Business News of 2014-03-04

Denmark to wean Ghana off dev’t support

The Deputy Head of the Africa Office at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Nikoley Heiberg, has hinted that Denmark will soon wean Ghana off its development support.
He, however, said the process towards the change in Denmark’s relationship with Ghana from a development-oriented to an economic-focused co-operation, would take some years to become operational.
Mr Heiberg, who was briefing a group of 12 African journalists from Ghana, Kenya and South Africa on a study tour of Denmark (and also visited the Foreign Affairs Ministry last week Friday), said modalities for the transition were yet to be firmed up.
Plan for phase out
He, however, indicated that, “The decision on how we should phase out or change our relationship with Ghana is not formally taken. It is one of the many things that our ministers will discuss in Ghana in a few weeks. To confirm that the weaning off was not going to be immediate, he said the Danish government was preparing its next programme with Ghana.
The deputy head of Denmark’s Africa Office said the high points of the co-operation with Ghana were in areas such as water and health.
Transition
Mr Heiberg explained that after South Africa, Ghana was next in line for a change in relationship, in view of the immense progress that the country had made over the years.
“Ghana is one of the countries where there has been tremendous growth since the ‘80s and we will still be very much engaged in Ghana on the development side, but it will change and by the 20s, we will probably no longer have traditional development co-operation with Ghana. It will have moved on to much more focus on economic development”.
Removing trade barriers
Mr Heiberg said while Denmark saw tremendous growth in Africa, which was really positive, there were also a lot of challenges, hence the focus on areas where they could help decrease barriers to growth in Africa and also between African states.
“We have launched an initiative called ‘Opportunity Africa’, which includes both our Minister of Trade and Development and our Foreign Minister, where we try to focus on how we in Denmark can assist in helping foster growth in Africa,” Mr Heiberg disclosed.
Mrs Lisbeth Petersen, deputy at the Global Green Growth (3G) Forum office at the Denmark Foreign Affairs Ministry, told the journalists that the office was created in 2011, to explore, promote and demonstrate how better collaboration among leading businesses, think tanks, leading international companies and the like could effectively realise the potential for long-term inclusive green growth.
Mrs Petersen disclosed that the secretariat’s theme for 2014 was, “Changing Production and Consumption Patterns through Transformative Action”.