Ambassador Difie Agyarko Kusi of Ghana in Seoul said that her country is pursuing program creating a favorable business environment through creating attractive environment for foreign investment, re-opening markets for Ghanaian goods and services, and linking Ghanaian businesses with foreign counterparts, the Korean businesses in particular.
Speaking at a gala reception she hosted at the plush Grand Hyatt Seoul on the night of March 6, 2018 in celebration of the 61st Independence Day of her country of Ghana, Madam Kusi then emphasized, “The Government of Ghana expects that the Korean government, corporate institutions and business executives will continue to open more avenues for deepening the excellent relations of brotherliness and cooperation which so happily exist between the two countries for their mutual prosperity.”
These statements of Ambassador Kusi came pat to a large number of Korean business leaders at the party, many of whom were seeking new countries for expanding or relocating their businesses from countries where they were experiencing difficulties due to ideological and political reasons.
The Ghanaian National Day reception was among the best in recent years, which was studded with many interesting events, which included performances by a Safari dance team, presentation of a short clip of Ghana’s independence declaration, playing of the National Anthems of Korea and Ghana, offering of celebration toasts and, above all, presentation of Buchae Chun (traditional Korean fan dances) which have evidently been upgraded from the past variety. There were body movements obviously newly developed body movements, which added to the upgraded quality of the traditionally Korean dance.
Among the guests in attendance at the party were Ambassador Lyeo Woon-ki of the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mayor Park Sunggyu of the Yeongwol County of Gangwon Province, Curator-President Cho Myung-haeng of the African Art Museum of Yeongwol, (former Korean ambassador to Ghana), and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news media outlets, including a widely exposed Korean language Internet (www.koreapost.co.kr), an English Internet (www.koreapost.co.com) and a full-sized Korean-language newspaper (http://www.koreapost.co.kr/pdf/list.php).
There were traditional cultural performances of both Korea and Ghana, which attraction the attention of the guests.
Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Kusi:
It is with great honour and real pleasure that I welcome you this evening to celebrate with us Ghana’s 61st Independence Day Anniversary. I thank you all for being part of this auspicious occasion. Today as the Mission celebrates the day, the President of the Republic, and the good people of Ghana are also honouring the Day in Accra, Ghana.
I wish to use this opportunity to extend on behalf of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of the Republic of Ghana, the government and the people of Ghana and indeed in my own name, warmest appreciation and congratulations to His Excellency Moon Jae-in, the President of the Republic of Korea, the government and the people of Korea on his electoral victory.
Ghana-Korea relations have grown steadily since the two countries first established diplomatic contacts in 1977. Since that era, various initiatives have been undertaken to enhance economic relations. Significantly, the two countries signed a Technical, Economic Cooperation and Trade Promotion Agreement, on June 4th, 1990 to establish the legal framework for bilateral cooperation.
Ghana later opened a diplomatic Mission in Seoul in November 1999 to consolidate the expanding cooperation between the two countries and to ensure that much is derived from the South Korean experience in the fields of trade and industry, which are relevant to Ghana’s present situation.
The strong bond of bilateral cooperation between us led to enhancing and diversifying areas of cooperation particularly in education, energy, and information and communication technology for the mutual benefit of our people.
A high profile visit within the framework of Ghana-Korea bilateral relations was the three day official visit to Ghana in January 2006 by the former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Korea and the now immediate past United Nation’s Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon.
During the visit, Mr Ban Ki-Moon met with then Minister for Foreign Affairs; and I am happy to announce that that Minister is the current President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Mr Ban Ki-Moon thereafter paid a courtesy call on H.E J.A. Kufuor who was then the President, and reaffirmed Korea’s commitment for cooperation with Ghana through increased development assistance which has seen Ghana benefitting from Korean economic assistance offered through the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF).
The significance of Ghana’s journey to independence was not only for the West Africa nation but for the whole of Africa too. It is pertinent to state that Ghana has gone through various democratic transitions and all of these have been very successful. The government under the leadership of the His Excellency the President has assured Ghanaians of his determination to address the various needs and aspirations of every Ghanaian.
Indeed, the President’s tireless efforts complemented by his team of dedicated Ministers are beginning to bear fruit. He has indicated that his vision for the country is to take it to a level beyond aid because Ghana can do it if other countries have been able to do so.
To this end, Government has pledged to pursue policies and programmes that will create “an optimistic, self-confident and prosperous nation, through the creative exploitation of our human and natural resources, and operating within a democratic, open and fair society in which mutual trust and economic opportunities exist for all”. This vision has informed the need for a strong economy that expands opportunities, inspires people to start businesses, and ultimately leads to the creation of jobs, increased economic growth and rising incomes.
In the quest for creating opportunities for its citizens and the business community, the Government has decided to pursue the following objectives: expand opportunities where large-scale job creation is possible, expand access to, and improve the quality of education at all levels for all socio-economic groups; widen access to, and improve the quality of healthcare; and strengthen social protection, especially for children, women, persons with disability and the elderly.
Government has envisioned to put in place the conditions for the creative potential of the Ghanaian private sector to emerge through invention, innovation, adaptation, especially in the industrial sector of the economy, thereby, creating more and better-quality jobs to generate incomes. In realizing this vision, the Government will initiate and implement a set of transformative policies to build one of the most business-friendly and people-oriented economies in Africa, capable of bringing work and prosperity for all Ghanaians.
On the international and the political front, Ghana continues to play an active role with the comity of nations in operationalizing global and regional development frameworks and contributing towards achieving agreed development aspirations. It is worthy of mention that, over the years, Ghana has signed up to, and ratified several international protocols.
Recently in 2015, Ghana signed three major international agreements; the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063 and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (COP21). These agreements are expected to influence the country’s development interventions both locally and internationally in the short-to-medium-term by Government, private sector organisations as well as civil society groups.
In recognition of Ghana’s active participation on the world stage, His Excellency the President has been appointed Co-Chair of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Group of Advocates of Eminent Personalities. Ghana signed the African Union’s Agenda 2063: “The Africa we want” the same year. This is a 50-year strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent which is anchored on seven aspirations that reflect the desire of Africans for prosperity and well-being, for unity and integration, for a continent of free citizens with freedom from conflict and improved human security.
Ghana will pursue its presence and influence on the international stage through its democratic heritage to enhance our international image by making it a favoured destination for business, education and tourism; committing to membership of relevant regional and international organisations; creating a competent group of experts to be promoted to take leadership roles regionally and internationally; improving Ghana’s stake and role in a strong and vibrant regional market; and supporting democracy in all parts of the world.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to serve as the link between Ghana’s missions abroad and other stakeholders, whilst promoting competitiveness and enhancing bilateral and multilateral engagements. It strives to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our foreign missions, in line with the government policy of emphasizing economic diplomacy as a vehicle for rapid socio-economic development.
The good news to our investor community is that, the Government of Ghana is pursuing programmes that seek to create a favourable business environment through: (1) supporting the implementation of policies to create acceptable legislative and business environments that attract foreign investment; (2) re-opening of markets for Ghanaian goods and services; (3) linking Ghanaian business people with foreign counterparts in strategic alliances and partnerships; and facilitating linkages between members of the Diplomatic Corps with a view to maximizing investment and trade opportunities for local authorities.
It is the expectation of the Government that the Korean Government, corporate institutions and business executives will continue to open more avenues for deepening the excellent relations of brotherliness and cooperation which so happily exist between the two countries for the mutual prosperity of our people.
I now wish to invite you all to join me in proposing a toast to the continued good health and well-being of His Excellency Moon Jae-in, the Government and the people of Korea, and to the continued friendship and cooperation between Ghana and Korea.
Long live our bond of cooperation and friendship! Thank you!!
Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Lyeo Woon-ki:
I am very delighted and honored to be here with you on the occasion of the 61st anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Ghana.
First of all, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Korea, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the people and the Government of Ghana.
This occasion holds a special meaning for me who has served as a Korean Ambassador to Ghana from 2014 to 2017, last year. Thank Madam Ambassador for the extraordinary invitation to this auspicious occasion. My memory is still vividly there in the Cape Coast, Black Star Square, and Flag Staff House. I left some good part of my heart in Accra with my good Ghanain friends and today still communicate with them.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
All of us here this evening are witnessing the remarkable history of Ghana and its cultural diversity. Ever since Ghana has declared its independence at first in African continent 61 years ago, the country has actively participated and contributed in many ways in the African Union, ECOWAS, UN, and other international fora. Indeed it has emerged as a model country in the African continent in socio-political development and achieved political stability and successful transformation.
I have every confidence that under the outstanding visionary leadership of the President Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghana will continue to play a leading role in furthering prosperity and development of the whole Africa.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Both of our two countries share the experience of overcoming painful colonial past and making a constant effort for national development. During the more than forty years since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1977, as Ambassador Agyarko Kusi mentioned, our two countries have continued to deepen and widen the bilateral ties in various areas not limited to trade and investment.
However, it is true that there is yet even greater potential to develop for the stronger relations in the future given the visionary leadership and the complementary economies of our two countries.
When I was in Accra, I personally witnessed that Korean culture including K-Pop and Korean soap operas and movies is getting popular in Ghana, particularly among the young people. Of course in Korea, Mr. Sam Okyere, Tourism Ambassador for Ghana, one of my good friends over there, and a last winter’s star, Mr. Akwasi Frimpong, a Olympic skeleton sledge athlete who solely participated for Ghana in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, are widely known in Korea now.
This explains why the bonds between our people are getting stronger despite the geographic distance. I believe that these common elements, cultural exchanges, and people-to-people contacts will be the very foundation for fostering friendship and partnership between the two countries.
I am sure that another forty years of our bilateral relationship will bring tremendous change and development to the good and prosperity of our two countries.
Concluding my remarks, once again, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Ambassador for so kindly inviting me and for organizing this meaningful event. I offer my heartfelt congratulations to the people of Ghana celebrating the 61st anniversary of Independence.
Now, I want to invite all of you to toast to the good health and well-being of H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Government and the people of Ghana, and to the continued friendship and cooperation between Korea and Ghana.
Long live for Ghana! Long live for the friendship between Korea and Ghana!
Thank you. Me da si. Gamsa Hamnida!