Ghana has signed an agreement establishing cooperation in science, technology and innovation with Türkiye.

The pact is to serve as a legal framework for the achievement of the science and technology ambitions of the two countries.

The agreement was signed between the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK).

Mrs Ophelia Mensah Hayford, Minister of MESTI, signed the pact on behalf of Ghana while Professor Dr Hasan Mandal, President, TUBITAK, signed on behalf of Türkiye, at a brief ceremony, in Accra, on Tuesday.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mrs Hayford hailed the long-standing relationship between the two countries.

Diplomatic relations between Ghana and Turkey were established in 1958 following the independence of Ghana in 1957.

Since then, the two countries have continued to enjoy close and cordial relations as development partners and collaborated in various sectors, including education, energy, health, and trade.

Mrs Hayford said the signing of the protocol would further strengthen the bond of friendship between the two nations through collaboration in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).

“This ceremony charts a new path between our two countries in scientific cooperation, especially in various frontier technologies and breakthrough innovations. I am therefore happy that we set out, as soon as possible within the framework of this protocol to engage, design and agree on specific implementable activities within this half year,” she said.

She assured the partners of the Ministry’s commitment to immediately implement the protocol to ensure the country derived its full benefits.

Prof Mandal noted that Ghana and Türkiye had, over the years, had a good trade relationship, indicating that Ghana was the second largest trading partner of Türkiye in Africa.

However, he explained that the types of traded items had been under the light, noting that the signing of the agreement was taking the friendship a step towards a more science and technology-oriented partnership.

“We have already been collaborating with the CSIR and this agreement will take a step forward in the same respect,” he stressed.

He expressed commitment to ensure full implementation of the agreement for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

“We will now look at the action and implementation. I think this is the most difficult part, more important part because signing the document is showing our interest, in sorting our commitment but the action becomes more important for our societies and our ecosystems,” he indicated.

Prof Mandal said Türkiye had been working with European countries on environment and climate change, as well as changing the ecosystem, indicating, that it provided enough platform to learn from each other.

Present at the signing ceremony was Mr Huseyin Gungor, Turkiye Ambassdor to Ghana and Reverend Dr Patrick Nomo, Chief Director, MESTI.