Akufo-Addo deepens Germany relations to expand Ghana export
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described Ghana’s relations with Germany as being “of the utmost importance”, noting that the country is determined to participate fully in the global marketplace to expand export.
President Akufo-Addo said, “we, in Ghana, are drawing inspiration from the success stories of North Rhine-Westphalia and Germany because, likewise, we want to build a progressive and prosperous country.”
Referring from the oft-cited African proverb, which says, “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,” he stated that, “we have resolved to walk hand-in-hand with North Rhine-Westphalia and Germany because we desire to walk far.”
The president added that the country was doing so, “especially as we share attachments to common values of respect for individual liberties and human rights, of respect for the rule of law, and of respect for the principles of democratic accountability.”
He said this on Monday, August 23, when he delivered a speech in Düsseldorf, in the Federal Republic of Germany, as part of the 75th-anniversary celebrations of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s number one industrial region and most populous state.
He was addressing a gathering in the presence of German Chancellor Dr Angela Dorothea Merkel and the Minister-President for North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet.
With Germany being a major exporter of industrial products and technology and North Rhine-Westphalia being in the lead, he believed that Ghana’s relations with Germany are of utmost importance and must be hinged industrialisation.
“The recent establishment of a Volkswagen assembly 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.
The president also said that Ghana would increase trade and investment cooperation with Germany.
He explained that this was one of the ways the country could develop healthy economic relations with North Rhine-Westphalia and Germany, and with the rest of the world.
This would, in turn, help put Ghanaian products at the high end of the global value chain and create jobs for the teeming masses of Ghanaian youths.
“Ghana and Germany must co-operate in ensuring the promotion of transparent and inclusive policy and decision-making processes at local, national, regional, continental and global levels.
This would 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.
The president reiterated his commitment to renewing and deepening relations “with Germany, with North Rhine-Westphalia at her centre, to our mutual advantage. We do want to, 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 victim nor pawn of the world order.”
Extending the best wishes of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to the people of North Rhine-Westphalia, President Akufo-Addo conveyed his deep sympathies on the recent flooding tragedy that befell them.
Recounting the events that led to the formation of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1946, the president noted that many residents would have seen for themselves the destruction of their homes and business because of World War 2.
“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.
The president remarked that North Rhine-Westphalia being consistently Germany’s greatest industrial region for several decades and one of Europe’s most important economic centres, did not happen by chance.
“It took creativity, determination, enterprise, hard work and innovation, and credit for this goes to successive generations of North Rhine-Westphalians and their leaders,” President Akufo-Addo said.