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24.02.2009 General News

Canadian High Commissioner pledges support for Ghana


The Canadian High Commissioner, Darren Schemmer, on Tuesday reaffirm the existing diplomatic relations between Ghana and Canada and pledged his country's further support in the area of bilateral investment.

Mr. Darren Schemmer recalled that Ghana was the first African country to receive aid from Canada and is currently the fifth largest development partner in the world, adding, the Canadian International Development Agency's (CIDA) bilateral assistance to Ghana focused on three sectors, namely food security and agriculture; governance; water and sanitation.

Mr. Schemmer said this when he paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Land and Natural Resources, Alhaji Collins Dauda in Accra. The call was to seek government's decision on AMI Resource Incorporation, a Canadian Mining Company's concession around the lake Bosomtwe in the Ashanti Region.

He said discussions were on-going with the former administration and it was appropriate to let the new administration be aware of where they had reached and get assurance from them (government). He said Canadian businesses had invested over one billion dollars in Ghana, mostly in the mining sector and the Canadian trade with Ghana had grown rapidly and was now their second largest market in Sub-Saharan Africa.

"Freedom, stability and rule of law have made Ghana an attractive home base for Canadian companies serving all of West Africa," he added.

Alhaji Dauda said Canada and Ghana were very active members of the Commonwealth community and was grateful for its support through the CIDA development assistance, especially in the three Northern regions. He said Ghana had benefited a lot from Canada's support in the field of governance, trade, education and training.

"Ghana is faced with the challenge of maximising the mining sector in terms of adding value to the mineral to benefit all and we will be glad if Canada can assist in that direction," he added. Touching on the issue of AMI Resources Incorporation, Alhaji Dauda said he needed some time to study the documents before making a decision.

"As you can see, I am new here and I do not know anything about the agreement reached with the former Minister and I can only comment when I look at the documents and have a briefing from the Chief Director and other stakeholders," he said. He said what he proposed was to bring the Minerals' Commission and other interested parties together to study the documents before coming out on a decision and pledged that the outcome would be transparent and fair to all involved.

CIDA provides an average of 15 million dollars annually to Ghana through multilateral and international institutions and supports the work of approximately 62 Canadian non-profit organisations, associations and colleges and universities, as well as 33 private sector organisations. 24 Feb. 09