London, 8 April 2022 (TDI): The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson received the Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo to Downing Street. Strong partnerships between the two states especially focus on areas including trade, defense, and culture.

Recognizing the growing security threat in West Africa, the UK Prime Minister and the Ghanaian President pledged to strengthen bilateral defense and security partnerships, including intelligence sharing and naval capabilities.

OVERVIEW OF UK-GHANA RELATIONS

Ghana was the first African country to gain independence from Britain in 1957. Historically, Ghana has had a large migration flow with the UK, which has made an important contribution to advancing the relationship between the two countries. After independence, Ghana’s formal diplomatic relations with Britain suffered minor setbacks but both restored their relations fully in 1966. Since then, Britain and Ghana have worked together extensively on international aid, economic development, security issues, and so on.

In the year 2019, Ghana and UK have signed a new Strategic Partnership agreement to deepen and strengthen bilateral relations and look for new opportunities between the two states. The New Strategic Partnership agreement mainly focuses on three areas. The first one is economic development and also mutual prosperity. The second one is stability and also regional security. The last one is health, education, and also inclusion.

GHANA AND BRITAIN ARE STEPPING UP SECURITY COOPERATION

Furthermore, security is one of the priorities of UK-Ghana cooperation. The security collaboration includes two main issues: cross-border organized crime and terrorism. 

On June 2nd, 2021, the first UK-Ghana security dialogue was held in Accra, the capital of Ghana. Ghana’s Minister for National Security; Albert Kan-Dapaah met with the UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel for talks during the security dialogue.

The two states committed to establishing two working groups targeted at violent extremism, and organized crime; which include immigration crime, money laundering, gold and cocaine smuggling, and online fraud.

Moreover, to have more effective cooperation; both nations reaffirmed that they will deepen their law enforcement partnerships, particularly around community policing and accountability.

Later in 2021, UK’s Minister for Africa announced £250,000 to support Ghana. This financial support aimed to fund 4 vital security and stability projects which can bolster Ghana’s capability to combat security threats. The other objective of the British financial support was also to increase the capacity of Ghana’s national crisis response model.

GHANA AND BRITAIN STRENGTHEN ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP

Ghana has shared a significant economy relation with the UK. The total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and Ghana was £954 million in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2021. 

UK’s Home Secretary Priti Patel in talks with Ghanaian President Nana Akuffo-Addo
UK’s Home Secretary Priti Patel in talks with Ghanaian President Nana Akuffo-Addo

Ghana and the UK have been in trade negotiations since 2018; culminating in the signing of an Interim Trade Partnership Agreement between the two countries in 2020. The agreement will boost bilateral trade relations worth about £1.2 billion.

The agreement replaces the Interim Ghana-EU Economic Partnership Agreement, which governs trade relations between Ghana and the UK. Moreover, the Agreement with the EU was no longer applicable to govern the relations of the UK with Ghana; as the UK withdrew from the EU on 31 December 2020. 

Furthermore, in 2021, the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson appointed Kate Hoey as the new Trade Envoy to Ghana. The new Trade Envoy’s key tasks include identifying new export and investment opportunities for the UK and Ghanaian businesses. This is to strengthen the UK-Ghana trade and promote a mutually beneficial partnership.