Deepening Brazil-Ghana relations Brazilian Ambassador Maria Elisa T. de Luna bows out


After almost five years of enhancing the diplomatic relations between Brazil and Ghana, the Brazilian Ambassador, Maria Elisa T. de Luna, leaves the shores of Ghana with an indelible mark, fostering a better foundation for more trade and diplomatic engagements between the two countries.

The former Brazilian ambassador will be remembered for her affection for the Ghanaian culture and people. Although her tenure in Ghana has run its course, the affairs of Ghana still clinch to her heart.

In a wide-ranging interaction with the B&FT’s Joshua Worlasi AMLANU, she outlines her aim of increasing cooperation between the two countries, and under her new engagement at the Diplomatic Academy of Brazil, she hopes to help provide with an opportunity to increase cooperation between the two countries in terms of diplomatic training.
The following conversation ensued between the reporter and the Ambassador.
How have Brazil–Ghana relations been since you started working in the country?

The relations between Brazil and Ghana, historically and traditional, have been excellent. There are many engagements that happen between Brazil and Ghana that do not come through the embassy. This tells of how greatly the cooperation between Ghanaian and Brazilian businesses interact with another. The embassy is here to help citizens resolve any problems, and facilitate diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Mission of Brazil-Ghana trade

The Brazil-Ghana Trade Mission, under Brazilian Council for Import and Export Companies and Apex Brazil (CECIEx) seeks to identify and create export markets for Brazilian value-added products and services. It will also serve to promote Brazilian products, while creating business partnerships between business communities of Ghana and select neighbouring countries.

“We have about 10 big Brazilian companies in the various sectors of the economy in Ghana, such as Agriculture (into the transformation of Cashew nuts and rice in Aveyime); construction companies, one of which is building the biggest market in West Africa in Kumasi; the health sector, such as the proposed Agenda 111 district hospitals; as well as in the roads sector; these are just but a few,” she said.

The Trade Mission is open to all Ghanaian companies directly or indirectly active in the sectors of agro, food & beverage, FMCG, home & construction, interiors & furniture, import & export, sheets and coils, cosmetics & personal care, automotive sector, packaging and disposables.

“We should try to attract businesses from Brazil to invest in Ghana because this will be a win-win situation. We can internationalise our middle-level enterprises. This will create access for Ghanaian businesses to other markets in the South America region and open access for Brazilian businesses in the West Africa region,” she said.

Brazil-Ghana trade

The trade between Brazil and Ghana for the past 25 years has increased at an annualised rate of 4.58 percent, from US$64.7million in 1995 to US$198million in 2020. In 2018, export from Brazil amounted to US$151.82million and in 2019, it declined to US$130.64million. However, it increased once again to 198.41million and 318.83 in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

In March 2022, Brazil exported US$13.1million and imported US$609,000 from Ghana, resulting in a positive trade balance of US$12.5million. Between March 2021 and March 2022, the exports of Brazil have decreased by US$-11million (-45.7 percent) from US$24.2million to US$13.1million, while imports fell by US$-21.2million (-97.2 percent) from US$21.9million to US$609,000.

Ghana’s export grew from US$185.32million to US$219.41million from 2018 to 2022. This was a result of the demand for cocoa and its derivative. In 2020, Ghana exported US$65.3million to Brazil. The main products exported from Ghana to Brazil were Cocoa Beans (US$58.1million), Aluminium Ore (US$3.9million), and Cocoa Paste (US$1.17million).

During the last 24 years, the exports of Ghana to Brazil have increased at an annualised rate of 15.2 percent, from US$1.88million in 1996 to US$65.3million in 2020.

Brazil had a large net trade with Ghana in the exports of foodstuffs (US$137million), animal products (US$29.3million), and machines (US$5.8million); and Ghana had a large net trade with Brazil in the exports of foodstuffs (US$60.8million), mineral products (US$3.9million), and precious metals (US$431,000).

Engagements in the agricultural sector

Based on its experiences in successfully improving productivity among its small farms through the Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) programme, Brazil devised the More Food for Africa programme as a vehicle for sharing its successes through providing agricultural machinery, training and technical support to African countries that so requested.

There have been some special loans under the more food for Africa programme from Brazil for stakeholders in Ghana’s Agriculture sector to purchase agricultural equipment in Brazil. This programme has lasted for almost five years now, as the last tranche of the loan was paid in April 2022.

Other agriculture programmes include a cooperation programme with Ghana Buffer Stock. However, there have been some delays due to the coronavirus pandemic; our cashew programme is in collaboration with GIZ; there are other engagements in the rice sector, specifically at Aveyime.

What is your future outlook?

“In this aspect of what is next for me, working at the diplomatic academy of Brazil, maybe, will provide an opportunity to increase cooperation between the two countries in terms of diplomatic training. I want to be remembered as one affectionate of the Ghanaian culture and people,” she said.

Leave a Reply