Jean Claude Galea has been appointed Malta’s first resident ambassador to Ghana, which is also the first diplomatic representation of its kind for Malta in a sub-Saharan country.
Galea, who has operated a business advisory firm in Ghana since 2009, had served as honorary consul in the west African country since 2016.
His appointment was approved by Parliament’s Public Appointments Committee, along with that of Vanni Xuereb and Ray Bondin as ambassadors for Spain and Bulgaria, respectively. Xuereb, who heads MEUSAC, a committee that screens EU laws, will be resident in Spain, while Bondin will be a non-resident ambassador.
The appointments will be formalised in the coming weeks.
In February, Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela had announced that Malta will be opening a high commission in Ghana.
Apart from seeking deeper business and commercial ties with Ghana, Malta also considers sub-Saharan Africa among its priority regions for the disbursement of overseas development aid, Abela had said.
“In this regard, the opening of a new high commission in Ghana will offer added value through the establishment of new contacts through which Malta can further the distribution of its ODA,” the minister said back then.
Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African country to open a diplomatic mission in Malta in 2014.
Establishing diplomatic relations with countries in sub-Saharan Africa is considered to be an important cog within the wider picture of migration.
The repatriation of migrants, who are not eligible for protection, depends on the cooperation of the home country.
By forging stronger diplomatic ties with Ghana, Malta will be getting a foothold in the region.