General News of Saturday, 5 August 2017
Britain has described Ghana as a model of democracy and rule of law the rest of the African continent can emulate to position the continent as an emerging world power in the years ahead.
As such, the UK has declared to remain a strong trading partner of Ghana when it finally exits the European Union (Brexit) in March 2019.
In recognition of the country’s political stability and peaceful transfer of power from one political party to the other after seven successful elections, the British government has been motivated to further strengthen ties with Ghana and also partner it to build a stronger Commonwealth.
Sharing his perspectives in an exclusive interview with the Daily Graphic in London, the UK Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the United Nations, Lord Tariq Ahmad, who spoke highly of the country, said the UK government was, particularly pleased with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s declaration to steer the country away from “aids and handouts”.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, upon assumption of office, promised “to build a Ghana beyond aid; a Ghana which looks to the use of its own resources. We want to build an economy that is not dependent on charity and handouts but an economy that will look at the proper management of its resources as the way to engineer social and economic growth in our country.”
It is against this backdrop that Lord Ahmad said he was impressed with the vision of the President and expressed confidence in his administration, saying “aid should be an enabler” and not an end in itself.
“I have absolute confidence in the new administration and the British government is ever prepared to support the Ghana government to succeed,” Lord Ahmad, who was recently in Ghana for a short visit, told the paper.
He said Ghana was one of Britain’s largest trading partners with trade volumes totalling about 1.13 billion pounds.
The relationship between the United Kingdom and Ghana is strong and vibrant dating as far back as the pre-independence era.
The relations between the two nations are rooted in their long-standing economic, political and cultural connections, their shared values and the deep links between the people of the two countries.
There is half a million British-Ghanaian diaspora community in the UK and an ever-growing contingent of British business people based in Ghana, making the future of the relationship between the two countries to be anchored on firm foundations.
Lord Ahmad, who is also the British Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI), said the UK was set to host the next Commonwealth summit scheduled for London and Windsor in April 2018.
He mentioned the key topics to be discussed at the conference as sustainability, prosperity, fairness and security to re-energise and revitalise the alliance of nations.
Lord Ahmad, who is a member of the British House of Lords and former minister of aviation, said Ghana had a great potential to become an aviation hub, noting that it was important for the government to find a national airline to help attract the needed investments for the sector.