GHANA NAVY DELEGATION ARRIVES IN FRANCE
A three member delegation led by Rear Admiral Geoffrey Mawuli Biekro, the Chief of Naval Staff of the Republic of Ghana arrived in Paris on the 23rd of June, 2015 for the First Meeting of Chiefs of Naval Staff of the Gulf of Guinea Region scheduled to take place in Brest, France between the 25th and 26th of June, 2015.
The delegation was received at the Embassy of Ghana by Her Excellency Mrs. Johanna Odonkor Svanikier, the Ambassador of Ghana to France.
Ghana’s Speaker Visits The French Parliament
The Rt. Hon. Speaker Edward Doe Adjaho (4th left) with the President of the French National Assembly, Mr. Claude Bartholone (5th left), H.E. Mrs. Johanna Odonkor Svanikier, Ambassador of Ghana to France (3rd left) the Hon. Alban Bagbin M.P. Majority Leader, (2nd left) the Hon Osei-Kyei Mensah- Bonsu M.P. Minority Leader and other visiting members from the Parliament of Ghana.A high-powered Ghanaian Parliamentary delegation led by the Speaker of Parliament, the Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho, visited the French Houses of Parliament at the invitation of their French counterparts from 18th - 20th May, 2015.
The purpose of the visit was to strengthen collaboration between the parliaments of Ghana and France and to further consolidate the bonds of friendship between their members. The delegation visited both the Palais Bourbon, the lower legislative chamber of the French Parliament and seat of the French National Assembly and the Palais du Luxembourg, the seat of the French Senate and upper chamber. Ghana’s Parliamentary delegation had the honour of attending and listening to a question-time session of the National Assembly where highranking Ministers including Prime Minister Manuel Valls and the Ministers of Education and Justice answered questions on France’s educational reforms, immigration and human rights.
This was followed by briefings by Mr. Gilles Carnez, the chairman of the finance committee of the French Parliament who briefed the delegation on the procedure for the preparation and approval of the budget. The delegation also met with Mr. John Paul Chanteguet MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Sustainable Development and Spatial Planning and President of GLOBE France. The Global Legislators Organisation is an international organisation comprising national parliamentarians from over 80 countries committed to developing and overseeing the implementation of laws in pursuit of sustainable development.
The French Chapter is playing an important role in the effective organisation of the Climate Change Conference (COP 21) scheduled to be held in Paris in November and December, 2015. He underscored the need for effective collaboration between parliaments and other state institutions for the forthcoming COP21. He indicated that the international community should not only be concerned about global economic recession, but the increasing threat posed by pollution and its attendant global warming. Mr. Chanteguet informed the delegation that France had initiated a programme under the leadership of their former Energy Minister Mr. Jean Luis Borloo, to source funding for renewable energy in Africa, as part of efforts aimed at controlling climate change. In his response, the Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho thanked France for accepting to host the COP 21 and promised that Ghana would be represented at the highest level.
Ghana Celebrates 58th Independence Day In Paris, France
Her Excellency Mrs. Johanna Odonkor Svanikier, at a reception to commemorate Ghana’s 58th Independence Day celebration, paid homage to the founding leaders whom with their lives sought for Ghana’s freedom which the Nation and its citizens are still privileged to enjoy and to the current leaders who continue to guarantee peace and security in Ghana.
The reception, organised by the Ghana Embassy in Paris in collaboration with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) took place at the Pavillon Wagram in Paris on Friday 6th March, 2015. The event showcased Ghana’s investment opportunities in the form of an exhibition and was graced with the attendance of Mr. Jean-Chistophe Belliard, the Director of Africa of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Asiedu Nketiah, General Secretary of the ruling NDC, Hon. Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Board Chairman of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Mrs Mawunena Trebah, CEO of the GIPC and a heady mix of business and financial communities from France, Portugal and Ghana.
Also present were representatives of governments and institutions from around the world and members of the Ghanaian Diaspora in France.
Her Excellency Mrs. Johanna Odonkor Svanikier in her address emphasized on the valuable human resource that exist in the Diaspora and the need for Ghana Missions abroad to tap into the economic value that Ghanaians in the Diaspora can bring to the country. She acknowledged that effortlessly, Ghana has become a hub for businesses wishing to operate within the ECOWAS sub-region encouraging businesses to invest in the promising economy of Ghana. It is a haven of peace not only in our region, but in a world of uprisings, wars, terrorism and disappearances of children, journalists and politicians which makes the democracy of Ghana the envy of countries around the world.
Her Excellency commended the President, His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama the current chairman of ECOWAS for his leadership in the West African region and for harnessing the limited resources of the West African region to fight against the Ebola virus and focused the world’s attention on the plight of the stricken countries at the time when international reaction to the Ebola virus was not swift or strong enough. He has mediated in electoral disputes and upheld the principles of democracy and good governance in all such cases around the region.
Mr. Jean Christophe Belliard, in his address, congratulated Ghana on the commemoration of the 58th Independence Anniversary and traced the mutually beneficial political and economic ties between Ghana and France to the pre-independence era. Mr. Jean-Christophe Belliard praised our country and government for its exemplary performance in the West-African sub-region in democratic governance and economic development and indicated that French investors were enthusiastic about investing in Ghana, in view of the relative peace Ghana enjoys as well as the favourable Investment climate.
The Activities Of The Ambassador in 2014.
Her Excellency Mrs. Johanna Odonkor Svanikier, Ambassador of Ghana to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO and the International Organisation of La Francophonie, on Friday, 31st October, 2014, presented her letters of credence to His Excellency Mr. François Hollande at the Élysée Palace in Paris during a brief but colourful ceremony. The presentation was followed by discussions centred on bilateral relations between Ghana and France and political developments within the West African SubRegion. President François Hollande praised Ghana for the strides made in its democratic practice, rule of law and good governance. He remarked that Ghana’s democratic credentials had earned the country enormous prestige and respect around the world. He pledged the support of France to Ghana’s continuing efforts to deepen its democratic culture and governance. Responding, Ambassador Svanikier thanked President Hollande for receiving her.
Her Excellency Ambasador Johanna Odonkor Svanikier with His Excellency President François Hollande at the Élysée Palace.
She expressed her appreciation for the good relationship that exists between the two countries and noted with satisfaction the deepening of the relationship in recent years. She assured her host of her unwavering commitment to the further enhancement of the political, economic and cultural cooperation between the two countries. The new Ambassador informed President Hollande that as Chairman of ECOWAS, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama had visited the 3 countries at the heart of the Ebola health crisis pledging the solidarity of member states and delivering much needed relief supplies. She explained further that Ghana had become a coordinating centre for delivering relief to the affected countries. She also stated that President Mahama had put out a statement on behalf of ECOWAS member states, emphasising the need for compliance with the principles of democracy and constitutional governance in Burkina Faso. President Hollande commended the Ghanaian President for his leadership role in the subregion and wished the new Ambassador a successful tour of duty in France.
Presentation of Letters of Credence- UNESCO
Her Excellency Mrs. Johanna Svanikier on the 15th of September, 2014, presented her letters of credence, accrediting her as the Permanent representative of Ghana to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to Ms. Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO.
Presentation of Letters of Credence La Francophonie
Her Excellency, Mrs Johanna Svanikier, on 13th November, 2014 presented her letters of credence to President Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of the International Organisation of La Francophonie accrediting her as the Permanent Representative of Ghana to La Francophonie
Visit of the Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration
Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Honourable Hanna S. TETTEH, MP, arrived on Wednesday 10th September, 2014, in Paris, France, for an official visit at the invitation of her counterpart, Mr. Laurent FABIUS. A dinner was hosted in her honour by Her Excellency Ambassador Johanna SVANIKIER, the Ambassador of Ghana to France and Mr. Thomas SVANIKIER for ECOWAS Ambassadors to France and ECOWAS Permanent Delegates to UNESCO, as well as Officials of the French Foreign Ministry and the Ghana Mission in Paris on Thursday, 11th September, 2014.
The Honourable Minister in an address to the gathering indicated that ECOWAS has become one of the most dynamic institutions in Africa and has succeeded in moving the integration agenda faster than other regions in spite of the differences in language, legal and administrative systems. She underscored the economic opportunities that exist in the West African Region and encouraged other ECOWAS members to follow Ghana’s example as one of the most reliable financial contributors to the Organization.
The Honourable Hanna TETTEH discussed the outbreak of the Ebola disease, which she described as the greatest challenge for the sub-region this year.
She described the safety mechanisms that Ghana has put in place for screening to avoid the spread of the disease and explained to the gathering that Ghana has become the Logistics Coordination Centre for Ebola response in the West African Region.
The Honourable Minister informed her audience, that ECOWAS was the first African Integrated Region to endorse the Economic Partnership Agreement, EPA, with the European Union. She expressed her conviction that the agreement represents a fair and mutually profitable platform for trade between ECOWAS and the EU adding that the details of the EPA had been very carefully considered in order to ensure that developing countries suffer no disadvantage in its implementation.
The Minister expressed the need for free, fair and transparent elections in the five ECOWAS Nations, which will go to the polls in 2015, namely, Nigeria, Togo, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea Conakry.
She advised that, in order to overcome security challenges, the region should be more effective in sharing information as well as deepen the integration of its systems. She highlighted the need for ECOWAS countries to learn and speak each other’s languages in order to strengthen and promote regional cooperation.