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07.06.2005 Politics

Inadequate resources hampering foreign policy


Ho, June 7, GNA - Ghana's foreign policy initiatives and implementation are seriously constrained by inadequate resource allocation, Mr Samuel Kofi Dadey, Supervising Director, Policy Planning and Research of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament.

"Diplomatic engagement is an expensive business although if properly funded, its returns in terms of stability for growth and development; the successful penetration of foreign markets, increased foreign investment inflows etc., could be great", Mr Dadey held. He was speaking at a two-day workshop on "Ghana's Foreign Policy and Africa's Development Agenda", organized for members of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee by the Legon Centre for International Affairs (LECIA), in Ho.

Mr Dadey recommended effective co-ordination between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministries of Trade, Finance and Defence and agencies like the Ghana Export Promotion Council to facilitate the country's economic and other interests abroad. He bemoaned the administrative strictures of the Civil Service, saying they tended to stifle the Ministry's ability to innovate and be proactive.

Mr Dadey said the Ministry was also losing from the exclusion of Career Diplomats from Ambassadorial appointments, as political appointees to such duties do not return to the Ministry to enrich service delivery", which portends "looming management crisis". Mr Dadey said external constraints to the country's foreign policy initiatives and execution included lack of political will among African and third world leaders to carry through agreed decisions, coupled by the lack of level playing field on the international scene.

Other constraints, according to him, are the high propensity for conflicts in Africa and the intransigence of parties to such conflicts, the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, and the "manipulative actions of powerful countries".

Mr Dadey said as an African country and one of the least powerful in the world, Ghana's greatest challenge was how to influence policy making in the international arena to bring benefits to the citizenry. "For citizens to take advantage of the opportunities of globalisation, they need access to high quality education, healthcare, information and communication technologies, social safety nets and adequate infrastructure development", he said. 07 June 05