The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, on Tuesday, 6th September 2022, held a meeting in The Hague, with her Dutch counterpart, H.E. Mr. Wopke Hoekstra in the margins of the Africa Adaptation Summit, which was held in Rotterdam on Monday, 5th September 2022. The discussions centered on the desire by both countries to strengthen the long-standing cordial relations, founded on a mutual commitment to work closely together in many areas of common interest.
Hon. Ayorkor Botchwey recalled that Ghana and The Netherlands had, over the years, reinforced their collaboration in a wide range of bilateral and multilateral sectors bordering on trade, investment, agriculture, peace, and security, among others. The two Ministers, therefore, agreed to follow up on Political Consultations held in Accra earlier this year to further enhance partnerships and share best practices in the various sectors. Additionally, the Ministers agreed to take steps to enable Ghana to increase trade volumes through the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Ghana’s Minister therefore took the opportunity to invite Dutch investors to explore the favourable investment environment to invest in Ghana.
Ghana’s Foreign Minister also briefed her Dutch counterpart on the economic agenda of the government which is predicated on the transformation of the structure of the economy to perform beyond aid and reduce dependence on imports to become an exporter of semi-processed and manufactured commodities with the private sector at the center of the policy. She added that, the process of industrialisation leading to the establishment of factories and industries, which Ghana is currently undertaking, would, ultimately, provide job opportunities, particularly, for the Ghanaian youth.
Hon. Ayorkor Botchwey acknowledged the Dutch Government’s impressive expertise in agriculture and processing of agricultural produce. She recalled when she accompanied President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on tour to the World Horti Center, which is the knowledge and innovation center for international greenhouse horticulture, as well as the Cargill Cocoa Processing Plant (where Ghana’s Cocoa is primarily used), to inspect the facilities. She indicated that collaboration with such companies would add impetus to Government’s drive to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth and prevent them from embarking on perilous journeys to Europe.
Hon. Ayorkor Botchwey noted, with gratitude, the various forms of collaboration with the Netherlands through private-partner sector instruments such as the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF), the Development-Related Infrastructure Investment Vehicle (DRIVE), the Netherlands Senior Experts Programme (PUM), Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), new financing and business models which have been introduced to encourage better participation by the Dutch and Ghanaian private sector and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the economic development of the country.
At the multilateral level, the Ministers called for cooperation to ensure decisive action in finding lasting solutions to the new threats to global peace and security, including the insecurity in the Sahel and the Gulf of Guinea, terrorism and violent extremism, climate change and its attendant impact on the environment and livelihoods. They were hopeful that cooperation at the multilateral level, considering Ghana’s membership of the United Nations Security Council, would lead to finding a lasting solution to the Russian-Ukrainian war and its attendant challenges such as the rising cost of food, fuel, and energy.