Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has held bilateral talks with the German Federal Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of a two-day conference being held at the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, Germany.
It afforded the two women the opportunity to discuss matters of mutual interest to both countries, including the impacts of the triple ‘Cs – Climate Change, COVID-19 and Conflicts- on the global economy.
The ministers also reviewed the current status of bilateral relations between the two countries and touched on the current political and security situation in the Sahel, notably, the overthrow of democratic governments in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey informed her German counterpart of the plans by the government to host the Accra Initiative Conference at the end of October.
She said the conference is aimed at providing a platform for stakeholders to share information on possible solutions to curb the rising political unrest in the region and further avoid a spill over.
Ghana’s Foreign Minister underscored the importance of climate initiatives that would reap tangible benefits, especially in African countries, as these countries remain the lowest emitters of greenhouse gases.
She said Ghana, through its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), is committed to attaining sustainable transition to a low carbon economy through measures such as the National Forest Plantation Programme, Forest Plantation Strategy and Youth in Afforestation Programme, as well as the commitment to plant 20 million trees in 2022.
On her part, Ms. Baerbock emphasised that Germany remains committed to maintaining its presence in the Sahel even in the face of current challenges.
Ms. Baerbock intimated that Germany would continue to drive its ‘Climate Foreign Policy’ at the upcoming COP27 Conference and advocate for Industrialised countries to fulfil their promises to take further responsibility and action regarding the global climate crisis.
The two ministers affirmed their active participation in the upcoming COP27, to be held in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6 to 18, 2022.
Speaking at the conference themed “Strengthening Democracy- Towards Resilient Institutions and Societies in the G7 and Africa,” Madam Ayorkor Botchwey expressed worry over the abuse of social media platforms,which is becoming a pervasive threat to democracy.
According to her, some unscrupulous individuals are taking undue advantage of technology to “sow hate speech in countries and across countries, violence against people and faiths and subvert elections by both misinformation and disinformation and manipulation of vote counting.”
She noted that Ghana is shouldering the high costs of fighting the terrorists and violent extremists that threaten coastal states of West Africa from the Sahel, in addition to piracy on her Atlantic waters.
Paradoxically, she said the success in improving socio-economic outcomes has been key to preventing radicalisation and recruitment by terrorists.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri