The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
 FORMER MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIA

Media Release

FA96 - 30 June 2004

New Australian High Commission in Ghana

I am pleased to announce the opening today of a new Australian High Commission in Accra, Ghana. The new mission marks the re-establishment of Australia's diplomatic presence in Ghana. Australia maintained a High Commission in Accra from 1957 - when Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence from colonial rule - until 1985.

Australia and Ghana enjoy positive relations based on solid commercial links and like-minded views on many international issues. Australia and Ghana have a history of constructive cooperation in international bodies and organisations including the Commonwealth, of which Ghana is one of Africa's most active and respected members, and the World Trade Organisation. Ghana is a leader among developing countries in supporting a rules-based global trading system.

Australian companies manage an estimated 25 per cent of Ghana's gold production with Australian investment in the sector totalling about $1 billion. Ghana is also an expanding market for Australian dairy and meat exports as well as education, engineering and minerals technology services. Australia's relationship with Ghana is strengthened by the presence of an 8000-strong Ghanaian community in Australia.

The re-opening of an Australian mission in Accra is also a reflection of Ghana's achievements over the last decade in democratisation, economic reform and support for peace across the West African region.

More broadly, an Australian diplomatic presence in Ghana reflects Australia's growing interest in constructive engagement with Africa, including the encouragement of good governance and cooperation on international security.

Australia's High Commissioner to Ghana will be Jonathan Richardson, a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Australians in Ghana may obtain consular assistance and are strongly advised to register at the Australian High Commission at:

Australian High Commission Accra
C/- Golden Tulip Hotel
Liberation Road
Private Mail Bag 60
Airport-Accra
Ghana

Telephone: +233 21 781 979/980
Fax: +233 21 775 361
E-mail: AccraHC.Enquiries@dfat.gov.au

The High Commission will also be accredited/is seeking accreditation to Cote d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

Media inquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 - Julie McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555


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