Ghana Signs Cooperation With Germany’s North-Rhine Westphalia

-As GLI’s Agricultural Value Chain Beckons 

The Governments of the Republic of Ghana and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, on Wednesday, August 25, signed an agreement to deepen cooperation in several areas that fulfill the UN’s sustainable development goals.

The Agreement, which was signed by Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, and the Minister-President for North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, is aimed at opening up Ghana and the German state within its’ “Golden Triangle” to deep commerce, trade and cooperation in services.

North Rhine-Westphalia consist of popular cities like Cologne, Duesseldorf, Dortmund, Bonn, Bochum and Munster. They constitute one of the rich regions of Germany.

The two sides will also consider training, the promotion of business and job creation in growth sectors to be essential fields of cooperation.

“Companies from North Rhine-Westphalia are to be notified of opportunities afforded by the Ghanaian market, whilst the benefits of collaboration with North Rhine-Westphalia are to be better advocated in Ghana. The international competitiveness of Ghanaian companies should be improved. The partnership also aims to foster discussion and mutual exchange on the subjects of entrepreneurship, start-up support and the realisation of new labour-market potential,” the statement added.

President Akufo-Addo who was at the event explained the need for the EU’s strong support to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which has its Secretariat in Ghana.

With the AfCFTA linking 54 markets, covering 1.2 billion people, into a single market, he told the gathering in Bonn that the AfCFTA is the world’s largest free trade area outside of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), adding that, by 2050, it will cover an estimated 2.5 billion people, and have over a quarter of the world’s working-age population.

“Imagine the investment and business opportunities offered by the infrastructure required to link these markets more effectively. And imagine the business opportunities that this huge market would offer for manufacturing and service firms from European countries that would establish production facilities in Africa to serve the African markets. And with the accelerated growth that would result from all these, the market opportunities for exporters from European countries could be truly amazing!” he added.

Meanwhile, a Germany-based social business, Zukunft für das Leben gUG (ZfL) is proposing a similar collaboration between towns and communities around Juapong in the Volta Region and Hannover in Germany.

ZfL has initiated an integrated agricultural value chain system to assist small-scale organic farmers in Africa, with Ghana as its nexus.

The entire concept of GLI is to sustainably modernise agriculture in Africa and let smallholder farmers and hitherto destitute segment of the population be the main controllers of the supply chain for food and other value-added products from agricultural productions.

GLI has created a unique agricultural supply chain model which involves setting up agricultural enclaves across Africa and partnering with smallholder farmers to maximise crop yield and consequently, supply fresh food crops directly to consumers.

“We would like to collaborate with you to make sure that all the target groups benefit from the “Green Gold Revolution…we will carry out inspections and certifications in all areas of organic production: for farmers, processors, distributors, importers, exporters and warehouses in our consortium, to make sure that our products meet the EU and international standards,” said Stephen Adeoye, the Chief Executive Officer of ZfL.

Commercial cultivation and processing of onions and other vegetables would be the main focus of GLI in Ghana. 

GLI operates from Uetze, a small agricultural community near Hannover and already, the GLI concept has attracted commercial German farmers and distributors who would be helping the social business organisation cultivate high-value crops according to modern standards for local consumption and export.

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