Ghana and the Czech Republic have held bilateral talks to increase cooperation in areas of business, investment, medical assistance, peace and security, as well as an air transport agreement.
The meeting is historic because it is the first time a Prime Minister of the Czech Republic has visited Ghana in 30 years.
At a bilateral meeting held between Ghana’s Vice President Bawumia and Prime Minister of Czech Republic, Mr Pietr Fiala, at the Jubilee House, Accra, on Thursday, Dr Bawumia acknowledged the existing diplomatic relations between the two countries, which dates to 1959.
The Vice President recognised the immense contributions of the Czech Republic to Ghana’s healthcare, security and defence, construction of bridges and energy sectors.
Dr Bawumia noted that the bilateral cooperation between the two countries remained strong and cited a defence and security agreement, which resulted in the training of personnel of the Ghana Airforce and Ghana Police Service in various disciplines including Cybersecurity, thus equipping them with up-to-date skills and knowledge required in modern security operations.
He urged businesses in the Czech Republic to explore the opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) and invest in areas such as food and agriculture, energy, health, education, and infrastructure development.
He said Ghana offered a stable economic and political environment for doing business since it was ranked the most peaceful country in West Africa and the second most peaceful nation on the continent.
The discussions between the two leaders focused on the establishment of joint venture agreements including energy projects, sewage treatment, water purification and the construction sector.
Vice President Bawumia expressed profound gratitude to the Government of the Czech Republic for providing funding amounting to 79 million euros towards the construction of 12 polyclinics in five regions in Ghana and donating medical beds worth 400,000 euros to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
He also appreciated the Czech Republic’s Medical Humanitarian Programme, which started in 2019, thus, enabling Czech medical doctors to visit Ghana annually to perform various surgeries and exchange expertise and knowledge with their Ghanaian counterparts.
“Ghana will host the United Nations Peacekeeping Ministerial Meeting in Accra from 5th to 6th of December this year and am optimistic that the discussions will provide the two countries an opportunity to work together to tackle issues hindering peacekeeping efforts in the world,” Dr Bawumia stated.
For his part, Mr Pietr Fiala, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, said the Government of the Czech Republic last year approved a new strategic plan to increase bilateral cooperation with countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and that Ghana was one of the five important trade partners in Africa.
He was of the belief that his visit to Ghana would strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
He commended Ghana for the instrumental role it had played over the years in ensuring peace and stability in the West African Sub-region and pledged to support the country to preserve the peace and stability in the Sub-region.
On trade, Mr Fiala said, that in 2022, the Czech Republic’s trade volume to Ghana stood at $ 22 million, while imports from Ghana were estimated at three million dollars and believed that more could be done to increase the volumes of trade between the two countries.
Mr Fiala said that trade relations with Ghana were of paramount importance to the Government of the Czech Republic and underscored the need for both countries to cooperate more in areas of trade and investment, air transport and infrastructure development.
A delegation of Czech and Ghana Business Forum accompanied the Czech Prime Minister to Ghana to explore more trade and investment opportunities in Ghana and Africa at large.