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Ghana's President in Berlin

Merkel supports the fight against Boko Haram

The Chancellor promised the West African state assistance in the fight against Boko Haram. The militia is perpetrating "abominable crimes", said Angela Merkel following her meeting with Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama. They both advocated the establishment of an African intervention force.

Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes Ghana's President, John Dramani Mahama, with military honours. Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes Ghana's President, John Dramani Mahama, on his inaugural visit to Berlin Photo: Bundesregierung/Bergmann

Relations between Ghana and Germany are excellent, declared Chancellor Angela Merkel, after talks with the President of the Republic of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama. Angela Merkel reported that the two countries are linked by a close partnership, especially in the field of development cooperation.

Intensive bilateral cooperation

Germany is providing intensive support for the West African state in the fields of power generation, electricity supplies and expanding the use of renewable energy, stressed the Chancellor, and pointed also to German assistance in the field of vocational education and training.

Since 1961 bilateral development cooperation with Ghana has totalled 1.37 billion euros. In 2012 Germany pledged a further 160 million euros for cooperation with Ghana.

Economic cooperation between the two states was also on the agenda of talks between the Chancellor and the President. Ghana is a democratic country, reported the Chancellor and underscored the fact that President Mahama is working to ensure a secure environment without excessive red tape. This is crucially important for German businesses, she said.

Fighting Boko Haram

The two heads of government condemned the terrorist atrocities seen recently, especially the actions of the terrorist group Boko Haram. President Mahama declared that Germany and Ghana share the same values – human rights and the rule of law. The Chancellor pointed out that terrorism is equally dreadful no matter where in the world it is found. Germany is deeply shocked by the brutality demonstrated by Boko Haram.

In view of the violent developments, Angela Merkel supported the proposal of the Ghanaian President to found a regional African intervention force. Ways of extending financial assistance will be discussed within the European Union. Ghana’s President promised that Ghanaian troops would be deployed.

The Bundeswehr cooperates with the Ghana Armed Forces. In the interests of peace building and crisis prevention Germany is working to put in place and stabilise regional security structures, partly through the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, which was founded ten years ago with German support. Germany also supports Ghana in the establishment of an engineers regiment as part of the planned African Union intervention force.

Thanks for support in the fight against Ebola

Angela Merkel and John Dramani Mahama also discussed the spread of Ebola and the need to improve health systems in Ghana and the rest of Africa. The focus was on the need to put in place structures capable of countering a medical disaster like Ebola before it has a chance to spread.

President Mahama thanked Germany for its "important role" in the fight against Ebola. He also suggested that an international health management organisation be founded, so that the global community is better equipped to deal with epidemics in future. Ghana is willing to take the initiative here along with Germany and Norway.

Jan 19, 2015