Ghana’s Ambassador to Norway visits Finland and interacts with Ghanaian migrants
Ghana’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Norway, H. E. Mrs. Jennifer Lartey, paid an official visit to Finland from September 16-18, 2021.
During the visit the Ambassador met officials of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the first time and to discuss key issues about cooperation between Ghana and Finland.
The visit was a way “to come and show my face and an opportunity to meet the officials of the Finnish Foreign Affairs Ministry to consolidate our relations between trade and investment,” Ambassador Lartey said. She again held discussions with some representatives of Finnish companies for possibilities of working visits and ways to open official doors to companies concerning trade and investment interests promotion efforts.
This was the first time the Ghana Embassy in Oslo was visiting Finland. Ghana officially opened its Embassy in Oslo, Norway, in November 2018. The newly-opened Ghana Embassy in Oslo is accredited to Finland and Iceland, which were previously under the Ghana Embassy in Denmark.
Ambassador Lartey was appointed as Ghana’s first Resident Ambassador to the Kingdom of Norway in February 2019 by the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. The COVID-19 situation and lockdowns meant that the Ambassador could not visit Finland earlier. She was happy for this opportunity to be in Finland.
The four-day visit also offered her the opportunity to meet Ghanaian migrants in Helsinki to interact with them, and those who had travelled from other places in Finland.
The encounter was arranged last Saturday in the manner of a town-hall meeting with some representatives of the Ghanaian community including a discussion session. The meeting was on Zoom to enable others participate from their homes.
Ambassador Lartey praised the Ghanaian migrant community for the apparent unity and harmony among them and urged them to continue to keep a peaceful nature. Members of the community were happy to interact directly with the Ambassador and to ask her questions such as the passport renewals, how to find the right information from the Embassy or its website, etc.
She assured the community that the Embassy was there at their service and they would organise more Mobile Consular Services when needed to help many people secure the new biometric passports in place of the machine-readable passports which would be phased out.
Also with the Ambassador on the trip to Finland were Mr. Charles Kwakye-Marfo (Minister-Counsellor & Head of Chancery), Mr. Arthur Nii Odartey Okoe Mills (Counsellor, Political & Economic), Nana Antwi Baffuor (First Secretary Consular), and Mrs. Abigail Adusei (Second Secretary, Administration).
The group was composed of a Mobile Consular Team which conducted the first-ever mobile consular services by the Embassy this year in Helsinki over six days starting from Tuesday, 14 September until Sunday, 19 September 2021.
The team was under a huge pressure to serve the over 300 applications for the biometric passports. The huge number of applications can largely be attributed to the COVID-19 situation with its attendant problems such as the lockdowns which prevented people whose passports had expired as well as babies who had been born around this period from travelling or initiating the process to secure new passports.
The applications were almost six times the number of submissions made when the Ghana Embassy in Denmark conducted a similar mobile consular service in Finland in late 2018.
GHANA MATTERS column appears fortnightly. Written in simple layman’s terms, it concentrates on matters about Ghana and beyond. It focuses on everyday life issues relating to the social, cultural, economic, religious, political, health, sports, youth, gender, etc. It strives to remind us all that Ghana comes first. The column also takes a candid look at the meanings and repercussions of our actions, especially those things we take for granted or even ignore. There are key Ghanaian values we should uphold rather than disregard with impunity. We should not overlook the obvious. We need to search for the hidden or deeply embedded values and try to project them.
The writer is a lecturer at the
University of Helsinki, Finland