By Frank Amponsah
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has said Ghana has a lot to learn from Germany’s experience to build a more buoyant and resilient economy that will offer better opportunities to its young citizens and prevent them from embarking on the extremely dangerous option of illegal migration.
He averred that Ghana and Germany have excellent relations over the years and that there are several important features and commonality in what both countries are doing and is hoping to achieve.
President Akufo-Addo made these remarks when he, together with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier held a joint press conference in Accra, yesterday.
He averred that German economy has always been well-known by the popularity and importance of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises stressing that, Ghana can also experience and exploit successes chalked by Germany and be able to scale up and strengthen its sectors and revamp its economy, stressing that Germany’s leading role in the training of its workforce had made that country’s workforce one of the most efficient in the world.
He said: “it shows in the continuous performance and resilience of the German economy. This is another area of great concern for us, the whole area of skills development and training for our workforce and for our young people.”
The President also said that “Ghana beyond aid was one of the finest and greatest resonances of the leadership of Germany and it provided another important basis for this continuing and fruitful dialogue that there is between the two countries.
He said “I am particularly happy that today that he has come with a very impressive business delegation and we are hoping that the delegation would have a very serious and meaningful intercourse with our own business community so that the very strong relations that are between our two countries would continue to develop.”
He said education is a major priority of his government, hence the major investment in education because government wants to scale up the capacity and competence of its workforce.
President Akufo-Addo was optimistic that the visit of Germany’s President to Ghana would renew the friendships and advance the dialogue that has been between our two countries over decades
The President said the relations between the two nations had been excellent, with many important features of commonality between both states considering the fact that Ghana is the third largest trading partner of Germany in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The President told the German leader that his government’s main priority was the enhancement of Education, which would ultimately scale up the capacity and competence of Ghana’s workforce.
He noted also that with Germany been an important world leader in the area of renewable energy, an area that held extreme importance and concern for Ghana, and which the country hopes to find a meaningful intercourse with Germany.
President Akufo-Addo stated further that there were many other areas of international concern where Ghana and Germany stood shoulder to shoulder in the view of issues about terrorism.
“And above all we have taken a great deal of inspiration from the commitment of Germany’s leaders in supporting the options that Ghanaians have taken to assume greater responsibility for their economic development.”
On his part, Mr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the longstanding relations between his country and Ghana had been given an additional impetus with him being in Ghana with a business delegation.
He admired Ghana’s democracy and tradition of stability, as well as the excellent and friendly business climate, which suited very well German businesses and industry that were very keen to invest in the country.
Mr. Steinmeier noted that it was possible to move away from divisive tendencies through determined actions and that the data available to them have improved and they are more optimistic than ever since the interest on the part of Ghana in Germany’s investment is just as great because it is not only about investing companies and plants but about German companies bringing something here that you urgently need.
He again commended the Ghanaian government for seeing the necessity to focus on education and vocational training, saying “it is something that I consider to be very necessary and makes a lot of sense as the President pointed out earlier when he explained the philosophy that you want to build a Ghana beyond aid.”
He said: “I think we both are quite aware of the fact that this is not only a right and objective way to go but it can also be beneficial if you open up the opportunities for the young people through training and vocational education to follow a perspective for yourself and your country.”
Mr. Steinmeier pledge his country’s support to partner Ghana to promote private investment and sustainable economic development for the mutual benefit of both nations.
President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said “We hope that we would be able to partner more strongly in the field of university training and in view of that I will be paying a visit to the University of Ghana and would be opening a study course for advanced university studies. The Partnership with Ghana is geared towards improving conditions for sustainable private sector investment, investment in infrastructure, economic participation, and employment in the country.”
Also, German Deputy Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Friedrich Kitschelt during a signing ceremony of 100 million Euros bilateral Investment and Reform Partnership agreement which will help promote private investment, renewing energy and vocational training in Ghana, indicated that Germany has identified Ghana as an important pillar of stability in region and economic zone that has to be supported.
In view of that Ghana and Germany will sign a joint declaration of intent with a 100 million Euro grant to Ghana after joining the compact countries.
This support according to Friedrich Kitschelt will help both countries cascade in foreign private investment and boost foreign trade and growth and be able to make significant impact on energy, healthcare, and jobs creation.