COP21speechPresident John Mahama this afternoon delivered his statement at the Leaders Event of the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 21) in Paris, France. 

The leaders event, which opened this morning is being attended by 150 countries and heads of government. The Conference itself will end on December 11. 

The international political response to climate change began at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, where the ‘Rio Convention’ included the adoption of the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

The convention set out a framework for action aimed at stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” 

The UNFCCC which entered into force on 21 March 1994, now has a near-universal membership of 195 parties. The main objective of the annual Conference of Parties (COP) is to review the Convention’s implementation. 

The first COP took place in Berlin in 1995 and significant meetings since then have included COP3 where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted, COP11 where the Montreal Action Plan was produced, COP15 in Copenhagen where an agreement to success Kyoto Protocol was unfortunately not realised and COP17 in Durban where the Green Climate Fund was created.

COP21, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aims at achieving a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C. 

Click on the PDF below to download Speech.

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CoverParis, France – Her Excellency Ambassador Johanna Odonkor Svanikier was the guest of honour at a Business France Breakfast meeting held on Monday, 16th November 2015, to discuss potential investment opportunities in Ghana. Approximately 100 French businesses attended hoping to get a better understanding of the business and investment environment in Ghana and of how to setup a business there.

Business France is an agency that supports the development of French businesses both at home and abroad by offering a customised approach that is in line with the budget and ambitions of its clients. It is a key player in fostering competitiveness, growth and employment in France, by offering clear and effective access to all corporate development stakeholders and services to all businesses, irrespective of their size, sector, and projects, from exports to investments through to multinational partnerships.

This meeting brought together a dynamic panel composed of Her Excellency the Ambassador of Ghana to France, Sophie Clavelier (Director, Business France West Africa), Frédérique Dumont (Director, French Chamber of Commerce in Ghana), Gwénolé Jan (Head of Economic Services at the French Embassy in Ghana) and Laurence Hautefeuille (Head of African Projects, Business France).

In her submission, Ambassador Svanikier expressed her deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the recent terror attacks in Paris on behalf of the government and people of Ghana and their solidarity with the people of France. Her Excellency highlighted President John Mahama’s visit to Paris and Bordeaux, as a sign of the flourishing bilateral relations between the two countries. She stated that the Bordeaux leg of the President’s visit was aimed at promoting the growth and fostering of partnerships between French small and medium-scaled enterprises (SMEs) and their Ghanaian counterparts and to introduce a regional perspective in the business partnerships formed between Ghana and France. Ambassador Svanikier appealed to businesses present at the meeting to look beyond the Accra metropolis and enter into the other regions of Ghana to enjoy more favourable concessions and less competition from other businesses. She indicated that there was a greater need for basic services and products in other parts of the country. She mentioned agriculture and agro-processing as potential areas for investment in the regions.

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 21 October 15

le nulHer Excellency Mrs. Johanna Odonkor Svanikier, Ambassador of Ghana to France, was invited to join a panel of distinguished guests for the launching of a book written by Rachmane Idrissa and Jean-Joseph Boillot. The book entitled “L’Afrique pour les Nuls” or "Africa for Dummies" is part of the popular 'for Dummies' series. It seeks to enlighten readers with little knowledge about Africa about the political history of the continent. The launch took place at the Museé Dapper, a well-known museum dedicated to African art and culture.

The panel was made up of Ambassador Svanikier, Ambassador Henri Lopès (a renowned author and Ambassador of Congo to France), Chérif Salif Sy (an economist), Jean-Joseph Boillot (an economist and the co-author) and Rachmane Idrissa (a writer and the co-author). The moderator was Mr. Juan Gomez, presenter of Radio France International’s “Appel sur l’actualité”.

The panel was invited to discuss the book and share their opinions about the future of Africa.  Ambassador Lopez highlighted the cultural diversity of the continent andeducated the audience about theetymology of the word “Africa”. He stated thatthe termdid not originate from the continent but rather was used by the Roman Empire in reference to Tunisia. He remarked that Africa was a mosaic made up of diverse linguistic groups including Francophone, Anglophone, Lusophone as well as a multitude of indigenous languages. His Excellencyalso underlined that “although Africa is often referred to as an entity this notion is not yet the reality”.The former Congolese Prime Minister (1973-1975) stated that as things stand, from a pessimistic point of view, “Africa embodies a lot of unanswered questions and challenges". 

Stressing on the fact that she can only speak as a Ghanaian and not for the whole continent, Ambassador Svanikier highlighted what she perceived as certain shortfalls of the book. Her Excellency stated that the absence of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah from the chapter of the book covering 'great African personalities' and the Ashanti Kingdom from the section covering 'the history of the continent' is surprising, given the fact that Nkrumah was a visionary and pioneer in the fight for the liberation not only of Ghana but of the whole continent from colonialism. She also highlighted the role of women in the fight against colonialism by underlining the leadership of Yaa Asantewaa, who led the Ashantis in battle against the British during the colonial period.

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salon du chocolateAt the 21st edition of the Salon du Chocolat, Ghana exhibited the excellence of its premium cocoa and the quality of its chocolate at the world’s largest event dedicated to chocolate attracting over 6, 5 million visitors and 9000 participants. The Ghana stand at the chocolate fair, which was held from Wednesday October 28th to Sunday, November 1st 2015, in Paris, showcased one of Ghana’s major export commodities, cocoa. This year’s event was themed Cocoa Expressions & Chocolate Innovations. The event was a meeting place for cocoa producing countries and gourmet chocolate manufacturers to meet and share their products with the general public.

Representatives from Ghana Cocoa Board, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Ghana Free Zones Board and Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), in collaboration with Ghana's Embassy in Paris represented Ghana’s cocoa industry with a dynamic and attractive stand. The stand was decorated in a brown and gold colour scheme and comprised a model farm with a mini cocoa tree, a picture story of cocoa processing, a video showing the different stages of cocoa processing, attendants dressed in Ghanaian traditional outfits and a large display of products.

Visitors to the stand were welcomed by the fine aromas of Ghana’s cocoa products, the superior taste of its chocolate, and the warm hospitality of its people. The Ghanaian stand was one the busiest amongst producers' stands at the chocolate fair! A security guard at the event remarked on how visitors were crowding around the Ghanaian display. This was notably due to the high quality display of fresh cocoa pods and cocoa beans, as well as Ghana made cocoa products like chocolate, cocoa powder, drinking chocolate and chocolate spread. There were even sweet smelling cosmetics for the hair and skin made from cocoa butter. Visitors to the stand were delighted by the displays and had the opportunity to smell and taste the products and make purchases.

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H.E. JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA’S KEYNOTE SPEECH, ON THE OCCASION
 OF AN OFFICIAL VISIT TO THE OECD 
AND ACCEPTANCE OF GHANA’S MEMBERSHIP OF THE DEVELOPMENT CENTRE.

OECD, Paris- France Tuesday October 06, 2015

Click on the PDF below to download Speech.

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