Madam Harriett Baldwin, the United Kingdom Minister is on a working visit to Ghana.
A statement issued by the British High Commission in Accra and copied to the Ghana News Agency said it was her first visit since her appointment as the UK Government’s Minister of State for Africa.
It said she was expected to meet President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, underlining the UK’s support for the President’s ambition to move Ghana ‘Beyond Aid’.
It noted that Madam Baldwin was also expected to meet Mr Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry, to discuss the creation of a UK-Ghana Business Council which would support economic diversification, industrialisation and job creation; strengthening partnerships and delivering long-term prosperity for both countries.
Ahead of the visit, Minister Baldwin said: “The UK and Ghana have a long-standing friendship based on shared values and strong links between our people.”
“Under President Akufo-Addo, the country is making remarkable strides towards a Ghana ‘Beyond Aid’. The UK continues to support this vision, which is why we are moving towards a modern partnership for prosperity and growth for both of our countries, by unlocking new opportunities for businesses and investment.”
The statement said the Minister would visit Blue Skies Factory in which CDC, the UK’s development finance institution, had invested, to see the importance of private investment in boosting Ghanaian business and how the company had developed a successful business model that could be replicated across Ghana.
It said the fruit factory now employed over 3,500 Ghanaians and supported many small businesses through its supply chain.
The statement said during her visit, the Minister would announce the UK’s new £20 million Jobs and Economic Transformation (JET) Programme.
It said over the next six years, the JET Programme would create over 15,000 jobs for Ghanaians and was expected to facilitate over £50 million of additional private sector investment that would drive Ghana’s economic transformation.
It said the Minister would also announce a three-day UK-Ghana Investment Summit to be held in Accra this October.
The statement noted the Summit would bring 50+ British flagship companies and major investors together to seek new commercial opportunities in Ghana that would support economic growth in Government of Ghana priority sectors such as financial and legal services, agro-processing, light manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.
It said the JET Programme and the Investment Summit were the most recent examples of a partnership that was delivering results.
The statement said in recent years, the UK had supported: a £1 billion worth of CDC investment in Ghana; a doubling of UK Export Finance credit to Ghana, giving £500 million to support business activity with the UK and the creation of a better functioning agricultural market for small holder farmers and rural enterprises in Northern Ghana (MADE).
Others are[ the streamlining of procedures to reduce the time and cost of doing business in Ghana (BEEP) and the development of Ghana’s largest irrigated commercial farm at Babator (AgDevCo).
It said over the last two decades, the UK had invested over £2 billion of development funding, working with partners to support the Government of Ghana to achieve remarkable results: halving poverty; establishing a National Health Service; tackling malaria; achieving universal primary education; and creation of social safety net systems.
It said while concerted efforts were still needed to fully achieve the Sustainable Development Goals – making sure that no one was left behind – the partnership between the UK and Ghana was creating a more prosperous future for both countries.