KT Hammond, Minister of Trade and Industry, addressing the dignitaries
KT Hammond, Minister of Trade and Industry, addressing the dignitaries

Commemoration of Europe Day: EU, govt commit to future of prosperity

The European Union (EU) and the government have pledged to cooperate in various areas to create a future of prosperity and opportunities for their citizens.  

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Key among the areas of cooperation are security, health and job creation. The pledge was made jointly by the EU Ambassador to Ghana, Irchad Razaaly, and the Minister of Trade and Industry, Kwabena Tahir Hammond, at this year’s Europe Day celebration on the theme: “Youth and skills”. 

Significance

The event, which took place at the EU Ambassador’s residence in Accra, is held on May 9 each year to celebrate the peace and unity in Europe. It also marks the anniversary of a former President of the European Parliament, Robert Schuman, who championed a Declaration in 1950, proposing the formation of an economic partnership between France and Germany, and whose vision was to create a union within Europe that would make it impossible for war to occur among their nations.

It was attended by members of the diplomatic corps, ministers of state and other government officials. The rest included traditional rulers, civil society organisations, members of academia and some media persons.

It was a moment of reflection of the long journey between EU member countries and Ghana. The event featured a video presentation highlighting some activities and interventions the EU had undertaken in the country, accompanied by live band music.

Strides 

Mr Razaaly said in spite of the challenging times, the EU had not for once considered scaling down its commitment to Ghana. On the contrary, he said EU member states had committed themselves to deepening existing partnership with Ghana as evidenced by the increasing number of high-level visits from Europe to the country.

“This development is not a coincidence, but reflects rather the current state of the EU-Ghana relationship,” Mr Razaaly said. For instance, he said, some critical military equipment were delivered to the country’s security forces by the EU High Representative, Josep Borrell, including other security programmes.

He said the EU had also contributed nearly EUR55 million to ensure that Ghana became the vaccine manufacturing hub of the continent. Two weeks ago, he said the EU also commissioned a new solar power plant to support the country’s energy diversification programme in the Upper West Region, with funds from Germany, and technical support from Spain.

Mr Razaaly added that the EU had also supported various Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions to produce entrepreneurs. 

Relationship

For his part, Mr Hammond said the relationship between Ghana and the EU which dated back to 1975 had flourished over the years. He said the economic partnership agreement between the EU and Ghana was a testament to the commitment towards promoting inclusive and sustainable economic development.

With trade between the EU and Ghana hitting €6 billion in 2023, the minister said the agreement had not only facilitated access to European markets for Ghanaian goods, but also fostered capacity-building and investment opportunities for both Ghanaians and EU citizens. 

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