The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, says it is a clear priority of his government to assist Ghana and other partners to preserve stability and counter the threats posed by terrorists and other criminal groups in the sub-region.
He said Germany was prepared to further expand and refine its cooperation in this regard while liaising closely with the government of Ghana.
“One of the concerning repercussions of the series of coups in the Sahel region is the slowing of cooperation between states in the Sahel and those on the Gulf of Guinea,” he emphasised.
Chancellor Scholz said this when he visited the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre (KAIPTC) as part of his two-day official visit to Ghana.
Chancellor Scholz said terrorists, as part of their operations, exploited every leg of cooperation and unity, stressing that “This is what makes Ghana’s Accra initiative valuable as it fosters cross border cooperation through intelligence sharing and joint operations. Germany and other like-minded partners stand ready to support this by taking pragmatic look at needs on the ground.”
He said the upcoming European Union mission to countries on the Gulf of Guinea would ensure training and provision of equipment to support regional security efforts.
Ghana’s commitment to peace stood beyond the region and the work of the KAIPTC was a testament of the country’s willingness to promote peace and stability on the continent as a whole.
“Germany is proud to have been among the leading supporters of the KAIPTC for almost 20 years now and we will remain by your side,” he said.
He said reform of the United Nation’s Security Council was long overdue and Germany supported Ghana’s call for such reforms to take place.
“I can encourage you, Mr President, and the African group as a whole to take the lead on this. Africa’s weight and interest can make a crucial difference in New York. African states contribute more than a quarter of the United Nations General Assembly. You have the leverage and we will be by your side,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo who accompanied Chancellor Scholz on his visit to KAIPTC explained that years of cooperation between Ghana and Germany culminated in the establishment of KAIPTC.
He said since its inception, the KAIPTC had received worldwide recognition and acclaim for its work and contributions to peace in the region, on the continent and in the world.
“Thousands and thousands of military, police and civilian personnel in its 18 years of existence have received training in various courses and are today playing very significant roles in efforts to improve respect for individual liberties and human rights, enhance the enforcement of rule of law and the principles of democratic accountability and work to ensure peace and stability in the national, regional, continental and global fronts,” he emphasised.
President Akufo-Addo noted that peace was the bedrock of progress and that was why the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 enjoins to promote peaceful and inclusive society for sustainable development.
“Indeed countries on the continent that are lagging behind in the implementation of the SDG according to the Africa SDG index industrial report are mostly those experiencing conflict,” he stressed.