Ghana and Germany have had a long standing diplomatic relations particularly in areas of socio-cultural development and other fields of human development that dates back to 1957 when Ghana attained her independence.
Their collaboration has been focused at the multi-lateral level, bilateral level and cooperation with non-governmental organizations such as the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), aimed at promoting development in areas of agriculture, private sector development and good governance.
In recent times, Germany continues to support Ghana through sectors like road infrastructure, health, education, water and reforestation and forestry management. This collaboration continues strongly and the two countries are further seeking greater collaboration for nation building.
It is in this light that KAS organized a symposium dubbed, “Twenty Years of Germany Unification and Fifty Two Years of Ghana's Independence: Lessons for Nation Building”, to share thoughts on the way forward, in Accra on Wednesday.
Speaking at the function, the Resident Representative of KAS, Mr. Klaus Loetzer lamented the attitude of Africans in which they often give lame excuses for non performance, saying, “often when I confront my African counterparts with examples of Germany and Europe, as regards governance and related issues, they reply; but we are in Africa!”
This, he pointed out did not auger well for nation building since any government whether in Europe or Africa in composing members of government for instance had to make the same considerations of regional balance.
He stressed that this also applied at the lower level of forming a government at the federal state government where proportional representation of its regions were equally important, adding, “this does not always allocate the best expertise at the top but it is the price we pay to keep a nation together and it is thus part of nation building”.
According to him, there were parallels between the Northern and Southern political cultures while there may also be differences which are all meant to address the “window dressing exercise” for the electorate.
However, the most important thing was that proportional representation of all regions ought to result in equal distribution of public services and infrastructure through successive governments by doing everything possible to ensure equal standard of living is provided to all citizens, no matter where they live, which tribe they belong to and religious affiliation.
In a speech read on behalf of the Vice President, Mr. John Mahama by the Minister of Communications, Honourable Haruna Iddrisu, he expressed gratitude to the German Government and KAS for focusing attention over the years on a collaborative development agenda that was helping improve the creation of real public value.
He said “indeed, as we promote the concept of participatory decision making process, we aim at accelerating the promotion of change to bring the desired impact to the people.”
His Excellency noted that in recent times, Governments the world over were challenged to promote public trust and confidence to meet the citizenry aspiration and expectation, which had taken a center stage in democratic governance.
For this reason, he said it was important that the two countries discussed topical issues that bother on nation building through inculcation of the tenets of good governance, stressing, “Let us use this platform to discuss collaborative nation building of our two countries Ghana and Germany, to mark the two occasions which relate to self determination and endeavour to handle discussions in the context of public policy changes”.
He observed that in spite of the long standing diplomatic relations between the two countries, there was the need for further collaboration in areas of current topical issues related to the need to contribute towards the macro-economic stabilization, now affecting the globe and their respective countries.
Also, he used the opportunity to commend KAS for their efforts to support Ghana to improve upon her participatory and inclusive decision-making process with the view of ensuring that the practice of good governance would be enhance at all levels of administration and the rule of law.
“KAS in Ghana has been supportive in complementing the socio-political reforms of Ghana as a way of helping Ghana to deepen its institutional arrangements to enhance democracy and the rule of law in the country”, he stressed.