Post COVID-19 recovery: Akufo-Addo to go on three-nation working visit  

President Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will on Sunday, May 16, 2021 leave Ghana for a nine-day official working visit to France, Belgium, and South Africa.

The visits are part of the efforts the President is making to re-engage with the rest of the world, and promote Ghana, once again, as a country with an impressive business-friendly atmosphere and bright economic prospects for the future,” a statement issued by the Jubilee House on Thursday said.

This follows the global socio-economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

President Akufo-Addo is expected to attend a Summit on Financing African Economies in Paris, France on Tuesday, May 18, 2021.

The Summit, which is being convened by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, will bring together some African and European leaders, and heads of international financial institutions to devise strategies that will boost strong, inclusive recovery in Africa, whose economies have been hard hit by the effects of COVID-19.

The meeting is expected to help foster sustainable progress and prosperity on the continent, and accelerate the green and digital transition in line with the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Africa, has been the hardest hit by the pandemic – having been in a recession last year, and it is estimated that its economic recovery growth rate will be 3.7% for 2021, well below the global economic recovery rate of 5.5%.

This, according to many economic and financial experts, could worsen even further the problems of poverty and inequality for many Africans, a situation which leaders on the continent are keen to avoid.

It is envisaged that the meeting will, consequently, devise a financial package to enable African countries to overcome the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Participants are expected to agree on critical pro-growth reforms that are needed to enhance the private sector in Africa, and tap its growth potential with the help of local and international financial support.

These will include risk-sharing instruments dedicated to African entrepreneurs and SMEs, as well as appropriate technical assistance.

The Summit will, hopefully, agree on key common rules and enforcement mechanisms that will contribute to securing strong, sustainable growth in Africa.

According to the statement, whilst in Paris, President Akufo-Addo will hold bilateral discussions with the President of the World Bank, and the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, who will both be attending the Summit.

He will from Wednesday, May 19, at the invitation of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, be in Brussels, Belgium, to hold bilateral talks with the President and officials of the European Council, and meet with stakeholders committed to the partnership between Ghana and the European Union.

The talks between President Akufo-Addo and Mr Charles Michel are expected to centre on regional security, as well as on sustainability issues in the cocoa and fisheries sectors of Ghana, and their impact on relations between Ghana and the European Union.

The President will, in turn, meet with the President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Dr. Werner Hoyer, and participate in the ceremony for the signing of a €160 million facility between EIB and the Ministry of Finance, towards the establishment of the National Development Bank.

He will attend an investor conference in Brussels on Ghana, and also hold a meeting with Ms. Jutta Urpilainen, the EU Commissioner on International Co-operation, to discuss issues relating to the COVAX Facility, which is currently supplying COVID-19 vaccines to Ghana.

President Akufo-Addo will on the last lap of his tour, address the Fourth Ordinary Session of the Fifth Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), scheduled to take place on Monday, May 24, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Deliberations of this Session will be guided by the African Union (AU) theme for 2021: “Year of the Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want.’’

The President will be accompanied by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Finance, and officials of the Presidency and the Foreign and Finance Ministries. He will be joined in Brussels by the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, and the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD.

He is expected to return to Ghana on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

Source: GNA

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