Slovenia has pledged to support ongoing efforts by African countries towards the realization of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and priorities set out in the Agenda 2063 by the African Union.
The country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Miro Cerar also indicated the government’s readiness to deepen economic ties with African countries, describing the region as one with the fastest growing economies with great potentials.
Dr. Miro Cerar who is also the Foreign Minister of Slovenia, was speaking at the 2019 Africa Day International Conference in Lujbljana, attended by representatives of governments and businesses from over 30 countries in Africa and the European.
The conference, which is in its 8th year, seeks to examine the future of African and European relations and cooperation in the context of changing demographics, employment opportunities and migration patterns.
Speaking on the theme, “Economic Transformation, Inclusion and Jobs: The Role of European and African Partnership”, a Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana, Mohammad Habibu Tijani said considering the challenges facing the global community in the 21st century, Africa and Europe are compelled to build strategic partnerships in their common quest for solutions.
“As you are aware, the EU is Africa’s leading partner in trade, foreign investment and development. 36% of Africa’s trade is with the EU. On average, Africa receives about EUR 22 billion in EU Official Development Assistance (ODA) yearly. About 40% of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Africa are EU investment stocks. Our two continents are therefore compelled by our common history to build on the gains made so far and work towards building a better life for our future generations”, Hon. Mohammad Tijani explained.
He welcomed the Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs between Africa and Europe as a laudable initiative that has the potential to transform the economic fortunes of the African continent if implemented in the spirit of a true partnership.
Business Development Minister, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal re-iterated the mantra that Ghana is the best destination for business, outlining government’s plans for the next four years which he says is to look for macro-economic stability, while ensuring that dividends trickle down to give stability to micro-economic gains.
Mordernizing agriculture, industrialization, infrastructural development, Human resource development and entrepreneurship are the five surest ways according to Dr Awal to achieve government’s set objectives aimed at growing the Ghanaian economy.
Meanwhile Ghana and the Republic of Slovenia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Economic Cooperation on the margins of the 8thAfrica Day International conference.
The document is aimed at developing and strengthening economic cooperation on the widest possible scale and in all fields deemed to be of mutual interest and benefit.
Describing the exercise as a crucial one, Slovenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Dobran Bozic indicated that the gesture would not only create favourable investment conditions for the two countries but also help promote long-term cooperation in the areas of agriculture, energy, science and technology as well as trade in goods and services.
Initialing the agreement on behalf of Ghana, the Minister for Business Development, Dr Mohammed Awal welcomed a Ghana – Slovenia partnership citing the visit of the Slovenian Business delegation to Ghana early on in the year as a significant step to further deepen trade and economic ties between the two countries.
Other members of the Ghanaian delegation, including a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka Lindsay, Chief Executive of the Ghana Exim Bank, Lawrence Agyinsam, Chief Executive of Ghana Export Promotion Authority Afua Asabea Asare as well as Ghana’s Ambassador to the Republic of Italy H.E. Eudora Hilda Koranteng Quartey took turns to explain the various roles played by their ministries and agencies in the country’s quest to become an industrialized based economy as well as the opportunities Ghana seeks to be self-reliant.
The team also shared plans by the government of Ghana to create jobs through a programme of rapid and aggressive value addition, especially in agro processing and vibrant manufacturing.
After 35 years of diplomatic relations between Ghana and Slovenia, leadership from both sides say they are poised to explore other areas of cooperation to deepen bilateral relations for the benefit of their citizenry.