Ayorkor Botchwey cuts sod for construction of Foreign Ministry annex

Ayorkor Botchwey cuts sod for construction of Foreign Ministry annex

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has cut the sod for the construction of the Ministry’s office annex.

The $20 million building project is being financed with a grant from the Chinese Government. Yanjian Group Company Limited, which constructed the Foreign Ministry’s existing building, won the bid once again in China for the project scheduled to be completed within 26 months.

The total construction area for the project is approximately 11,300 square meters, with six floors above-ground and one floor underground, and its facilities would include the Minister’s office area, conference hall, press room, banquet hall, and an underground parking lot.

Madam Ayorkor Botchwey expressed gratitude to the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the aid provided for the project. She recalled that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration was forced to evacuate its main office in October 2009 after a fire outbreak that wreaked havoc and caused extensive damage to the building.

She said aside from the massive loss of vital documents and the related institutional memory, the Ministry was confronted with the problem of lack of office accommodation. At the time, the Jubilee House had just been completed but was yet to be occupied by the Presidency.

The late President Professor John Evans Atta Mills directed that the Ministry be relocated to the Presidency while Government sought funding to construct a new Office space. Madam Ayorkor Botchwey said in view of the long-standing cordial relations between Ghana and China, the Government of the People’s Republic of China supported the building project with a Chinese grant for the construction of Office premises for the Ministry in 2013.

After almost 10 years, it became apparent that the new office space was inadequate hence the need to construct an Annex Building to be attached to the existing magnificent structure, the Minister said.

She said with the support of China Aid, the Ministry was granted the needed funds to build the Annex structure which would help in accommodating the increased number of staff and enable the Ministry to make provision for certain essential facilities that the existing building lacked.

Madam Ayorkor Botchwey urged the Contractor, Yanjian Group Company Limited, and the Ghanaian Consultant, Masaub Consults to provide quality execution of the project and ensure its completion within schedule.

She lauded Mr. Edward Boateng, the former Ambassador of Ghana to China, for the key role he played in facilitating the grant for the project, and promised that upon its completion, a facility within the building would be named after him. Mr. Lu Kun, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, said in November 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced at the Eighth FOCAC Ministerial Conference that China and Africa had jointly prepared the China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035.

He indicated that under the first three-year plan of the Vision, China would work closely with African countries to implement the Nine Programmes under Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Mr. Lu said the current building Project was one of the concrete actions to implement the Nine Programme in Ghana.

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