President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Friday applauded the growing interest of French companies in Ghana, giving the assurance that the country was ready to protect their investments and that of other nations.
“The growing interest among French companies in Ghana is welcome… and I want to say Ghana recognises the importance of the security of investment and would ensure that our relevant institutions stand ready to protect them,” he said. President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance when he laid the foundation for the commencement of the construction of the new French Embassy in the Cantonments ambassadorial enclave in Accra.
The project, which is scheduled to be completed in 18 months, would host all of Frances’ operations in Ghana. The initiative puts to rest years of anxiety and security concerns over the proximity of the present location of the French Embassy to Ghana’s seat of Government – the Flagstaff House.
Continuous deliberations between the governments of Ghana and France led to the agreement to relocate the facility to Cantonments in the best interest of both countries.
President Akufo-Addo said the relationship between Ghana and France had been strengthened based on common values, shared vision of prosperity for its peoples, strong belief in democracy and human rights and the rule of law. He said Ghana continued to benefit from French support, particularly in health, rural water supply, agriculture, services, communications and industry 60 years after bilateral relations were established.
He gave the assurance that the country would strive to strengthen the ties that bound both nations for their mutual advantage. There are about 170 French interests in Ghana with services as the leading sector. The President said though the negotiation for the relocation of the embassy, which shared a common wall with the Flag Staff House, had been saddled with mixed reactions, he was optimistic that the construction of the new facility “would be the foundation stone and continuation of the growing interest of France in Ghana’s development and progress.”
“It is gratifying to note that the aim of the mission is to complete the construction within a period of 18 months, I trust those given the responsibility to construct the edifice would deliver efficient and timely work so that its opening will help to expand the already cordial relations between Ghana and France,” he said.
Mr Francios Pujolas, the French Ambassador to Ghana, said the project symbolised the growing partnership between France and Ghana despite differences in language and orientation adding that France had every confidence to celebrate the diplomatic ties between both countries.