Former Swiss President, Simonetta Sommaruga on Wednesday paid a courtesy call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House.
Ms Simonetta, who is the current Swiss Minister for Environment, Traffic, Energy and Communications, held bilateral talks with President Akufo-Addo on the commitments of the two countries to protect the climate and the environment.
The bilateral talks, among others, also centred on trade and investments, which President Akufo-Addo acknowledged Swiss investments in Ghana, particularly in the country’s cocoa sector.
Ghana and Switzerland in 2020, signed a bilateral agreement on climate protection and the Environment when President Akufo-Addo visited Switzerland when Ms Simonetta was President.
She said President Akufo-Addo’s visit to her country in 2020 further strengthened relations between the two countries “and we concluded on a very important agreement on climate protection which was a work of pioneers.”
“We are leaders worldwide with such an agreement that we want to reduce C02 emissions in your country as Switzerland makes the investments,” both countries should work harder to reduce C02 emissions for the benefit of all.
President Akufo-Addo on his part said Ghana appreciates the positive impact Switzerland had made on the country’s development.
He said, “a lot has to do with the fact that over 70 percent of Ghanaians, are Christians of which much of the missionary work, I understand, were done by Swiss missionaries who came into our country.”
President Akufo-Addo said Ghana and Switzerland have had “very strong relations and your predecessors President was one of the first foreign dignitary who used to come to Ghana at the beginning of my presidency.”
He acknowledged Swiss investments in the country, especially in the cocoa sector and said there are many untapped opportunities investors could venture into — education, environment among others.
“You know we have this big commitment and we are hoping by the end of the decade, our energy mix would be at least 10 percent which will be in the area of renewable energy.
He said the cooperation Ghana was receiving from Switzerland in that area would go a long way to enhance the country’s renewable energy drive.
President Akufo-Addo said there was a lot of exploration of ideas and initiatives, which he foresees would be beneficial for both countries.
Earlier, Ghana and Switzerland signed a roadmap for the implementation of the climate protection agreement the two countries signed in March 2020 during President Akufo-Addo’s official state visit to the European nation.
The agreement was signed on Monday by Simonetta Sommaruga, and her Ghanaian counterpart Dr Kweku Afriyie, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.
Parliament is expected to ratify the agreement to pave way for its full implementation in Ghana.
Switzerland is a global pioneer in climate protection, setting a standard for international climate projects that respect both human rights and nature.
In recent months, Switzerland has signed bilateral agreements with Ghana and Peru for carbon offsetting projects in these two countries and similar agreements are being prepared for other countries.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD