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”It’s not sympathy we want; it’s partnership, the ability to stand on our own feet. It’s not handouts we’re in search for; it’s opportunities”

President John Dramani Mahama at the 68th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, 2013.

 Africa is unlocking its potential and is undergoing a remarkable transformation. The continent hosts some of the world’s fastest growing economies with a number of countries experiencing growth rates above 7 percent. Ghana is one of them. A new African middle class is on the rise. It has the resources to consume, and it demands higher welfare and better quality in social services.  The images from the continent are changing, expanding into areas of modern design, fashion, innovative technologies, and a large-scale commercial sector. Moreover, Africa has the world’s youngest population, increasing urbanization and gradual improvement in infrastructure; all elements that have the potential to promote growth.

Ghana is in the midst of a transition, marked by growth and democratic consolidation. The country has gained lower middle income status and has the potential to become an emerging economy in Africa. Moreover, the country is an island of democratic rule, peace and stability in an otherwise fragile and conflictridden region.

The longstanding cooperation between Ghana and Denmark is a unique platform for leveraging a new strategic partnership, which will strengthen the political alliance and benefit growth and employment in both countries. Denmark has been a long-standing and trusted partner to Ghana for many years since independence in 1957 – a partnership based on development cooperation in social and economic sectors, human rights, and good governance.

Given Ghana’s own resources and economic development, its status as lower middle income country, its new partnerships with the BRICS countries and other emerging economies, the country is no longer depending on development aid to the same extent as previously, and it wants to pursue inter alia trade, commercial investments and credits. Denmark aims at upscaling political and commercial cooperation while at the same time downscaling development assistance to the country in the period after 2014.

The implementation of this country policy paper 2014-2018 will constitute a period of transition. It is foreseen that an exit program will be implemented from 2017.

The country policy paper first outlines the Danish Government’s vision for Ghana and our future strategic partnership. It is followed by an analysis of the political, economic and commercial context in Ghana. On this basis, the paper presents four shared strategic objectives: Strengthened political cooperation based on shared values, promotion of inclusive and green growth, economic diplomacy and increased commercial cooperation, and consolidation of results in development programmes.

This policy paper will be used as a guiding, strategic document for Denmark’s engagement with Ghana in all relevant areas. It will also set the direction for dialogue at various levels. The paper is aligned with Ghana’s own plans and ambitions and is informed by EU joint analyses as well as the EU Joint Framework Document for Ghana.