Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus concluded a visit to Ghana Aug. 20 where he met with Ghanaian government and military officials to discuss maritime security issues in the region and future partnership opportunities. He also met with U.S. embassy Sailors and Marines and presented an award to Lt. Cmdr. Michele Lowe for her work while stationed at the embassy.
While visiting the capital city of Accra, Mabus met with President John Dramani Mahama, Minister of Defense Mark Owen Woyongo, Chief of Defense Staff Vice Adm. Mathew Quashie and Chief of the Naval Staff Rear Adm. Geoffrey Mawuli Biekro.
"Expanded cooperation between our two nations can provide greater opportunities for development, economic prosperity and security ashore," said Mabus.
"Ghana has led the way in regional security cooperation, and we look forward to broadening our partnership."
Mabus also traveled to the Ashanti region of the country where he met with the Ashanti King and participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Grumesa Junior High School.
"The bedrock of success in life is education," said Mabus to the crowd of teachers, administrators, school children and families during the school's opening ceremony. "It does not matter your situation in life; you should have the opportunity to go as far as your talents will take you. This school is not just for children gathered here today, but for generations of children to come."
The Africa Command (AFRICOM) sponsored project was the result of a trip Mabus took to the region two years ago, where he was briefed on the lack and overcrowding of rural schoolhouses. The school was built by Ghanaian workers and is in keeping with the capacity-building focus of the Navy and Marine Corps.
Mabus emphasized that "this school is here now because the masons, painters and artisans who did the work are from Ghana and, in some cases, right here in Grumesa."
Mabus' visit represents a continuation of the Department of the Navy's focus on building partnerships designed to help distribute the burden of securing the global maritime domain based on alliances, shared values and mutual trust.