Ghana and France yesterday held a political dialogue in Accra to consolidate bilateral relations between the two countries. The dialogue, the fourth in a series, was also to commemorate 60 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
At the opening session of the dialogue, the acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Edwin N. Adjei, said the dialogue series provided the platform for the exchange of ideas in a frank and transparent atmosphere to improve on development cooperation.
“Such a forum offers opportunities for development cooperation in areas such as the study of the French language and culture, the adoption of new technologies, as well as support for various sectors of the economy, including energy, health, agriculture and infrastructure development,” he said.
With regard to Ghana’s economic development support, Mr Adjei said, France had been a “solid strategic partner”.
Currently, he said, there were 90 French registered projects in various sectors of the Ghanaian economy, including agriculture, banking, manufacturing and air transport, while trade volumes between the two countries had grown to approximately $2 billion.
This year’s dialogue, the first since the coming into office of the Akufo-Addo government, focused on widening cooperation in areas such as regional security, cyber crime, maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, migration, climate change and development cooperation.
The Deputy Secretary General of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Mr Laurent Garnier, who was the head of the French delegation, said Ghana was France’s strategic partner in West Africa because of Ghana’s economic position, political stability and vibrant democracy.
“The partnership that exists between our two countries is holistic in nature. It has political, economic and socio-cultural dimensions,” he said.
After congratulating Ghana on demonstrating democratic maturity through the recent successful change of political power, he said Ghana’s cooperation with France in the areas of security, with focus on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, and against terrorism was exemplary.
Apart from officials from Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, the country’s delegation comprised personnel of the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Maritime Authority, the ministries of Trade and Industries, Environment, Science and Technology, and Finance and the National Development Planning Commission.
The French delegation, which included the Ambassador to Ghana, François Pujolas, was made up of security experts, officials of the Regional Integration Bureau and experts in trade, culture and education.
After the opening session, the dialogue retired into a closed-door session to discuss regional and international issues.