Turkish investments in Ghana currently amount to around US$516 million, the Ambassador of Turkey to Ghana, Madam Nesrin Bayazit, has announced.
She said there were over 150 Turkish companies and businesses registered in Ghana, some of which were conducting exemplary projects in various fields.
In 2017, she said their trade volume reached US$353 million and they were targeting US$1 billion in the near future.
The ambassador was delivering her address at a reception to mark the 95th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey as well as the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Ghana.
The reception was attended by members of the Council of State, ministers of state, Members of Parliament (MPs), heads and representatives of diplomatic missions and international organisations, religious and traditional leaders and members of the Turkish community.
Ambassador Bayazit said she was proud of MAPA Ghana Limited, the Turkish company which has made Ghana proud by building Terminal Three, a state-of-the art edifice at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
She extended her gratitude to MAPA for re-roofing the National Museum of Ghana free of charge as a contribution to Ghana’s 60th celebrations.
“The Ghana National Mosque in Accra is also being built by a Turkish NGO, Human Development Association International (HUDAI), and supported by Turkish businesses and people,” she stressed.
She noted that Turkey’s flagship carrier, the Turkish Airlines, had been operating in Ghana since 2010 and announced that Turkish Airlines’ operations in Ghana had increased by 76 per cent and they offered 290 destinations to Ghanaian travellers through Istanbul.
Madam Bayazit noted that a major water treatment project at Akim Oda, Akwatia and Winneba, supported by the Turkish Eximbank, had also been completed.
She emphasised that Turkey allocated scholarships annually to Ghanaian students for undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate studies at Turkish universities, adding that to date, 260 Ghanaian students had benefited from the scheme.
“As a matter of fact, Turkish Maarif Foundation has recently appointed a Country Director and started the process of establishing schools in Ghana,” she added.
She said Turkey encouraged not only Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (T?KA) but also her humanitarian associations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to assist Ghanaians in need.
Last week, she said they donated 240 pieces of neurosurgical equipment worth GH¢200,000 to the Ridge Regional Hospital, adding that last year, they donated 30 buses to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to help improve transportation facilities in 10 regions of Ghana.
According to the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report, Turkey ranked the largest donor country worldwide, with its US$8 billion humanitarian assistance in 2017 due to the country’s Enterprising and Humanitarian Foreign Policy.
Ambassador Bayazit told her guests that she was hosting the National Day reception for the fifth and last time, as her term of office was coming to an end soon.
She thanked both previous and present presidents and governments of Ghana for their kind support to her embassy’s work in the country.
In a message on the National Day, read for him by Ambassador Bayazit, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he saw each step they had taken towards an advanced democracy and a strong economy in their efforts to carry their country “beyond the level of contemporary civilizations” as a light kindled for their glorious future.
“Our new airport, which we are inaugurating today in Istanbul, is one of these lights,” he stated, adding “Inshallah, we will crown our great and everlasting journey, starting from Seljuk Empire to Ottoman Empire and reaching the young Republic of Turkey, with our 2023 goals and carry it to a higher level with our visions for 2053 and 2071.”
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah
In his response to the Ambassador’s address, the Minister of Information designate, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who led the Ghana government delegation, said as a result of the political stability that Ghana enjoyed today, the country was viewed on the international scene as a leading light for good governance in the West African sub-region.
He said the warm bond of friendship between the two countries had been further nourished by the exchange of high-level visits between Ghana and Turkey, adding that the cooperation had been given impetus by the signing of various Memoranda of Understanding in agriculture, education, air services, tourism, health and medical services, among others.
With regard to sports, Mr Nkrumah said our teeming sportsmen had found a second home in Turkey, adding that star striker Asamoah Gyan and Andre Dede Ayew had followed the footsteps of the legendary Skipper Stephen Appiah, who led the nation to its first World Cup.
“I am hopeful that both teams would progress from their respective qualifying groups to face each other at the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar where undoubtedly the Blacks Stars will reign victorious after a match of equals,” he stated.
On behalf of the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the government and people of Ghana, he conveyed warm felicitations to Turkey’s President Erdogan, his government and the people of Turkey.