The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has urged authorities of the State of Qatar to take urgent steps in addressing mounting complaints about the maltreatment of Ghanaians living and working in Qatar.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the ill-treatment of Ghanaians has “been a constant complaint, and I think that the good relations that exist between our two countries mean that authorities in Qatar should try and do something about it, so that those complaints can stop.”
This, the President added, “will ensure that we have a much more productive relationship without this being an issue. I would like you to convey this message to the Emir.”
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Monday, 10th July, 2017, when the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Ghana, His Excellency Mohammed Jaber Al-Kuwari, presented his letter of credentials to him.
It will be recalled that on Thursday, 2nd February, 2017, government, through the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Hon. Baffour Awuah, announced a ban on the recruitment of Ghanaians to the Gulf States. To this end, government froze the issuance of recruitment licenses to companies.
Touching on the relations between the two countries, President Akufo-Addo called for an increase in the volumes of trade between the two countries, adding that Ghana was looking for investors from around the world to participate in its petroleum industry.
With Qatar being one of the leading producers of oil in the country, the President was hopeful that “we can profit from Qatar in the expansion of our petroleum industry.”
On the current standoff between Qatar and the Gulf States of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain, President Akufo-Addo noted that “all of us are concerned about recent events in the gulf, and are hoping that, sooner rather than later, an understanding will emerge. We are hopeful that harmony and good relations will be restored.”
“On matters like this, it is better that Africa, as a continent, speaks with one voice so that there is clarity. That is why the AU Chair, Alpha Condé, is engaged with the authorities in Qatar. All of us are keen to see a quick resolution of this matter so that there is stability in the region,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo also received letters of credence from the Ambassador of Benin to Ghana; Mrs Martine-Francoise Dossa; Ambassador of Switzerland to Ghana, Mr. Markus, Niklaus Paul Dutly; and Ambassador of Austria to Ghana, Mr. Werner Senfter.