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16.04.2007 General News

Gov't seeks $25m to strengthen Parliament

By myjoyonline

A 25 million-dollar loan is being arranged by the government from various sources to restructure the Parliamentary Service to enable it to play a more effective role in the country's democratic desperation.

With the money, the Service would be able to employ research assistants and other officers for the Parliamentarians to make more meaningful contributions to debate on the floor of the House.

President J.A. Kufuor announced this on Saturday when he received at the Castle, a delegation of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly of the African Caribbean and Pacific/European Union (ACP/EU) led by Mr Glenys Kinnockd and Mr Reme Redembino, Co-Presidents of the Joint Assembly.

He did not give details of the loan but indicated that it was part of the government's programme to deepen democratic rule in the country.

He said in order that Parliament will effectively enact laws and put government on its toes, there was the need for it to be adequately resourced.

President Kufuor referred to the joint assembly as a pacesetter in a world that should move ahead on the common values of respect for humanity and commitment to the improvement of others.

“You are advocates trying to achieve evenness in the world and that is how the world should be without any discrimination", he said.

Commenting on the economic partnership agreements between the developed and developing countries, the President said they could only be relevant when there was universal acceptability of the principles underlying it.

He said it was not proper to have a partnership between two bodies, one of which is better than the other.

President Kufuor said partnership should seek to bring up the "handicapped" to some level, if not at par with the other, on the basis of common humanity, adding that "we don't want to be beggars in partnership".

He urged developed nations to help African countries to build their muscles to effectively compete on the world market.

"If this is not accepted, then it will be a mockery and that will not be a partnership," he stated, adding "we should accept that the agreement should be forged on equality".

Explaining the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), President Kufuor said "Africa of today is determined to lift itself up but needs the support of the developed world."

Under the programme, he said Africa is seeking the support of the rest of the world to add value to its numerous natural endowments.

He said that although colonialism had dealt a great blow to Africa and its people, the continent was gradually getting out of it, especially with the resolution of almost all conflicts.

Earlier, Mrs Kumock expressed the hope that President Kufuor, as chairman of the African Union (AU), will help to achieve the ideals of Pan-Africanism.

She said they were on a three-nation tour of Ghana, Senegal and Cote d'Ivoire to find out how the partnership could be of help in building the capacities of the Parliaments of the countries.

She commended the government and people of Ghana for consolidating democracy in the country.

Culled from The Ghanaian Times

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