The European Union Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta URPILAINEN, is in Ghana for a working visit.

Her visit is to reaffirm strong ties and increasing partnership between the EU and Ghana, particularly in the domains of energy, green growth, youth entrepreneurship, and health and vaccines.

Commissioner URPILAINEN will also use the opportunity to officially launch the EU’s new cycle of cooperation with Ghana for 2021-2027 together with Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, based on shared priorities.

Commissioner URPILAINEN was expected to have started her visit yesterday 30th March, 2022 by meeting President Nana Akufo-Addo and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, at Jubilee House. They discussed the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its impact on global security and commodity prices, as well as the regional security situation in West Africa and Sahel.

The Commissioner is also expected to present the EU’s new Global Gateway strategy and several flagship programmes, such as the Global Green Bond Initiative and the Africa-EU Green Energy Initiative.

On 31st March, 2022, the Commissioner will meet with the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta. They will discuss the global economic impact of the conflict in Ukraine and explored avenues for a stronger EU-Ghana partnership to sustain and stimulate green growth and job creation in Ghana. The Commissioner will emphasise that EU and Ghana are important trade partners, notably through the EU-Ghana Economic Partnership Agreement. Accra plays a central role for continental economic integration as host of the AfCFTA Secretariat.

Commissioner URPILAINEN and Mr. Ofori-Atta will then take part in the signing ceremony of a financing agreement for a project to build irrigation infrastructure in Northern Ghana, together with France. The European Union is contributing with 44.7 million euros grant to the project.

This will be followed by the launch of the EU’s Multi-Annual Indicative Programming (MIP) in Ghana for 2021-2027 together with the Minister of Finance and the EU Member State  Ambassadors  in Ghana (Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Spain).

This new programming falls under the EU’s new Global Gateway investment package for Africa and will provide €203 million for the period 2021-24 to support the three priorities – green growth for jobs, smart and sustainable cities as well as good governance and security.

These priorities were jointly determined with Team Europe partners and in close consultation with Ghanaian authorities, civil society and other relevant stakeholders.

Commissioner URPILAINEN will then meet with the Minister of Energy, Matthew Opoku Prempeh. They will discuss the Global Gateway strategy and prospects for further cooperation under the Continental Power System Masterplan. They will also talk about the EU’s and Ghana’s ambitions and transition plans towards green energy including opportunities on renewable energy, notably green hydrogen, in line with the EU Green Deal.

As a concrete example of EU interest in supporting green jobs and entrepreneurship in Ghana, Commissioner URPILAINEN will have the opportunity to engage with young entrepreneurs during her visit of Innohub. This is a business accelerator and investment platform supporting entrepreneurs in green and circular economy.

Commissioner URPILAINEN will discuss challenges and opportunities offered by the dynamic Ghanaian business context. Several Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from a variety of sectors – including cocoa and waste management – will share their innovative and green business ideas. They will underline how their businesses are improving communities’ livelihoods while contributing to the green transition.

Building resilient health systems in Africa, strengthening local pharmaceutical systems and manufacturing capacity to be ready for future pandemics are essential objectives of the EU Global Gateway strategy for Africa.

Commissioner URPILAINEN will therefore visit the laboratories of the Food and Drug Authority (FDA), which regulates local manufacturing of vaccines and is supported by the EU and Germany.