Strengthening Ties and Smelling Roses

With the election of the new president, Ghanaians seem hopeful in a way they haven’t been in years. Sure, it’s not all roses (or, rather, uninterrupted power supply which would be much sweeter). There are always scary stories to occupy headlines (or back pages).

Take, for example, the story of 11 girls between the ages of 14 and 23 that were captured and detained in Ghana. Many of the girls are of Togolese origin, but they were all destined for the Middle East – though not of their own free will. These women were being trafficked for whatever awful exploitation their “buyers” could imagine.

Still, they were stopped and the perpetrators arrested.

And, it really seems as though positivity is floating through the country in new ways. It’s evident in the return of African Americans to Ghana, which has opened its doors to those wanting to strengthen their ties to their heritage. Perhaps more will arrive given the state of political fear in the United States at the moment. But, again, it’s not all roses and uninterrupted power supply. Many don’t have indefinite stay visas, and others haven’t found it as easy as it could be.

But, no one can deny the strengthening of ties.

The United Kingdom is certainly jumping on the opportunity to strengthen ties. The British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, just paid the country a visit and spoke of developing business cooperation. He specifically made mention to the hope that more British businesses would set up shop in Ghana.

Perhaps more importantly, the controversial British High Commissioner to Ghana is being recalled. Jon Benjamin will be replaced by Iain Walker in August of this year. While Benjamin has certainly been involved, there is hope that Walker will do more to link the two countries rather than focusing on Ghanaian politics.

What the change brings remains to be seen, but it suggests deeper business ties from the UK will be supported by this decision.

Even on the African continent, things are looking up. King Mohammed VI of Morocco just visited the country and along with President Nana Akufo-Addo, concluded and signed 25 agreements. That includes the provision of $10 million towards the electricity sector in Ghana.

And that’s where we hope the ties will truly flourish. After all, it would be nice to talk about smelling the roses rather than uninterrupted power supply when trying to express the promise Ghana offers its people and the world.

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