The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has announced that visa fee for entering Ghana from the United Kingdom (UK) has been reduced, adding that the move is expected to be replicated across the country’s missions worldwide.
She made the announcement when she addressed members of the Ghanaian community, diplomats and business personalities and others during the celebration of Ghana’s 62nd Independence anniversary in the UK.
Recounting the constraints that Ghana has faced, she nonetheless pointed out that there has been remarkable progress across the various sectors.
The minister was particularly enthusiastic about gains made in the trade and investment sector. She applauded the growing relations between Ghana and the UK, saying it is transitioning from aid dependence to one of trade and economic partnership.
The growing relations between the two countries have seen the inauguration of the UK/Ghana Business Council, which has informed the signing of a communiqué.
According to the minister, this would further boost the trade and investment relations between the two countries and prepare the grounds for improved relations as the Brexit negotiations approach closure.
On tourism, Ms Botchwey encouraged Ghanaians in the Diaspora, people of African descent and all well-wishers and lovers of freedom to ensure that the blots on Ghana’s history would never recur.
She encouraged Ghanaians to take advantage of the 2019 Year of Return celebrations to see at first hand developments taking place in the country.
“I am hopeful that participating in this event will enable many of our compatriots to take the bold step of moving back home and contributing to the development of our motherland,” she stated.
Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Papa Owusu Ankomah said his outfit had taken steps to reduce to the barest minimum the involvement of Ghanaians in criminal activities in the UK. He emphasized the importance of strengthening the bond of friendship between the two countries.
The UK’s envoy to the Commonwealth, Philip Parnham, could not agree more when he took his turn to address the gathering. He was full of praise for Ghana’s role in supporting not only the UK but also the values of the Commonwealth such as democracy, good governance, peace, mutual understanding and reconciliation, which underscored the theme for the 2019 Independence celebration.
Ghana’s 62nd Independence celebration as commemorated in the UK also showcased the rich Ghanaian culture through food, performances and regalia.