Moscow (Russia), Jan. 31, GNA - The Russian Federation has pledged to support the political dialogue and co-operate on various economic and investment projects in efforts to strengthen relations with Ghana.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry said on its official website that both countries, through collective and persistent ways, would make noticeable contributions in raising their current relations to an appreciable level.
Mr Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, and Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, have exchanged congratulatory messages to mark the 60th Anniversary of Russia-Ghana diplomatic relations.
The two diplomats emphasised the long established friendly Russia-Ghana relations, spoke in favour of an active political dialogue on key international and African affairs and agreed to improve trade, economic and cultural cooperation.
In an earlier interview with Ghana News Agency (GNA), Madam Ayorkor Botchway explained that “Ghana and Russia have an excellent diplomatic relations, which has been developed over the years, precisely 60 years.
“Although for a relationship lasting this long, one would have expected it to move past where it is now, but there is still room for improvement.”
She said Ghana welcomes the support that she could get from its friends and development partners in the nation-building drive, particularly in the “One-District, One-Factory” programme of the Government.
Ghana could benefit a lot from the rich experiences of Russia, which had advanced knowledge in the area of industrialisation, Madam Botchway said.
“The message to Russian investors is that Ghana is the gateway to West Africa and, therefore, the right place to invest in West Africa and Africa as a whole.
“With solid political stability and security, together with the very attractive investment package and easy accessibility to the entire West Africa market, not to mention the legendary Ghanaian hospitality, investing in Ghana is worthwhile and extremely profitable to all foreign investors.
“Thus, Russian investors should seize the opportunity to invest in Ghana for it is the right time and the right place to be in Africa,” she said.
Madam Botchway said Ghana had one of the most attractive investment packages for foreign investors in Africa adding that opportunities abound in nearly all the sectors of the economy including transportation, construction, real estate, banking, health, education, manufacturing, energy, agriculture and commerce.
“The NPP Administration has placed emphasis on economic diplomacy because there is a paradigm shift in its foreign policy pursuits, so now it is important to engage Russia a bit more aggressively to consolidate and promote economic interests that are appropriate and viable for the country,” she said.
A Senior Lecturer at the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD), who pleaded anonymity, in an email to the GNA, said: "Russian leadership is taking economic issues very seriously, pushing its interests abroad. And Russia has the technology to share, especially in the transport and industrial sectors."
She said Russians were very good at railway education, operations, management and maintenance adding that Ghana had been looking for such technology transfer to push the industrial agenda, especially for the realisation of the “One District, One Factory” programme.
On the other hand, the Senior Lecturer observed that: “Many foreign countries have broadly engaged African countries practically in all sectors as we can see. We expect that Russians can do more if they want to, looking at their huge potential capability. They still have their own priorities, anyway.”
Professor Leonid Fituni, the Deputy Director of the Institute for African Studies under the Russian Academy of Sciences, noted that Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African country to achieve independence on 6th March, 1957.
He said the Soviet Union supported the liberation of many African countries from colonial rule and provided practical assistance in establishing their statehood.
It was in those times that prerequisites were created for developing Russia-Ghana diplomatic relations based on friendship, trust, mutual respect and taking account of each other’s interests, he said.