Yesterday, four ambassadors representing their individual nations took turns to visit Jubilee House, the seat of Ghana’s Presidency, to handover their credentials per diplomatic etiquette.
The envoys were from Australia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Switzerland and Iran.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was available to receive each of the envoys at brief separate meetings, fused with little remarks about both countries.
The Ambassador for the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madam Jeannette Njuma Nyakeru, began her remark by acknowledging and commending Ghana’s hospitality. She continued by extending the warm greetings of her president and the country to President Akufo-Addo and Ghana.
She said her President would appreciate Ghana’s support in terms of security, especially as the latter represents the continent on the United Nations Security Council.
Further, Mad Nyakeru informed President Akufo-Addo that her President requested for a review of the rather ineffective bilateral relations between the two countries.
In his response, President Akufo-Addo congratulated the Ambassador on her appointment while welcoming her to Ghana. He recalled the longstanding relationship dating back to the first President of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, at which time Ghanaian troops were dispatched to Congo, but relations had since become stalled.
President Akufo-Addo emphasised that it is important for the relationship to be reviewed and expressed hope that the presence of the Ambassador would bridge the gap.
The Australian High Commission to Ghana, Mrs. Bernice Owen-Jones, addressing President Akufo-Addo on security, indicated that both countries could do more to address present challenges, like counter-terrorism.
She told President Akufo-Addo that mining has been the strong pillar behind the bilateral engagement of the two countries.
According to her, Australia is well versed in mining, adding that there is some $40 billion worth of investment by Australian mining companies in the sub-region, including Ghana.
Having outlined other areas her country has impacted, such as in education, the Ambassador continued that more could be done elsewhere.
On that score, she mentioned closer business-to-business and university-to-university links between her country and Ghana.
“Your Excellency, the Australian government is committed to working with your government to make the already strong relationship stronger,” she assured, and added that as the High Commissioner it would be an honour for her.
President Akufo-Addo congratulated her on the appointment. He recalled the relationship that has existed between Ghana and Australia.
He opined that it was good that the ambassador was in Ghana, especially as a member of the commonwealth.
President Akufo-Addo acknowledged the investment of Australia in the extraction sector of Ghana. He noted that there are about 26 Australian mining companies listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange, describing it as impressive.
Like the High Commissioner, President Akufo-Addo was also positive that the two countries could foster stronger relationships, and urged her to use her period in Ghana to the benefit of both countries.
Madam Simone Giger, Swiss Ambassador to Ghana, addressed what she termed as excellent bilateral relations between both nations and hoped to intensify it.
The Ambassador said Ghana and Switzerland have strong development cooperation and expressed conviction that “everything that we do is very much in line with the vision of Ghana Beyond Aid.”
The focus of her country in Ghana, she indicated, is to develop the local private sector, to diversify the economy and to create jobs. She noted that her country, like others, acknowledges Ghana as the economic lioness on the continent. She touched on other areas of co-operation, including politics, education and climate change.
In his response, President Akufo-Addo congratulated her on her appointment and recalled the good relations between the two countries, that dates back to pre-independence, a relationship he said had been beneficial to both countries.
It was the hope of President Akufo-Addo that, through her time as Ambassador, Madam Simone Giger would work with the government to boost relations.
He noted the investment of Swiss companies in Ghana, but indicated that “we are looking forward to more economic intercourse” between the two countries.
The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Bijan Gerami Nazoksara, recalled that Ghana-Iran relations started in the 1980s and has since been very good.
He touched on the policies of the government, including the One District, One Factory and Planting for Food and Jobs, while also sharing the story of Iran.
President Akufo-Addo congratulated him and acknowledged the impact of Iran in the areas of health and education in the country.
According to President Akufo-Addo, Ghana’s concern about the peaceful use of nuclear energy is very high. President Akufo-Addo consoled him on the issues confronting his country and assured him of Ghana’s support.
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