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Ghana, Germany Deepen Economic Ties

By Daily Guide

Ghana and Germany are set to expand their economic relationship, as some German investors who were in Ghana last week for a two-day conference have decided to invest heavily in the country.

Numbering about 20, the trade mission of the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, which was in Ghana to explore joint venture opportunities between Ghanaian and North Rhine-Westphalia small and medium scale enterprise (SMEs) in the infrastructure sector, have pledged to support local entities to grow.

One of such is the $80 million cellular network expansion support to Millicom Ghana Limited, operators of Tigo, from the German Investment Development Corporation (DEG).

The long-term off-shore funding will see DEG making available $27 million out of the $80 million in addition to $60 million that Millicom is to raise from local banks.

Dr Winfried Mengelkamp, an official of the German Ministry for Generations, Family, Women and Integration, announced the deal at the end of a two-day conference, jointly organized by the Ghanaian-German Economic Association (GGEA) and trade mission of the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

He said the partnership would not be limited to telecommunications alone but would also include tourism, agriculture and food processing.

As a first step to implementing the partnership, Dr Mengelkamp said the agreement would include the introduction of vocational training modules to complement those of selected Ghanaian companies in the fields of civil construction, road construction, renewable energies, metal works and carpentry.

He noted that the booming Ghanaian economy needed the know-how and highly qualified personnel, thus the initiative would lift the standards of non-academic but practical job education.

While North Rhine-Westphalia constitutes 25 per cent of German industry, it is also considered as the industrial hub of Europe as it consists of industrial cities such as Dortmund, Essen, Bochum, Köln, Duisburg and Düsseldorf. It also contributes about 22 per cent of Germany's gross domestic product (GDP).

Coal, mining, and steelmaking factories are located in the North Rhine - Westphalia.

Others such as textiles, chemicals, and machinery industries are also situated in the region.

By Charles Nixon Yeboah