Ghana and Cyprus initiate political consultations

Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides has hosted Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, in the national capital, Nicosia, to work towards establishing a framework for political consultations between the two nations.

The framework is intended to facilitate co-operation in areas of trade, maritime security, education, fisheries, tourism, and promote smooth visa protocols.

At a meeting held at the Cypriot Foreign Ministry’s Headquarters, Madam Botchwey informed Dr Konstantinos Kombos, Cypriot Foreign Minister and his team, of many opportunities being offered by the burgeoning Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), headquartered in Ghana.

“We must explore trade opportunities between our two countries. I will recommend a visit by a Cypriot Business Mission to Ghana to explore mutually beneficial opportunities under AfCFTA,” she stated.

The two leaders also discussed multilateral issues including the United Nations, and the future of the Commonwealth, the 56-member organisation, which Madam Botchwey has offered herself to lead as its General-Secretary when Heads of Governments meet in October in the Pacific Island of Samoa. 

Her candidacy has received strong bipartisan support in Ghana.

Cypriot Foreign Minister, Dr Kombos, commended Ghana for her position on issues of international law during her two-year tenure on the UN Security Council, which ended in 2023.

“The Commonwealth is a powerful organisation, but it needs a different outlook and a new approach to make it even more impactful,” Dr Kombos said.

The Commonwealth Member States generate over $13 trillion Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually.

Ms Botchwey, in response, said: “We must make sure that the wealth of the Commonwealth becomes common for all its members.”

She said the Commonwealth must be felt beyond election monitoring and Commonwealth Games.

“The Commonwealth must support young people; we must train them in skills and provide them with financial support for innovation and start-ups to stem the tide of illegal migration,” she said.

Ms Botchwey, one of Africa’s leading diplomats, has made the issues concerning the future of young people in the Commonwealth key thematic topics for her candidacy.

More than 60 per cent of the 2.6 billion people in the Commonwealth are under 30 years.

Although most Commonwealth countries were former British colonies, other countries like the Rwanda, Mozambique, Togo and now-suspended Gabon without pre-independence ties with Britain, had joined, which, Madam Botchwey said, demonstrated the organisation’s importance.

Earlier, Cypriot President Christodoulides stated that his country shared Ms Botchwey’s vision for the Commonwealth, especially in the areas of trade and investment.

Trade volumes between Ghana and Cyprus currently stood at $1.8 million as of 2022. 

Source: GNA

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