Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), has been appointed as a member of the reconstituted Advisory Board of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration by the Akufo-Addo government.
Dr. Akwetey and his 12-member board, will be responsible for the overall policy direction of the ministry, strengthening its structures and streamlining the operations of the country’s missions, honorary consulates and consulates-general worldwide.
It is also expected to help develop better and effective multi-sectoral cooperation with other ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) for better appreciation and implementation of national priorities.
The appointment, has left many wondering whether, the IDEG boss, can maintain his seeming independent views on national affairs or he has been compromised by the Akufo-Addo government.
The board, which is under the chairmanship of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, is also expected to help meet fully the standards of traditional diplomacy and the principles of public international law, with the ultimate objective of uplifting the living conditions of the Ghanaian people.
In her welcome remarks at the inauguration ceremony, Ms Botchwey, said the objective of bilateral relations was to develop and maintain diplomatic relations, as well as promote cordial, bilateral, political, economic, scientific, technological and cultural relations with friendly countries, the Daily Graphic reported.
“We will also develop strategic alliances with neighbouring countries to address issues of common concern, such as drug and human trafficking, the proliferation of small arms and light weapon, maritime piracy and the threat of Boko Haram and other terrorist activities,” she stated.
The Foreign Minister, said the direction and strategies of the ministry’s work and orientation should be geared towards policy interventions in the international arena through leveraging Ghana’s touted governance and security credentials to cultivate international solidarity and goodwill to promote the country’s political and economic interest abroad.
She said the strategies should also promote a globally competitive Foreign Service and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Ghana’s missions abroad to make them capable of meeting the challenges and opportunities of the global economic and financial environment.
She said the Foreign Ministry, would be working towards improving Ghana’s stake and role in strong and vibrant regional markets through expanding intra-regional trade and economic cooperation.
In line with the manifesto of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the government’s vision on the resuscitation of the economy, she added, the ministry would vigorously pursue an economic diplomacy agenda geared towards advancing the country’s economic interests.
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mr Frank Annor Dompreh, who is a member of the board, said it would work hard towards raising the image of the country at both sub-regional and global levels.
Other members of the board are; the Deputy Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr Charles Owiredu and Mr Mohammed Habib Tijani; the Chief Director of the Foreign Ministry, Mr Albert Francis Yankey; the Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, and the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Carlos Kingsley Ahinkorah.
Others are the representative of retired Foreign Service officers, Mr B. G. Godwyll; Brigadier-General Dr Emmanuel Wenkem Kotia of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Ms Gifty Kekeli Klenam.
They took the oaths of office, secrecy and allegiance.