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The new strategic partnership between Denmark and Ghana will be guided by four
strategic objectives over the next five-year period, 2014-2018:

1. Strengthened political cooperation based on shared values;
2. Promotion of inclusive and green growth;
3. Economic diplomacy and increased commercial cooperation; and
4. Consolidation of results in development programmes

A range of instruments as well as the synergy between instruments will come into play under each strategic objective where relevant. The scope and content of the objectives are aligned with the forthcoming Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda, 2014-2017 and the Government of Ghana – Development Partners Compact 2012-2022 “Leveraging Partnership for Shared Growth and Development”. The objectives are also in line with Denmark’s development cooperation strategy The Right to a Better Life and the policy on economic diplomacy, export and investments.

As far as monitoring and evaluation is concerned, the follow-up of undertakings in the new strategic partnership will be discussed among the two countries on a regular basis. Both at this level and within the below-mentioned areas existing monitoring systems will be used as much as possible. No parallel and cumbersome systems will be established.


Denmark will

  • Expand and deepen the political alliance with Ghana in international fora to pursue common political agendas
  • Strengthen the political dialogue on issues such as redistribution of resources, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), and Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
  • Support Ghana’s constructive role in the region, for instance focusing on maritime security, Ghana’s role in ECOWAS and implementation of national infrastructures for peace, including national early warnings systems
  • Strengthen cooperation with the EU on political issues and economic diplomacy
  • Create better cohesion between abilateral and multilateral engagement, for instance through a stronger partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other multilateral players s in the region

Political dialogue

Shared values like human rights, democracy, security, and regional integration will be promoted through close political cooperation at multilateral, regional and bilateral levels, focusing on a limited number of core issues of shared political priority. At multilateral level (UN) and regional/continental level (ECOWAS and AU) Denmark and Ghana will continue and expand the alliance building with a focus on key issues of mutual high political priority, sufficient international attention and prospects for making a difference.

Themes will include Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), fighting illicit financial flows and building stronger tax systems, as well as Ghana’s role in the region, in particular Sahel, with regards to conflict prevention, security, peace keeping and maritime security measures.

The human rights dialogue with Ghana will be guided by the EU Human Rights Country Strategy. Denmark’s strategic partnership with the Ghanaian think-tank Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) will inform and underpin the political dialogues through analyses and research.

The regular political dialogue (article 8 dialogue) between the EU and Ghana will be supplemented by a strengthened ongoing dialogue between the EU, its member states and the Ghanaian authorities on issues of timely and strategic importance. A Ghana Development Partner Group has been established to facilitate a joint political dialogue between the Government and Ghana and its development partners.

Responsibility to Protect (R2P)

Denmark and Ghana have partnered on R2P issues and the R2P Focal Point Initiative since 2010, and this partnership will expand and deepen. The central role of the national R2P Focal Point is to coordinate intra-governmental and inter-governmental responses to atrocity crimes, and to help create a “community
of commitment” that increases the states’ capacity to implement R2P. With its relatively long history of democracy and efforts as regards peace infrastructure, Ghana is well placed to address and pioneer the implementation of R2P at regional and continental level. Denmark’s support for the Ghana based Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) under the Africa for Peace
Programme will be a main vehicle.

Maritime security and organised crime

The region is facing threats to peace and security like piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea and trafficking of drugs, weapons and humans. This has undermined ECOWAS’ resolve to foster trade and economic ties and its effective engagement with the rest of the world. Denmark will support Ghana and the Gulf of Guinea countries in their commitment to a regional integration process, peace and security in Africa through ECOWAS, the Gulf of Guinea Commission, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and other forums.

Growth in piracy and armed robbery attacks in the Gulf of Guinea is a problem that must not be disregarded. It induces insecurity and has a significant negative impact on commercial shipping and trade between West African states and between West Africa and the global markets. Acknowledging that the risk of attacks is considered to be high in the short to medium term, avenues for support to national efforts and regional initiatives and coordination will be explored. This could include support to enhanced interagency cooperation, the establishment of a national maritime strategy and a regional coast guard. The Danish support could be channelled through the EU, based on the EU Gulf of Guinea strategy, and in cooperation with other partners focusing on maritime security.


Promotion of equality in various dimensions will continue to be a key priority in the new strategic partnership, based on a Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) and the Strategic Framework for Gender Equality. Focus will include those Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) where Ghana is lagging behind, in particular with regards to maternal health and child mortality. Denmark will continue its partnership with UNICEF, UN Women and relevant Ghanaian authorities on the Post 2015 agenda in relation to inequalities in Ghana and the African continent. Civil society plays a pivotal role in the combat of inequality, and support for civil society will continue to factor high in Denmark’s support for the health sector (including the promotion of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights), human rights, local service delivery and good governance.

The chieftaincy institution carries various dimensions. The challenge is to modernize the traditional structures without destroying the beneficial aspects. The Government of Ghana has embarked upon this modernization process, and Denmark will support that process through debates and dialogues on issues such as land rights and women’s rights. Issues pertaining to human rights will be based on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) recommendations.

Active multilateralism

Cooperation with the EU will be strengthened in accordance with the strategic framework for Denmark’s participation in EU’s development cooperation. EU will continue to be a key partner not only as far as development cooperation is concerned but also politically, in relation to commercial and trade policy and in relation to maritime security. The EU and its member states have produced an EU Joint Framework Document for Ghana that is supposed to guide political, commercial and developmental engagements.
Ghana is a pilot country for EU Joint Programming. The Multi-Annual Indicative Programme 2013-2016 is seen as the start of a process of joint programming. A mid-term review of EU assistance to Ghana will be conducted in 2015/16 and a new round of jointly programmed assistance should start its implementation as of 2017.

Cooperation with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and relevant UN agencies will be strengthened with a view to ensure better cohesion between bilateral and multilateral interventions. The AfDB is returning to Abidjan after a decade in Tunis. This may bring a new impetus to the West African region. Denmark will strengthen the dialogue with the Bank, in Ghana and in the region, to mutually advance the strategies relating to Africa’s transformation and will seek to use AfDB funds to leverage Danish development assistance and other funding sources in areas such as green growth and renewable energy.

Monitoring and evaluation of progress will make use of the following indicators:

  • Dialogue at minister level or high level visits take place regularly
  • Joint political dialogue mechanism established and functioning between the Government of Ghana and the development partners, including human rights dialogue
  • One-two thematic conferences per year on national/regional political issues organized jointly by Denmark and relevant Ghanaian counterpart
  • Best practice examples of synergies between bilateral and multilateral engagement


Denmark will

  • Take an innovative approach to synergies in green growth, for instance through the establishment of a state-of-the-art
  • Climate Innovation Centre (CIC)Support the private sector in Ghana as a key driver of inclusive and green growth

Towards better synergies

Denmark’s support for the private sector in Ghana will continue to stimulate the sector as a key engine of growth, to promote employment and to make the initiatives greener. Danish bilateral Support to Private Sector Development, Phase II is on-going and a third and final phase is envisaged to run 2015-2019. The third phase will consolidate results achieved and seek to use opportune instruments such as challenge funds that gradually will phase out bilateral aid elements and phase in private sector capital and investments. This third phase will also recognize the need to structure the support to increase collaboration with other Danida business instruments (Danida Business Partnership, GoGlobal Project Development and Danida Business Finance) as well as the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and the Export Credit Fund (EKF).

In the period 2014-2018 development cooperation to promote growth, social progress, human rights, and equality also within the context of decentralization, will continue, though within a gradually reduced financial framework. Hence other strategies are required to strengthen the efforts. Inclusive and green growth lends itself well to the ambition of creating better synergies between different instruments at hand in Denmark’s foreign, development and trade policy.

Greening of the economy

The Government of Ghana is committed to the promotion of sustainable and renewable energy. Ghana is one of the first countries to partner with the UN initiative Sustainable Energy for All which seeks to ensure a more sustainable future by transforming the world’s energy system by 2030. In addition, Ghana has developed an energy strategy setting a goal of renewable energy constituting 10 percent of national energy generation by 2020. To reach this goal, the Parliament in 2011 passed the Renewable Energy Act, providing the legal and regulatory framework necessary for enhancing and expanding the country’s renewable energy sector. The Cabinet has also approved a National Climate Change Policy Framework.

Denmark has earlier supported initiatives in Ghana with the objective of positively impacting climate, environment and people’s livelihood. Moreover Denmark has been a long standing partner to the private sector in Ghana through the private sector development programme. The previous experience and support will provide the stepping stone for the establishment of a Climate Innovation Centre (CIC) that will see the private sector in  the driver’s seat towards a greening of Ghana’s economy. The CIC will work to create opportunities for inclusive growth, job creation and poverty reduction through local entrepreneurship, innovation, transfer and deployment of locally relevant climate technologies. The long term goal is to make the CIC a state-of-the-art synergy site where Danish development assistance to the private sector goes hand in hand with the Climate Investment Fund managed by the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and with Trade Council activities. The vision is to explore possibilities of grant funds leveraging financing from multilateral International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and private Danish and Ghanaian investments.

In a foreseeable future it is calculated that as much as 70 percent or more of Africa’s population will live in cities. Planning for sustainable, green cities will be the way forward. The tendency of people migrating to cities is also seen in Ghana, and Denmark will explore possibilities to contribute to make such future cities a healthy place to live, e.g. through renewable energy, waste management and other areas and by use of various instruments such as Danida Business Partnerships and commercial investments.

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)

Denmark will explore the usage of PPPs, especially in the case of greening of the economy. A mapping exploring opportunities will be carried out in order to gain more precise knowledge of the area. Concrete activities will be explored within green and sustainable urbanization such as waste management. Treating waste in a sustainable, income generating way would be an area where Denmark and Ghana can capitalize on the many years of cooperation in the health sector, decentralized public management as well as in the area of gender, given the negative influence of waste and lack of sanitation such as sewage systems on people’s health, and not least women’s conditions in the market place. Renewable energy such as wind energy and decentralized energy systems in rural areas are other aspects that will be explored in a PPP or a private set-up. A law on Public-Private- Partnerships (PPP) is in the making. The law is expected to underpin the use of PPPs in leveraging private capital to increase investments in improved infrastructure.

Monitoring and evaluation of progress will make use of the following indicators:

  • The Climate Innovation Centre has been established and is successfully attracting a blend of grants and investments
  • More examples of expertise in development cooperation leading to commercial activities (synergy)


Denmark will

  • Engage in economic diplomacy bilaterally and in cooperation with the EU
  • Map the commercial opportunities in a number of focus sectors in Ghana and identify and market niches where Denmark can add value
  • Increase synergies between Danida business instruments, the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), Denmark’s export credit agency (EKF) and development assistance
  • Make more strategic use of research and cultural cooperation in commercial work

Towards better Trade Council services in Africa

Denmark’s commercial engagement in Ghana will be guided by the policy on economic diplomacy, export and investments.
The Danish Embassy in Accra will be a one-stop-shop for providing advisory services to Danish companies on business opportunities in Ghana as well as avenues to pursue either via the Trade Council (TC) or Danida. The Embassy will provide the full range of TC services as well as advise on the full range of Danida instruments available to Danish companies. In addition, the Embassy is likely to become a regional hub for West Africa, which implies that the Embassy in collaboration with TC at Headquarters will support and provide guidance to Danish embassies in West Africa. The Danish Embassy in Ghana hosts the West Africa regional office of the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU).

Framework conditions

There are many opportunities: Economic growth and increasing demand for consumer and investment goods, peace and stability, a relatively investor-friendly environment, respect for the rule of law, growing interest for Africa among Danish businesses, experiences, goodwill and knowledge gained through development cooperation, and Ghanaian focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green growth.

Danish businesses have a comparative advantage in these and other areas of interest for Ghana. But challenges remain: Still deficiencies in investment climate, slow public sector, low skills level, unreliable power supply, weak infrastructure, lack of transparency of business conditions, and corruption. The large informal sector in Ghana also constitutes a challenge for trade and investment. TC services in Ghana will include political-commercial advice, advice regarding trade agreements and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), partner search and export promotion events.

Commercial opportunities

A mapping will be undertaken, exploring the needs and capacities in a number of focal sectors in Ghana and identifying corresponding Danish strongholds. Commercial cooperation will include expansion of trade through the EU Economic Partnership Agreement and promotion and expansion of investments by Danish companies in for example urban planning and waste management, agriculture and renewable energy.

Increased synergies

Synergies between development cooperation and commercial activities will be strengthened through TC interventions together with the Private Sector Development Programme, Danida’s business instruments, the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and the Export and Credit Fund (EKF). EKF can, through its regional office in South Africa, assist Danish companies with soft loans (sustainable lending) in emerging markets like Ghana

The Danida Business Partnerships (DBP) will continue and could be utilized in a more targeted fashion in a transitional phase, at the same time as TC services are expected to increase. A greater flexibility in combining DBP and TC services will be pursued. This will include the GoGlobal Project Development facility. The Danida Business Finance (DBF) scheme will expand and increasingly focus on green growth investments in infrastructure. Ghana is a DBF focal country and opportunities will be sought to attract more DBF programmes to Ghana – programmes that are of a significant magnitude and that can market Denmark in Ghana as a partner in trade and investment.

Denmark is a long standing partner in the health sector and synergies will be sought between this engagement and commercial opportunities for instance in the pharmaceutical area and in the area of information and communication technology (ICT).

Economic diplomacy

Denmark will strengthen economic diplomacy in Ghana, bilaterally and together with the EU. EU is Ghana’s largest trading partner. Partnering with the EU in trade will be strengthened, for example through joint economic diplomacy to improve the policy environment and framework conditions for European companies like market access, challenges with customs, bottlenecks
and logistics. It will also encompass Denmark’s support for the EU trade policy processes and the establishment of EU business networks and organization of annual EU-Ghana Business Forums in Ghana.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is important from both a developmental and commercial viewpoint and should provide rich opportunities for synergy between the ongoing human rights support and the commercial elements. It also holds potential for strengthened EU cooperation in this area

Monitoring and evaluation of progress will make use of the following indicators:

  • More Danish companies established in Ghana
  • Increased number of commercially viable partnerships established
  • Increased number of partnerships drawing upon experiences in development cooperation (synergy)
  • Increased trade between Ghana and Denmark


Denmark will:

  • Gradually downscale development assistance to health, decentralization, good governance and general budget support
  • Build political dialogue and commercial cooperation on long-term support to health, good governance and human rights
  • Consolidate results and extract lessons learnt and the positive stories embedded in the past many years of the Denmark/Ghana development cooperation partnership

A human rights based approach

Denmark’s support to the health sector, to human rights and good governance as well as to the private sector contributes to the promotion of inclusive growth. Support for health and human rights seeks to bridge the divide between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ and the support also seeks to promulgate transparency, accountability and responsiveness on the part of duty bearers and participation and inclusion in society on the part of right holders.

To support this and give further voice to the right holders, Denmark supports civil society organisations (CSOs) through a three-pronged approach. Support to Ghanaian CSOs, support to Danish CSOs working in partnership with local CSOs and support to international CSOs working in Ghana. Denmark supports local CSOs through a pooled funding mechanism, STAR Ghana (Strengthening Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness Initiative). The mechanism is co-funded with the UK, USAID and the EU. The programme outcome is to increase civil society and parliamentary influence in governance of public goods and service delivery. STAR Ghana is highly relevant to Denmark and Ghana’s policies to support transparency, accountability and responsiveness of government in its interaction with civil society. CSOs supported by STAR Ghana have built up significant credibility and convening power which among other things has resulted in CSOs influencing the development and reform of eleven critical bills and policies from 2010 to 2012. Some of the bills have been passed into law while others are at various stages in the process of being passed into law.

Social progress at the local level

Denmark provides sector budget support to the health sector. In addition, Denmark has, through its decentralization support,a focus on social progress at the local level in particular within social sectors like health. Decentralization reforms in the country are slowly gaining visibility and momentum.

Core objectives of Ghana’s Decentralization Policy Framework, which specifically emphasize the key human rights based approach principles, provide opportunity for Denmark’s continued support to decentralization, human rights and governance. These include ‘promoting local democracy, participation and accountability’, ‘promoting a rights based orientation to local level development ensuring equitable access to public resources and inclusiveness in decision-making’, and ‘strengthening the roles and relationships between key non-state actors such as traditional authorities and civil society groups in local governance’.

A draft consolidated local government bill, which seeks to harmonize conflicting laws, also takes into account the policy decision to mainstream health, education and agriculture into the decentralization schedule.

Re-thinking of general budget support

A possible continuation of general budget support to Ghana will be considered in light of the challenges encountered by the Ghanaian economy. More focused support for specific policy reforms, models of cash on delivery and programme for results will be considered, and a share of the development contract will be dedicated to tax and development in line with Denmark’s Implementation Plan for Danish Engagement in Tax and Development. Support for civil society will aim to strengthen domestic accountability.

Considering that Danish development assistance to Ghana will eventually scale down, Ghana’s own resource mobilization becomes key. In this regard the Danish and Ghanaian governments will collaborate on inter alia analysis of the extent of and means to address illicit financial flows out of Ghana. The policy dialogue under the development contract will be strengthened even further. Denmark will stress private sector development, job creation, equality, the fight against corruption, human rights, public financial management, and local service delivery. The redistribution of resources will run as a leitmotif throughout the dialogue.

Strengthened dialogue with civil society

Key Danish CSOs with partnerships in Ghana and implementing comprehensive programmes include Care Denmark, IBIS, LO/FTF Council, and the Ghana-Denmark Friendship Groups. Other partnerships are shown in annex 5. Going forward the Embassy will host bi-annual consultations with Danish CSOs and their partners. The objective of the forum is to discuss development policies and priorities of both Denmark and Ghana and map out strategies on how best CSOs will engage in contributing to the achievement of these through their programmes.

Further, from Headquarters’ level Denmark supports several international CSOs focusing on sexual and reproductive health and rights that have offices in Ghana. The Embassy will increase interaction with these CSOs in order to create more synergy between the policy-level/dialogue in Copenhagen and the work done by the CSOs at country level. These include the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (member of International Planned Parenthood Federation), Marie Stopes International and the Population Council.

Better use of research results

The strategic framework for Danish support to development research 2014- 2018 will guide a shift towards closer linkage between Danida supported research programmes and the remainder of the portfolio. The strategy places amongst other things greater emphasis on the use of research results in development cooperation. In the case of Ghana, research will inform the strategic objectives underpinning the new strategic partnership, including making use of applied research funded by Danida in Denmark’s commercial engagement in Ghana. Ghana is one of four priority countries that features the South driven research programme. Better synergies will be created between the three current research paths, namely South driven research (that will constitute a larger share of the support in the future), North driven research, and Building Stronger Universities (BSU), including a new scholarship programme. The fourth research component, UNIBRAIN originating from the Africa Commission, will be better aligned with Denmark’s commercial engagement in Ghana.

Cohesion between cultural cooperation and commercial engagement

Denmark’s strategy for culture and development ‘The Right to Art and Culture’ will guide a shift towards more alignment between Denmark’s support for cultural cooperation and the remainder of the portfolio. Cultural cooperation will be used more strategically in commercial cooperation, aligned with the goal of enhancing economic growth through creative industries. It is the vision to market a more modern image of Ghana and the new Africa. A reform of the cultural cooperation will be made in partnership with the Centre for Culture and Development (CKU).

In the transition period going from development cooperation to a strategic political and commercial partnership, the policy dialogue on human rights issues and good governance will be continued with the relevant Ghanaian authorities to enable the inflow of more domestic resources to key government institutions and statutory bodies. Denmark will maintain support to Ghana’s health sector and strengthen partnerships with the EU, relevant UN agencies and CSOs to enable a consolidation of results when Danish development assistance has lapsed.

Monitoring and evaluation of progress will make use of the following indicators:

  • Data indicates that the inequality gap in Ghana is progressively closing
  • More strategic and focused cultural cooperation in commercial work
  • Commercial work making better use of applied research
  • Positive stories communicated about consolidated results in Danish/ Ghanaian development cooperation

A number of historical sites still exist from the Danish participation in the transatlantic slave trade and the investments in plantations around 1650 to 1850, including the Christiansborg Castle in Accra and the Frederiksgave Plantation located on the outskirts of Accra. Interest in maintaining these have been shown from institutions in both countries. The Embassy stands prepared to facilitate cooperation on this matter.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
Asiatisk Plads 2 
DK-1448 Copenhagen K
Tel. +45 33 92 00 00
Fax +45 32 54 05 33
[email protected]



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