Ghana is to receive 70 armoured vehicles from the United Kingdom (UK) to boost security along the country’s northern border and protect communities there from the threat of violent extremists.
Linked to the deal, worth more than $10 million, the UK armed forces would provide training for Ghanaian troops and instructors on the operation and daily maintenance of the vehicles.
The UK Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford, who announced this upon her arrival in the country, said the support follows a successful deal between the two countries aimed at ensuring the safety of vulnerable communities up north.
A statement issued by the British High Commission in Accra yesterday said the visit to the country, the second this year after her first in February, is a follow up on UK-Ghana economic relations and attend the ongoing African Development Bank’s (AfDB) meeting of Governors.
“It is fantastic to be back in Ghana, to continue the conversations, decisions and opportunities discussed both at UK-Ghana Business Council and during my visit in February.
“It’s also been fantastic to meet colleagues from the African Development Bank in-person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic”, the statement quoted her.
The announcement comes at a time the country is on high alert following information that it was at risk of terrorist attacks. The West African region is replete of such attacks in the last few years.
The statement said Ms Ford’s visit followed the success of the first UK-Ghana Business Council (UKGBC) held in-person since 2019 in the UK.
The visit of the minister, the statement said, signalled the importance the UK places on the deep and broad bilateral partnership.
“With almost a billion dollars’ worth of trade between Ghana and the UK, the British Government is committed to growing this by the end of 2024”, it said.
At the African Development Bank’s meeting of Governors, Ms Ford is expected to sign a climate finance deal worth up to $2 billion.
“Announced at COP26, at least half of the ‘Room to Run’ guarantee would unlock support for countries across the continent to manage the impacts of climate change.
“The signing honours the global commitments made at COP26 by leaders from around the world including President Nana Akufo-Addo”, it said.
The British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson welcomed the minister at the KIA.
“Ghana is a beacon of security, stability and democracy in a troubled region. Its role in ECOWAS and membership of the UN Security Council means that Ghana has a vital role in safeguarding democratic principles and defending freedoms across West Africa and beyond. We strongly support Ghana’s leadership in this.
“Our partnership in recent times includes the fight against the impact of climate change and, of course, global health security. Minister Ford’s return to Ghana will reinforce this partnership through the signing of a climate finance deal, to ensure the safety of vulnerable communities.” She was quoted.
BY TIMES REPORTER