Britain to draw lessons from Ghana on preventing extremism

BY: Sebastian Syme

Britain has been encouraged to draw lessons from Ghana with respect to how it manages to ensure that the country does not go the way of others engaged in acts of extremism or terrorism which has contributed to making the country the investment destination of choice in West Africa, the British Minister for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr Tariq Mahmood Ahmad, has stated.

He alluded to the fact that Ghana was faced with the same challenges of many countries in the world that triggered extremism and other conflicts yet Ghana had never experienced any extremists’ situations which was admirable for other countries including Britain to emulate.

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Ghana admired

In an interview with Graphic Online in London, Wednesday, August 8, Mr Ahmad said the British government had a lot of administration for Ghana for not being confronted with the challenges associated with radicalisation and that Britain was willing to buy into Ghana’s ideas to deal with the situation back in his country.

Britain has had its fair share of terrorist attacks in the last few years with the latest being the incident that took place on Oxford Circus and Oxford Street in November 2017.


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The next terror attack took place on a Tube train at Parsons Green station on September 15, 2017 coming after the London Bridge terror attack which claimed eight lives.

Before that, there was an attack at Westminster on March 22, 2017.

With these troubling developments, Mr Ahmad expressed the conviction that Britain could tap into Ghana’s experience of dealing with containing extremists situations from arising.

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Strengthening ties

On strengthen Britain’s relationship with Ghana, the minister who is also the British Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict indicated that the British government was prepared to share its experience with Ghana in terms of infrastructural development.

He expressed Britain’s commitment to share with Ghana using the private sector to create employment opportunities for Ghanaians and added that Ghana had a good investment climate to attract more foreign direct investments.

As onetime UK Minister for Transport, Mr Ahmad said he had in the past engaged the government of Ghana on how Britain could support in making the country an aviation hub in Africa and stressed that “we are still committed to that agenda”.

He submitted that the biggest ties existing between Britain and Ghana were the people who shared a common language coupled with the diversity of a long cultural and political history.

“We have people of all religious faiths in the two countries working together for a common agenda,” he told the Daily Graphic.

On his assessment of current administration in Ghana, the British minister described President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as a man of great stature on the world stage.

“I think the President has the best interest for Ghana and he needs the support of the people to succeed. I consider Ghana my second home because anywhere in the world I go, I speak very highly of Ghana,” he added.

Brexit

On the vexed issue of Britain’s exit from the European Union and how it was going to impact on Africa in terms of trade and investments, Mr Ahmad maintained that Brexit would open new trade opportunities for Ghana in particular and Africa at large.

According to him Brexit was less of a challenge for Britain because it allowed the country to have a whole new perspective for the commonwealth with the projection to commit £1 trillion in trade for the commonwealth by 2020.

For him with the common legal statuses and systems together with language among other factors made it easier for Britain to expand its trade portfolio to the commonwealth with emphasis on security.

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