Business News of Monday, 23 January 2017
Ghana’s foreign policy has shifted from the normal diplomacy of ensuring good neighbourliness to economic diplomacy, where Ghana must gain economically in its relationship with other countries, Minister-designate of Foreign Affairs Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has stated.
“The foreign policy of this country has shifted focus from what we call normal diplomacy, that is, good neighbourliness, good relations, making sure that the countries surrounding you, you are very chummy with them and all of that. What we have moved to is economic diplomacy…and that is to ensure that in every relationship that Ghana engages in, that relationship should end up in promoting and protecting the interest of Ghana and also to ensure that it ends up in giving us positive dividends towards our development economically. So, that is the thrust of our foreign policy right now,” she told parliament’s Appointments Committee when she appeared before it on Monday January 23.
The Member of Parliament for Anyaa Sowutuom added that as part of its foreign policy, Ghana will seek to deepen engagement with ECOWAS and the African Union to promote trade with member states.
“In the NPP manifesto, we have decided that one area that we need to focus on is the area of our engagement with our multilateral agencies such as ECOWAS and the African Union (AU). ECOWAS, because we believe that with the industrialisation that we intend to embark on, we should be able to trade within the region, that is the West African region, and also within the continent and, therefore, our foreign policy is to make ECOWAS strong, is to make the African Union strong and we should make our membership felt within these agencies,” she noted.
“We should be able as a country, as we have done in the past, to shape consensus within the ECOWAS region because if we are able to get things right and get ECOWAS to work very well, we have a ready market of 350 million. Right now, Ghana or West Africa, and by extension Africa, we do not trade amongst ourselves. We always look outside the continent to trade with Europe or the Asian countries. I think it’s about time we start looking within because we have so much potential but we need to get things right,” he added.