President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday swore in two newly appointed ambassadors and charged them to champion not only the interests of the country, but that of Ghanaian communities in their respective countries of service.
The ambassadors are Mrs Jennifer Lartey, who is going to the Republic of Norway, and Mrs Harriet Sena Siaw-Boateng, who will be serving in the Republic of Belgium.
Mrs Siaw-Boateng will also serve as the country’s permanent representative to the European Union (EU).
They swore the oath of allegiance, the official oath and the oath of secrecy after which they signed the oath book.
President Akufo-Addo also signed his portion of the oath book and presented them with their instruments of office.
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At the ceremony at the Jubilee House in Accra, President Akufo-Addo said the two ambassadors were appointed in accordance with Article 74 of the 1992 Constitution to safeguard and promote the image and interests of the nation outside its shores.
“These two have been carefully chosen to become our ambassadors, they are eminently fit to represent Ghana in their respective places of accreditation which have expressed satisfaction of their appointment.”
He said they were both experienced foreign service officers who had risen to the very top of their profession.
President Akufo-Addo, who recounted his working relations with the two ambassadors during his days as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration under former President Kufuor, said he could personally vouch for their competence and diligence.
Their roles as ambassadors, President Akufo-Addo said, were diplomatic, ceremonial and administrative and, therefore, urged them to preserve and promote the image of the country whose reputation among the comity of nations was high.
“You must bear in mind that you have the onerous responsibilities of preserving and promoting the image of the country whose reputation among the comity of nations is high. You represent a country that as a result of the commendable conduct of the Ghanaian people, is regarded as one of the most stable on the continent, a beacon of democracy which is governed by the rule of law and respect for individual liberties, human rights and the principles of democratic accountability,” President Akufo-Addo said.
“You are the most visible symbol of our country out there and in all your actions you must guard jealously our country’s image,” President Akufo-Addo charged the two.
He also urged them to develop cordial working relations with their professional service officers, adding that ,“you need their assistance and they will need your guidance and leadership.”
“Mutual respect is the key to a harmonious working relationship. Again, your rapport with the Ghanaian communities in your respective countries will be vital to your prospects of success.
They will be counting and looking up to you to champion not only our nation’s interests but theirs as well. Do your best not to disappoint them.”
The President advised the two ambassadors to deepen the bonds of cooperation and explore other areas of cooperation which would be of mutual benefit to their respective populations.
In doing so, he reminded them of the objective to build a Ghana beyond aid which, he said, was a “Ghana that has an honest system of government, free of corruption and which is self-reliant and exploiting its own resources with hard work, enterprise and creativity to build a free prosperous Ghana of the dreams of the founding fathers of our nation.”
“I believe strongly that in you we have the people who can help turn around quickly the fortunes of our country and put the nation on the roads for sustained progress and prosperity,” he stressed.
In response, Mrs Siaw-Boateng expressed their gratitude to President Akufo-Addo for the honour done them, stating that, “It is an honour we do not take for granted, fully aware of the accompanying responsibilities.”
She acknowledged that the present diplomatic environment had a lot of challenges but said it also offered immense economic and business opportunities for countries such as Ghana.
The challenges notwithstanding, Mrs Siaw-Boateng said they would enhance partnerships to the benefit of the growing youth population of the country and also expand opportunities for the private sector.
“We will work in close partnership with agencies and departments in Ghana, in a manner which will facilitate our work mutually.
We will also work as ambassadors with all sectors of the economy both public and private, towards fulfilling the aims and objectives of the government,” she promised.
Mrs Siaw-Boateng said Ghana’s mission abroad constituted a vital link between Ghanaians in the diaspora and the country and “so we will endeavour to maintain that link.”