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General News Wed, 14 Jul 2010

Minister of Foreign Affairs inaugurates Advisory Board

Accra, July 14, GNA - Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, on Wednesday inaugurated a 12-member Ministerial Advisory Board to provide a forum for constant interaction between the Ministry and its principal stakeholders for better service delivery.

The Civil Service Law mandates all Ministries to establish advisory boards to provide the platform for promoting inter-sector consultation and cooperation among Ministries, Departments and Agencies and opportunities for strengthening partnerships between the public and private sectors, the media and the citizenry.

The Board chaired by Alhaji Mumuni, has other members as Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Ms Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Chris Kpodo, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ransford Tetteh, President of Ghana Journalists Association and Mr Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director, Institute of Democratic Governance.

The rest are; Mr Francis Yaw Osei-Sarfo, Member of Parliament and Chairman of Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mr Kwamena Ahwoi, Former Minister of Regional Integration and Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Lawrence R.A. Satuh, Acting Chief Director of the Ministry, Nana Owusu Afari, President of Association of Ghana Industries, Mr B.G. Godwyll, Chairman of Association of Former Foreign Service Officers and Mr Simon S. Puli, Former Chief Director of the Ministry.

Since 1994, three attempts had been made by the Ministry to fulfill the mandate of establishing such a board but all failed.

Alhaji Mumuni was hopeful that now the Board would function effectively to enable the Ministry benefit from the insights and opinions of those sectors that had a stake in the execution of its mandate.

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He noted that promoting Ghana's interest abroad while ensuring that the country derived maximum benefits from these undertakings had challenges of ensuring consistency and coherence in policies as well as the ever-pressing need for adequate resources both human and financial, to ensure proper implementation.

To that effect, Alhaji Mumuni said the Ministry had decided not to spare efforts in availing itself of the counsels at its disposal to make the needed adjustments in policy directions, planning objectives and operational strategies towards ensuring that aspirations of the people were met in the better Ghana agenda.

He said members of the Board came from the background of integrity, experience and accomplishments in the public, private and civil society realms, who shared common interest in operations of the sector Ministry.

Alhaji Mumuni noted that one of the major agenda of the Board would be to review the proposed policy separating the foreign service of the Ministry from the civil service to make it autonomous.

He expressed confident that the members would discharge their responsibilities with the commitment and the candour while taking into consideration the peculiar nature of the Ministry.

Alhaji Mumuni said the over-arching goal, consistent with the political philosophy of the National Democratic Congress, was that Ghana's foreign policy should be people-centred and ordinary citizens should be able to perceive and benefit from the social, economic and cultural interactions that were pursued with other nations and actors in the international system.

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Mr Kpodo said current international activity did not only require but imposed on the Ministry, the imperative to harness national energies, both public and private for the effective and efficient discharge of its responsibilities.

He said the Ministry was therefore determined to develop innovative policy ideas, which would promote effective multi-sectoral appreciation of national priorities and global issues of common interest in Ghana as well as a democratic and well-governed nation as a foundation for order and development.

Dr Mrs Christiana Amoako-Nuama, a Senior Presidential Staffer advised members of the Board to support the Ministry to source for funds and resources to build the capacity of its personnel.

Mr Tetteh, urged the Ministry to form a core of reporters interested in promoting Ghana's foreign policy, who would be trained to effectively promote that agenda.

Source: GNA