Mr Tom Nørring, the Ambassador of Denmark to Ghana, says Denmark, a long-time partner of Ghana, has not abandoned the country but it is “focus is on bringing innovative solutions and know-how to the country”.
He said the future relationship between Denmark and Ghana, built on solid partnerships and ownership, must be the sustainable way forward.
“It’s important for me to say clearly that Denmark has not left Ghana, we have not closed down for business. On the contrary, we are an important donor to the EU as well as the UN agencies such as UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and others,” the Ambassador said.
Mr Nørring, speaking at a reception at his residence to mark the 174th anniversary of Denmark’s Constitution, said Danish Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) were currently implementing projects of approximately 15 million USD in Ghana to help the most vulnerable.
The reception had the Diplomatic Corps, Danish Community in Ghana, Ministers of State, Chief Executives of State Enterprises, Ambassadors and their staff, and the media in attendance.
Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark, celebrates Constitution Day every year on June 5 and the signing of the Danish constitution of 1849.
On Constitution Day, Danes celebrate the fundamental pillars of democracy: Rule of law and human rights, including freedom of speech and indeed personal freedom.
Ghana and Denmark have profound ties, with shared history that traces back to 1660 when Danish companies engaged in trade with the Gold Coast.
Formal diplomatic relations between the two nations were established in the wake of Ghana’s independence, with Denmark opening its embassy in Accra in 1961, followed by Ghana reciprocating the gesture in 1966.
The Ambassador said, at the Danish embassy, it had reoriented its engagements with Ghana to technical cooperation within water, meteorology, the maritime sector and statistics with a strong focus on business and investments.
He said, Danish companies were keen on exploring future partnerships with public and private actors in Ghana in areas such as water supply and waste management, agriculture and food, the maritime and infrastructure sectors and, as a new area, tech, and digitalisation, which were in line with the priorities of the Government of Ghana.
Mr Nørring said, “We look forward to continue working with Ghana and our EU partners to make sure that the framework conditions are continuously developed to provide the predictability needed to untap the full potential of the private sector and an increasingly more equitable society creating opportunities for all.”
Apart from strengthening our economic and commercial relationship with Ghana over the past few years, Mr Nørring said, Denmark had been working on establishing a more targeted political and strategic partnership between the two countries.
Such partnership, he noted, would focus on promoting green, sustainable and inclusive economic growth, promoting peace and stability in Ghana and West Africa and promoting democratic governance and human rights.
The Ambassador said, recognising the threat of spill-over from the conflicts in the Sahel, the Embassy was exploring how Denmark could support Ghana both with military capacity building and with civilian conflict prevention in the north of the country to avoid violent extremism.
Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye, Minister, Works and Housing, who represented the Government, commended the efforts of Denmark in undertaking Strategic Sector Cooperation programmes, which had yielded significant benefits for Ghana.
Those programmes, he reiterated, had focused on crucial areas such as water supply and wastewater management in Tema, the enhancement of Ghana’s maritime sector, and the utilisation of administrative data to improve decision-making in the production of official statistics in Ghana.
Additionally, the Mr Asenso-Boakyi said, the Ghana Statistical Service’s collaboration with Statistics Denmark had resulted in the establishment of stronger statistical frameworks, enabling Ghana to gain valuable insights to drive evidence-based policy decisions.
In pursuit of a well-functioning and sustainable water provision system, he noted that the Tema Metropolitan Assembly had forged a partnership with the esteemed municipality of Aarhus with a dedication to achieving a shared vision.
Key to that partnership is the establishment of a robust and reliable system that ensures sufficient high-quality water for residents and businesses in Tema, while concurrently addressing environmental concerns related to wastewater management.
The Works and Housing Minister said, “These remarkable initiatives reflect the depth of our cooperation and the shared desire to create positive change for our respective nations. They exemplify the essence of our partnership, rooted in mutual understanding, respect, and a common goal of progress.”