Austria-Ghana: New Embassy and Strengthened Partnership

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: February 5, 2024; 23:08 ♦ (Vindobona)

In the spirit of deepening bilateral relations, Austria and Ghana have reaffirmed their desire to intensify economic and political cooperation. At an official meeting in Vienna, Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen and his Ghanaian counterpart Nana Akufo-Addo emphasized the planned opening of an Austrian embassy in Accra later this year as a symbolic step towards promoting bilateral relations.

Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen ( r.) and his Ghanaian counterpart Nana Akufo-Addo (l.) met for an official meeting in Vienna. / Picture: © Österreichische Präsidentschaftskanzlei / Peter Lechner/HBF

The two heads of state also expressed concern about Russia's destabilizing activities in the Sahel region. "We are monitoring developments with concern and are committed to stability and peace in the region," said Van der Bellen. Akufo-Addo emphasized the importance of support for countries affected by conflicts.

During the visit, Van der Bellen emphasized that trade between the two countries, which reached a volume of 40 million euros in 2022, could still be expanded. He called for an increase in direct investment and emphasized Ghana's role as an attractive market for Austrian companies for two decades.

President Akufo-Addo, who took part in the "Africa Day 2024" conference of the Chamber of Commerce in Vienna, invited Austrian investment, particularly in the automotive industry, mechanical engineering, pharmaceuticals, and textiles. Ghana is also showing interest in the Austrian dual education system, which is to be further promoted through several education agreements, including one with the University of Leoben.

Both countries praised the initiatives of the recent Africa Summit in Rome, which was hosted by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and expressed the hope that trade relations would be strengthened as a result of the summit. "It is a beginning that is promising and should be further developed at the EU level," said Van der Bellen.

Global topics for discussion

The talks between the presidents also covered global conflict issues such as the Gaza war and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Both heads of state confirmed Israel's right to self-defense and called for the search for a lasting solution for the coexistence of Israelis and Palestinians. Akufo-Addo emphasized Ghana's condemnation of the Russian invasion in the UN General Assembly and called for a reform of the UN Security Council.

The presence of Russian troops in West Africa and the resulting refugee movement were also addressed. "The responsibility for this tragic development lies with Russia," said Van der Bellen. However, Akufo-Addo emphasized that relations between the EU and Africa should not be determined by external powers such as Russia and China.

With the planned opening of the Austrian embassy in Accra and the strengthened bilateral relations, Austria and Ghana are sending a clear signal for a common future based on partnership, stability, and mutual respect.

Presidential Chancellery of Austria