Second India-Ghana Foreign Office Consultations held on July 1-2
Accra, Ghana, India and Ghana undertook a comprehensive review of the entire gamut of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. The co-chairs also took stock of exchange of bilateral visits, holding of Joint Commission Meeting, bilateral trade & investment, development partnership, capacity building, defence cooperation, security related issues, people to people linkages, pending MoUs, regional, and global issues.
This was undertaken during the second India-Ghana Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) which were held in Accra on July 2. Rahul Chhabra, Secretary (ER) from Indian side and Mr. Kwaku Ampratwum Sarpong, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from the Ghanaian side co-chaired the Meeting.
The two sides agreed to take steps to enhance the depth and momentum of engagement which would be to mutual benefit. Both sides noted with appreciation their cooperation on Covid-19 related issues, including donation of 50,000 Covid Vaccines by India to Ghana as a gesture of friendship and solidarity and 6,00,000 Covishield made-in-India vaccines under COVAX initiative.
Ghana noted with appreciation the visit of Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan from January 6-7 to attend the inauguration of President Akufo-Addo for his second term as President of the Republic of Ghana.
Relations between India and Ghana are traditionally warm and friendly and these relations are further gaining momentum with frequent high level visits and interactions from both sides. Bilateral trade has been growing at a healthy rate and recorded about USD4.5 billion in 2018-19 though in 2019-20 trade has declined to USD2.4 billion on account of low import of gold by India.
India has extended developmental assistance to Ghana worth over USD500 million under Lines of Credit and additional amount of USD500 million under Buyers Credit for various projects, including the iconic Presidential palace, Tema-Mpakadan railway line and India-Ghana Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence in ICT. India also continues to extend capacity building support to Ghana with scholarships for University education, Fellowships for research and skill and human resource development under ITEC including e-VBAB.
An MoU for Cooperation between India’s Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP) and Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) to facilitate human resource development and capacity building for further developing and strengthening the technical capabilities of the GAEC. The MOU was signed by Rahul Chhabra, Secretary(ER) from Indian side and Prof. B.J.B. Nyarko, Director General of GAEC from the Ghanaian side.
During the visit, Secretary (ER) also called on Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana. While briefing about the fruitful discussions held in the FOC, he apprised her the progress made in the bilateral relations since the last FOC held in 2019. Minister expressed her satisfaction about the state of bilateral relations and thanked for the support extended by India from time to time on various issues including the Covid-19 pandemic.
The talks were held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere. Both sides agreed to hold the next consultations in New Delhi at a mutually convenient date.