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General News Sat, 4 Jun 2005

Africa will continue to dominate Ghana's foreign policy - Akufo-Addo

Ho, June 4, GNA - Africa will continue to be the focus of Ghana's foreign policy direction because the continent's collective interests are of historical and strategic importance to the country's own development, Foreign Minister Nana Addo-Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, has stated. He said Ghana holds on to, and believes in the early hopes of progressive, prosperous and self-reliant Africa with the capacity to project a positive image of the African on the world stage.

Nana Akuffo-Addo was opening a two-day workshop on "Ghana's Foreign Policy and Africa's Development Agenda" for Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs in Ho on Saturday.

The Legon Centre For International Affairs (LECIA) organized the workshop with sponsorship from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES). "As one of the leading actors within the AU (African Union) and its precursor the OAU (Organisation of African Unity), Ghana's policy is to collaborate with its partners to ensure peace and security on the continent in furtherance of the development of African states", Nana Akuffo-Addo reiterated.

The Foreign Minister said it is for this reason that Ghana recognizes "the intrinsic value of a shared positive vision for Africa as embodied in the aspirations of New Partnership for Africa's Development, "whose concepts on democracy and good governance, including respect for human rights and the rule of law, feature prominently in Ghana's domestic and foreign policy priorities".

Nana Akuffo-Addo said it was to demonstrate its commitment to setting a positive tone for Africa's development that Ghana subscribed to the Memorandum of Understanding on the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and became the first country to offer itself for review and voluntary self-assessment and constructive peer dialogue under the mechanism.

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"The experiences to be shared with other African countries after these self-assessments, hopefully, will facilitate the avoidance of those negative tendencies of the past that produced poor governance", he held.

The Foreign Minister said Ghana's role and influence has not been in doubt regarding its role in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) because for Ghana, a successful and viable regional body constitutes a solid building block for West Africa and the envisaged African Common Market.

He said Ghana's regional policy has been to promote the best possible relationship with its immediate neighbours; Togo, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria and Benin "with which Ghana shares ties of blood, history culture and commerce".

The outcome of that policy pursued since 2001 has resulted in close affinity between those countries and Ghana, characterized by frequent exchange of visits among their respective Heads of States, he added. "Through such collaborative efforts, the security of Ghana's borders has improved and continues to be assured by the existence of co-operation agreements as the Border Demarcation Committees that Ghana operates with Togo, Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire", among other similar initiatives.

Source: GNA
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