Accra and Tel Aviv to deepen ties

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, in a pose with the Israeli Premier, Benjamin Netanyahu

Accra and Tel Aviv have rekindled their ties with a resolution to deepen their bilateral and economic cooperation.

This follows a discussion held in Jerusalem between the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, and the Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, in Jerusalem.

Mr. Netanyahu lauded Ghana for its 8 percent economic growth and pledged to increase Israeli investment in Ghana.

Ghana and Israel have had longstanding relations which date back to the 1950s. Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to recognise Israel in 1958.

The then-Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meier, and Dr. Kwame Nkrumah were very good friends.

The first presidential aircraft used by President Nkrumah was given to Ghana by Israel.

This continued during the era of Dr. Busia’s government, which led to beginning the Accra Sewage Project – but it was halted when his government was toppled in a coup d’ etat by military leader General I.K. Acheampong in 1972.

Although diplomatic ties between the two countries dwindled in the 70s, 2007 into 2011 saw a revival of a very friendly relationship – and both countries have established stronger presence in Accra and Tel Aviv since then.

In pursuance of Ghana’s economic transformation agenda, which is anchored on industrialization and trade, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration-Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey – is in Israel to share government’s vision/aim to woo the Israeli investors community.

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Ms. Ayorkor Botchwey met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and said Ghana has a population of 30 million, with 60 percent of them being in the youthful bracket.

She also told the Israeli Premier that with a skilful youthful population coupled with Ghana’s resources, it would be mutually beneficial if ICT and agribusiness companies from Israel were to invest in Ghana.

On the investment climate, the Hon. Foreign Affairs Minister assured the Israelis that the government of Ghana has put in place laws which protect the interests of investors, and urged them to put Ghana high on their map for investment.

Prime Minister Netanyahu described Ghana’s economic strides made in the last 20 months as very impressive. He said his government is prepared to scale-up its investment in Africa, and Ghana is one of the countries Israel wants to do business with.

He added that he is looking forward to hosting President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in Israel during the first quarter of 2019.

Mr. Netanyahu commended the Ghanaian President for his leadership, and stressed that he wants to ensure that the bond of friendship between the two countries is taken to another height in order to better the lot of their citizens.

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Trade volumes between Ghana and Israel are less than one billion dollars in favour of Israel. Some of the Israeli companies in Ghana include Dizengoff, Sonitra, STL and PW2. Israel is a world-leader when it comes to security, technology, agriculture and water management.

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