Ingrid Mollestad (left), the Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana, and Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Attorney-General, interacting after proposing a toast to the healthy ties between the two countries
Ingrid Mollestad (left), the Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana, and Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Attorney-General, interacting after proposing a toast to the healthy ties between the two countries
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Confirm position as beacon of democracy in sub-region

The Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana, Ingrid Mollestad, has expressed the hope that Ghana will confirm its position as a beacon of democracy and peace in the sub-region as the 2024 elections draw closer.

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She said she firmly believed that strong and independent institutions that served as the bedrock for democracy and paved the way for peaceful conduct in the international arena would play their roles.

To that effect, she reaffirmed her country’s commitment to support Ghanaian institutions to promote peace and stability.

Assurance

Addressing Norway’s National Day at the Norwegian Embassy in Accra last Friday, Ms Mollestad said: “One such shared value is our commitment to democracy and human rights.”

“Liberia and Senegal, countries to which I am also accredited, have over the past year successfully held free and fair elections and peaceful transitions of power. Now it is an election year here in Ghana, and I am sure that the elections yet again will confirm Ghana’s position as a beacon of democracy and peace in the region,” she added.

The event attracted people from all walks of life, including the Attorney-General and the Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame; the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Charles Abani, and the members of the diplomatic corps.

Ms Mollestad said over the past 20 years, Norway had supported Ghana to maintain peace and security. For instance, she cited how Norway had been supporting the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, which she described as an invaluable resource for the UN and AU’s peacekeeping operations in the region and across Africa.

“Indeed, we are very pleased with our increased engagement in security and defence, reflecting our shared concerns for stability in the West African region,” she said. 

Let’s stand by norms

The Norwegian Ambassador said it was paramount that countries such as Ghana and Norway stood by the norms defining “our rule-based international order”. That, she said, was critical in the current global context, defined by Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine, immense civilian suffering in Gaza and even closer to home, increasing instability and systematic human rights abuses in the Sahel.

The ambassador indicated that in a few days, the Norwegian special forces would be in Tamale to train with Ghanaian forces and others to strengthen capacity and interoperability.

Beyond its institutional partnerships, she said private sector cooperation had been a core priority for the embassy since it opened in 2011. 

“Initially, these efforts were largely concentrated in the petroleum sector, but we now see a broadening of areas for such partnerships. “For example, Norfund, the Norwegian investment fund for developing countries, has now invested over 1.3 billion NOK in various Ghanaian business–spanning sectors such as solar energy, plastic recycling, and sustainable cement production,” she said.

To deepen the partnerships between the two countries in the area of the maritime field and fisheries, Ms Mollestad said in June, that the Norwegian research vessel, the MF Nansen, would be welcomed back to Ghana.

Commendation

Mr Dame commended Norway for being instrumental in supporting Ghana's development efforts across a variety of sectors, from education and health care to infrastructure and agriculture.

“Norway stands tall as a beacon of democracy, progress and inclusivity. Its steadfast dedication to social justice, environmental sustainability, and human rights sets a shining example for nations across the globe to follow,” he said.

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