Chancellor Merkel arrives in Ghana for state visit

BY: Kate Baaba Hudson

Chancellor Angela Dorothea Merkel of the Federal Republic of Germany will arrive in the country today for a state visit.

The Chancellor is expected to be accompanied by the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Müller, and a high-ranking German business delegation.

The main focus of the Chancellor’s visit will be economic cooperation and the promotion of investment and business in Ghana.

 She will participate in a business dialogue to facilitate exchange on the prevailing business environment in Ghana.

Chancellor Merkel will hold bilateral discussions with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The discussions will involve ways to further strengthen the already cordial relations between the two countries.


Chancellor Merkel and President Akufo-Addo will also talk about the important role Ghana is playing in the peace process in neighbouring African countries such as Togo.

The visit will be the first to be undertaken by a German Chancellor to the country since 2004. 

This underlines the strong and deepening relationship between Ghana and Germany.

“The visit will also be an opportunity to discuss and take stock of the Group of 20 (G20) ‘Compact with Africa Initiative’ launched in Berlin in June 2017 under Germany’s G20 presidency.

The Compact with Africa is aimed at bringing more private investment to the 10 African partner countries, among which Ghana is a frontrunner.

The Chancellor was in Senegal on Wednesday and coming to Ghana from there. She will continue her tour to Nigeria from Ghana.

Berlin

It will be recalled that last month, the German Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Christoph Retzlaff, addressed media personnel and announced that Chancellor Merkel was expected in the country this month.

The ambassador noted that President Akufo-Addo had met Chancellor Merkel twice in Berlin in June last year and in February this year.

He said German President Steinmeier was also in Ghana for a state visit in December 2017.

Partnership

Mr Retzlaff pointed out that Germany was supporting Ghana through long-standing development cooperation programmes, as well as a new bilateral ‘Investment and Reform Partnership’.

This was launched in December 2017 and brought an additional 100 million euros of German development funds to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in Ghana, as well as foster private investment in renewable energy and vocational training in the energy sector.

Ambassador Retzlaff disclosed that another highlight of German-Ghanaian relations would be the ‘German African Business Summit (GABS)’, which is expected to take place in Accra from February 11 to 13, 2019.

He explained that GABS, which is organised by the Sub-Saharan Initiative of German Business (SAFRI), is the German signature business event in Africa.

He said top business and government leaders from Germany and sub-Saharan Africa met every two years in Africa to promote economic relations between Europe’s largest economy and the fastest-growing region in the world.