President Akufo-Addo on Friday evening presented letters of credence to the first set of persons he has appointed to go represent Ghana’s interest abroad as Ambassadors with DAILY GUIDE’s own Chief Executive Officer, Gina Ama Blay in the thick of affairs.
The eight persons included Papa Owusu Ankomah, Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom; Dr Adjei Barwuah-United States, Ms Anna Bossman-France; Gina Ama Blay-Germany; Frederick Daniel Laryea-Cote D’Ivoire, Stephen Mahamudu Yakubu-Morroco, Rashid Bawa-Nigeria and Edward Boateng, China.
President Akufo-Addo said “the eight men and women who have received their letters of credence this evening have been carefully chosen to become our Ambassadors and High Commissioners; they have distinguished themselves in their various fields of endeavour and in the public service of our country.”
For this reason, he insisted “they are eminently fit to represent Ghana in their respective places of accreditation which indeed have expressed satisfaction at their appointments” whiles touting their credentials.
Their roles he said was threefold; diplomatic, ceremonial and administrative.
In all of these, he asked each and every one of them to remember that “you have the onerous responsibility preserving and promoting the image of a country whose reputation amongst the comity of nations is high.”
“You represent a country that as a result of the commendable conduct of the Ghanaian people, is regarded as one of the most stable on the continent, which is a functioning democracy, governed by the rule of law and respect for individual liberties, human rights and the principles of democratic accountability”, he told the new Ambassadors.
He thus described them as the most visible symbol of Ghana out there and therefore charged them to, as it were, “guard jealously our country’s image”, stressing confidence in their ability to uphold the charge.
As a government that inherited an economy confronted with significant challenges with a 74% debt to GDP ratio, 9% fiscal deficit, $2.4billion debt overhang in the energy sector and 3.6% growth rate in 2016 [the lowest in the last 23years], erratic power supply, declining agricultural and industrial growth rate, high production and operating cost, high lending and inflation rate, widespread unemployment and corruption, he told them “this means that you have the responsibility to drive private sector investment into Ghana.”
“You are the chief promoters of Ghana’s commercial interest to the respective countries to which you are going”, was his reason, whiles asking them to work closely with the various Ministries and agencies at home whose role it is to generate investment in the country.
President Akufo-Addo therefore reminded them to fix their minds on the various flagship programmes that his government is pursuing including the famous ‘one district, one factory’, ‘one village, one dam’, ‘planting for food and jobs’.
For him, “they are descriptions of our commitment to the rapid development and transformation of the nation’s industrial and agricultural sectors.”
“We are determined to create the appropriate macroeconomic environment which will attract domestic and foreign investment into these, the real sectors of our economy; you have to help in that exercise”, he charged.
“In doing so, you will recall that at all times, our objective; to build a Ghana beyond aid, a Ghana which is self reliant in exploiting its own resources honestly with hard work, creativity and enterprise, to build a free prosperous Ghana of the dreams of the founding fathers of our nation”, he said in conclusion.
He also advised the ambassadors to develop cordial relations with the professional Foreign Service officers they would find at their duty posts, saying “they have invaluable experience and knowledge of the terrain which should help you work effectively.”
Aside that, he noted “you’ll need their assistance and they will need your guidance and leadership; mutual respect is the key to harmonious working relations.”
Considering the fact that Ghana is on good terms with all the countries, the President asked his appointees to deepen the existing relations between the respective countries as well as explore other areas of effective cooperation which would inure to the mutual benefit of the various countries.
On behalf of his colleagues, Dr Adjei Bawuah thanked President Akufo-Addo and the government and people of Ghana for the honour done them.
He considered it a privilege having been selected among several Ghanaians to go and serve the country’s interest abroad, with a promise not to fail them.
“Considering the fact that you have said we are in the position to deliver, we can also assure you that we will deliver”, he told the President.
“We can only promise that we will do our best and we know and we believe that our best will be good enough for the people of this country and you in particular for selecting us, to be proud of us. We probably might not be able to kill all the birds, but we promise you, we will bring most of the birds to the table because that is what you have promised this country and its people; that you will do the best you can to make sure that if not at least all, the greater majority of us will have a better life under your watch”, he pledged.
The Ambassadors being sworn-in
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent