General News of Wednesday, 7 January 2015
President John Mahama has defended his travels out of the country, saying they are for strategic reasons.
The president has been criticised for his travels outside Ghana, especially by some members of the opposition New Patriotic Party, who are on record to have said the trips were unnecessary.
President Mahama last week left the country for Brazil to attend the swearing-in ceremony of President Dilma Roussef. He had previously traveled to Oslo, Norway in October to address a wide group of businessmen and investors.
Prior to this, he had made several travels and visited countries like Denmark, US, Turkey, China, Norway, Dubai, Japan and a host of African countries as president.
Speaking exclusively to Kumasi-based Angel FM on Wednesday, to mark his second year in office, Mahama said most of his travels are statutory as others are meant to attract opportunities for Ghana.
“Some of the travels are based on invitations from sister governments. Last year for instance, I got an official invitation from UK, France, Denmark and to Norway. Most are also statutory; the General Assembly for instance. Every year we would have to attend the General Assembly. Some are also because of my ECOWAS chairmanship.
“The ECOWAS chairmanship involves some responsibilities. It involves traveling to meet some of your ECOWAS obligations. So it’s because of these main issues,” Mahama pointed out.
The President also revealed he may have a few more invitations to honour this year.
“I have been extended an invitation to Germany and when you take a close look at Germany, there are a lot of Ghanaians there and aside from that, it is a nation with whom we have a very good bilateral relations with. If such a nation invites you, you don’t say Ghanaians say I travel too much so I tell Angela Merkel I will not come…” Mahama stressed.