Ghana-Gabon Exclusive

Ghana-Gabon Exclusive


President Gül paid state visits to Ghana and Gabon with a broad delegation of over 100 businessmen, senior officials and scientists accompanying him and delivered a speech during each of the business forums held in both countries. These visits bear particular importance in that they were the first presidential ones from Turkey to Ghana and Gabon as part of Turkey’s policy of opening up to Africa.

Galaxy International
Official Welcoming

President Abdullah Gül paid official visits to Ghana and Gabon within the framework of Turkey’s opening up to Africa policy. The first stop in these visits was Ghana.


The President was welcomed by his Ghanaian counterpart, President John Evans Atta Mills, with an official ceremony at Kotoka International Airport. The President later attended the opening ceremony of the chancellery building of the Turkish Embassy in Accra and made a speech during which he evinced his pleasure to be visiting Ghana as the first Turkish President ever, offering his thanks to President Mills for the warm welcome. He further recalled that Turkey was among the first countries to recognize its independence.

Mausoleum and Museum
Breakfast with Businessmen

Pointing to the gradually developing bilateral relations between Turkey and Ghana during the official dinner given by Ghanaian President John Evans Atta Mills, President Gül further averred that the huge distance between the two countries has been shortened through Turkish Airlines’ (THY) direct flights to this country and that mutual opportunities have been considerably augmented, proclaiming his visit to open a new chapter in their relations.


Turkey, he reiterated, has opened embassies in 18 Sub-Saharan countries and shared their wish to raise this number soon, saying: “I am sure you have realized Turkey’s recent interest in the continent. We are intimately and closely dealing with Africa’s problems. It is due to this interest that the strategic partnership was established between Turkey and the African Union and the first Turkish-African Cooperation Summit was held in Istanbul in 2008. Turkey wholeheartedly believes that Africa’s challenges should not rest with only the Africans to be solved but rather that the whole world should contribute to the efforts to overcome these problems. I wish you every success in your toils toward development and I attach great importance to our cooperation.”


On the second day of his visit, the President addressed the Ghanaian Parliament during which he shared his pride in being given the honor to take the floor at Ghana’s Parliament, promulgating: “The opening up to Africa policy of Turkey, which was proclaimed as the strategic partner of the African Union in January 2008, is far from being about short-term interests or expectations but rather it hinges on a long running approach that is based upon mutual benefits.”


The President later indicated that Turkey’s orientation toward Africa is the culmination of a policy that aims at the development of the continent as a whole and underscored that it involves aid in such areas as health, agriculture, irrigation, energy and education as well as regular humanitarian aid. “Our heartfelt wish is that Africa turn into a continent of opportunities for the sake of the happiness and peace of its peoples.” He further pointed to many great areas of cooperation between Turkey, the world’s 16th and Europe’s 6th biggest economy, and Africa.


President Gül, prior to his address to the Ghanaian Parliament, had met with Turkish and Ghanaian businessmen at a working breakfast and laid a wreath at the Mausoleum of Kwame Nkrumah, the founder and the first President of Ghana. Afterwards, he visited the Kwame Nkrumah Museum and signed the book there.


As part of his schedule in Ghana, the President had a tete-a-tete with his Ghanaian counterpart, President John Evans Atta Mills, at the Presidential Palace. Afterwards, the two leaders chaired the delegational talks and held a joint press conference. Congratulating the Ghanaian administration on their success in making Ghana the fastest growing and most secure country of Africa, he declared Turkish-Ghanaian political relations to be excellent and stated that they attach great importance to both the economic relations and the cooperation in military and security, noting that they should improve their bilateral relations in all areas.


The President also predicted that the agreements signed between the two countries’ relative ministries will serve the enhancement and development of the bilateral relations between Turkey and Ghana and informed the press that they had tackled both the regional and international issues during their tete-a-tete. President Gül further shared his hope that both Turkish and Ghanaian businessmen will conduct fruitful talks and indicated great potential for mutual investments, evincing his expectation from the Ghanaian government to open an embassy in Ankara as well.

He further maintained that the following agreements were signed between Turkey and Ghana: The Agreement on Establishing Political Consultation Mechanisms, the Cooperation Agreement on Health and Medicine, the Military Training Cooperation Agreement, the Agreement on Technical Service and the Agreement on Lifting the visa requirements for Diplomatic Passports as well as the Dual Air Service Agreement.


As part of his program in Ghana, President Gül visited Galaxy International School and evinced his pride in the achievements of the school throughout the country. Revealing his happiness to visit the school during his speech, President Gül lauded its staff and principals for perfectly representing Turkey with their proprieties and shared his pride in the fact that Galaxy International School is among Ghana’s best 5 schools. He further congratulated the teachers who have taught about Turkey, its culture and language to students from a number of nations in Ghana, offering his thanks to the Ghanaian officials for lending their corroboration to the opening of the school.


Brief History: Named after the Ghanaian Empire (750-1240), Ghana’s original cultural heritage was received from the Kingdom of Ashanti, founded in 1670. The Portuguese, Dutch, British and Danish constructed castles on the soils of Ghana in order that they could make the most of the rich gold mines and slave trade. The country was colonized by the British in 1874 and was named the Gold Coast. In 1957, it gained her independence under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah, thus becoming the first Sub-Saharan country to do so.
Official Name: Republic of Ghana
Capital: Accra
Official Language: English
System of Government: Presidential System
Head of State: John Evans Atta Mills
National Day: March 6
Area: 238,533 square km
Population: 24,233,431
Important Cities: Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi
Neighbors: Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east
GDP: $ 38.24 billion
GDP per capita: $1,600
Growth Rate: % 6.5
Inflation Rate: % 10.9
Export: $7.9 billion
Import: $10.7 billion
Exported Products: Gold, cocoa, lumber, bauxite, aluminum, manganese, diamonds
Imported Products: Capital assets, petroleum products, food products, forging products, automotive spare parts
Products Turkey Exports to Ghana: Iron and steel, salt, sulfur, soil and stones, gypsum and cement, electric machines and devices, mineral fuel and milling products
Products Turkey Imports from Ghana: Cocoa and gold