Germany has commended Ghana for its resolve to enter the oil age in the spirit of transparency and good governance. “As Ghana has started to be an oil-producing nation and achieved the status of middle-income country, it is important to make sure that our modes of co-operation are up to this historic change,” said the German Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Eberhard Schanze.
He was speaking at a reception held at his residence in Accra recently to mark the 21st anniversary celebration of the German reunification. “German unification taught us that the seemingly impossible can happen, after all, if you have the courage and the willingness to take the right decisions and to pursue them.”
According to Mr Schanze, who described Ghana as ‘one of the countries we consider a really good and old friend in Africa,’ in a fast-changing world, new challenges had come up which needed to be addressed by all. “Climate change, energy supply, demographic development and economic imbalances are only a few of the major issues we must address.
“I am glad to say that all institutions dealing with bilateral cooperation on behalf of the German Government are present in Ghana, that is GIZ, KfW, DEG, Goethe-Institut, German Academic Exchange (DAAD) and our military advisory group, as well as our team in the KAIPTC. Their work is flanked by a large number of NGOs.
“Germany is also active through the work of its political foundations, that is Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Friedrich Naumann Foundation and Hanns Seidel Foundation,” he said. According to Mr. Schanze, the co-operation at the university level was broad and intensive; with the German-Swiss school at Nima being a meeting point for Ghanaian and foreign students.
He welcomed the presence of German companies like LUFTHANSA German Airlines, Volkswagen Group, Mercedes, MAN-NEOPLAN and a variety of other larger or smaller German companies, representing German brands known worldwide.
“This year, we remember the 125th birthday of the invention of car making in Germany,” he said.
In 1876, Mr. Benz took his wife to ride a 12-kilometre distance on a three-wheel prototype driven by pharmacy-bought fuel. “This was the take-off for Germany’s and the world’s car industry. This is the reason why you see tonight two beautiful German cars at the entrance of the residence,” he explained by pointing at two vehicles on display at his residence.
“Germany will continue to be a good friend and a reliable partner to Ghana,” he assured Ghanaians while proposing a toast “to the good health of His Excellency President Professor Mills, to the wellbeing of the government as well as of the friendly people of Ghana and to a continuing fruitful cooperation between Ghana and Germany.”
He commended all Germans in Ghana for their commitment and valuable contribution towards the excellent state of the Ghanaian-German relations.
In his response to the ambassador’s toast, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi, acknowledged the mutually-beneficial and friendly Ghana-German relations spanning over 50 years.
“The overall objective of the German involvement in the agricultural sector is to improve the income of our rural population by supporting value-chain approaches involving small-scale commercial farmers.
“The financial co-operation and technical co-operation investment of the KfW and GIZ respectively have provided innovation agricultural financing amounting to 11 million Euros under the outgrower and Value Chain Fund (OVCF) that provides medium to long-term finance through collaboration with the banking system,” he stated.
The minister encouraged German investors to take advantage of Ghana’s peaceful political environment, and favourable investment climate and laws, which guaranteed profitable returns on investments.
Source: Sylvanus Nana Kumi
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