General News of Sunday, 16 July 2017
Lord Tariq Ahmad, the Foreign Office Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the United Nations will visit Ghana from the 16-18 July.
A statement issued by the British High Commission in Accra and copied to the Ghana News Agency said Lord Ahmad’s visit would reaffirm the importance of Ghanaian-UK relations and re-energise the Commonwealth, ahead of the UK-chaired Commonwealth Summit meeting in April 2018.
It said itfollowed the recent visit to Ghana by the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, in March. It noted that Lord Ahmad would meet President Akufo-Addo to discuss Ghana’s place as a model of democracy and stability in the region and its role in strengthening Commonwealth values such as human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
It said Lord Ahmad would also meet the Minister of Trade and Industry to discuss boosting Commonwealth trade links and how the Commonwealth could support greater prosperity and new opportunities in Ghana. The statement said trade within the Commonwealth was estimated to currently be over $ 680 billion and is forecasted to grow to $ 1 trillion by 2020.
It said the Minister would also meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of National Security, and the Minister of Gender and Social Protection.
“Lord Ahmad is keen to hear from some of Ghana’s dynamic youth. “Young people’s hearts and minds are vital to the future of the Commonwealth (of the nearly 2.4 billion people that live in Commonwealth countries, 60 per cent are under 30),” it added.
It said the Minister would also reaffirm his commitment to ensuring that all Commonwealth citizens had a voice in shaping the future and direction of the institution. It noted that Lord Ahmad would take part in a TEDx talk, entitled “Africa’s Young Commonwealth”, featuring some of Ghana’s brightest, and successful young speakers.
It said he would also meet with future leaders from the Chevening and Commonwealth Scholarship programmes and talk to recipients of the Queens Young Leaders and the International Leaders awards.
“Lord Ahmad will pay a visit to the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, where he would set out the UK’s vision for the future of peacekeeping and UN reform, and will meet with victims of child trafficking and hear from NGOs that are tackling this abhorrent practice,” it said.