E.O. 12958: N/A


¶B. ACCRA 286
¶C. ACCRA 314
¶D. ACCRA 321

¶1. (SBU) Summary: This is the seventh and final in a
series of scene setter cables looking at Ghana at 50 and the
third looking at Ghana’s external relations. Throughout its
history Ghana has been independent and vocal on the
international stage. It has preferred multilateral
solutions, especially through the U.N., ECOWAS and the AU.
Ghana still votes with the G-77 in many international circles
and has good relations with most countries in the world.
President Kufuor has enhanced Ghana’s global leadership
position, stressed economic diplomacy and championed West
African integration. End summary.

¶2. (U) Ghana’s external relations remain consistent with
the four pillars of Nkrumah’s foreign policy: a commitment
to multilateralism, pan-Africanism, non-alignment, and good
neighborliness (septel). President Kufuor has sought to play
an active, positive global leadership role. He has
maintained good relations with most countries in the world,
expanding ties with China and India, forging new links with
Brazil and Israel, strengthening relations with the United
States and Western Europe, and further solidifying Ghana’s
role as an African leader.

¶3. (SBU) As MFA Supervising Director of Political Affairs
Edwin Aggrey recently told us, Ghana’s relations are based on
its interests, which can at times vary from U.S. interests
but are tied to fundamental values of democracy, human
rights, and respect for sovereignty. For the first time in
28 years, in 2006 President Kufuor brought the heads of
Ghana,s diplomatic missions to Accra for a meeting that
stressed economic diplomacy. He emphasized cultivating
public/private sector partnerships for commercial, investment
and trade opportunities in Ghana. In addition to commercial
links, assistance levels are an important priority for
Ghana’s foreign policy.

Strong Ties with the West

¶4. (U) Ghana has strong historical, economic, political,
and personal ties with the West. Because of its colonial
heritage, Ghana has maintained particularly close ties with
the United Kingdom and is a member of the Commonwealth of
Nations. France has strong ties with Ghana, including a
development assistance program, French language teaching,
security cooperation and cultural activities. Canada and
Australia have identified Ghana as a priority African
country. Ghana receives significant aid from other Western
partners and maintains good relations with Europe and the
United States (septel).

Good Relations with Asia

¶5. (SBU) China: China has always had a close relationship
with Ghana. At independence, Nkrumah sought close ties to
China and the relationship was strong during the Rawlings’
government. China has supported Ghana with significant
infrastructure projects (including a National Theater), aid,
debt relief and training for laborers. China provided Ghana
with a nuclear research reactor in 1994. Future plans
include: a $600 million loan to finance construction of a
400 megawatt hydro plant/dam at Bui, a $100 million loan to
support a rural telephone network, and support for tilapia
fish farming and medical services. Ghana is concerned that
China will flood its market with cheap wax print textiles and
fake kente cloth (but has ironically contracted with China to
provide special “Ghana at 50” cloth). Ghana joined 48 other

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African nations in attending a Chinese summit in November
2006 for charting a roadmap of cooperation between China and
Africa for 2007-2009.

¶6. (SBU) India: Ghana appreciates the fact that India was
also one of the founding members of the non-aligned movement.
The two countries have maintained good relations since
Ghana’s independence. India has provided Ghana with computer
and other technical training and concessionary funding for
the restoration of Nkrumah,s presidential complex, rural
electrification, and telecommunications infrastructure.
India and eight West African countries, including Ghana, set
up TEAM-9 (Technical and Economic Approach for Africa-India
Movement) in 2005. The TEAM-9 ministerial was held in Ghana
in May 2006. The group seeks to speed up the economic,
social, and cultural development of its members through the
transfer of technology and knowledge between government and
the private sector.

¶7. (U) Japan: Ghana has warm relations with Japan. Japan
has provided scholarships for Ghanaians to study in Japanese
institutions and young Japanese volunteers teach science,
mathematics and technology in Ghana. Ghana signed a
non-project grant agreement of 1.4 billion yen with Japan in
February 2007 for development-related machinery and

Balancing Act in the Middle East

¶8. (SBU) Ghana plays a delicate balancing act in the Middle
East. It is committed to the UN,s position of a two-state
formula between Israel and Palestine and sees this as being
the key issue for Middle East peace. President Kufuor opened
an Embassy in Tel Aviv and sought improved relations with
Israel. At the same time, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran and
Egypt all invest in Ghana and provide loans and grants
bilaterally and through the Arab Bank and Arab League.
Commenting on Ghana’s balancing act in the region, Professor
Kwame Boafo-Arthur, Chairman of the Department of Political
Science at the University of Ghana, claimed &it would be
very foolish for Ghana to make a public statement of concern
over Iraq or Iran8 because Ghana wants good relations with
both countries and covets its assistance from both the West
and Middle Eastern countries.

Weakening Ties with Russia

¶9. (SBU) Relations with Russia have been declining since the
Soviet Union collapsed. However, Ghana still receives
military equipment from Russia, highlighted by the recent
purchase of Russian helicopters. Russia exports to Ghana
include metals, fertilizers, paper, optical equipment, soft
drinks, rubber, electrical equipment and some automobiles.
Russia also grants 30 scholarships each year to Ghanaian
students to study in Russian universities.

Historical Relations with Latin America

¶10. (SBU) Cuba: Ghana has strong traditional ties to Cuba
that date to Nkrumah’s socialist rule and non-aligned
policies. Ghana still values the contribution made by Cuban
doctors and veterinarians.

¶11. (SBU) Brazil: Brazil has been cultivating ties with
Ghana, with aid and business ties increasing following the
2005 visit to Ghana of President Lula da Silva and Kufuor’s
reciprocal visit to Brazil. Ghana and Brazil have
significant trade relations, and Brazil is setting up an
agricultural research institute in Ghana that will be one of

ACCRA 00000483 003 OF 003

only four it has opened worldwide. A high-level delegation
from Brazil visited Ghana in December 2006 to conduct a
technical assessment of the energy situation for future
assistance to Ghana. The two countries also share an
important cultural bond, with a large number of Africans in
the transatlantic slave trade ending up in Brazil. During
his trip to Brazil, Kufuor attended a conference on the
African Diaspora.

Focus on Africa

¶12. (U) Ghana strongly supports and highly values its
relationships with the AU and ECOWAS. When Ghana received
the AU chair last month, it announced the scheduled AU summit
in Ghana in July would focus on building a roadmap to
establish Union Government for the continent. According to
the MFA’s Director for Africa and the AU, the ultimate goal
to be discussed in this meeting is Africa’s political and
economic integraton, in fulfillment of OAU proposals from
the 1960s.

¶13. (SBU) Ghana’s policy toward other West Arican countries
is guided by “good neighborlines,” which in practice means
cooperation whle at times quietly encouraging democracy and
stability. Ghana has close ties with Nigeria. Nigerian
President Obasanjo reportedly has offered Ghana 80 megawatts
of power and has agreed to cover Ghana,s energy obligations
to Togo and Benin (at this point, Nigeria is only covering
Ghana’s power exports to Benin). In 2006, Ghana became an
associate member of La Francophonie, an international
organization of French-speaking countries. Foreign Minister
Nana Akufo-Addo noted, &this is of significant strategic
mutual benefit because of our geographic, historic and even
blood ties with Francophone countries.8 He further added,
&our lives are intimately linked with the French world,
particularly in our sub-region.8

¶14. (U) Ghana is clearly focused on regional integration,
hoping to play a leadership role in a broader West African
market of 250 million people. Ghana supports the adoption by
ECOWAS countries of a single currency. (The current plan
calls for Anglophone countries by 2009 to share a common
currency, called the Eco. After this, plans call for
integration with the Francophone countries by 2011 for all of


¶15. (SBU) Ghana is a positive advocate for democracy and
peace in the world, often working in multilateral settings,
with an emphasis on Africa. As in our relations with other
close allies, we should not expect congruence and support
from Ghana on all issues. Ghana still votes with the G-77 in
many international fora, at times at odds with U.S.
interests. It maintains good relations with China, Iran, and
Cuba. While acknowledging that we have values and interests
in common, MFA Supervising Director Aggrey (a former Deputy
Chief of Mission in Washington) summed up U.S.-Ghana
relations by stating: “Thank you for all you have done for
us — like Oliver Twist said, we want more.” Unfortunately,
fifty years after independence, this statement captures the
central role of assistance in defining Ghana’s external
relations with most countries in the world. End Comment.