Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Monday called for increased collaboration between development partners and Africa to take advantage of the world economic crunch and redirect trade to the benefit of developing economies.
He said Africa could not continue with its marginal share of two per cent of world trade, but could become the next centre of world trade if resources would be channelled to create trade and investment opportunities.
The Vice President made the call when Mr. Fabrizio de Agostini, the Italian Ambassador in Ghana, paid a courtesy call on him at the Castle, Osu, at which the Ambassador congratulated Mr Mahama on his new role as the Vice President of Ghana.
Mr. Mahama commended assistance from Italy in the development of the Akosombo Dam, and gave an assurance that government would deepen the bilateral relations between the two countries for mutual benefit.
He called for increased investment in Africa, and made a request to Italy to increase its assistance to Ghana by way of technology transfer for development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Vice President Mahama said there was the need to assist Ghana with technology to create food security and become a net exporter of food.
The Vice President welcomed collaboration with the developed world and opened discussions on increasing bilateral relations with Italy. He also appealed for Italian help for equipment and technology for agro processing.
He reiterated government's determination to modernise agriculture and appealed for the transfer of technology in the form of small equipment for agro-processing, especially of tomato, which is sufficiently grown locally.
On the death of six Ghanaians who were shot in Napoli in September last year, the Vice President expressed concern about the incident and said the two nations should be able to work out a situation to satisfy the families
of the deceased.
Mr de Agostini said Africa was becoming more important to Italy and expressed confidence in the growth of relations between Ghana and Italy.
He said Italy would tackle Phase Two of its assistance to SMEs.