Ghana is systematically rising to become an influential player in the affairs of the global community, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
“We do want, and we shall work, to take Ghana to where she deserves to be — a prosperous and dynamic member of the world community which is neither a victim nor a pawn of the world order,” he stated.
The President made the declaration in a speech delivered in Dusseldorf, Germany, last Monday as part at the 75th anniversary celebration of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s number one industrial region and most populous state.
President Akufo-Addo is in Germany for a seven-day state visit at the invitation of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Addressing the gathering, which included Chancellor Merkel and the Minister-President for North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, President Akufo-Addo said Ghana was determined to participate fully in the global marketplace as an exporter of manufactured goods, not raw materials.
President Akufo-Addo added that the country was drawing inspiration from the success stories of North Rhine-Westphalia and Germany because, “likewise, we want to build a progressive and prosperous country”.
He said with Germany being a major exporter of industrial products and technology, led by North Rhine-Westphalia, Ghana’s relationship with Germany was of utmost importance and must be hinged on that.
“The recent establishment of a Volkswagen assemblying plant in Accra is a welcome development, and we are encouraged by the fact that more and more German companies have expressed their willingness to set up shop in Ghana,” he said.
Trade and investment
The President said one of Ghana’s priority was to increase trade and investment co-operation with Germany because that could develop into economic relations with Germany and the rest of the world, thereby helping put Ghanaian products at the high end of the global value chain.
That, he explained, would lead to the creation of jobs for the teeming masses of Ghanaian youth.
Transparency and inclusiveness
“Thirdly, Ghana and Germany must co-operate to ensure the promotion of transparent and inclusive policy and decision-making processes at local, national, regional, continental and global levels.
“This will include, recognising as key stakeholders, the state to help provide direction and facilitation; the private sector to drive the creation and management of markets, agriculture, industry and decent jobs, and civil society to help ensure accountability within the body politic,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo reiterated his commitment to renew and deepen relations with Germany, with North Rhine-Westphalia at the centre, for the mutual advantage of the two countries.
The President extended the best wishes of the governments and the peoples of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to the people of North Rhine-Westphalia.
He also conveyed his deep sympathies on the recent flooding tragedy that befell some parts of Germany.
Recounting the events that had led to the formation of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1946, President Akufo-Addo noted that there were many residents who would have seen for themselves the destruction of their homes and businesses as a result of the Second World War.
“I am certain many moved on in search of greener pastures elsewhere, and I am equally certain that many more stayed to help in the rebuilding efforts that followed on from 1946.
“The ‘founding residents’ of this state will be proud of the transformation that has taken place here since those difficult, dramatic days,” he added.
He said with North Rhine-Westphalia being Germany’s greatest industrial region, and consistently, for several decades, being one of Europe’s most important economic centres, “these laudable accolades did not happen by chance”.
“It took creativity, determination, enterprise, hard work and innovation, and credit for these goes to successive generations of North Rhine-Westphalians and their leaders,” President Akufo-Addo added.