Ghana, – the gateway of Africa may be modest in terms of size and population, but it holds a prominent position on the African continent. This status can be attributed to its significant natural resources and the distinction of being the first black African nation below the Sahara to gain independence from colonial rule and the nation’s role in uniting the African continent.
Since attaining independence, Ghana has forged strategic relationships with foreign nations to bolster its economic and political stability. Moreover, the country has made noteworthy advancements in education and healthcare, thereby enhancing the overall well-being of its citizens. Today, Ghana remains a key player in regional and international affairs, actively participating in peacekeeping initiatives and championing economic development across Africa.
These international relations are overseen by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, which is committed to Ghana’s foreign policy goals, emphasizing friendly cooperation with nations regardless of ideological considerations. Mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs form the foundation of these diplomatic ties.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs manages a network of fifty-eight Honorary Consulates in Ghana, including eleven from East Africa, comprising Ethiopia, Zambia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Botswana, Kenya, Comoros, Mauritius, Mozambique, Réunion, and Zimbabwe. These nations have played significant roles in Ghana’s development, and this article delves into the contributions of these eleven countries, with a particular focus on Kenya.
Kenya Embassy in Ghana
Ghana and Kenya share a longstanding history of close ties, dating back to the pre-colonial era when Ghana’s first President, Kwame Nkrumah, and Kenya’s inaugural President, Jomo Kenyatta, stood united in their anti-colonial pursuits.
In January 2014, during a meeting of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, both nations cemented their relationship by signing an agreement aimed at fostering economic growth and technical collaboration. This accord, inked on a Wednesday, promotes cooperation across various sectors, including trade and investment, energy and mineral resources, agriculture and livestock development, education, health, tourism, culture, science and technology, security, military cooperation, foreign affairs, as well as legal and judicial matters.
According to data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) in 2021, Ghana exported goods worth $4.16 million to Kenya. The primary exports from Ghana to Kenya included Coconut Oil ($1.75 million), Cocoa Powder ($1.31 million), and Rubber ($415,000). Over the past 25 years, Ghana’s exports to Kenya have shown a consistent annual growth rate of 17.7%, surging from $71.3 thousand in 1996 to $4.16 million in 2021.
Conversely, in 2021, Kenya exported goods worth $10.3 million to Ghana. Kenya’s main exports to Ghana encompassed Coconut and Other Vegetable Fibers ($3.53 million), Packaged Medicaments ($2.68 million), and Tea ($998,000). Over the past quarter-century, Kenya’s exports to Ghana have seen an annualized growth rate of 15.2%, climbing from $300,000 in 1996 to $10.3 million in 2021.
In 2020, the Kenyan High Commission in Ghana was establish to harness the already existing relationship and propel new opportunities, it’s worth highlighting the positive and lasting impact that the Kenyan High Commission in Ghana has had on the development of the nation.
The Kenyan High Commission in Ghana serves multiple essential functions in Ghana apart from its service to Kenyan’s living in Ghana. One of its primary roles is to facilitate and support various initiatives and projects in Ghana. By providing a diplomatic presence, the Commission led by H.E Eliphas M. Barine since its establishment has played a crucial role in easing the process of starting new ventures and undertaking development projects. Without its existence, many of these initiatives might have encountered greater challenges and complexities.
The Commission in Ghana has been on the sidelines of the government leading to the easier commencement of other establishments and developments that might have seemed more difficult without their existence.
One notable recent achievement is the Commission’s assistance in enabling the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) to establish the “Ghana Trade House” in Nairobi, Kenya. This one-stop-shop outlet, located in Nairobi’s Sameer Business Park, provides Ghanaian exporters with a platform to showcase their products and services in the East African market, fostering economic growth and development.
Kenya’s Ag. Director for International Trade at the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry, Oliver Konje (left) and the CEO of GEPA, Dr. Afua Asabea Asare.
The one-stop-shop outlet, located in Nairobi’s Sameer Business Park, is intended to provide a platform for Ghanaian exporters to showcase their products and services in the East African country, fostering economic growth and development.
GEPA opens Ghana Trade House in Nairobi, Kenya
The Commission has also made a significant assistant through the creation of healthy trade and economically beneficial relationships for both nations. In September 2023, the Ghanaian-owned company, Kasapreko was able to enter the Kenyan alcohol markets.
The company enters the East African market with its two flagship gin and whiskey brands, Alomo Bitters and Alomo Gold, and with a strategy to partner with established local alcohol distributors to penetrate the market.
Ghana’s Kasapreko Company expands into Kenyan market
East Africa has become the first major expansion of the brewer outside the West and South African markets, where it has been in Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Ivory Coast, South Africa and Burkina Faso.
The Commission has championed the simplification of the Kenyan visa acquisition process by supporting the launch of evisa.go.ke. This online platform allows visitors to apply for the Republic of Kenya evisa without the need to visit a Kenyan diplomatic mission or obtain a visa on arrival.
The Kenyan diplomatic mission in Ghana used to offer this service to potential visitors to Kenya before this development. While the Kenyan diplomatic mission still provides this service, visitors can now conveniently obtain a visa using the newly launched evisa.go.ke platform.
The Kenyan High Commission in Ghana has played a pivotal role in facilitating smoother access to various institutions and advancements. Through its intermediary functions, it has contributed to enhancing convenience and efficiency in connecting both the private and public sectors with opportunities and developments in Kenya and Ghana.
By Ruth Esi Amfua Sekyi