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I rapporti bilaterali

 

I rapporti bilaterali

Italy and Ghana maintain excellent bilateral relations, reinforced by recent political missions at the highest level.

On 15 July 2015, former President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama met the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella and ex-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Rome. Mr. Mahama also participated, in Milan, in the Ghana National Day at Expo 2015, within the cluster "Cocoa and Chocolate", and in a business forum on investment opportunities. In December 2015, former Deputy Minister (currently the Minister) of Economic Development Carlo Calenda and former Undersecretary (currently Deputy Minister) for Foreign Affairs Mario Giro were in Accra. In early February 2016, former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi led the first mission to Ghana by an Italian prime minister. During the visit, he also addressed the Ghanaian parliament. From 27 to 29 November 2017, Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni paid the second official visit by an Italian Prime Minister to Ghana. During this visit, he met with President of Ghana Nana Akufo Addo, with whom he had a press conference, delivered an address at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre and visited the ENI FPSO "John Agyekum Kufuor".

Italy and Ghana share a vision of international relations based on democracy and the rule of law, respect for human rights, the international promotion of peace as well as multilateralism and the fight against terrorism and trafficking in human beings.

An interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is in force between Ghana and the European Community and its Member States. As a founding member of the European Union, Italy promotes and supports EU policies and contributes to the financing of all projects undertaken by the European Union Delegation in Ghana. At the bilateral level, the Italian Government provided soft loans within the framework of the "Ghana Private Sector Development Facility" to enhance the productive capacity of small and medium enterprises and other projects by non-governmental organizations.

In 2017 Italy is playing a key role in international relations with the G7 presidency and as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, a position it obtained also thanks to Ghana’s support. We are committed to listening to the views of Ghana on international political issues and support a reform of an enlarged Security Council with a better represented Africa, an increasingly important continent in Italian foreign policy.

Relations between Italy and Ghana are also relations between peoples. About 60,000 Ghanaians live in Italy, a well-integrated community whose members are primarily based in the North (Lombardy, Emilia Romagna and Veneto). There are about thirty Ghanaian footballers who have played or are still playing in Serie A and about forty currently active in the top three divisions.

There about one thousand Italians in Ghana. Some Italian families have played a very important role in the development of the country and have been present for over a century.

Italian companies look to Ghana with increasing interest for the opportunities it offers as a free market, a developing economy and a gateway to West Africa. Trade between the two countries was around 488 million euros in 2016. Italian exports reached their highest historically, exceeding 264 million and registering an annual base increase of 29.5%. Italian imports reached a total of 223,4 million. Machinery and instruments represented the main items of Italian exports.

Three projects carried out by Italian companies, in particular, have played a key role Ghana’s history: the Akosombo Dam, considered as the largest and most ambitious project in the country, built by Impregilo in the early sixties, which led to the creation of Lake Volta, the largest artificial lake in the world by extension, and generation of electricity for domestic needs; the Tema refinery, built by the Ghanaian Italian Petroleum (GHAIP) in 1963, then wholly owned by ENI; and the discovery of the oil and gas offshore field at Cape Three Points block (OCTP), again by ENI. Oil production began in 2017 and gas is expected in 2018; an important contribution to energy access, economic growth and the improvement of the balance of payments. The project, worth around seven billion dollars, is the single largest private investment in West Africa.


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