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