Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA
Accra, Aug. 28, GNA – The Chancellor of the
Federal Republic of Germany, Dr Angela Merkel, is slated to visit Ghana on
Thursday, August 30, to strengthen the bilateral relations between Ghana and
Germany for their mutual benefit.
The German Chancellor would be accompanied by
a high-ranking German business delegation to explore business and investment
opportunities in the country.
As part of the visit, German Industry and
Commerce in Ghana (AHK Ghana), will host a business dialogue to facilitate an
exchange on the prevailing business environment in Ghana.
Ghana has had a long historical relationship
with Germany ever since official contacts were made after Ghana’s independence
also enjoyed over fifty (50)
years of bilateral
relations with Germany
since her independence.
The nature of bilateral relations between the
two countries has gradually improved over the years.
The good relations between Ghana
and Germany, had allowed for
beneficial ties in the
of trade and
investment, educational exchange programmes and socio-cultural
The two nations have maintained close and
intensive political relations. Ghana is a key partner for Germany in West
Africa, as illustrated by the inclusion of Ghana in the G20 initiative Compact
with Africa under the German G20 Presidency in 2017, as well as the conclusion
of a bilateral reform and investment partnership the same year.
The state visit of Federal President
Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Ghana in December 2017, was high point in
German-Ghanaian relations. Since taking office, President Nana Akufo-Addo had
met twice with Federal Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel: in June 2017 on the
occasion of the G20 Africa Conference in Berlin and in February 2018 on an
official visit to Germany to attend economic conferences in Dortmund and
A wide range of German institutions and
intermediary organisations are active in Ghana. The German business sector has
been active in Accra since 2011 through a Delegate Office of German Industry
A Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI)
correspondent has also been based in Accra since early 2014.
Cultural intermediaries – such as the
Goethe-Institute, and also institutions like the German-Swiss International
School (GSIS) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) – promote
scientific, academic and cultural exchange between the two countries.
Ghana is one of Germany’s most important
trading partners in sub-Saharan Africa. The country’s bilateral trade with
Germany amounted €481million in 2017, compared with €584million in 2016.
Germany exported goods worth €266million to
Ghana in 2017, while importing goods worth €215million, down from €302million
and €281million respectively in 2016.
The Ghanaian Government is seeking to
stimulate the country’s economy, in particular by strengthening the private
sector, while also aiming to dismantle existing barriers to foreign investment.
German’s annual trade with Africa is estimated
at $60 billion, however, Germany had lagged behind other Western countries that
have done more in terms of trade opportunities in Africa.
Out of more than $10 billion in German
investments on the continent each year, 90 percent is with just three countries
– South Africa, Nigeria and Algeria.
Notwithstanding, Ghana had
benefited from a
number of investments
and economic trade
activities from Germany. The country
had attracted investment
from Germany in the areas
of construction, agriculture (Shea
butter and rice farming project),
manufacturing and services.
had benefited in
some form of
technical, cultural, and
military assistance from Germany.
of Ghana continues
to receive budgetary support
and further receives
political assistance from
Germany in strengthening democratic governance and
various institutions of state.
Ghana is Germany’s third largest trading
partner in sub-Saharan Africa, after South Africa and Nigeria, though it is
well behind these two countries.
Germany through Deutche Gesellschaft
International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) invested €1.8 million to boost the
development of renewable energy.
This effort from German government is to help
build capacity in Ghana’s energy sector.
It further offers opportunity to diversify energy production. This diversification will help improve
Ghana’s energy capacity development.
Germany also supported the Kofi Annan
International Peacekeeping Training
Centre (KAIPTC). Since its establishment in 2003, KAIPTC has been supported
with over €11million, through the German
Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, Ministry of
Defence, Ministry of
Interior, and Ministry of Economic Cooperation.
Germany had contributed significantly to the success
of the Centre through financing of buildings, logistical support, and
deployment of advisors and execution of holistic courses, which help military
officers in all manner of activities.
in Ghana-Germany Relations
Germany has also benefited from Ghana through
Ghana-Germany relations. These gains are vastly in the areas of trade and
economic activities. The trading activities include, export of cocoa beans and
non-traditional export commodities.
Germany further benefits from the repatriation
of profit from its investments in Ghana, especially through tax exemption
granted to German companies commencing operations in Ghana.
Germany’s contribution to Ghana’s democratic
In terms of democratic principles, good
governance, the rule of law, respect for human rights and maintaining domestic
stability, Ghana is in good standing in the West Africa Sub-region and Africa
Ghana’s democracy has been partly supported by
the support she enjoyed from German
organisations (NGOs), such as Konrad Adenauer
Stiftung (KAS), Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES),
Wiederaufbau (KfW) and
German International Cooperation
(GIZ), that have been promoting
development in areas of agriculture,
private sector development, capacity
building and good governance.
to Ghana- Germany Trade and Investment Relations
Ghana and Germany offer each other different
commodities for trade. Whereas Germany brings more
technologically advanced and
sophisticated machines and
goods to Ghana
to trade for high
Ghana, on the other hand, exports mainly
primary products, which include cocoa, aluminium ores etc. In 2012, trade
exchange between the two countries grew by 56% with a chunk of the trade
exchange going in favour of Germany. This disparity creates imbalance between
Ghanaian and German imports.
main challenge, however,
has been the
minimal influence of
Ghanaian trade and investment activities in Germany. Thus,
compared to Germany, Ghana is quite disadvantaged on trade exchange between the
as much as
Ghana provides investment incentive and
strategy through Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) for
foreign investors like
Germans to invest
in Ghana, same cannot
be said of
favourable German policy
to suit Ghanaian
Ghanaian investors do
not have same
financial muscles to
battle other multi-national companies
in investment project.
Ghanaian investors find it difficult to source
capital for investment projects. Even though the 1994 Ghana Investment
Promotion Act guarantee encourages joint-venture partnership, it’s difficult on the part
of Ghanaian investors
to raise the
necessary capital to put
up joint venture
investment with foreign
investor including Germans.
This capital constraint to an extent holds
back bilateral investment and trade relation between the two countries.
bilateral relations continue
to touch critical areas
of paramount importance to
both countries. Both
countries continue to
cooperate in the
areas of health,
development, military assistance,
private sector development,
cooperation, road, and
these efforts, there
are emerging challenges of
trade imbalances, where
Ghana’s domestic market
is flooded with German goods
and services. Also, financial constraints, cultural
differences among others affect bilateral relation between the two countries.
Germany is the world’s third largest exporter
and an established leader in technological innovations and industrialization.
In contrast, Africa, as the world’s fastest
growing region, is a hotspot for investment and is in need of infrastructure,
power and industrialization. With an intertwined history, and perfectly
opposing needs, Germany and Africa are poised to create profitable partnerships
for their mutual benefits.