Speech delivered by Ghana ambassador to Germany; Her Excellency Akua Sena Dansua on the 58th Indepedence Anniversary of Ghana organized by the Ghana embassy in Berlin Germany; 6th March, 2015 at the Deutchse Bank Hall in Berlin.
Ambassador George Smith, Regional Director for the Sub Sahara Africa, Honorable Minister of Tourism and Culture-Ghana, Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, Excellences, Colleague Ambassadors, Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Our respected Religious and Traditional leaders of the Ghanaian community in Germany, Dear friends of Ghana, Ladies and Gentlemen; Gutten Abend!
I wish on behalf of His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana and the entire Citizenry of Ghana to welcome you to the commemoration of Ghana’s 58th Anniversary. We are grateful that you honor the invitation to celebrate with us.
Let me extend special welcome to the honorable minister for taking time off her busy schedule to join us in this commemoration.
Independence 50 years ago offered us the freedom and opportunity to take our destiny into our own hands to do great things for ourselves. On this occasion, I join hands with all Ghanaians all over the World to pay tribute to Ghana’s founding Fathers affectionately called the “BIG 6” whose struggle and toil led to Ghana’s independence. Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah of the ”BIG 6” deserves a special mention for his post-independence leadership which placed Ghana at the forefront of the decolonization of Ghana and carved out an Africa personality.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, today Marks another milestone in Ghana’s history, a day on Which Ghanaians collectively reflect on the Past, take stock of the present and refocus the future direction of our Country which is a model of democracy and good governance in Africa. It is fair to state that while much has been achieved as a Nation; a lot more remain to be done in terms of development. Efforts to uplift ourselves are unrelenting and the government of Ghana under the able leadership of President John Mahama will continue to pursue strategies and policies that will promote the country’s Socio-Economic development.
Ghana abounds in unlimited opportunities; our forward marching development will continue to be anchored on values of freedom and justice, deepening democratic Culture, rule of law and good governance.
GHANA GERMAN RELATIONS:
Excellences, distinguished ladies and Gentlemen, Nananom Ghana has had cordial relations with Germany since 1961 and these relations have witnessed phenomena growth in scope and quality and these is characterized by high bilateral official visits of dignitaries of both countries.
For instance, in January 2007 past President, Horst Koehler of Germany paid a two day state visit to Ghana. Also in June 2007 and August 2008, Ex-President Kuffuor of Ghana paid state and official visit to Germany at different times.
In January 2015, President John Mahama was in Germany for a state visit which was highly successful; thanks to the invaluable support of the German Government and other major private sector Partners and stakeholders like the Afrika-Verein and our Ghanaian Community led by our respected religious and traditional leaders. During the visit, President John Mahama met with His Excellency Joachim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel separately and held bilateral discussions mainly in the area of Energy, Vocational Skills training and Agriculture.
On Sub –regional EOWAS issues, Chancellor Merkel and President Mahama discussed various issues including the economic partnership agreement that is awaiting signature between Countries in the Sub region and the EU which will among others allow for market access to member Countries. They also discussed the threat to peace and security in the sub region and strategies to tackle them.
With regards to EBOLA which ravaged part of West Africa, the President John Mahama as the Chairman of ECOWAS and Chancellor Merkel reiterated the need for international response to future health emergencies. They also noted that hard hit countries by the disease like Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone should be supported to establish sustainable health systems to develop their economies.
Ghana is indeed grateful to the German government for her containment of EBOLA in the sub region to the tune of about 160 Million Euro including logistical support. It is worth mentioning that President Mahama in his capacity as the Chairman of ECOWAS allowed for the establishment of UN Logistic Center for EBOLA in Ghana from where international coordination efforts are being handled. Also, President Mahama was among few head of states that visited the affected countries to show solidarity during their difficult moments. Fortunately, no Ebola case was recorded in Ghana.
GERMAN OFFICIAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE OF GHANA:
Excellences, Fellow Ghanaians Distinguished ladies and Gentlemen, This Evening has presented us with another opportunity to acknowledge the satisfaction and with deep gratitude the immerse assistance extended to the Government of Ghana by the federal republic of Germany over the years.
German official development assistance to Ghana has contributed greatly to national development in critical areas like Agriculture, Education, rural development and local government administration. The development project undertaken by the GIZ to promote Ghana-Germany renewable energy business partnership and the 2012 Germany’s KFW Development Bank disbursement of close to 35 million Euro to support development work in Ghana deserves great mention.
We anticipate that the investment forum held during the visit of President Mahama will lead to an enhanced trade and investment relations between our two Countries.
ON TOURISM: Ghana offers diverse tourism opportunities and Germans are the 3rd largest tourists that visit Ghana after the USA and UK and I would like to use this opportunity to call for more German investments in tourism infrastructure such as hotels, restaurants and related services in Ghana.
GHANA-THE WAY FORWARD: As our nation celebrates her 58th birthday, the prevailing socio-economic status of the country is worth mentioning. The economy has maintained satisfactory growth rate with an average annual growth of about 6% over the past 6years.
Excellences, Distinguished ladies and Gentlemen; the importance of the rural electrification project which will occasion the extension of electricity to all parts of the country and the relocation of high energy consuming institutions to Ghana have not matched the current supply of power in the country. The situation is worsened by the intermittent disruptions and discrepancies in Supply of gas for power generation from the nearby countries. This resulted in serious deficit in power supply and has created a difficult situation currently for the nation. However government is working on a lasting solution which Germany is a partner.
Few Weeks ago, Ghana and the IMF have reached an agreement such that the IMF will provide a sum of 3 million dollars over a period of 3 years to help sustain the lower middle income status attained by Ghana in 2009.
On behalf of the President, let me assure you that the government remains committed to creation of Business environment that balances the growth of local industries and smooth operation of foreign businesses considered vital to creation of robust national economy. Government is also ready to support foreign direct investment in areas of Energy, Agriculture and Infrastructure development.
In conclusion, while extending fraternal greetings to all co-patriots and friends in Germany on our anniversary; my special appeal to you is for us to build a better and prosperous Ghana anchored on United Country with a common vision.
Long live Ghana-German relations, Long live Ghana. Viele Danke!
Compiled by Francis Amemador -/TopAfric Media Network