Mr Jon Richardson, the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana has said that Ghana can once again be a leading light and model for others over the next 50 years.
Mr Richardson who is also representing his government and people of Australia to Ghana's 50th anniversary independence celeberation observed that with the current path of democracy and human rights, economic growth and stability, there is every confidence for Ghana to play this role in the next 50 years.
The Australian High commissioner to Ghana, told the Daily Graphic in an interview that “for us in Australia when Ghana got its independence in 1957, it was a landmark occassion because we understood the significance of Ghana entering into the country of independent states”.
On behalf of the government and people of Australia, “I wish to express the very best wishes to Ghana and its people in realising their dreams on the next stage of their journey”.
He said that Ghana has consistently played significant and respectable roles within the Commonwealth, the United Nations and the African Union which Australia was very proud of.
He noted that even though “your journey so far has had some difficult twists and turns” Ghana continue to hold a torch of hope for many in Africa and around the world.
He said that soon after independence, Australia and Ghana had an active and healthy bi-lateral and multi-lateral relations and currently were placing focus on new and enhanced partnership on a full range of issues pertaining to multi-lateral forums including the UN and Commonwealth.
For instance, he said that Australia and Ghana had been active and have had common positions on the World Trade Organisation negotiations.
Last year, the two countries placed high focus on the UN Security Council where Ghana is currently a member.
“We value our interaction with Ghana and we are seeking enhanced commercial ties dominated by our involvement in the mining sector” he said.
He said that the two countries were also working to diversify and explore opportuinites in solar and renewable energy, water and waste management, and engineering to develop and forge new partnerships.
He pointed out that Australia had been active in a number of areas in Ghana's development particulary education where a number of Ghanaian students went to Australian universities on Australian scholarships.
He said Australia had also been involved in agricultural projects, supporting research into breeding of cattle and livestock rearing in Northern Ghana.
He singled out the visit of Ghana's President John Agyekum Kufuor to Australia in 2002 when he also attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting as a landmark in bilateral ties between the two countries.
“As far as Ghana's anniversary celebrations are concerned, I am representing our government at various events and celebrations”.
He said Australia was organising a cultural night show and was bringing into the country a performing group of aboriginal dancers and a musicians group in June as part of the year long celebrations.
He said that “we are also organising a festival of films later this year and facilitating a donation of large collection of several thousands of books from an Australian University to a Ghanaian University.
Story By Kobby Asmah