Mr Noam Katz, Ambassador of the State of Israel to Ghana has said that the celebration of Ghana at 50 should not be for the people of Ghana alone, but rather for every person in Africa, and indeed in the entire world.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic exclusively on the epoch making event, Ambassador Katz who is also accredited to Nigeria said that Ghana's independence 50 years ago marked the beginning of the end to colonialism in Africa and of the emergence of a new world order, in which all people were eligible for self rule and political choice.
In a special message, he said that “the Black Star, which proudly shines at the heart of the Ghanaian flag, contains the entire history of modern Africa, with its unique moral lesson to humanity.
Much like Israel's star — the Star of David — it symbolises liberty, freedom and hope for a better future to mankind”.
He said that Ghana was the first African decolonised country to establish diplomatic relations with the State of Israel in the late 1950s.
“This was of special significance, as the two young countries shared a common heritage of achieving independence after many years of foreign rule” he said.
Furthermore he said that the relations between Israel and Ghana were also symbolic to the even deeper bond between the two nations, which reflects the spiritual and emotional connection of many Ghanaians to the history of the ancient people of Israel, as told in the Holy Scriptures.
He said that Israel considered Ghana as a key country and a mobilising strong force in Africa, and in particular in the West African region.
There was a significant and important Ghanaian contribution to progress, stability and democracy in the continent, as exemplified in Ghana's role in the sub-regional and regional organisations — ECOWAS and the African Union (AU), he said.
He said that the entire world has been following with admiration and appreciation in the political developments in Ghana, which have placed the democratic process as an example to all other countries in Africa.
“The success of your country to achieve political stability and walk into a path of progress, development and economic growth, sets the example for other African countries and would be of immense benefit to the future of the continent” he said.
In recent years, Ghana has also been playing an exceptionally important role in Global politics — as a member of various leading international bodies, such as the United Nation's Security Council, as a major supplier of forces to Peace-Keeping missions around the world, including the Middle East and “of course as the mother-country of many International Leaders, the most well-known of them being former UN Secretary General, Kofi Anann”.
He said that this international position goes with it a lot of responsibility.
“Ghana must work together with other world powers to ensure, that those international bodies will play a constructive roll towards the goals of achieving global peace, security, progress and wealth” Ambassador Katz said.
He called on the international community to join hands to face the greatest challenges of the 21st Century — the alleviation of extreme poverty, combating disease, fighting global terrorism and achieving sustainable development and economic progress.
He said that in the past 50 years, Israel has been cooperating with Ghana in technical assistance, technology transfer and human capacity building, mainly through the Israeli Centre for International Cooperation, known as MASHAV.
He said that the Israeli Government has expressed its confidence in Ghana's fast growing economy and its determination to work together with Ghanaian authorities and private sector to promote the bilateral economic and commercial relations, for the mutual benefit of both nations.
At the age of 50, he said that Ghana was no more a young state, but rather a country that has managed to overcome times of crisis, and has grown stronger and more mature.
The lessons of the nation's history in the past 50 years, should serve as a guidebook for Ghana's continuous journey in years ahead.
By doing so, the next 50 years will undoubtedly be marked by prosperity and progress to Ghana, its people and to the entire region. Israel, on its part, will continue to be Ghana 's friend and will support it as it moves through the path towards progress and development.
On behalf of the Government and People of Israel, I congratulate Ghana on its 50th anniversary and wish it all the best, Ambassador Katz stated.
Story by Kobby Asmah