available to a large audience of stakeholders, including aviation, agriculture, energy and water resource users. The USTDA grant will be used to assess Ghana’s forecasting needs and identify the equipment, facilities and staff necessary to meet those goals, thereby creating opportunities for the export of U.S. manufactured goods and services.

The $235,000 grant was conferred in a signing ceremony held at the U.S. Embassy in Accra. U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Donald G. Teitelbaum and GMet Director General Michael Tanu signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. and Ghanaian governments, respectively.

As in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the livelihood of many Ghanaians is greatly dependent on rainfall. Agricultural production employs 56 percent of Ghana’s workforce, and hydropower production accounts for 99 percent of the electricity consumed by the country. Desertification has endangered some of Ghana’s farmland, and recent dry spells have brought inadequate rainfall to keep hydropower production at requisite levels. Further, severe storms and accompanying wind shears, which frequent Ghana during West Africa’s rainy season, represent a great danger to aircraft.

GMet recognizes the importance of making accurate and timely weather information available and has asked for assistance in developing an expansion plan to improve the scope and reach of their services. After meeting with key stakeholders to determine their forecasting needs and taking stock of Ghana’s current meteorological capabilities, the USTDA-funded feasibility study will help GMet determine their hardware and equipment needs, and make recommendations to optimize the Agency's organizational structure to most effectively collect, analyze and disseminate weather information.

The opportunity to provide the assistance funded by the USTDA grant will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO announcement will be posted on USTDA’s website at www.ustda.gov. The Ghana Meteorological Agency will select the U.S. contractor that will provide the USTDA-funded assistance.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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