The United Kingdom’s (UK) Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, will visit Ghana from, Monday April 29, for a two-day official duty aimed at boosting trade and bilateral relations towards Ghana’s drive to self-development.
In furtherance of this, he would be joined by the Africa Deputy Trade Commissioner, Martin Kent and a business delegation from the UK, made up of representatives from BP, Ordnance Survey, London Stock Exchange, Aqua Africa, Bechtel, BHM Construction, Biwater, CDC, OSTC, and Plexus Cotton.
Mr Hunt is expected to announce a new £30 million agriculture and farming-exports support-project, and a new waste management pilot project to help improve waste collection and help spur investment in recycling facilities.
An official statement issued by the British High Commission, on Sunday, and copied to the Ghana News Agency explained: « This trip, his first as Foreign Secretary, will demonstrate how the UK-Ghana relationship – built on shared values, our people-to-people links and our Commonwealth ties is progressing towards a common goal: a prosperous, secure Ghana that is delivering inclusive growth as it moves ‘Beyond Aid’ ».
The representatives of the companies would have the opportunity through a number of events, meetings and visits to gain a greater understanding of economic development in Ghana, meet senior ministers, and senior local business leaders, the statement said.
« The highlight of the visit will be a meeting with the President of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo at the Jubilee House to discuss the UK and Ghana’s strong partnership and shared future, » it said.
“The Foreign Secretary and Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Ghana ‘s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration will also sign a Joint Declaration witnessed by the Vice President H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and The British High Commissioner H.E. Iain Walker.”
The Declaration, the statement said, would set out a renewed focus on three shared pillars – Mutual Prosperity, Regional Security, and Health, Education and Equality.
“The Foreign Secretary, as part of the UK Government’s commitment to supporting Ghana “Beyond aid’’ will also meet with UK business leaders in Ghana, to support their efforts to invest more in the country.
“Currently, the bilateral trade between Ghana and the UK is worth £1.2 billion, and there is scope to do much more as British businesses look to accelerate Ghana’s plans to build its infrastructure. « This is on the back of the UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s target for the UK to be the G7’s largest Foreign Direct Investor in Africa by 2022, and Ghana will be at the heart of the story.”
The UK, the statement said, was set to support Ghana to become a Regional Financial Hub and the most conducive environment for doing business in Africa.
Mr Hunt would also address an event to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Commonwealth on the theme, ‘A connected Commonwealth’.
Madam Ayorko Botchwey, leading investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, the founder of Blue Skies Anthony Pile, and the new CEO of Vodafone Ghana Patricia Obo-Nai, would also be at the event.
“Plastic waste disposal is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing Ghana, which is why DFID will help address issues around waste collection in Ghana and help mobilise investment in recycling and processing facilities in Accra,” the statement explained about the support to be announced.
“Our values are what bind us. And in an increasingly inter-connected world, how we tackle shared threats and challenges in the future will be what defines us: on matters of climate change, plastics, cyber security,” the British High Commissioner, Mr Iain Walker, according to the statement, said ahead of the visit.
“Foreign Secretary’s visit to Ghana allows us to develop the UK-Ghana partnership to make it even better: we have created the UK-Ghana Business Council as the primary vehicle for our governments to work together on trade, investment, economic development, job creation and the business environment; the Foreign Secretary’s visit will allow us to commit this same energy to security, and development.”