President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commended past and present directors, management and staff of the Research Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration for their contribution towards the conduct of Ghana’s foreign policy and the sustenance of peace and stability in the country since independence.
Speaking at a special durbar held to mark the 60th anniversary of the department, which was established in December 1958, the President said the Research Department had lived up to its goals and described the entity as “an excellent example of an organisation holding firm onto its character, integrity, standards and values through the years.”
The President paid tribute to Ghana’s first Prime Minister and President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, for his foresight in establishing the Research Department.
He also recognised the assistance of the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, and his government, which helped in the training of the pioneering officers of the department by providing its first two directors.
Support for department
President Akufo-Addo pledged the government’s continued support for the department and advised the staff to be mindful of new threats to global security and their duty to remain professional and loyal to Ghana.
Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, for her part, said that the “overall contributions of the department have, in many ways, not only shaped policy formulation but more importantly helped successive governments to defend and protect the sovereignty of Ghana and promote peace and stability in the sub-region.”
She said the consular role of the department had helped the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to fulfil its oversight responsibilities to promote the welfare of Ghanaians abroad and raise revenue for the country.
The Minister of National Security, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, also commended officers of the department for their professionalism and dedication to duty and urged the current leadership to build on the solid foundations of the first 60 years.
In his address, the current Director of the department, Ambassador Peter N. Opata, said the leadership of the department was fully aware of its mandate and the record of the past and was determined to position the department to meet new challenges.
He said the leadership was “fully alert to new threats that seek to undermine our corporate existence, institutions of state, democracy and the rule of law” and would take all necessary steps to live up to the mandate of the department.
Present at the ceremony were ministers of state, diplomats, retired officers, including some of the pioneering staff, Mrs Fulera Limann, a former First Lady whose husband, Dr Hilla Limann, was an officer of the department before he became President.
For his interest in and support for the department since his years as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, President Akufo-Addo was honoured with the Highest Award of the department, the Supreme Eagle.
All 23 former directors of the department and some retired and serving officers were also honoured at the 60th-anniversary durbar.
Dr Limann was also honoured posthumously.