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Ghana’s Foreign Minister has asked ambassadors and high commissioners-designate to play a proactive role in promoting the country’s national and strategic interests.
Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway said Ghana’s diplomatic missions and envoys abroad were mandated not only to sell the country abroad but to vigorously market the incentives that Ghana offers to potential foreign investors.
“You will also be required to leverage Ghana’s democratic and governance credentials, respect for the rule of law, the peace and stability of the country for the past two decades to engender international goodwill and solidarity in order to attract trade, investment, scientific and technological transfer among other areas of critical endeavour for the development of the country,” Ms Botchway. This was when she opened a five-day seminar for Ambassadors and High Commissioners-designate in Accra on Monday.
“The role of the Heads of Missions will be critical in this endeavour. But in this quest, you should be mindful to attract genuine investors and tourists into Ghana and not those who will subvert our economy, destroy our environment and pollute our culture and national moral fibre,” she stated.
“Economic Diplomacy also includes conducting trade intelligence, obtaining phytosanitary regulatory and import requirements of your respective countries, and bringing Ghana partners who are willing to add value to our raw materials,” she added.
The orientation seminar, which is being attended by over 20 new envoys designate, was designed to enable them tap into the country’s rich pool of highly-experienced and skilled Foreign Service Officers for the benefit of all the participants. Madam Botchway explained that this was because of the strategic significance of the mandate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration as outlined in the Directive Principles of State Policy under Chapter Six of the 1992 Constitution.
She reminded the envoys of President Akufo-Addo’s vision of building an industrial economy that was capable of creating jobs for unemployed youth and prosperity for all Ghanaians.
The Minister said: “It is therefore important that you endeavour to familiarise yourselves with both the Ghana Medium Term National Development Policy Framework (2014-2017) and its successor for the period 2018-2021. “Based on this framework, the Ministry has developed its Work Plan for 2017, which has been forwarded to all our Missions.
They in turn have formulated their Plans for 2017. “To achieve our national objectives requires that we do our utmost to enhance our interaction with the rest of the world in all spheres of human endeavour, but especially in the priority areas of agriculture, agro-processing, trade, foreign direct investment, technical cooperation and human capacity development”.
She said it was therefore, imperative for the envoys to sharpen their skills in diplomatic practice and also become well-acquainted with what would be expected of them as Heads of Missions.
“The nature of your interaction with authorities and citizens of your host countries, colleague members of the diplomatic community as well as the Ghanaian community will all impact directly or indirectly on our country in one way or the other,” she said.
Madam Botchway encouraged the envoys to facilitate the contributions of Ghanaians in the diaspora to national development as part of government’s new policy on Diaspora Engagement. She said the contributions of Ghanaians abroad, particularly private remittances contribute in no small measure to supporting monetary stability and engender economic growth. “The confidence and expectations that the leadership of this country has invested in you is high and I would entreat you do your utmost to work hard and make a difference in our collective well-being,” Mrs Botchway told the envoys.
Mr Albert Francis Yankey, the Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, congratulated the envoys on their new appointments. He reminded them that the overall goal of their new appointments was to contribute to national development.
Among the dignitaries, who graced the occasion were the two Deputy Foreign Ministers Mr Charles Owiredu and Mr Mohammed Habbib Tijani.
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