Kufuor has not strayed far from Ghana's good-neighbor policy in the subregion. In the 1990s, Rawlings sent Ghanaian troops and civilian police to join United Nations (UN) peacekeeping forces in Liberia, Sierra Leone and around the continent under auspices of the Community of West African States (ECOWAS). This policy has continued under Kufuor. Ghana continues to advocate closer economic ties with neighboring states, and is a proponent of a West African monetary zone. Relations with Togo, despite the negative connotations that befriending a dictator has, are close.
If there is continuity in foreign policy, there also is departure. Kufuor has traveled extensively in his first two years to show the world a Ghana without Rawlings. Not only did Kufuor's foreign minister, Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, speak out against Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe's handling of that country's land policy and its treatment of white farmers, Ghana was among the first African states to agree to submit to the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). The APRM obliges African heads of state to submit to policy review by their peers thereby providing donors with evidence of African commitment to raising standards of governance.
U.S.-Ghanaian relations were strained intermittently under Rawlings and reached a low in 1983 when the United States froze development aid in response to false accusations. The 1990s witnessed a genuine effort on both sides to improve bilateral relations, capped by Rawlings' visit to Washington in February 1999. In February 2003, Ghana found itself subject to the Brooke Amendment, which denies further U.S. assistance to countries in arrears beyond one year on their debt to the United States. In March 2003, the United States and Ghana inaugurated a trade hub in Accra that will reinforce regional efforts to enhance West African trade competitiveness to take greater advantage of trading opportunities provided through the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) and other global trade initiatives.
The West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) project—undertaken with neighbors Nigeria, Benin, and Togo, and contracted with Chevron and Shell—is behind schedule. It is expected to be operational by 2005.