Three envoys who have completed their duty tour of the country yesterday paid farewell calls on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House.
They were the Irish Ambassador, Mr Sean Hoy; the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms Christine Evans-Klock, both of whom were in the country for four years, and the Swiss Ambassador, Mr Markus Nicklaus Paul Dugly, who was here for a year and a half.
When he met President Akufo-Addo, Mr Hoy recounted how the President had, as the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), urged him to support the Electoral Commission and provide international observers for the 2016 elections.
Mr Hoy said he was excited that together with other members of the European Union in Ghana, the request was granted and Ghana conducted free and fair elections.
He also expressed happiness that Irish investments in Ghana had grown tremendously, especially long-term businesses such as Guinness Ghana and some oil concerns.
Mr Hoy, who is based in Nigeria but with concurrent accreditation to Ghana, said Ireland and Ghana had also signed double taxation agreements with the view to building trade relations between the two countries.
President Akufo-Addo, responding, commended the outgoing Irish Ambassador for scaling Ghana-Irish relations, especially in trade, and expressed the hope that Ireland would open a permanent mission in Ghana.
He said Ghana had benefited immensely from Irish generosity of several generations of missionaries who provided education, health and Christianity.
For her part, Ms Evans-Klock said she was proud that Ghana and the UN were able to develop the UN Sustainable Development Partnership, a five-year strategic framework that sets out the collective vision and response of the UN system to national development priorities.
That partnership, she said, was anchored on the President’s vision to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The outgoing envoy said the UN would continue to partner Ghana towards the realisation of the SDGs, which also translated into Ghana’s vision in the area of education and skills training for the youth.
Ms Evans-Klock said a Ghanaian peacekeeper had been honoured for her work in Somalia and that was in keeping with the President’s effort at championing gender equality.
She commended President Akufo-Addo for his personal role in offering the late UN Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan, a befitting burial.
President Akufo-Addo, for his part, said since 1957, Ghana had consistently been an active supporter of the UN and that was why successive governments had ensured that Ghanaians played a critical and frontline role in finding peace in the world.
He said it was a high moment for Ghana when Kofi Annan, whom he described as “a worthy man”, was elected as the head of the world body and served the world very well.
He said the UN system had also supported Ghana in its socio-economic journey, electoral body and election processes and the strengthening of Ghana’s role in international affairs and urged her to inform her successor to continue with the good work she had commenced.
When Mr Dugly took his turn, he said Switzerland and Ghana shared long and close excellent bilateral relations and regular political contacts, coupled with impressive economic relations.
He described Ghana as one of the few priorities of the Swiss economy for development cooperation programmes and assured the President of his country’s strong commitment to move towards “a partnership beyond aid” where aid would not substitute private investments but capitalise them.
He mentioned the launch of the Swiss 2017-2020 strategy for Ghana and the bilateral understanding for the establishment of the platform of sustainable cocoa which was aimed at strengthening the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the cocoa sector in Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo, in response, said although Mr Dugly’s stay had been short, it had been associated with a myriad of achievements and commended him for a successful tour of duty.
He said Ghana valued its relations with Switzerland, where many of Ghana’s important products, particularly cocoa, head to for the European destination and said Ghana would want to add value to its cocoa and hoped to have an understanding partner in Switzerland.
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