Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mrs. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has on behalf of the people of Ghana expressed profound gratitude to the Diplomatic Corps in Ghana for their collaborative efforts towards sustaining the country’s development.
She has also expressed appreciation for their engagement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in operationalising its work programme.
The Minister was speaking on Tuesday January 28, 2020, at the Peduase Lodge on the occasion of the presentation of new year’s greetings to President Nana Akufo-Addo by the Diplomatic Corps.
The annual event, is a unique occasion for members of the Diplomatic Corps in Ghana to present New Year Greetings to the President of the Republic.
It also offers the Diplomatic Corps the opportunity to exchange messages of goodwill towards the sustenance of the friendly relations and fruitful cooperation that exist between Ghana and their countries.
She noted that Ghana’s collaboration with the respective countries and the institutions the diplomats represent remain on a positive trajectory.
“Over the past year, three new Diplomatic Missions have been established in Accra; namely, the High Commissions of Suriname, Kenya and Rwanda, thus bringing the number of resident Diplomatic Missions in Ghana to sixty-six (66) and thirty-eight (38) Honorary Consulates.”
The Minister observed, with admiration, the growing interest members of the Diplomatic Corps in Ghana continue to show in all dimensions of Ghana’s development process, with emphasis on developing sustainable partnerships within the framework of President Akufo-Addo’s vision of building a “Ghana Beyond Aid”.
“Let me take this opportunity to thank the members of the Diplomatic Corps in Ghana for their collaborative efforts towards sustaining Ghana’s development and their engagement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in operationalising its work programme.”
The Minister briefed President Akufo-Addo that since the inception
of his administration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has undertaken some key initiatives aimed at giving effect to his goal of creating job opportunities for the youth and ensuring that every Ghanaian child of school going age enjoys the benefit of free education without any hindrance.
Notable among these initiatives, she mentioned, are the annual Bazaar Extravaganza, a 3-day mini trade expo which creates the platform for local industrialists and entrepreneurs to interface with Diplomatic Corps in Ghana, showcase their products, share best practices and find new markets for their products.
Another equally important initiative, according to her, is the “Back to School” Campaign, which is part of the Ministry’s Corporate Social Responsibility.
She explained that the Campaign provides support in terms of educational logistics to schools in deprived communities in Ghana to complement government’s efforts at ensuring that all children of school going age have access to quality education.
“Happily, the second edition of the Back to School project was successfully held in Yendi about two weeks ago, with sponsorship from some Diplomatic Missions and other private institutions,” she noted.
She added that “it is also important to note that through effective collaboration with the Diplomatic Corps, the “Year of Return” Project was successfully executed.”
The positive impact of this initiative, which has resonated with World Leaders and people across the globe will continue to be felt especially within the African Diaspora, for years to come, she assured.
New Program For Diplomats
Last year, the Minister recounted that the Ministry started a regular briefing session for Members of the Diplomatic Corps.
The session, she observed, is aimed at providing foreign Missions in Ghana with credible, accurate and reliable information on government policies, programmes and emerging socio-economic and political developments in the country.
” The last of these briefings featured Ministers for Finance, National Security, Information, Interior, Energy, and my good self. At the event, all of us took turns to address issues pertaining to our respective areas of competence,” she said.
In view of the high patronage and interest shown by the Diplomatic Corps in this exercise, the Ministry has now institutionalized these regular briefing sessions, according to her.
Going forward therefore, she said, the Ministry would work in close partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations – Ghana towards enriching the programme.
Beginning this year, Mrs. Ayorkor Botchwey announced that the Ministry intends to complement its briefing sessions with an outreach programme for the Diplomatic Corps.
“This would involve visits to some industries as well as cultural and tourist sites, aimed at exposing the Diplomatic Corps to the enormous economic potential and the rich cultural heritage of the country,” she said.
” I trust that I can continue to count on your support as we work together towards the success of these programmes,” she begged of the President.
BY Melvin Tarlue