Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa, H.E. Mikhail Bogdanov on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 paid a courtesy call on Hon Ayorkor Botchwey in Accra to have bilateral meeting.
Hon Ayorkor Botchwey during the meeting acknowledged the immense contribution that Russia has made and continues to make towards the socio-economic development of Ghana and indicate that Russia’s award of scholarships to many Ghanaian students over the years to study in Russia have produced essential human resource capacity to facilitate development of the country.
She expressed concern that in recent years the Scholarship Secretariat of Ghana and the Russian Mission have had some differences in the award of scholarships and call for a speedy resolution of the difficulties, and seized the opportunity to requested that Russia increases the number of scholarships provided yearly to about one hundred (100) to consolidate the enduring friendship between the two countries.
She mentioned the potential for cooperation between Russian diplomatic training institutions and the Ministry’s Foreign Service Institute, which is nearing completion.
Foreign Minister requested the Russian side to consider offering short courses in Russian Language training to Officers of the Ministry to facilitate interactions between the two Foreign Ministries and
stated Ghana’s interest in initiating discussions with the Russian Government on the acquisition of the Russian made Vaccine, Sputnik-V as soon as possible, to help Ghana fight the COVID-19 infections.
Hon Ayorkor Botchwey welcomed the interest shown by GBP Global Resources, to invest in Ghana and indicated that the gold refinery at Tarkwa, which was built by the former Soviet Union could be worth considering as an investment opportunity.
She added that the interest of GBP Global Resources in engaging in the gold refinery business is in harmony with the Government of Ghana’s agenda of value addition to its vast natural resources to promote economic development and provide jobs for the burgeoning youth.
She assured the Russian envoy of Ghana’s commitment to expediting the processes involved to enable GBP Global Resources to invest in gold, manganese and other related industries.
she referred to the opportunity presented by the Russia-Africa Summit to boost relations with countries in Africa and invite the Russian Envoy to indicate Russia’s policy for engaging with Africa, following the successful Summit.
Among others Mrs Botchwey acknowledged that despite the excellent relations between Ghana and Russia, trade volumes between the two countries have been low; and Disclose that the start of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will provide a big opportunity for Russian businesses to take advantage of the 1.2 billion African market size, with Ghana as the entry point.
Foreign Minister mentioned the low levels of investment between the two countries and call for more Russian investments in Ghana especially in the field of energy and the petrochemical industry following the entry into the Ghanaian market of LUKOIL and ROSNEFT.
She futher provided assurances of Ghana’s commitment towards negotiating with Russia, the Agreement on Investment Promotion and Protection as well as the Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation to guarantee Russian investors the security of their investments.