France and Ghana

Presentation

Political relations

The bilateral relationship between France and Ghana is growing in strength. An annual bilateral political dialogue has been set up at the level of the Secretaries-General of the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs since the official visit to Paris by President Mahama in 2013.

Recent visits to Ghana:

  • August 2015: Visit of Ms Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.
  • October 2016: Visit by Manuel Valls, Prime Minister
  • January 2017: Visit by Jean-Marie Le Guen, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, for the investiture of President Akufo-Addo.

Recent visits to France:

  • December 2015: Participation by President Mahama for the opening session of COP21.
  • 27 September 2016: Meeting in Paris between President Mahama and the President of the French Republic.

Economic relations

Trade

Following an exceptional year in 2015, the year 2016 was punctuated by a reduction in trade between France and Ghana, with French exports falling sharply (down 41.5%). The effects of lower oil and gold prices combined with the decrease in cocoa production negatively impacted Ghanaian deliveries to France.

France’s success in Ghana is largely due to Technip, which, since 2009, has signed contracts worth €2.5 billion for the development of various Ghanaian oil fields. Other notable contracts include those signed in the last five years by Forclum (electrical equipment), Alcatel Lucent (fibre optic and 4G mobile network) and Gemalto (eGates).

French sales nevertheless remain heavily concentrated in the three major sectors that account for almost 70% of the total: refined petroleum products, pharmaceutical specialities and agrifood. There is therefore plenty of scope for development, especially in sectors linked to delegated management (water supply, electricity, waste treatment, urban transport, health services, etc.), intermediate luxury consumer goods, agrifood and tourism.

Investments

Foreign direct investment (FDI) received by Ghana in 2015 totalled $3.2 billion, a slight decrease from $3.6 billion in 2014. French investments in Ghana totalled €1,535 million in 2015, making Ghana the seventh-biggest receiver of French investments in Sub-Saharan Africa. These mainly consist of modernization and capacity investments by the fifty or so local branches of French businesses present in Ghana (new Société Générale headquarters, modernization of the Total distribution network, increase in the capacity of existing production plants by Air Liquide, Grel and Golden Exotics), as well as around twenty investments by French individuals (food outlets, distribution).

In November 2016, construction was started on the future port of Tema, a project totalling $1.5 billion to be carried out by a consortium led by Bolloré. The Engie electricity company and an EDF-Veolia consortium have also expressed an interest in the concession of Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) distribution activities. On 28 February, Air France inaugurated its direct flight from Paris-Accra.

Civil cooperation

For the period 2017-2020, France’s support takes the form of the joint European programme (see below). The ongoing commitments and those to come during this period are expected to reach €1.2 billion, of which €220 million from France, essentially through non-sovereign loans from the AFD and its subsidiary Proparco.

Other cooperation work, carried out bilaterally and in addition to the joint European programme, fall under the sectors of:

  • Teaching of French and the Francophonie (Priority Solidarity Fund for French as a Foreign Language (FLE) at high school and university, teacher training, support for Ghana joining the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF).
  • University cooperation and student mobility (partnerships between French and Ghanaian institutions, increase in number of Ghanaian students leaving for France)
  • Cultural action (support for Ghana’s only linguistic and cultural agency, the network of 5 Alliance Française branches)
  • Sustainable development / climate change (post COP21 and COP22 monitoring, Renewable energies in Africa initiative, debating ideas, etc.)
  • Support for civil society and the rule of law (PSF PISCCA supporting Ghanaian civil society, condemnation of the death penalty, anti-corruption, migration, etc.)
  • Health (contribution to the Global Fund Country Coordination Mechanism, the 5% Initiative project with the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD).

Security cooperation

Our military cooperation with Ghana is mainly focused on training. It includes French participation in the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), French-language teaching in the military sphere, and the training of Ghanaian officers in France or at regionally-oriented national schools (ENVRs). A liaison officer works as a course director at the KAIPTC, where they help most notably with the French language skills of Ghanaian troops. They are responsible for organizing annual training courses for West African field officers and for relations with other peacekeeping training centres in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) area. In liaison with the non-resident defence attaché posted in Lomé (Togo), they are the interlocutor for the Ghanaian Armed Forces and proposes and coordinates military and defence cooperation initiatives.

Our police cooperation is focused on expertise and training missions, notably as regards the fight against terrorism, narcotics trafficking and organized crime.

European cooperation

Together with the EU delegation, Germany and four other Member States, France supports and is committed to the new joint programming process aimed at channelling and pooling actions and resources in priority sectors, making them more visible and coherent with the objectives of the Ghanaian Government. The joint programming document will focus on the fields of governance and decentralization, the economy (support for the private sector, notably for agriculture and energy) and the fight against climate change and gender.

For the period 2014-2020, the EU has set aside funding of €323 million for Ghana (compared with €373.6 million for the 10ᵗʰ EDF), specifically for governance, farming, social policy and employment. This consists of donations, which can be combined with loans.

Updated: September 2017

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