Ghana on Tuesday honoured Mr Bernard Ehui-Koutouo, outgoing Ambassador of the Ivory Coast and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Mr Mohammed Hussain AI-Failokawi, outgoing Ambassador of the State of Kuwait.
This was in recognition of the duo’s outstanding performance during their duty tour of the country.
Speaking at a cocktail reception held in honour of the two envoys in Accra, Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, said the two diplomats had all served their countries with distinction here in Ghana and had contributed tremendously to the deepening and widening of the relations between their respective countries and Ghana.
She recounted that Mr Ehui-Koutoua assumed office as Ambassador of the Ivory Coast to Ghana on 26th May 2011.
She said Mr Ehui-Koutoua’s eight-year tour of duty had been eventful and had led to the strengthening of relations and cooperation between the two countries, especially in the marketing of cocoa and on maritime and security issues.
“During his tenure of duty, Ghana and the Ivory Coast signed agreements in the fields of Geological and Mining Cooperation as well as Regional Integration within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS),” she stated.
“Throughout his stay in Ghana, Mr Ehui-Koutoua showed a willingness to cooperate and share information with relevant Ghanaian authorities on development opportunities in the two countries, for the mutual benefit of our people.”
She said as Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Mr Ehui-Koutoua exhibited leadership and tact in the way he went about his responsibilities and rightly conveyed the thoughts and views of the diplomatic community.
The Minister indicated that by all standards, Mr Ehui-Koutoua’s tenure was beneficial to his country – the Ivory Coast, to Ghana, and to the diplomatic community, and he would be sorely missed.
With regards to Mr Al-Failakawi, the Minister recounted that he became the first Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Ghana, following the official inauguration of the Embassy of Kuwait here in Accra in June 2015.
She said since assuming the position, Mr Al-Failakawi had worked very hard to justify his appointment.
She noted that it was during his tenure that Ghana obtained a loan worth $24 million from the Kuwaiti Fund for Economic Development to build and develop 26 model secondary schools in the country.
She said Mr Al-Failakawi was also instrumental in getting Ghana to access a $10 million loan facility from the same Kuwaiti Fund for the Dome-Kitase Road Project.
She said Ghana’s bilateral relations with the State of Kuwait was given a further boost with the reciprocal opening of the Ghana Embassy in Kuwait City in August 2017 and the appointment of Alhaji Ahmed Rufai Yahaya Iddi as Ambassador.
She said Ghana and Kuwait also signed a bilateral agreement on Political Consultations in 2018 to further enhance the relations.
“Thus, as these two distinguished diplomats bid farewell to Ghana, it is only proper that I hold this reception in their honour,” she said.
“It is to celebrate them and their achievements during their tenures as representatives of their respective countries in Ghana, and I must add that they have indeed been worthy representatives.”
She urged the duo to be proud of their achievements here in Ghana and to take along with them the memorable experiences of their time in Ghana.
“As you depart Ghana, let me on behalf of the Government and people of Ghana, wish you and your families well in your endeavours and in whichever part of the globe you next find yourselves,” she said.
Mr Al-Failakawi, who expressed his appreciation to the Minister for the honour done him, also praised the good relations and cooperation that now existed between Kuwait and Ghana.
Mr Ehui-Koutouo lauded Ghana for the honour done them, stating that at the moment of his departure; he looks forward to deepening the relations between his country and Ghana.
At the function, Mr Ehui-Koutouo formally handed over his role as the Head of the Diplomatic Corps in Ghana to Mrs Claudia Turbay Quintero, the Columbian Ambassador to Ghana.