India - Ghana Bilateral Relations
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High Commission of India
Accra

India-Ghana Bilateral Brief

Political relations:

Indo-Ghanaian relations have traditionally been warm and friendly. The strong foundation of our bilateral relations was laid by India's first Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, and Ghana's first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. The two great leaders also enjoyed a close friendship.

The visit of Hon’ble Rashtrapathiji to Ghana from June 12-14, 2016, which was the first-ever State visit by an Indian Head of State, was the highlight of the year. The high-level visit helped further strengthen the bilateral ties between India and Ghana. Three agreements/MoUs were inked during the visit: MoU on the establishment of a Joint Commission; MoU on cooperation between Foreign Service Institute of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ghanaian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation and an Agreement for Exemption of Visas for holders of diplomatic and service passports.

The only other earlier VVIP visit from India to Ghana was that of the Prime Minister Shri P. V. Narasimha Rao, accompanied by a high level delegation on 8-9 November 1995 on his return from Burkina Faso.

Special Envoy to the Prime Minister Shri MohanbhaiKundariya (MOS for Agriculture) visited Ghana from 5-6 July 2015 to deliver PM’s invitation to President of Ghana for the IAFS-III Summit. He called on President Mahama and also met with Foreign Minister Ms. Hannah Tetteh during his visit.

President John Dramani Mahama, accompanied by a high-level delegation, visited India to participate in the third India-Africa Forum Summit (October 27-29, 2015) and also had a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Foreign Minister Hannah Tetteh, who was part of the delegation met with EAM Smt. Sushma Swaraj. Minister of Trade & Industry Dr. Ekwow Spio Garbrah also participated in the Trade Ministers Meeting on the sidelines of the Summit.

Rt Hon Mike Oquaye, Snr, Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana accompanied by Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minster of Food &Agriculture participated in the CII-EXIM Bank Conclave in March 2017. The Agriculture Minister also visited India to attend the Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank held in Ahmedabad (20 -22 May 2017).

There have been regular Ministerial visits from Ghana to India including that of Ms. Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Environment Science and Technology, in October, 2012; Mr. Clement Humado, Minister of Food and Agriculture, in March, 2013 and Mr. NayonBilijo, Minister of Fisheries & Aquaculture Development, accompanied by Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Finance and senior officials from the Presidency and the Ministries of Energy and Finance respectively who participated in the 10th EXIM Bank - CII Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership in New Delhi in March 2014.The Minister of Trade & Industry Dr. EkwowSpio-Garbah led a 9-member delegation to the CII Partnership Summit, Jaipur (15-17 January 2015). On the margins of the Summit, he met with Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’bleMoS for Commerce & Industry (I/C). Deputy Defence Minister visited Goa for the 6TH DefExpo in March 2016. H.E. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration paid an official visit to India from 16-18 July, 2018.  EAM held delegation level talks with FM of Ghana on 18 July.  Two MoUs, on (i) Cultural Exchange Programme for the period 2018-2022; and (ii) MoU between the Bureau of Indian Standards and Ghana Standards Authority, were signed during the visit.  Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon’ble Charles Owiredu visited India in August 2019 to hold Foreign Office Consultations with India.

A GOI delegation, led by Shri Sudhir Mital, Secretary (Fertilizer), visited Ghana on 23-28 June 2013 for discussions on India-Ghana Joint Venture Fertilizer Project. A 2-member official delegation from Ministry of External Affairs at Join Secretary-level visited Ghana from 1-4 June 2015 to discuss Developmental Assistance Projects in Ghana. A 3-member EXIM Bank of India team also formed part of the visiting delegation. A combined team from Ministry of External Affairs and National Research Development Corporation visited Ghana in July 2016 for monitoring the progress on the implementation of the Tomato Pilot Research Project. A two-member delegation from MEA led by AS(FA) Dr. Sumeet Jerath visited Ghana from 18-20 April for review of the Pan-African E-network project. A delegation from CSIR India and NRDC led by Secretary, Department of Science & Technology Dr. Girish visited Ghana for the handing over of the tomato pilot research project. 

ICWA: A two-day India-West Africa Partnership Conference was organized under the aegis of the Indian Council of World Affairs in Accra from 19-20 January 2017. The Conference saw participation by experts and academics from 9 West African countries apart from Ghana to discuss and share views on various partnership areas covering economic development, energy security, food and agriculture and rising threat of terrorism.

Commercial relations:

Ghana was included as one of the nine West African countries under the GOI’s TEAM 9 initiative launched in 2004. India has been supporting Ghana’s development by providing assistance in setting up projects through provision of Lines of Credit and grants. So far, Government of India has extended Lines of Credit amounting to about US$ 480 million to Government of Ghana for various developmental projects. Some of the projects have been completed while a few are in various stages of implementation. Amongst the recent projects are the India-Ghana Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence for ICT; the Flag Staff House (Presidential Complex); the Pan African E-Network Project and Rural Electrification Project. Two projects under EXIM Bank of India Line of Credit were successfully commissioned in 2016 – Komenda Sugar Plant on 30 March 2016 and Elmina Fish Harvest & Processing plant on 29 November 2016. A Line of Credit facility for supply of 104 fire tenders to Ghana National Fire Services was also completed on 3rd December 2016. Government of Ghana signed a Buyers’ Credit agreement with Exim Bank of India for US $ 398.33 million for the Tema-Akosombo railway line on 22 November 2016.

LoC agreements of US$ 150 million for Agriculture Mechanization and US$ 30 million to upgrade Potable Water Supply System in Yendi Town were recently signed in April 2019 and currently under implementation.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 6 July, 2010 between India and Ghana for the setting up a US$ 1.2 billion Joint Venture Fertilizer Project using gas to manufacture fertilizer. However, not much progress happened due to shortage of gas supply.

The exchange of business delegations in recent years has led to an increase in investments by Indian companies in Ghana in sectors like construction, manufacturing, trading, services and tourism and in areas such as steel, cement, plastics, pharmaceuticals, ICT, agro-processing and agricultural machinery, electrical equipments, chemicals, etc. A number of Indian companies are establishing their presence in Ghana, both from the public as well as from the private sector.
The private sector is represented by eminent companies viz. Tata, Ashok Leyland, Mahindra & Mahindra, Escorts, Larson & Toubro, NIIT, M/s Shapoorji Pallonji& Co., as well as several pharmaceutical companies. Bajaj Auto Ltd. has partnered with Somoco Ghana (a subsidiary of Mohinani Group of Ghana) to market Boxer motorcycles in the Ghanaian market. According to Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Indian companies have invested in more than 750 projects with total investment of US$ 1.85 billion between September 1994 and December 2018. In 2018, Indian investment in Ghana was to the tune of US$510.7 million in 18 Projects. India was second both in terms of number of project and monetary value of investment.Indian investments cover sectors including construction, manufacturing, trading, pharmaceuticals, agro-processing, services and tourism etc. 

Bilateral trade crossed US $ 1 billion mark for the first time in 2011-12.  Ghana has a positive trade balance with India, mainly due to huge imports of gold by India in the last couple of years. Gold accounts for nearly 80% of total imports from Ghana by India.  Total Trade has grown from US $ 1.2 billion in 2011-12 to over US $ 4.5 billion in 2018-19.  Ghana’s main exports are Gold, cocoa, nuts and timber products.  India’s major exports to Ghana include pharmaceuticals, agricultural machinery, transport vehicles, electrical equipment, plastics, iron & steel, ethyl alcohol, beverages & spirits, cereals, made-up textiles etc.  The trade figures for the last few years are:

(in US$ million)


Year

India’s exports to Ghana

India’s Imports from Ghana

Total Trade

Balance of Trade

2016-17

682.27

1938.54

2620.82

-1256.27

2017-18

635.78

2710.05

3345.83

-2074.27

2018-19

717.33

3763.41

4480.74

-3046.08

April-June 2019

135.75

873.25

1009.00

-737.50

(Source: Department of Commerce, Government of India)

Recent business exchanges: 

There has been active cooperation between the trade associations of Ghana and India over the years.  The 14th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership was held in New Delhi from 17-19 March 2019.  A high level delegation from Ghana led by Vice President visited Delhi and participated in the Conclave.

CII, with the support of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, GOI, organized an “India Pavilion” at WAMPEX 2018, the 14th West African Mining & Power Exhibition from 30 May – 1 June 2018 at Accra. 38 Indian companies participated at the event. A four member OVL delegation visited Ghana in March 2018, to explore upstream business opportunities.  A 7-member delegation from Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. paid a working visit to Ghana from 24-27 April, 2018 at the invitation of National Petroleum Authority of Ghana, to provide technical support for the implementation of the new LPG distribution model enforced by Ghana. Another two-member delegation from Oil India Corporation Ltd. visited Ghana on 25-26 May, 2018 to study the downstream oil refinery facilities in Ghana and to offer technical assistance. A 16-member business delegation from India facilitated by Ghana's High Commissioner to India, visited Ghana on 4 May, 2018 to explore the possibility of investing in the country.
Mission organised the following important meetings/business seminars during 2018-19:

  1. 1) India-Ghana Business Meet on 28th February 2018.

  2. 2) India-Ghana Business forum meeting was organised on July 3, 2018 by High Commission of India in association with the AGI with the support of MEA under the Market Expansion Activities Programme, during the visit of the Chamber of Marathwada Industries and Agriculture (CMIA) delegation to Ghana. 

  3. 3) The Mission organised India-Ghana Business Meet – an Interactive Session on India’s Engagements with Africa and India-Ghana Bilateral Relationship on 25th July 2018.   A live telecast of PM’s Address to Ugandan Parliament was also streamed during the business meet.

  4. 4) A business delegation from India to Ghana, mounted by PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry, New Delhi visited Ghana from 17-19 September 2018.  An event to promote Khadi and Khadi Product was held on 26th January 2019.

  5. 5) A India-Ghana Business Seminar was organised on 5th March 2019 at Accra.

  6. 6) Mission organized a Digital Video Conference on 6th May 2019 for the interaction of Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry of India with the Indian business community in Ghana towards promoting export of goods and services from India to African countries.

A strong business delegation from India of around 55 Indian companies, supported by Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), participated in the third edition of POWERELEC Ghana 2018 Exhibition along with 2nd edition of Construct Ghana and Auto Parts West Africa & Ghana Motor Show 2018 held at Accra from 6-8 September, 2018.  The Chairman and Managing Director of Kerala Cashew Board, Shri P. Mara Pandian visited Accra from 28-30 January 2019 in connection with procurement of 5000 MTs of Raw Cashew Nuts from Ghana.Sape Events & Media Pvt. Ltd. An events management and educational promotion of Asia and Africa, in association with Periyar African Foundation, organised India Education Fair in Accra on 12th April and at the University of Cape Coast on 13 April. India International Textile Machinery Exhibitions Society (ITME), Mumbai is organising ITME Africa 2020 at Addis Ababa from 14-16 February 2020.  A Ghana Launch programme of the event was organised on 5th September, 2019 at Accra. 
Deputy Minister of Commerce & Industry had a meeting with Ghanaian Deputy Minister of Trade & Industry Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah on the sidelines of  CII EXIM Bank India-West Africa Regional Conclave in Abuja, Nigeria during 8-9 October 2018.

ITEC

Ghana has been a beneficiary of India’s assistance in human resource development in developing countries through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC). During the period 2017-18, Ghana utilized 110 ITEC slots, 39 slots under India-Africa Forum Summit and 11 out of 20 slots allotted to it under ICCR scholarships. In 2018, Ghana utilised 24 slots under IAFS, 71 slots under ITEC, 17 ICCR scholarships and 41 slots were utilised by its Armed Forces personnel.

Cultural relations:

To commemorate 60 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Ghana, the first Festival of India in Ghana –‘Maitri’ was successfully organized from 25th January to 13 March 2017.in collaboration with our Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts of Ghana. The group also performed in Tokarodi, Cape Coast and Kumasi.
Food Festival – ‘Spice Route’ was held from 10-16 February at Hotel Kempinski along with a Indian Sufi Music show by Dr. Mamata Joshi Group. A Film Festival screening three popular Bollywood movies was held at India House from 24 -26 February. The concluding ceremony of the Festival of India in Ghana was another classical Indian dance show ‘Saptarang” by Neeru Sabharwal Group from 11-13 March, which gave three performances in Accra, Koforidua and Kumasi. Yoga lecture-cum-demonstrations were also organized as part of the Festival in various locations. The Festival of India in Ghana –‘Maitri’ received a tremendous response and wide publicity.

As part of FREEDOM 70 /India@70 celebrations, an Odissi dance troupe sponsored by Ministry of Culture performed at Accra on 14th August 2017 and Ho City, Volta region on 16th August. The first International Day of Yoga was celebrated with wide publicity on 21st June 2015. Following this, the International Day of Yoga is being celebrated annually.  A Kathak performance by a dance troupe from India was organized in Accra and Freetown (Sierra Leone) on the occasion of 69th Republic Day of India on 26 January, 2018. Mission is popularizing yoga among the Indian, local Ghanaian and diplomatic/foreign community in Ghana, through outreach activities and through social media. Important days such as  Ekta Diwas, Constitution Day, World Hindi Diwas, Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas, ITEC Day, birth anniversary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Swachta Abhiyan (Diwas/campaign) were celebrated by the Mission with the participation of Indian community.

Indian Community: There is a sizeable Indian community in Ghana numbering around 10,000. Some of them have been in Ghana for over 70 years. The longtime residents belong mainly to Sindhi and Gujarati communities. The first Indians initially came as merchants and shop-keepers before venturing into manufacturing of garments, textiles, pharmaceuticals and plastics.  Some families are now fourth generation in Ghana and most have acquired Ghanaian citizenship.   Several expatriates are also working for MNCs and prominent local Ghanaian businesses as skilled workers – accountants, business managers, etc. Indian presence in the service sector has also grown in the recent years. 

DPS International Tema, set up by a prominent PIO businessman, offers Indian education to expatriate and NRI children.  The Indian community is served by a Hindu Temple, a Gurudwara, and a Hindu Monastery, (the latter founded by a Ghanaian convert to Hinduism).  Hare Krishna Temple (mostly run by Ghanaians) and Art of Living are also active.  The Indian Association of Ghana is the oldest association, which also has a social centre that organizes Indian festivals and cultural programmes.  Other Indian associations are the Ghana Malayalee Association, Ghana Tamil Association, Marathi Mandal and the Ghana Telugu Association.  Indian Associations make generous contributions to local community development projects and donations to charitable causes. Ghanaians freely participate in the cultural events of Indian Associations.  Mainstream Ghanaians also appreciate the contributions made by the Indian community to the overall development of Ghana and show admiration for their culture of tolerance and understanding. The Indian Community has played and continues to play a key role in many fields.

September 2019

Useful Resources

Website: http://www.hciaccra.in/

FacebookPage: https://www.facebook.com/IndiaInGhana/

Recommended Reading references

1.

Death and Pain: Rawlings' Ghana - the Inside Story

2.

A History of Indigenous Slavery in Ghana

3.

Ghana - A Concise History from Pre-Colonial Times to the 20th Century

4.

Selected Speeches of Kwame Nkrumah - Vol. 1 & 2

5.

The Life and Work of Kwame Nkrumah

6.

My First Coup d' Etat (Autobiography of President John DramaniMahama)

7.

The History of Ghana by Roger S. Gocking



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