By Charles Sarpong Amponsah
The Ambassador of France to Ghana, H.E. Anne Sophie Avé, has showered praise on the Ghanaian people for their kindness, tolerance, and hospitality.
According to her, the goodwill of the people is amazing and unbelievable.
Speaking on GTV’s breakfast show, she recounted how she stumbled at Makola market and what she described as the heartwarming reactions she received.
“The kindness of the Ghanaian people is amazing. It’s not surprising in a way that you would expect people not to be nice, but the level of kindness and hospitality is so heartwarming. You can hardly believe it.”
“I sometimes tell that story when, at the very beginning of my time in Ghana, I went to Makola market, and I was wearing high heels, and I slid on the pavement. Immediately, people rushed to me and were sorry. I was like, sorry, but it’s not your fault. They were all helping me. I actually sprained my ankle, so they brought me a chair and asked if I wanted a glass of water, and I was like, is this Heaven? This is just crazy because in France, you can slide and fall and people will ask if you are okay and carry on, and maybe one person will actually stop and help, but you will never have a whole group of people coming and all bringing you things to help you. This kindness is just so incredible.”
“The rest of the world is nice, but this level of kindness is just absolutely unprecedented and unequaled. I have never encountered that in the world,” she shared on Friday, August 5.
H.E Anne Sophie Avé revealed that though she has completed her four-year duty tour as ambassador to Ghana and will be leaving on August 29, she will come back to the west African nation.
“I have been very touched by the love I’m getting from Ghanaians and the connection that they have built with me. There is a deep connection that I feel with the country, with the people, and with the many friends I have made here. It makes me happy. I am actually devastated. It’s heartbreaking to leave, yes, but I have got amazing memories and I will be back often, not as an ambassador, but I will definitely be back.”
Expectations when posted to Ghana:
The host of “Touch of France”, a television talk show starring celebrities and showcasing France and Ghana, asserted: “It was a brand new thing for me because it was my first posting as an ambassador, so I really had no idea what it was like, so I was basically working on what the duty could be about and, of course, doing a bit of research and homework trying to find out about Ghana.”
“You see, I tried to arrive with a completely open mind and not to have any pre-determined ideas that I would have to deconstruct when I arrived. So I really came here with a completely open mind, and I wanted to be surprised and receptive to whatever I was seeing and observing. Very honestly, I was very excited because it’s an amazing privilege to be able to represent your country. I knew a bit about Africa because, in my previous posting, I had been able to travel to Niger, Mali, Ivory Coast, and Chad, but in a different kind of environment.”
The queen mother (Nkosuohemaa) of Begho in Bono Region and Napoka Amaltinga Apoka (Mother of Development) of Bonobutualso in Bolgatanga described Ghana’s bilateral ties with France as friendly.
“France and Ghana have been in a very friendly relationship for a long time. France was among the very first countries to recognise Ghana as a sovereign country in 1957. Very early after independence, we recognized and we set up an embassy.”
She added that a new ambassador was expected in September and hoped to be posted to another anglophone country.
“We never overlap. He will come when I’m gone, probably in September. We do the handover in France. We have a meeting in France and we have a rule that we can never have two ambassadors at the same time.”