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Cooperazione Politica


Cooperazione Politica

On 6 March 1957 Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African country to become independent from colonial rule. Kwame Nkrumah, a man of extraordinary importance in the process of African decolonization, was the leader in Ghana’s independent struggle and subsequently became the first President of the newly-formed nation.
Ghana is now one of the most stable countries in Africa, nurturing a political system based on the rule of law, consolidation of democratic institutions, respect for human rights and press freedom.

Presidential and parliamentary elections were held in December, 2016, representing the seventh consecutive peaceful elections held in Ghana since 1992. In the preceding 24 years power has been divided between two major parties: the liberal-conservative New Patriotic Party and the central-leftist National Democratic Congress. The victory of the National Patriotic Party in the December 2016 elections confirms the tradition which demonstrates the desire for change in the State machinery every eight years.
Between 2008 and 2013 Ghana’s gross domestic product was one of the highest global indices (the average annual increase amounted to 8.7%, peaking to 14% in 2011). From 2013, the trend in the prices of gold, petroleum and cocoa, which represented the main Ghanaian exports, led to a natural decline in the growth rates recorded previously. In spite of this, the local economic structure continues to present many opportunities. This explains the presence of important foreign companies in Ghana, including the ENI Group, which has made substantial private investment in West Africa.
Ghana is an active member of the African Union and of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), organizations in which ex-President Mahama served as President from March 2014 to May 2015, playing an important role during the Ebola crisis, the events in Burkina Faso and during elections in Nigeria and in Togo. Ghana is very active also in the United Nations, being one of the principal suppliers of UN peacekeeping troops from Africa.
Ghana maintains good neighbourly relations with the countries with which it shares borders. Nevertheless there have been some friction with la Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria. Unable to find a diplomatic solution to the definition of its maritime border with la Côte d’Ivoire, in an area where enormous hydrocarbon resources are located, Ghana in September 2014 presented a request for arbitration under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). In September 2017 the International Court of the Law of the Sea substantially upheld Ghana’s claims. The issues with Nigeria were attributable to the large presence of Nigerian workers in Ghana and their competition with local Ghanaians with regard to retail activities and other commercial activities reserved under the investment code solely for Ghanaian citizens. The Nigerians, on their part, believed that these limits conflict with ECOWAS treaty of the free movement of persons and goods. The past months has seen a reduction in the quantity of gas emitted by Nigeria through the West African Gas Pipeline, resulting in the continued and prolonged black-outs in the supply of electricity.
Ghana maintains excellent relations with Western countries, beginning with the European Union, its principal trading partner. While awaiting the signature of the trade liberalization treaty EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) with the European Union, Ghana signed and ratified an interim agreement (Interim EPA) with the EU in July/August 2016. The treaty was ratified by the European Parliament on 1st December 2016. This treaty permits Ghanaian companies to retain their “duty-free preferences” to access the community market: all exports from Ghana to the EU (except arms and ammunition) are customs exempt.

Political stability, a democratic system as well as government activism in the fight against poverty contribute to making Ghana appear in a good light to the most important international donors. Proof of this is the fact that Ghana is one of the first African countries selected by the United States for the “Partnership for Growth” and for being chosen by US ex-president Barak Obama as the only West African destination to which he paid a state visit during his first tenure of office.
In the last few years relations with China have deepened through economic aid from the Asian giant for the Country’s development. There is however a contrary feeling growing among the Ghanaian population towards the presence of Chinese workers whose salaries, especially in the construction sector, are much lower than the locals’. In the last few years there has been a significant number of Chinese workers who have been involved in illegal gold mining, leading to the expulsion of some 4,500 illegal migrants.
Ghana has a strong interest in extending and deepening relations with Italy. There is a certain agreement on the major issues that are central to international fora, for example, the pursuit of peace and security, respect for the rule of law, the safeguard of human rights, the North-South cooperation and Africa’s economic development. Ghana is grateful to Italy for the construction of major infrastructural works (the Akosombo Dam on the Volta River, in the 1960s) and the cancellation of its bilateral debt, completed in June 2005, for a total of 33.87 million Euros; Not forgetting the presence of a well-integrated Ghanaian community in Italy of about 60,000 people who live mainly in the North (Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto).

The excellent bilateral relations between Italy and Ghana were strengthened even further by the political missions of the highest level in the past few years. On 17th July 2015 ex-President Mahama of Ghana participated in the national day during Expo Milano, an event at which Ghana was present in the “Cocoa and Chocolate” Cluster and he took part in a business forum. Following ex-President Mahama’s visit, the ex-Deputy Minister for Economic Development (currently Minister) Calenda and the ex-Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs (now Deputy Minister) Giro also paid a visit to Ghana on December 2015. In the first few days of February 2016, the ex-Prime Minister Renzi, being the first Italian premier to do so, paid a visit to Ghana. From 27 to 29 November, 2017, Prime Minister Gentiloni paid the second working visit of an Italian premier to Ghana.