1st August is the National Day of Switzerland. Since 1891, Swiss citizens at home and abroad have celebrated the foundation of Switzerland on this date. Remembering the origins of Switzerland going back as far as 1291, we celebrate this year, the 729th birthday of the Swiss Confederation under very special circumstances.
Due to the global pandemic however, the Swiss Embassy in Accra will not hold any public celebration. Nevertheless, 2020 is a special year for the partnership between Ghana and Switzerland, as both states celebrate the anniversary of 60 years of their diplomatic relationship.
Switzerland recognized the Republic of Ghana on 6 March 1957, the day independence was declared. Three years later, the then existing Swiss Consulate in Accra was upgraded to a full-fledged Embassy. In the past 60 years, Switzerland and Ghana have established a fruitful and mutually beneficial partnership that culminated in the State Visit of the President of the Republic, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to Switzerland in February this year.
Ghana is one of Switzerland’s most important trade partners in Africa and one of the priority countries for Switzerland’s economic development cooperation since almost 20 years. Switzerland also supports the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra and more than 50 Swiss companies operate in Ghana, employing thousands of people.
Furthermore, on the occasion of the memorable State Visit, a declaration for the trade of CO2 climate certificates was signed. Once, a bilateral agreement is in place, multi-million Swiss Francs of climate friendly investments could flow from Switzerland to Ghana.
“This year certainly has been full of unexpected turns. In the more than 20 years of my diplomatic career, I would have never expected to celebrate the National Day of Switzerland virtually. The pandemic has a huge impact on all countries around the world. But during these difficult times, the good relationship between Ghana and Switzerland has to be lauded once again”, says the Swiss Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana, Benin and Togo, H.E. Philipp Stalder. He adds: “We want to celebrate this important milestone thus with a short movie, that portrays three Ghanaians who are all connected to Switzerland and contribute each in their own way to the sustainable growth of Ghana.”
The protagonists of the short movie are the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway and Swiss Ambassador, H.E. Philipp Stalder, who both address the audience with short speeches.
Mr. Jeffrey Provencal grew up in Switzerland and came back to Ghana five years ago will tell us more about his plastic processing company rePATRN in Tema. Today, he employs 120 people and prepares PET waste to be recycled. Soon, they will be one of only two food grade recycling companies on the continent.
Ms. Nabeela Abubakar is a student at University of Ghana and Co-Founder of the Sustainability Week Accra, which took place in March this year. The idea of a student led action week to draw attention to the UN’s SDGs was born at the Swiss University ETH and spread all over the world. Ms Abubakar and her fellow students, supported by the Swiss Embassy in Accra, were the first to organise a Sustainability Week in Africa.
With Cocoa being one of the most important trade goods between Ghana and Switzerland, Mr. Yayra Glover, studied in Switzerland, came back to Ghana with the vision of establishing an organic cocoa farm. The Agripreneur now grows many more spices and plants, diversifying the income opportunities of his farmers in Suhum.
The short movie, initiated and mandated by the Swiss Embassy in Accra, was produced in collaboration with pulse.com.gh.
Address for enquiries: Mrs. Lucienne Vaudan, email@example.com Tel: +233 55 805 2777
President of the Swiss Confederation, Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga’s speech
Official Website Swiss National Day: www.missione1agosto.org/
The Federal Council, the portal of the Swiss government: www.admin.ch/gov/en/start.html
The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs: www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/fdfa.html
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs: www.seco.admin.ch/seco/en/home.html