Thursday, June 20 2024

Athens strengthening African ties


Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias’ three-day visit to Ghana and Gabon, two countries that will be non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council during the period 2022-23, is taking place in the context of Greece’s stated objective to strength the African dimension of its foreign policy.


Dendias arrived in Ghana last night, after a long flight and a stop by the government aircraft for refueling at Tiska Djanet Airport in southern Algeria.

Greece’s foreign policy overture to sub-Saharan Africa is seen as a high-stakes bet which the government considers particularly important because of the opportunities that are expected to open up in the coming decades. It is also seen as extremely important for Athens to get its positions across to countries where Turkey has increased its diplomatic presence and is attempting to expand its influence. 

What’s more, Greece’s presence in sub-Saharan Africa is part of the effort for wider cooperation with France on a number of fronts.


To this end, Paris is encouraging and also facilitating the presence of Greece in an area where it has important interests anyway.

Ghana and Gabon, which Dendias will visit tonight, are the next leg of his African tour, after Rwanda. 


He will meet his Ghanaian counterpart Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey today before visiting the country’s Greek school and St Nicholas Church close to the capital, Accra. In Gabon he will meet with his counterpart Pacome Moubelet-Boubeya.

Diplomatic sources cited the importance of Ghana and Gabon being non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, given Greece’s candidacy for 2025-26. 


They also noted that in the last six months, Dendias has met his counterparts from 11 of the 15 members of the Security Council in 2022-25.

However, his visit also includes the aspect of vaccine diplomacy, as Greece will donate 150,000 vaccines to Ghana and 200,000 to Gabon.