You are on page 1of 7



STUDENT ID :10274278






Ghana was the first nation south of the Sahara to gain independence. With an avowed commitment to fight for the eradication of the last vestiges of colonialism, neo colonialism, and racism on the African continent, Ghana pioneered black Africas entry into international affairs. These commitments and others has become the cornerstone of Ghanas foreign policy since independence. This is summed up in the dynamic principles and ideals of non alignment in the countries relations with major power blocs (especially during the cold war between the east and west) and Pan-Africanism (of African peoples) from western colonialism and eventual economic and political unity of the African continent.

According to chapter 6, clause 40 of 1992 constitution of the republic of Ghana (directive principles of state policy), thegovernment in dealing with other nations shall promote and protect the interest of Ghanaians, seek the establishment of a just and equitable international economic and social order, promote respect for international law, treaty obligations and settlements of international disputes by peaceful means, as well as adhering to the principles enshrined in the aims and ideals of the charter of the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), the Commonwealth, treaty of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) and any other international organization to which Ghana is a member. Again, according to chapter 8, articles 71 75 of the same constitution, the president shall appoint persons to represent Ghana abroad in consultation with the council of state, receive envoys accredited to Ghana, execute or cause to be executed treaties, agreements and conventions in the name of Ghana subject to ratification by an act or resolution of more than one and half of all (members of Parliament) MP(s). It must be noted however that, one broad principle or aim of every foreign policy especially Ghana (chapter 6, clause 40a) is to project, protect and promote the vital interest of its country abroad. That of the NPP (New Patriotic Party) in Ghana was of no exception. In its dealing with other countries, the NPP government sought to focus on promoting Ghanas vital interest and those of her citizens in the search for prosperity, peace, dignity and security. In fact, this aim is the cornerstone of every foreign policy achieving the national interest of the country for the benefit of the vast majority of the people.

The peaceful governmental turnover in Ghanas 2000 elections brought the NPP (New Patriotic Part) to power. With avowed liberal credentials, the new government rose to political power on the slogan of positive change but what is debatable is whether there has been any departure form the foreign policy path the NDC (National Democratic Congress) threaded. However, just like the previous regime, the wishes of the NPP for Ghana in relation to other countries was based on the requirements of the constitution of Ghana (chapter 6, article 40 and chapter 8 article 7 75 as well as the ideas of Pan Africanism and Non alignment that have since independence, guided Ghanas foreign policy. The tenets and achievements of NPPs foreign policy shall be looked at under the broad principles of maintenance of friendly relations and co-operation internationally, maintenance of friendly relations with neighboring countries that shares the same ties of blood, cultural history and economics as well as economic diplomacy. One of the broad objectives of Ghanas foreign policy include maintaining friendly relations and cooperation with all countries that desire such cooperation irrespective of ideological considerations on the basis of mutual respect and non interference in each others internal affairs. This applies to relations with other third world countries, West Africa and the broader international system. The NPP over the years has recognized that Ghana and indeed Africa as a whole have experienced several social, economic and political challenges hence in its manifesto, 2000 2004 and 2004 2008 (same for the two terms), the NPP sought to work tirelessly in cooperation other countries and regional or international bodies to promote lasting peace, social and political stability and to ensure economic and social development. Most importantly, the NPP promised to promote dialogue and negotiations as a means of settling disputes and resolving conflicts. In line with this, the regime pledged that they will lead Ghana in seeking the establishment of a West Africa Elections Monitoring Commission to be composed as a high powered independent body comprising eminent judges from Africa and other parts of the world. This commission, they thought, will serve as a mechanism for resolving disputes and conflicts arising from contested elections. With respect to the AU, it promised to make it work more efficiently and purposefully for the advancement of the unsavory situation of the African continent. Through the commonwealth, the NPP also sough to work tirelessly to enhance the common ideals that members share in order to make the commonwealth relevant to its people by

actively supporting development oriented activities and good governance. Economically, the NPP in its manifesto, pledged to increase south-south Corporation through trade, investment, science, technology and culture as well as harnessing Africas human and material resources for the benefit of its entire people. Internationally, the NPP sought to champion with renewed vigor, the cause and ideals of the UN and its specialized agencies. Most importantly, under the NPP, collaboration with other countries would be guided by the extent to which such cooperation will enhance Ghanas productive capacity and benefit our people economically and the extent to which such programs incorporate the democratic and good governance values of the new world order.

On the whole, the NPP while in power for the two terms worked hard to chalk some successes. Recognizing the need for strengthening the relations with the G8 (Great 8 economically industrialized countries), the NPP government went great lengths to deepen relations with the organization for economic co-operation and development. According to Professor Boafo Arthur in his One Decade of the Liberal State, a good barometer of such close relations was the invitation of the then president John AgyekumKuffuor to attend the sea summit of the G8. According to him, relations with Britain, United States (US), Germany, Japan and Canada have reached higher levels than before with official visits by the president to most of these countries. For instance, the reciprocal visit of Tony Blair of Britain and Chancellor Schroeder of Germany culminated in the granting of loans and writing-off of debts owed by Ghana to some of these countries. Others include the 4 days working visit to US and this yielded support for strengthening democratic governance, NEPAD (New Partnership For Africas Development), and AGOA (African Growth Opportunity Act) as well as dealing with security problems in West Africa. An 8 day state visit to France by the president in the wake of Ghanas adoption of HIPC initiative (Highly Indebted Poor Country)yielded the inclusion of Ghana in the priority solidarity zone by France and the signing of two agreements for a French Development Agency concessionary loan for the construction of roads and bridges in rural areas and HIPC initiative cut off point. By this agreement, the Paris club agreed to forgive all credit extended to Ghana between 1983 and 1999 and other benefits. Apart form enjoying various benefits form the G8, Ghana has played a major role in setting the agenda of the AU, serving as chair of the AU and hosted the AU summit of 2007. Ghana also won international recognition under the NPP for her

role in brokering peace in numerous countries in Africa including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote Divoire and Kenya. Another important principle of Ghanas foreign policy involves the closest possible cooperation with neighboring countries with which the people of Ghana share a cultural history, ties of blood and economics. Prof. Boafo Arthur in his book, One Decade of the Liberal State calls this the policy of good neighborliness. Good neighborliness by words and deeds according to him, became a major plank of NPP foreign policy in the sub region. This is necessarily because peace is required for development and friendly relations with Ghanas neighbors as well as boosting ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) Agenda. The regime pledged to work for the realization of the objectives of the West African Economic Community; notably the free movement of people, goods and services. The NPP sought to welcome to Ghana, people of African descent and made them feel at home. Generally, it developed close cultural and social ties with Ghanas Kith and kin to our mutual benefit. In this regard, the NPP actually worked to continue the chosen path of deepening relations with other countries and ensuring reciprocal treatment in all spheres. According to the Professor Arthur, by the time of the NPP electoral victory, the countrys relations with its neighbors especially Togo and Burkina Faso were at an all time low. Relations with Togo were bad because of accusations and counter accusations of support for subversive elements being harbored by both countries. Togo had not forgotten the PNDC (Provisional National Defense Council) sponsored abortive commando attack in 1986, with the objective of ousting President Eyadema(the then Togolese President) from power. He continued to say that, for BlaiseCompaore. (President of Burkina faso), he viewed President Rawlings with suspicion because of his close ties with the late Thomas Sankara who was over-thrown and assassinated in a counter coup by Campaore. Due to this, the need for peace with its neighbors for prosperity was a major aspect of the inaugural speech of President J. A. Kuffuor, in January 2001. The NPP established the most cordial links with our neighbors in Burkina Faso, La Cote divoire, Togo, Benin and Nigeria. The first foreign visit of President Kufour was to Togo as the guest of the President Faure NyasingbeEyadema for the commemoration of the rise to power of the Togolese leader despite several criticisms and vice versa. There have been several visits to Nigeria, Cote divoire and Senegal. Recognizing that peace is a pre requisite for economic development, Ghana under the NPP continued with

search for Peace in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote Divoire. The search for peace was enhanced when president Kuffuor became chairman of ECOWAS in 2003 and re-elected in 2004. More especially ties with Nigeria were strengthened and there have been several co-operations between these two countries for peace and stability in West Africa. Nigeria in the process, gave Ghana credit facilities to purchase cars to revamp the operations of the Ghana Police Service, as well as a soft loan of $40million to enable Ghana to pay for its share of capital for the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP). The WAGP has drawn Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana into a cooperative venture to tap gas form the vast reserves of Nigeria for the use of the countries involved in the project. The visits to Burkina Faso and Benin in March 2007 cemented relations. With Burkina Faso, it led to the revamping of the Permanent Joint Commission for cooperation which had been in limbo since the death of Thomas Sankara.Even though the President was in Benin for President Kerekous inauguration, the two had fruitful discussions on the need for peace, security and stability in the sub region. The NPP government under President Kufuor participated in signing several peace accords, for instance the LinasMarcoussis accord signed in France and several other meetings in Accra, to resolve the Ivorian crisis. In order to make Ghanas presence more felt in the sub-region, new missions were opened for instance, in landlocked Mali to enhance the utilization of Ghanas port facilities in Mali, that of Senegal to facilitate among others, consular services to Ghanaian residents in that country and the Gambia and Equatorial Guinea where there are migrant Ghanaian workers and to facilitate the processing of the countrys crude oil. One other point that has to be stressed with regards to the NPP has been the governments official adoption of economic diplomacy as a very important tool in relations with other countries. Government commitment to economic diplomacy during its term of office is unparalleled in the history of the nation. Through this, the government under the NPP has attracted a lot of investments to Ghana in its quest to achieve equitable and a just global trading relations. A visit to Germany led to the cancellation of $6, 745,000 owed to Ghana. The Japanese gave a grant of US$80million for the reconstruction of the MallamKasoa Yamoransa road and support for small and medium scale businesses and the cancellation of debts totaling US$1.01 billion.

According to the Japanese Ambassador to Ghana then Kazuko Asai, the cancellation was possible because of the disciplined economic management approach of the government (Daily Graphic).Countries such as Canada, Norway and Germany also wrote off Ghanas debt. The Presidents two visits to Spain yielded US$40million soft loan and a promise of US$120million provided the first loan was used well. The loan was to be used for the improvement of thecardiothoracic unit at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, the completion of the maternity block at the OkomfoAnokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi and improvement of water supply system in the Eastern Region. The University of Development Studies and some polytechnics also benefited from the loan facility. With south south cooperation, the government was anxious to clear up a business dispute between Ghana Telecom and Telecom Malaysia to facilitate cordial relationship since Ghana has a lot to learn form Malaysias rapid development. India assisted with the Ghana India Kofi Annan centre for excellence in IT, the presidential complex, rural electrification, three thousand (3000) tractors and assistance for the security and medical sectors. Relations with China, has led to several high profile visits of ministers and businessman on both sides, since the NPP took over leading to the granting of $US15million loan facility by Alcatel Shanghai bell to Ghana Telecom and the expression of interest by Sino Hydro Corporation in Ghanas Bui Hydro electric project. China also funded the military and police barracks project handed over in February 2004.

It must be noted however that the NPP foreign policy ideology is not markedly different form what the NDCs espoused especially with the end of the cold war, which met the change of PNDC to NDC and introduced a liberal out-look in economic policy. However, the nuances are in the personal idiosyncrasies of foreign policy formulators, engagement with the international community and the relations with its immediate neighbors.