The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has granted audience to H.E. Iain Walker, British High Commissioner to Ghana. The purpose of the meeting was for H.E. Iain Walker to bid farewell to the Hon. Minister.
H.E. Iain Walker was appointed British High Commissioner to Ghana in August 2017. Prior to that, he served as a Board Member of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in London as its Director of Finance and Strategy.
Honourable Ayorkor Botchwey congratulated the outgoing High Commissioner on the successful completion of his official tour of duty
She Acknowledged the bilateral relations between Ghana and the United Kingdom which witnessed active engagements and growth during the tenure of the High Commissioner, who discharged his duties creditably with a high sense of purpose and tenacity.
She also applauded the High Commissioner for his exemplary work, which resulted in a number of high-level official visits to Ghana, including the visit by the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in November 2018, Rt. Hon. James Duddridge (MP), Minister for Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom, in January 2021. Other visits were by Mr. James Heappey, UK Minister for Armed Forces in February 2021 and the just ended visit of Rt. Hon. Priti Patel, UK Secretary of State for Home Department from 1st to 2nd June, 2021.
Ghana and the UK have signed the Interim Trade Partnership Agreement, which is expected to provide duty free and quota free access for Ghana to the UK market and the same preferential tariff reductions for British exporters into the Ghanaian Market.
In the area of security, Ghana’s Foreign Minister added that relations between Ghana and the UK in the area of security has moved a notch higher during his tenure of office.
In business the outgoing High Commissioner was instrumental in the establishment of the Ghana-UK Business Council in 2018 to promote bilateral relations and strategic partnerships between the private sectors of Ghana and UK trade and investment.
The immense contribution that the UK has made and continues to make towards the socio-economic development of Ghana and highlighted the commendable work of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in
●working closely with Government to reduce Ghana’s reliance on UK aid, by improving domestic tax mobilization and improved management of the economy;
●helping over 900,000 poor and vulnerable Ghanaians to lead safer, healthier and more prosperous lives through various social intervention initiatives; and
●supporting Ghana’s industrialization and economic transformation agenda, which are critical to strengthening Ghana’s economic resilience and unlocking its ambition of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
UK Covid-19 support:
She Expressed appreciation to the High Commissioner for his efforts in ensuring UK support for Ghana’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the UK’s pledge of a £450,000 support package to help Ghana’s Pharmaceutical Sector to adapt and build back better in the wake of COVID-19 and its commitment to continue to offer public health epidemiological modelling support.
The outgoing High Commissioner has contributed to the enhancement of cooperation between Ghana and the UK and would be sorely missed by the Ghanaian populace and hope that H.E. Iain Walker will be an advocate for Ghana wherever he finds himself Honourable Ayorkor Botchwey added.
She also assured the out-going High Commissioner of the determination of Government to transform the Ghanaian economy through value addition and export-oriented growth with the private sector as the main player, and expressed hope that he could be relied on as Ghana’s Ambassador – at -large in canvassing support for the country.
Further assured the High Commissioner of Government’s resolve and commitment to the promotion of democracy and good governance as well as the pursuit of peace and security within the West African region and the continent at large;
Foreign Minister Affirmed to the outgoing High Commissioner her cooperation and support for his successor to further consolidate Ghana-UK relations and finally Concluded by bidding the High Commissioner and his family Godspeed and extended best wishes to him.