Under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, the 2018 Conference of Heads of Ghana Missions was held at the Peduase Valley Resort, from 17th to 20th December 2018, under the theme: “Leveraging Ghana’s Foreign Policy for National Development”.
The President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo opened the ceremony by acknowledging the importance of the conference which had provided a platform for Heads of Missions to collectively deliberate on their work.
President Akufo-Addo stated that Ghana was seeking to accelerate the structural advancement of her economy, create jobs for the youth and rid itself from the dependence on aid from other countries, thus, the appropriateness of this year’s theme: “Leveraging Ghana’s Foreign Policy for National Development”.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the government was seeking to develop rapidly within the democratic framework, a modern industrialised economy, which in turn would create a society of opportunities for the youth. He further stated that the collective interests of the heads of missions should not just seek to preserve the hard won reputation of the country, but also attract investment that would facilitate the structural transformation of the economy.
He congratulated the Heads of Missions for their good work and added that the country was counting on them for their maximum output towards national development.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey (MP) in her remarks, highlighted the conference as an indication of the Ministry’s willingness to provide a platform for Ghana’s Missions to review the country’s performance in order to identify challenges and shortcomings with regards to the implementation of Ghana’s foreign policy objectives and adopt measures and strategies to enhance efficiency and productivity in the discharge of duties. The conference is expected to be organised regularly by the Ministry.
The aspiration of the Ministry according to Hon. Ayorkor Botchwey is to build a strong and resilient nation capable of developing its own economy, using the human and material resources available to the country. She believes that the country would be capable of coming out with its home grown solutions to address her socio-economic challenges with limited external support. In this fashion, she accentuated that the conference would enable the heads of Missions to develop tangible ideas and solutions for some of the challenges that they face in the discharge of their duties.
The Hon. Minister urged the heads of mission to intensify their efforts in the pursuit of Ghana’s economic diplomacy agenda by promoting and expanding the market space of made in Ghana products in their various host countries.
Some topics discussed during the conference were:
- Recent Political and Economic Development in the World: Implications for Ghana’s Foreign Policy.
- Current Economic and Social Development in Ghana.
- National Development Agenda.
- Medium-Term National Development Framework 2018-2021: Implications for the work of Ghana Missions abroad.
- African Continental Free Trade Area: Implications for Ghana’s Trade Relations.
- Ghana Beyond Aid: What to expect from the Ghanaian Ambassador.
- Performance Management System.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the conference, the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, commended the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration for organising the Ambassadors conference to provide the platform for the Ambassadors to exchange ideas.
He noted that the President of the Republic His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was keen on advancing Ghana’s development through economic diplomacy and added that the country had a lot of investment potential which needed to be developed.
He said more had to be done to achieve the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda and urged the Ambassadors and other stakeholders to share information in order to attract investments into the country. He also urged the Ministry to organise the conference annually.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, in her remarks emphasized that Ghana’s economic diplomacy would only become meaningful to the Ghana citizenry if through the activities of the missions, they are able to attract major companies to set up factories in Ghana. This she noted would lead to the creation of jobs, better incomes as well as investment for government’s flagship programmes.
Hon. Botchwey urged the Ambassadors to work towards moving Ghana forward and also carry government’s transformation agenda to their host countries and utilise every opportunity to promote Ghana’s development.