3 June 2019

Ghana: 'Govt, Norway Reinforcing Ties of Co-Operation' - President Akufo-Addo

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the 2-day visit to Ghana by the Prime Minister of the Government of the Kingdom of Norway, Her Excellency Erna Solberg, is aimed at reinforcing the strong ties of friendship and co-operation that already exist between Ghana and Norway.

With Prime Minister Solberg being the first Norwegian Prime Minister ever to visit Ghana, President Akufo-Addo expressed the appreciation of the Ghanaian people to the Norwegian government and people for the considerable support they have offered Ghana through various interventions.

According to President Akufo-Addo, Norway's "Oil for Development Programme", which has been running successfully for more than a decade, has enhanced Ghana's capacity to manage her petroleum resources.

"We are also grateful for the assistance offered to the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, and the Ghana Nautical College, amongst others," he added.

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Friday, 31st May, 2019, when the Norwegian Prime Minister paid a courtesy call on her Ghanaian counterpart, at Jubilee House, the seat of the nation's presidency, as part of her 2-day official visit to Ghana.

Particularly delighted with Norway's new partner country initiative, which is aimed at ensuring that partner countries become independent of aid in the long term, the President indicated that "it fits in perfectly with my Government's vision of a 'Ghana Beyond Aid'."

He was also encouraged by the fact that more Norwegian companies are looking to invest in Ghana, symbolized by the presence of oil and gas giant, Aker Energy.

"I wish to assure the more than fifty (50) Norwegian companies operating in our country that my government will continue to try and maintain a conducive investment atmosphere that would not only guarantee the safety of their investments, but also good returns on investments as well," he said.

The President stated that he was "especially pleased with the commitment of Aker to work with us to engineer and inspire the industrial development of our country, and help us achieve the structural transformation of our economy."

President Akufo-Addo told Prime Minister Solberg that Ghana and Norway share similar positions on many of the great issues of the day, especially the mutual attachment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to the Paris Climate Accord, to the strengthening of the multilateral system of international co-operation, and to the need to employ peaceful means to resolve disputes.

"I wish to reassure you that the Republic of Ghana will continue to collaborate with the Kingdom of Norway, at the bilateral and multilateral levels, in finding solutions to challenges such as the eradication of widespread poverty, elimination of irregular migration, insecurity and human rights violations, terrorism and violent extremism, human and drug trafficking, piracy, as well as climate change and its attendant impact on the environment and livelihoods.," he added

The President expressed his satisfaction about the "Fish for Development" initiative signed by the two countries, and looked forward to its implementation because it will have a positive impact on the management of our marine resources for the creation of wealth and jobs, particularly in fishing communities, in line with the realisation of SDG No. 14.

Before concluding, President Akufo-Addo brought up the matter of the process of UN Reform, especially of the UN Security Council, which appears to have stalled.

"We are fully committed to Africa's Common Position on UN Reform, based on the Ezulwini Consensus, and are anxious that the matter of UN Reform finds its way back quickly onto the global agenda," he said.

The President continued, "We solicit the support of Norway and the other countries of Europe for this long, overdue reform. It is well past the time to correct the longstanding injustice that the current structure and composition of the UN Security Council represent for the nations of Africa."

Whilst in Ghana, Prime Minister Erna Solberg is expected to pay a visit to Jamestown, hold an encounter with fisher folk, and undertake a tour of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre.

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