Ghana @ 60 and European Union @ 60: Commitment for Youth and EducationEnlarge image Ambassador Retzlaff (© German Embassy Accra)
With the support of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Accra, the newly founded Centre for European Studies at the University of Ghana organized on 25 April 2017 a discussion on the topic similarities and differences between the European Union and the Africa Union. About 200 students, academics, politicians as well as civil society and press representatives took part in the discussion, which shows the growing interest of Ghanaians in the EU. Both the Republic of Ghana and the EU are celebrating their 60th anniversaries this year and the EU is by far the most important international partner for Ghana.
In his welcoming address the German Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Christoph Retzlaff, pointed out that, despite all the differences between the two organizations, it is crucial for both the AU and the EU to reach compromises and talk with one voice in order to gain more relevance in the global system. With regard to the next EU AU Summit on the theme “youth in Africa” in November 2017 in Abidjan, Ambassador Retzlaff said that employment creation for young people, creation of vocational training opportunities and sustainable economic growth were the most important tasks. These issues are also at the heart of Germany’s G20 presidency this year.
The outcomes of the discussions will be summarized in policy papers by the students of the Centre for European Studies, and forwarded to the decision-makers and the public in order to enable an in-depth discussion of the workings of the two organizations; EU and AU.
To mark the official opening of the Centre for European Studies at the University of Ghana and the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the EU scholarship program ERASMUS, a forum organized by the EU delegation and attended by Ambassador Retzlaff together with the ambassadors of other EU member states in Ghana was held on 27th April 2017 at the University of Ghana. Various ERASMUS alumni’s, including H.E. Giovanni Favilli, Ambassador of Italy to Ghana, and Mrs. Cecile Vigneau, Acting Ambassador of France, Ghana) reported on their experiences as ERASMUS students in Europe. In addition, the Member States presented their bilateral scholarship programs.
It also became clear that Germany is increasingly becoming the preferred place of study for Ghanaian students. Over the past five years, the number of students from Ghana has risen by about 10% per year, with more than 3,000 Ghanaians enrolled in German universities and institutions. The number of scholarships has also risen. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) alone awarded 400 Ghanaians a scholarship to study in Germany in 2015.
For further reading:
EU Delegation in Ghana:
DAAD scholarship database: