Foreign Minister reiterates Ghana’s commitment to good neighbourliness

Accra� Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration on Tuesday reiterated Ghana’s commitment to good neighbourliness.

She said consistent with Ghana’s Foreign Policy on good neighbourliness and commitment to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Ministry facilitated and coordinated several activities.

Madam Botchwey stated this when she took her turn at the Meet the Press Series in Accra, to present the Ministry’s achievements and to deliberate on matters of national interest.

She recounted that upon assumption of Office, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo embarked on tours to several countries within the ECOWAS sub-region, including; Guinea, Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo, The Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Nigeria, Liberia, Cape Verde and Senegal.

She said the visits culminated in some instances, decisions on the establishment of Permanent Joint Commissions for Cooperation (PJCC) with some of the countries.

She noted that the visits also afforded the President the opportunity to develop personal relationships with his counterparts and deepen bilateral relations.

She cited that in Cote d’Ivoire, as two leading cocoa producing countries in the world, the two Presidents discussed the Strategic Partnership Agreement leading to the signing of the Abidjan Declaration on the production and marketing of cocoa.

She said the two countries produce over 60 per cent of the world’s cocoa, yet receive less than six per cent of the $100 billion global market share of the product; hence, under the Abidjan Declaration, the two countries agreed to coordinate a standard price that should give them more control over the market value and their earnings from the sales of the crop.

As Africa remains the central pillar of Ghana’s foreign policy, the Ministry continued to take measures to fulfil her commitment to the agenda of the African Union (AU), she said.

Madam Botchwey said it accordingly facilitated the participation of Ghana in various continental fora, including; Ordinary Sessions of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU).

She said the President actively participated in all the Ordinary Sessions of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU, where issues of vital importance to the African people were discussed.

For instance, the 32nd Ordinary Session discussed among other things, implementation of the Assembly’s Decision on the Institutional Reform of the AU and its Organs; Implementation of the Assembly Decision on the Post-Cotonou Negotiations; Activities of the Peace and Security Council and the State of Peace and Security in Africa; and the status of negotiations on the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

She said Ghana played a central role in the negotiations leading to the signing of the Continental Free Trade Agreement at the AU Summit held in Kigali, in March 2018.

Madam Botchwey recounted that the Decision was announced at the 12th AU Extraordinary Summit held in Niamey, Niger, on 7th July, for Ghana to host the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

She said the core mandate of the Secretariat would be to implement the trade agreement with the goal of creating a single market, followed by the free movement of people and a single currency union.

She said Ghana competed against Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, Eswatini, Egypt and Madagascar.

The Minister said throughout the period under review, the Ministry in close collaboration with stakeholder ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) continued to give substance to Ghana’s negotiating position at regional and continental conferences and facilitated their participation to ensure that Ghana’s views on vital issues were well articulated at such conferences.

Source: Ghana News Agency