UK, Ghana reaffirm commitment to tackle threats

Priti Patel and Kan-Dapaah agreed to strengthen law enforcement agency collaboration, strengthen engagement on border security, work together to enhance cyber security in Ghana …reports Asian Lite News

The UK Government hosted the second UK-Ghana security dialogue between July 25 and 27 to discuss the countries’ shared interests in tackling global issues.

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel and the Minister for National Security of Ghana Kan-Dapaah agreed to strengthen law enforcement agency collaboration, strengthen engagement on border security, work together to enhance cyber security in Ghana and support regional solutions to instability in Ghana’s neighbouring states.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said, “The UK and Ghana has a deep and long-standing relationship, and we are powerful allies when confronting the scourge of organised criminal gangs that operate across our borders. Ghana is the beacon of freedom and democracy in West Africa and through our joint work we are tackling global threats and cracking down on the threats to our mutual security.”

Ghana’s National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah said, “The UK is a primary and reliable partner to Ghana, therefore, we welcome essential security initiatives from the UK towards building Ghana’s resilience to address national and regional threats.”

The Home Secretary visited Ghana last year in the first round of talks, opening a new Home Office-funded immigration taskforce office in the process.

Because of the joint working, since January 2022, 14 organised crime groups have been disrupted preventing the facilitation of 56 individuals from entering the UK illegally, saving the UK over £812,000 in the process.

Through the New Plan for Immigration, the UK Government are working with countries around the world to tackle the heinous people traffickers who work across borders and bring misery to vulnerable people.

The Home Secretary hosted a reception with Ghanaian delegation at Lancaster House on July 25 before counterparts discussed topics including, serious and organised crime, border management, security, countering terrorism and violent extremism, conflict prevention and military over the course of two day event.

Defence staff met to discuss peacekeeping, regional stability, counter terrorism and maritime security.

Minister of State for the Armed Forces, James Heappey MP, said, ““The UK is committed to expanding defence co-operation with the Ghanaian Armed Forces and we will continue to work together in frameworks such as the Accra Initiative to counter violent attacks and insurgency in West Africa and the Sahel.”

The United Kingdom and Ghana enjoy a deep and longstanding relationship, underpinned by our shared history, mutual trust and shared Commonwealth principles of democratic governance and respect for international humanitarian and human rights law. Our security and defence relationship is founded on these shared principles, as well as our concerns about regional instability and desire to support regional and international peace and security.

The governments of both countries affirm our commitment to deepen our partnership in the face of complex and evolving regional and global threats including terrorism, conflict, human trafficking, serious and organised crimes, drug trafficking, cyber-crime and piracy, and recognise the prominent role Ghana plays in countering these threats.

UK’s development-finance arm plans $6bn African investment

British International Investment Plc, the UK government’s development-finance arm, plans to invest $6 billion over the next five years in Africa in areas ranging from renewable power and digital infrastructure to supporting women-owned businesses, Bloomberg reported.

The spending, which is part of a $10 billion global program, includes a $76 million contribution toward a planned $500 million fund being raised by Old Mutual Ltd.’s African Infrastructure Investment Managers that was announced on Wednesday.

“Investment priorities will be driven by the size of the economy, and the development needs in that economy,” BII Chief Executive Officer Nick O’Donohoe said in an interview.

BII’s investment plans come as a host of development finance institutions ranging from France’s Proparco to Germany’s KFW Group jostle to provide the finance needed to address climate change concerns in Africa and to meet digital connectivity needs. The region needs as much as $108 billion in infrastructure investment a year, according to the African Development Bank.

BII, formerly known as CDC Group, is restricted to investing in the private sector and while it will focus on the “powerhouse” markets of Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt, some money will go to South Africa because of its drive to attract climate finance, he said.

The institution last week agreed to provide Oslo-based energy producer Scatec ASA with about $157 million in debt and equity finance for a solar and battery-storage project in South Africa.

The investment firm, which is fully-owned by the UK government, has made significant equity investments in African companies such as Liquid Telecom, the continent’s biggest fiber company, and Globeleq, a power producer. Bloomberg this week reported that BII has hired Rothschild & Co. to review how to grow the latter business. Options include bringing on a third investment partner.

“We have been a significant investor in power in Africa, originally in fossil-fuel power, and over the last three or four years, almost exclusively renewable power,” said O’Donohoe.

Over the next five years, at least 30% of BII’s total new commitments by value will be in climate finance, he said.

BII’s plans also include “actively investing” in funds, said O’Donohoe. FMO, a Dutch-government controlled entrepreneurial development bank, invested $40 million into the Old Mutual fund alongside BII.

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