Germany and Ghana on Tuesday signed a 100 million Euros bilateral Investment and Reform Partnership agreement to promote private investment in renewable energy and vocational training.
The agreement is part of Germany’s G-20 Compact with Africa programme for sustainable economic development.
Ghana’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta and Germany’s Deputy Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Friedrich Kitschelt signed the agreement under the auspices of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the visiting German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the Flagstaff House in Accra.
The Partnership with Ghana is geared towards improving conditions for sustainable private sector investment, investment in infrastructure, economic participation, and employment in the country.
Addressing the press after the signing ceremony, President Akufo-Addo warmly welcomed Mr Steinmeier to Ghana, optimistic that his visit to the country would “renew the friendship and advance the dialogue that has been between our two countries.”
With Ghana being the third largest trading partner of Germany in Sub-Saharan Africa, the President said the relations between the two nations had been excellent, with many important features of commonality between both states.
President Akufo-Addo said the German economy had been distinguished by the prevalence and importance of small and medium scale enterprises, a rich experience Ghana could exploit to scale up and strengthen the sector to revamp its economy.
The President noted further Germany’s leading role in the training of its workforce had made that country’s workforce one of the most efficient in the world “and 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,” He said.
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.
Germany, he noted, was 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 our 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.”
The President said the “Ghana beyond aid” was one of the finest and greatest resonance of the leadership of Germany and it provided “another important basis for this continuing and fruitful dialogue that there is between our two countries.”
“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 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,” the President said.
Mr 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 and praised Ghana’s democracy and tradition of stability, as well as the excellent and friendly business climate, which suited well with German businesses and industry that were very keen to invest in the country.
Ghana, Mr Steinmeier noted, had shown the world in the last twelve months “that it was possible to move away from divisive tendencies through determined actions and the data available to us, has improved and we are more optimistic more than we were a year or two ago.”
“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 said.
The German President also commended the Ghanaian government for focusing on education and vocational training “and 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.”
“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,” he noted.
Mr Steinmeier pledged his country’s support to partner Ghana to promote private investment and sustainable economic development for mutual benefit.
“Beyond what I have just 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 will be opening a study course for advanced university studies.”