NEWS COMMENTARY ON GHANA-GERMANY RELATIONS WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF BILATERAL COOPERATION BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES.

The signing  of  three  Memoranda  Of  Understanding between  Ghana  and  Germany  in  connection  with  Dr Angela  Merkel’s  visit  was  a  matter  of  great significance.  It  shows  that  the  two  countries  are prepared  to  collaborate  with  each  other  to  engage  in trade  matters  in  line  with  their  desire  to  protect their  mutual  interests.  The  Memoranda  of Understanding  cover  the  construction  of  a  vaccine factory,  establishment  of  an  automotive  assembly plant  and  the  setting up of  a  hybrid  solar-hydro power  plant  in  Ghana.  It  is essential that  such memoranda  have  been  signed  between  the  two countries. It is however vital  to  hasten the process to  ensure  that  the  implementation  of  the  various programmes are  speeded  up to become reality within the shortest possible time.  At  the  same  time,  collaboration  between  the  two  countries  should  be made  to  take  place  within  the  framework  of  the President  of  Ghana’s  vision  of  ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’.  Collaboration  with  a  country  like  Germany  is necessary  at  this  point  in  time  since  Ghana is doing all  it  can  to  transform  its  economy  and  improve upon the welfare of its people.

In so doing, the country  would  have to do away  with  the  dependency syndrome  that  has  characterised  the  relationship between  African  countries  and  their  counterparts  in other parts of the world.  Any assistance from Germany is  most  welcome  but  this  should  be  used  as  a  step towards the process of weaning  off  the  country  of any dependency relationship. It is good that the Akufo-Addo administration  wishes  to  wean itself  off  IMF control.  Indeed  it  is  an  indication that the country is ready to take its economic destiny into its own hands and re- strategise  in  collaborating   with any  country whenever  necessary  to  make  Ghana  truly independent  in  future.

Again,  the  various  activities that  are  to  be  undertaken  in  the  country  as  a result  of  the  MOUs  must  be  properly  shaped up, organised  and  implemented  to  the  mutual  benefit  of the  countries  so  that  at  the  end  of  it  all,  both countries  would  be  the  true  beneficiaries  of  any transactions  taking  place  between  them.  The  visit  by  the  German  Chancellor,  Dr  Angela  Merkel, was meant  to  strengthen  the  bilateral  relations  between Ghana  and  Germany.  Ghana  has  had  a  long  historical  relationship  with Germany since  independence  in  1957  with  bilateral relations  improving  over  the  years.

Since taking office,  President  Akufo-Addo  has  met  with Federal  Chancellor,  Dr Angela Merkel  twice;  in June 2017  on the  occasion  of  the  G20  Africa  Conference  in  Berlin and  in  February  2018  on  an  official  visit  to Germany  to  attend  economic  conferences  in Dortmund  and  Berlin.  Ghana  has  benefited  from  a number  of  investments  and  economic  trade  activities from  Germany,  so  being  the  world’s  third  largest exporter  and  an  established  leader  in  technological innovations  and  industrialisation, the country  is  in  a position  to  help  Ghana  to  benefit  technically, culturally  and  in  terms  of  military assistance.  The collaboration  between  Ghana  and  Germany  ought  to continue  and be implemented  to  its  logical  conclusion  so that  generations  in  the  two  countries,  present  and future,  would  come  to  realise  the  need  to  collaborate  with  each  other  on  trade,  security and mutual  respect  for  each  other.

This is possible,  so  the  two countries  ought  to  work  hard  towards  the  realisation of  the collective  dream.

BY DR. KOFI AMPONSAH-BEDIAKO, DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, GHANA  STANDARDS AUTHORITY, ACCRA

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