The UK Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster has arrived in Ghana as part of a visit aimed at enhancing defence cooperation and reaffirming commitment to the African nation.
During the visit, Lancaster will emphasise the UK Government’s continuing support to help Ghana address rising security tensions in the region.
The meeting will help reiterate the partnership’s objective to work towards achieving a secure and prosperous Ghana and wider sub-region.
Discussions with Ghana Vice-President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia will be centred on regional security threats posed by evolving dynamics to Ghana’s north.
The country also faces threats from other factors such as piracy, smuggling and fishing in the Gulf of Guinea.
Ghana intends to neutralise organised crime and illegal activities in its territorial waters as 90% of its trade is linked to the sea.
The UK is offering its support to the ECOWAS Zone F Multinational Maritime Coordination Centre (MMCC), based in Accra.
The MMCC includes Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. It will work in coordination with two other centres for combined maritime security drills.
Officials will also focus on responses to security challenges in the region.
Lancaster is also scheduled to meet other Ghana officials, including National Security Minister Albert Kan Dapaah and Deputy Defence Minister Major Derrick Oduro.
British High Commissioner Iain Walker said: “The visit of the Rt Hon minister of armed forces deepens the strong security ties between Ghana and UK, demonstrating that collaboration is key. As Ghana and the UK change, it is clear through the partnership we continue to forge, we move towards a common secure and prosperous future.”
Lancaster will also visit other partner nations in West Africa during the official trip.
In May, the UK entered a partnership agreement with Ghana to cooperate in areas such as economic development, regional security, health, education and inclusion.