President Akufo-Addo (middle) with some of the Directors

President Akufo-Addo (middle) with some of the Directors

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commended past and present directors, management and staff of the Research Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration for their contribution towards the conduct of Ghana’s foreign policy and the sustenance of peace and stability in the country since independence.

Speaking at a special durbar held to mark the 60th anniversary celebration of the Department which was established in December 1958, President Akufo-Addo said the Research Department has lived up to its goals and described it as “an excellent example of an organisation holding firm onto its character, integrity, standards and values, through the years.”

President Akufo-Addo paid tribute to Ghana’s first Prime Minister and President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah for his foresight in establishing the Research Department.

He also recognized the assistance of the then Prime Minister of India Jawaharal Nehru and his government which helped in the training of the pioneering officers of the Department by providing its first two directors.

The President pledged the government’s continued support for the Department and advised them to be mindful of new threats to global security and their duty to remain professional and loyal to Ghana.

Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration for her part said that the “overall contributions of the Department have in many ways not only shaped policy formulation, but more importantly helped successive governments to defend and protect the sovereignty of Ghana and promote peace and stability in the sub-region”.

She said the consular role of the Department has helped the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to fulfil its oversight responsibilities to promote the welfare of Ghanaians abroad and raise revenue for the country.

The Minister for National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah also commended officers of the Department for their professionalism and dedication to duty and urged the current leadership to build on the solid foundations of the first 60 years.

The current Director of the Department, Ambassador Peter N. Opata in his address said the leadership of the Department was fully aware of its mandate and the record of the past and was determined to position the Department to meet new challenges.

He said they were “fully alert to new threats that seek to undermine our corporate existence, institutions of state, democracy and rule of law” and would take all necessary steps to live up to the mandate of the Department.

Present at the ceremony were Ministers of State, diplomats, retired officers including some of the pioneering staff,  Mrs Fulera Limann, former First Lady whose husband Dr Hilla Limann was an officer of the Department before he became Head of State and two officers from India.

For his interest and support for the Department since his years as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, President Akufo-Addo was honoured with the Highest Award of the Department, The Supreme Eagle. All past 23 former Directors of the Department, and some retired and serving officers including former Head of State, Dr Hilla Limann were also honoured at the 60th anniversary durbar.

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