President Mills leaves for G8 Summit in US
Accra, May 16, GNA – President John Evans Atta Mills left Accra late Wednesday for the United State of America to attend the 2012 G8 Summit scheduled for May 18 and 19 at Camp David near Washington.
The meeting which would address global food security issues is also attracting three other African Leaders who were also invited to parley with the world's richest nations.
The three others are; Dr Thomas Yayi Boni, African Union Chairman and Benin President, Mr Ato Meles Zenawi, Ethopian Prime Minister and Mr Jakaya Kikwete, President of Tanzania.
In a pre-departure interview, Mr Kwasi Ahwoi, Minister of Food and Agriculture, observed that Ghana's invitation to the summit was an indication that she was doing something right, since she has been invited for the second time within the last few years.
He said the emphasis of the meeting would be how the developed world, the group of the eight industrialized countries including America could assist developing countries to scale up their food production.
According to him, Africa would make a strong case to the developed countries for a more level playing field so that Africa's food production would increase rather than turn the continent into a dumping ground of food products from other continents.
“There is going to be paradigm shift this time. We will make a strong case to the G8 to expand their assistance for food production in Africa”, he said.
According to Mr Ahwoi, Ghana would suggest that there must be more subsides to support small scale farmers to venture into large scale food production and create strong partnership among small, medium and large scale commercial operators in the agriculture sector.
He explained that Ghana was currently running the Ghana Agriculture Commercial Programme aimed at bridging the gaps between small, nucleus and out grower farmers.
“Ghana and Africa need more capital”, Mr Ahwoi emphasized, adding that the US government is expected to lead in convincing the other G8 members to commit to supporting developing nations to increase food production.
Mr Ahwoi said the World Bank was making available 100 million dollars and the US, 45 million dollars to support Ghana's agriculture.
“We expect to come back home with a basketful of pledges as well as a partnership framework agreement that would be signed to indicate when programmes that would be agreed on shall be executed”, he said.
President Mills was seen off at the Kotoka International Airport by Vice President John Dramani Mahama, Mr Henry Martey Newman, Chief of Staff and some Ministers of State and Members of Parliament.