The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has inaugurated two Chancery buildings of the Ghana Missions in Brussels and Geneva, and an expanded Consular section of the Ghana Mission in Berlin.
From her base in Accra, the minister was joined by staff of the Ghana Missions via video conferencing last Wednesday, November 18, to inaugurate the projects.
She said the projects gave credence to the government’s commitment to improve the infrastructure needs of the country’s missions.
“It is for this reason that the government obtained the US$50 million Société Générale credit facility, which is being used to acquire new properties and improve existing state-owned properties abroad.
Funded with Internally Generated Funds (IGF) of the Ghana Mission, the facility is a two-storey building with a 20-seater capacity conference room, modern ICT installations and enhanced security systems.
It is expected to enhance the mission’s capacity to provide reliable consular services to members of the Ghanaian community in Germany and any other person in need of the services of the Consular Section.
In her speech to inaugurate the project, Ms Botchwey said plans for expanding the Consular Section of the mission had been in the pipeline since November 2016.
She said it was, therefore, refreshing to see the completion and handover of the project within eight months of its commencement in February 2020.
The minister said it became pertinent to carry out extension works on the existing consular building to accommodate the growing demand for consular services by Ghanaian migrants, mostly from Libya and Italy.
“An equally important consideration was the need to upgrade the security fixtures on the premises,” she added.
On behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the minister commended the Ghana Mission for the initiative and added that their example ought to be emulated by Ghana Missions abroad.
Ms Botchwey indicated the government’s commitment to addressing the infrastructure needs of our missions abroad,” she stated.
She encouraged the staff to take good care of the new facility.
“Please undertake regular maintenance to prolong the lifespan of this beautiful building in which substantial investment has been made,” she added.
She further told the staff that they owed it a duty to step up their diplomatic activities to boost the relations between Ghana and Germany as the government attached great importance to Ghana-German relations.
The new Chancery for the Permanent Mission of Ghana in Geneva, Switzerland, has 14 offices, a kitchenette, multi-purpose conference room, storeroom, drivers’ lobby, reception, a garage with nine parking spaces and two outdoor parking spaces.
It also has a large patio which should be able to host receptions for at least seventy five guests.
Ms Botchwey said the mission had long yearned to be in its own building and added that last Tuesday’s event brought a happy closure to the long wait.
“ With at least 16 office spaces and a conference facility in the new building, the Geneva Mission is now poised to carry out its diplomatic engagements in a serene environment that will spur productivity and enable the reliable delivery of services for client satisfaction,” she said.
Stressing that the government attached great importance to Ghana’s multilateral relations, she underscored the need for the staff of the mission to step up their activities that promoted and protected Ghana’s interest in the various international organisations based in Geneva.
She also called on staff of the mission to institute a maintenance regime that would help to prolong the lifespan of the new edifice.