Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis has met with Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey on his recent visit to Ghana. The meeting, which took place on Friday 3 November 2023, focused on economic relations, cooperation on climate action, regional security and stability, and collaboration between the two countries at the UN.
Mr Cassis’ current visit is a reflection of the long-standing and close ties between Switzerland and Ghana, one of the priority countries in the Federal Council’s Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa 2021–24. During the talks, he noted in particular the quality of the relations between the two countries at both bilateral and multilateral level.
Both sides also underlined the importance of economic cooperation. In 2022, Ghana ranked second among Switzerland’s key trading partners in sub-Saharan Africa – in spite of the country’s current economic crisis. “Switzerland’s presence in Ghana is robust and diverse – 60 Swiss companies spread across a number of sectors that employ thousands of people,” declared Mr Cassis. Ghana has been an economic development cooperation priority country for SECO since 2002.
In Accra, Mr Cassis visited one of the local companies benefiting from Swiss economic cooperation. Thanks to the support from SECO, these handmade chocolate producers have been able to meet the high food safety standards which will enable them to export their products to European and American markets in future.
Instability in the Sahel and Gulf of Guinea
The Swiss and Ghanaian delegations also discussed the political and security situation in West Africa, both expressing their concern at the growing instability in the Sahel and Gulf of Guinea regions. Mr Cassis commended Ghana’s positive role in fostering regional stability and noted Switzerland’s work on violence prevention with other regional partners and countries, as well as its support for the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra.
Multilateral cooperation and climate projects
The talks also covered cooperation between Switzerland and Ghana at the UN and their respective priorities for the UN Security Council, which this year saw both countries hold a seat as non-permanent members. Mr Cassis welcomed the pioneering work of both countries in terms of climate action, including their bilateral cooperation agreement, signed in November 2020, based on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. The world’s first bilateral CO2 offsetting project to be approved – aimed at reducing methane emissions in rice cultivation – was at COP27 in November 2022. Switzerland’s new strategy for sub-Saharan Africa prioritises prosperity and sustainability in the region.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Federal Council, Switzerland.