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14.04.2004 General News

President Kufuor makes strides in Ghana-India relations.

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Accra, April 14, GNA- The Ghana High Commission in India has stated that the economic diplomacy emphasis of President John Agyekum Kufuor has yielded tremendous benefits to Ghana globally.

The Mission said the foreign travels of President Kufuor as a call to duty to restore Ghana's image abroad and help revamp the economy, have not only refreshed the diplomatic hemisphere, but also begun to yield positive results in the quest for development.

This was contained in a statement issued by the High Commission in New Delhi, India and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Wednesday to bring to the fore the benefits of President Kufuor's visit to that country in August 2002.

The statement said as a result of the visit, a number of agreements were signed, which led to unprecedented results in Indo-Ghana relations, particularly the International Centre for Excellence in Information Technology, which was established with Indian government assistance.

It said India pledged a 42-million dollar financial assistance to Ghana in areas, including rural electrification, tractors, buses for public transportation, and equipment for the Police, Fire service and other security agencies.

The statement said Ghana has also been short-listed to benefit from a special health package, including AIDS medicines and other health-related items.

The total programme for selected African nations is worth over one billion dollars.

The statement said on private sector investment, visits to Ghana by India business groups have more than quadrupled, as top Indian companies are poised to do business with Ghana and that the trade flow had also doubled in the past year.

It said the initiative of President Kufuor yielded an even more dramatic result when India announced the Techno-Economic Approach for Africa-India Movement (TEAM-9) initiative in February this year with Ghana as a member.

TEAM-9 is a team of eight African nations plus India. The select African nations form a nucleus for special cooperation with India. The African countries are Ghana, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali and Senegal, all West African countries.

India has pledged 500 million dollar assistance to the select nations, to be decided upon on individual merits.

The statement said Ghana's selection to be part of the team should be a source of pride to the President whose vision and good leadership, as well as his inspiration to diplomatic missions have made this possible.

It said TEAM-9 co-operation mechanism would operate at government, institutional and private sector levels, sharing various types of expertise, intellectual and physical resources as well as economic opportunities for promoting welfare, growth and prosperity of the people.

It would enable transfer of critical technologies, imply undertaking specific projects in individual TEAM-9 countries, which would have region-wide beneficial impact in the sectors critical for employment and growth such as agriculture, small- scale industries and rural development, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, information technology and telecommunications, transport and energy.

The statement said President Kufuor had given full instructions to the Mission to liaise with Ministries, Institutions and Departments to put forward proposals for Ghana to derive optimum benefit from the development.