James Duddridge, the United Kingdom (UK) Minister for Africa, has congratulated President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on his election for a second four-year term.
A statement issued by the British High Commission in Accra and copied to the Ghana News Agency said Mr Duddridge, who led the British delegation to the inauguration of President Akufo-Addo, also met leaders from across the region to discuss “the biggest issues facing West Africa in 2021.”
It said Mr Duddridge’s visit reaffirmed the long-standing UK-Ghana partnership after December’s presidential and parliamentary elections, a partnership built on prosperity and shared interests.
Mr Duddridge said: “It is fantastic to be back in Accra and back in West Africa to represent the UK at President Nana Akufo-Addo’s inauguration.”
“I congratulate him and his party on their re-election to Presidential office, I look forward to marking the start of his second term, following Ghana’s inclusive, safe and transparent elections in December.
“Over the previous year we have all faced unprecedented challenges and I am proud that the UK has helped support Ghana and other countries in the region through the Covid-19 crisis.
“As we look ahead to the opportunities in 2021, it is right that I am visiting this great country as we come together to finalise a mutually-prosperous trade deal, strengthening our partnership now and in the future.”
The statement said meeting leaders from Ghana and across West Africa, the Minister heard first-hand the successes of each country and understood more fully regional priorities over the coming year such as building back better in the wake of COVID-19, climate change and security.
It said the visit marked almost a year since the UK-Africa Investment Summit was held in the heart of London’s business centre in 2020.
The statement noted that a year on from the summit, Ghana had completed business deals discussed at the event totalling more than £300 million.
It said through the UK-Ghana partnership and the UK-Ghana Business Council, both countries continued to bring together the expertise and finance to support Ghana’s infrastructure development ambitions.
Welcoming the Minister to Accra, Mr Iain Walker, the British High Commissioner to Ghana said: “Minister for Africa James Duddridge’s visit to Ghana comes as the country begins a new democratic chapter and as the UK-Ghana partnership continues to strengthen.
“Not only will the Minister join leaders from across West Africa and the world at the Inauguration of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s, but he will also mark the success of Ghana’s role in the UK-Africa Investment Summit and the continued trading relationship between our two nations.”
The statement said during his visit, Mr Duddridge would visit Accra’s KAD garment factory, which is one of three female-run UK aid-backed garment businesses in Ghana.
It said the UK government was working with companies like KAD to support their growth in the sector and help them to reach an international market whilst operating fairly and ethically.
The statement said in early 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, UK aid supported KAD to pivot away from garment production, to producing medical scrubs needed in hospitals across the country.
It said this was Mr Duddridge’s first visit to Ghana since becoming UK Minister for Africa last year.
He visited the country in April 2016.