Ghana and Saudi Arabia are developing a framework that will enable each other’s citizens to work in the respective countries in a safe and appropriate manner.
The two countries are using diplomatic means to ensure that the prospective labour exchanges between them would be carried out for the mutual benefit of their people.
The Saudi Arabia Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Meshal Alrogi, said this at a ceremony organised by the Embassy on Thursday in Accra to commemorate 92nd Saudi National Day.
The day is celebrated in Saudi Arabia and Saudi communities worldwide every September 23, to commemorate the unification and founding of the Kingdom in 1932 by King Abdulaziz Al Saud.
This year’s celebration in Ghana which comes after a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic is on the theme “Saudi is Our Home.”
In 2017, the Ghanaian government banned the export of local labour to countries such as Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar because of widespread reports of maltreatment of Ghanaians there.
Last year, Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wireko-Brobby, said as part of a roadmap to lift the ban, the government had signed bilateral labour migration agreements with Saudi Arabia and others.
The labour exchange, Mr Alrogi said, was one way the kingdom was using to rekindle the long–standing bilateral relations with Ghana which dated back to 1960, and characterised by cooperation in various sectors.
He said the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre since its inception in 2015 had also undertaken humanitarian projects amounting to billions of dollars.
“The friendly Republic of Ghana has not been left out of the Centre’s priority destinations of donations and aid.
It has since made several humanitarian gestures to Ghana in an attempt to help boost critical sectors such as health as well as support needed families in Ghana,” he said.
In the field of education, Mr Alrogi said, Saudi had increased the scholarship package for eligible Ghanaian applicants to 159 annually to enable successful applicants to study in various specialisations at all levels.
Noting that trade volumes remained low between the two countries, he encouraged Ghanaians to link up with Saudi investors to create more investments in the private sector.
Ghana’s representative at the event, the Deputy Minister of Transport, Frederick Adom, extended the country’s gratitude for the support Saudi had given to Ghana over the years.
He reaffirmed the country’s commitment to deepening the long standing relations and reiterated the call for business communities in both countries to collaborate to boost both economies.
He said Ghana’s stable democracy and conducive business environment presented the best investment destination in Africa for the Saudi business community.
The reception brought together eminent personalities including the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Bagbin, ministers of state, members of the diplomatic community and the Saudi society in Ghana.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR