Madam Vicky Ford, the United Kingdom Minister for Africa, has announced a successful deal between the UK and Ghana that will see 70 armoured Husky vehicles deployed to Northern Ghana to ensure the safety of vulnerable communities.
A statement issued by the UK High Commission in Accra and copied to the Ghana News Agency said Madam Ford had arrived in Accra following the success of the first UK-Ghana Business Council (UKGBC) held in person since 2019.
It said the Council was held in the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in the heart of London with the senior Government of Ghana delegation led by Mr Alan Kyerematen, Ghana’s Minister for Trade and Industry.
It said arriving in Ghana for the second time in 2022, Madam Ford’s visit signals the importance the UK places on the deep and broad bilateral partnership.
It said with almost a billion dollars worth of trade between Ghana and the UK, the British Government was committed to growing this by the end of 2024.
Following her arrival at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Madam Ford said: “It is fantastic to be back in Ghana, to continue the conversations, decisions and opportunities discussed both at UK-Ghana Business Council and during my visit in February.”
“It’s also been fantastic to meet colleagues from the African Development Bank in-person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am proud to use my visit to announce a successful deal between our nations that will see 70 armoured Husky vehicles deployed to Northern Ghana to ensure the safety of vulnerable communities.”
The statement noted that the UK Minister for Africa would attend the African Development Bank’s meeting of Governors where she was expected to sign a climate finance deal worth up to $2 billion.
It said announced at COP26, at least half of the ‘Room to Run’ guarantee would unlock support for countries across the Continent to manage the impacts of climate change.
It said the signing honours the global commitments made at COP26 by leaders from around the world including President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Welcoming Madam Ford to Accra for the second time in 2022, Madam Harriet Thompson, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, said: “Ghana is a beacon of security, stability and democracy in a troubled region.”
“Its role in ECOWAS and membership of the UN Security Council means that Ghana has a vital role in safeguarding democratic principles and defending freedoms across West Africa and beyond.
“We strongly support Ghana’s leadership in this.
Our partnership in recent times includes the fight against the impact of climate change and, of course, global health security.
She said Madam Ford’s return to Ghana would reinforce this partnership through the signing of a climate finance deal, to ensure the safety of vulnerable communities.
The statement said Madam Ford would pay tribute to the enduring UK-Ghana security and defence partnership, announcing the completion of a deal between the nations that would see 70 armoured Husky vehicles arrive in Ghana.
It said the vehicles would be used to bolster security along the country’s Northern border, protecting communities from the threat of extremists inciting violence across the border.
It said linked to the deal, worth more than $10 million, the UK armed forces would provide training for Ghanaian troops, including training of Ghanaian instructors to teach the operation and daily maintenance of the vehicles.
The statement recalled that Madam Ford last visited Ghana in February 2022 as Russia unlawfully invaded Ukraine.
It said during this visit the Minister met with Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and held meetings with like-minded partners in Accra including ambassadors from the American Embassy, the French Embassy, and Kenya High Commissioner to Ghana, Eliphas Barine and Mr Kwabena Osei-Danquah, former United Nations General Assembly Chef de Cabinet.
It said during her previous trip, the Minister also visited the West Africa Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), based at the University of Ghana. It said now, with vital UK backing, the centre was supporting the country and the region on COVID-19 genome sequencing.
The statement said Madam Ford also met the scientists working on antimalarial drug resistance and new malaria vaccines in partnership with UK research institutions including Edinburgh University, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Francis Crick Institute.