The Guyana Government is set to host the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who is arriving later tonight for a high-level two-day visit.
The State visit was announced by President David Granger two weeks ago when he accredited the new Ghanaian High Commissioner to Guyana. The Guyanese Head of State had disclosed that he met President Akufo-Addo twice – first, at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference last year and again this year, in Cuba, where the African Leader accepted an invitation to visit Georgetown.
During his two-day visit, the Ghanaian President will be spending his time “deepening and strengthening the cordial relationship” the two countries have built over the past 40 years. President Akufo-Addo will arrive in Guyana around 23:00h today and depart on June 12.
President Granger had previously noted that his Ghanaian counterpart’s visit will result in practical measures aimed at enhancing relations and cooperation between our two states, particularly in the fields of agriculture, culture, energy, environment, investment, petroleum production, Private Sector cooperation, tourism and transportation.
This State-visit comes on the heels of a recent visit by a large Ghanaian delegation two weeks ago to engage local stakeholders on areas of mutual interest in the oil and gas sector, among others.
The more than 15-member team, led by Ghana’s Energy Minister and Deputy Minister (Petroleum) Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, had met with a number of Government Ministers and officials including those from the Department of Energy.
“I think anybody who says Guyana is not the hottest place to be and I am not speaking about climatologically but in terms of what we have found thus far in the oil and gas sector would not be lying. It’s a time in which also, we are keen to ensure that as a Department though young… we seek as best we can to ensure that these resources are managed in an efficient manner and an effective manner for all of Guyana,” Director of the Energy Department, Dr Mark Bynoe, posited.
Dr Bynoe further noted that the Department does not underestimate the momentous task ahead and continues to seek partnerships to ensure that it obtains the best value for the nation.
“We do not pretend to have all the answers to all the challenges that are before us, but we are very much positioned and we are keen to learn from others; the good, the not so good and even the indifferent experiences so we do not have to trod the same path which others may have trod before us,” the Director of Energy said.
Meanwhile, Dr Adam posited that he was pleased for the opportunity to discuss issues relative to cooperation with the Energy Department here.
“We are bound by so many factors [that] unites us because as you know, the …formation in your offshore bases is analogous to what we have in Ghana. So it’s not surprising that Exxon, which is here, has also entered Ghana and so we are united by so many factors and …will be able to leverage that for the benefit of the people of our two countries,” the Ghanaian Minister said.
Although Guyana officially established diplomatic relations with Ghana on May 14, 1979, Guyana’s Independence movement was greatly influenced by Pan-Africanist and first President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah. During the celebration of Ghana’s Independence in March 1957, Guyana’s political leaders, Dr Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham travelled to the West African State to attend the festivities. Throughout their years of leadership, both Presidents Jagan and Burnham maintained good relations with Ghana.
Guyana has long shared common interests with those of the Republic of Ghana. In fact, President Granger and many Guyanese historians have documented the contributions of Africans in Guyana, highlighting specifically the contributions of the “Maroon people”. This African group, who came to Guyana through the Atlantic slave trade, originated in West Africa as a part of the group of Asante people who lived in a region of what is now modern-day Ghana.
As the diplomatic relationship between Guyana and Ghana continues to flourish, so does Ghana’s cultural stamp on Guyana. Earlier this year, on March 3, Guyana celebrated its 9th annual Ghana Day, organised by the Ghana Day Organisation. The Ghana Day festivities this year focused on the resuscitation of African culture among African-Guyanese. The cultural day usually features a parade and pageant of traditional Ghanaian clothing and a fair showcasing African food, clothing, accessories, and art.