President Akufo-Addo has in principle agreed to a request by the Prime Minister of Barbados, Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, to send some three hundred and seventy-five Ghanaian nurses to Barbados to work in a number of their government medical facilities.
This came to the fore when President Akufo-Addo and Prime Minister Mottley held bilateral talks on Friday, 14th June, 2019, in Bridgetown, Barbados, after the Ghanaian leader paid a day’s working visit to that country.
Addressing a press conference in the aftermath of the bilateral discussions, and with Barbados facing an acute nursing shortage, the Barbadian Prime Minister stated that “we have indicated that we are searching for just under 400 nurses, so it is not a small number, and we really do believe that this is a wonderful opportunity of co-operation between our two countries.”
In addition, she noted that there was also an initial promise to secure the nurses, and provide joint education programmes going forward, all in an attempt to secure Barbados’ healthcare sector.
On his part, President Akufo-Addo indicated that “we have a surplus of nurses in Ghana, and placing them all in our public health system is one of my headaches. There have been a lot (of nurses) produced, which, for several years, we have not been able to do anything with.”
He continued, “So, I am going back. I will be back in Accra on Monday, and, the week after, the Prime Minister will hear from me on this matter of nurses.”
With President Akufo-Addo being the first leader of Ghana to visit Barbados, the two leaders agreed to reactivate a 2005 cultural, technical and scientific agreement signed between the two countries, an agreement which has been dormant for 14 years.
The discussions also touched on tourism and transportation, with Ghana and Barbados agreeing to work on an air services agreement, which will establish direct air links between the two countries, so as to boost trade and people-to-people contact.
On the issue of renewable energy, President Akufo-Addo expressed Ghana’s desire to collaborate with Barbados, a country which is giant in that field, and reiterated Ghana’s commitment to increase the renewable energy component of her energy generation mix.
As a demonstration of the close ties between Ghana and Barbados, the President expressed his commitment to the establishment of an Honorary Consulate in Barbados, with Barbados set to establish a High Commission in Accra by the end of 2019.