President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Monday received the credentials of seven newly appointed envoys from Zimbabwe, Mali, Kenya, India, Togo, Rwanda and Guinea.
They are; Mr Kufa Edward Chinoza, Zimbabwe; Abdoul Karder Toure, Mali; Eliphas Mugendi Barine, Kenya; Sugandh Rajaram, India; Colonel Awoki Panassa, Togo; Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, Rwanda; and Madame Olga Syradin of Guinea.
Receiving the envoys at separate meetings at the Jubilee House, Accra, President Akufo-Addo congratulated them on their appointments and wished them a successful duty tour of Ghana.
He assured them of the support of his Government to make their stay in the country worthwhile, and further pledged Ghana’s commitment to forge closer partnerships with their respective countries, and to explore new areas of cooperation, particularly in trade and investments, to strengthen relations for the mutual benefit of all parties.
Receiving the Indian High Commissioner, President Akufo-Addo described the long-standing Indo-Ghanaian relations, laid by India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru and Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, as an attestation to the strong bond that existed between the two nations.
He spoke of the support India was lending to Ghana in the programme to develop the rail infrastructure in the country, and made reference also to the contribution of the large Indian community to the nation’s socio-economic development, saying that Ghana looked forward to an expanded cooperation with India.
Mr Rajaram commended the President for the sterling leadership he was providing in the region and beyond, and for his policies and programmes that was leading to the rapid development of Ghana and the country becoming an economic hub in West Africa.
He said India remained a strong and committed partner to the socio-economic development of Ghana, adding his country looked forward to strengthening cooperation in the areas of renewable energy and agriculture, and explore new areas of trade and investment cooperation.
The Zimbabwean High Commissioner appealed to President Akufo-Addo to champion the cause to have the sanctions imposed on his country by the West lifted.
“We hope Ghana will lead this campaign in the ECOWAS region,” he said, adding, “Ghana is no doubt noted with a big voice in supporting the removal of the sanctions on our country. My President and the government of Zimbabwe really appreciate your support and we know because of our relations, that support will continue.”
He thanked the President for the delegation led by former President Jerry Rawlings he sent to the funeral of the late Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe last September.
President Akufo-Addo on his part said the sanctions placed on Zimbabwe were unacceptable and unjustifiable and “we will continue our calls on our peers on the continent to do everything we can to see that they are lifted as soon as possible so that Zimbabwe will have the freedom to develop its potentials.”
“Hopefully, soon, rather than later, we all should hear the good news by the collective efforts of all the African people.”
The President said the relations between Ghana and Zimbabwe should be situated in the context of looking forward to economic growth and development opportunities to be derived from the new AfCFTA arrangement.
“I believe that Ghana and Zimbabwe can find a way to refurbish and recreate our economic relation and boost. It’s time we had a permanent joint relation between us and I hope that in your time we can have that.
“But our commitments to Zimbabwe are non-negotiable. I believe that we are fighting the same battle against poverty. So that we can also merge to develop a prosperous nation and have the dignity of African people very much within our quarters. So, we are very much determined,” he stated.
Mr Barine, the Kenyan envoy also applauded the many economic intervention and programmes being implemented in Ghana, saying it spoke to the commitment of the President and his government “to create wealth and free the people of Ghana from aid”.
“I think the Ghana Beyond Aid is a great concept that we would all want to emulate so that we will be able to stand on our feet,” he said, adding that Kenya was ready to learn from Ghana’s experience in that endeavour.
The Kenyan diplomat sought Ghana’s assistance to surmount the problem of terrorism which was having a heavy toll on the economy of that country.
He further commended Ghana for the support it gave Kenya to get a non-permanent seat on the United nations Security Council, saying the seat on the Security Council will further Africa’s course in world security.
He called for peaceful election as Ghana went to the polls this year.
President Akufo-Addo said Ghana took a forward position and could not be indifferent in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism, and assured that Ghana would lend support to every effort at countering terrorism in any part of the continent.
He pledged that election 2020 would be free, fair and credible, and Ghana would maintain its place as the beacon of democracy in Africa.
On his part, the Malian Ambassador congratulated Ghana for winning the bid to host the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and lauded the many initiatives embarked upon by the government that was bringing about the desired economic benefits.
He also commended the country for a successful “Year of Return” programme, adding that it was a move the rest of the continent should emulate.
President Akufo-Addo assured that his government would do whatever it took to ensure that the AfCFTA Secretariat was operational by the scheduled date of March 2020.
He told the Ambassador that the terrorist outrages facing Mali was a problem that affected the entire region, saying “We stand shoulder to shoulder with you in the fight against terrorism.”
The President was hopeful that the outcomes of Accra initiative that brought together the intelligence and security agencies of the countries in West Africa region, would be an instrument to defeat terrorism.
He said Ghana was committed to all interventions to restore order and the resumption of state authority and territory of Mali.
To the Rwandan Ambassador Dr Kacyira, President Akufo-Addo said her appointment “goes very well for the continuation of excellent relations that we’ve had between our two countries”.
He expressed the gratitude of his government and that of the people of Ghana to his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame, for the “strong support” he gave when Ghana bided to host the AfCFTA Secretariat.
“He stood firmly on our side. I want to put on record today the appreciation of the Ghanaian people and state to him for that initiative and gesture.
“We believe that the AFCTA, when it’s up and going and has the focus, support and commitment of all of us could be a great instrument for the rapid economic development and transformation of our continent by improving the conditions for intra-African trade, and for scaling up the exchanges of agricultural, technological, scientific products between our two nations.”
Ambassador Panassa of Togo thanked the President for his efforts at ensuring peace and security in that country, and urged him to promote democracy there.
President Akufo-Addo pledged Ghana’s commitment to work with Togo to entrench democracy in the neighboring state.
The Guinean ambassador also committed to strengthen relations between her country and Ghana.