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General News | Jul 1, 2004

Kufuor urges concerted efforts to overcome dev't challenges

GNA

Accra, July 1, GNA- President John Agyekum Kufuor on Thursday stressed the need for a concerted approach among African countries to overcome the challenges of nation-building and socio-economic development in the face of inaccessible international markets.

He said however, that the African Union (AU) was spearheading this new approach through initiatives like the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), to be implemented through sub-regional groupings such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the South African Development Commission (SADC).

President Kufuor made the call at a State Banquet in honour of the visiting Prime Minister and Head of Government of the Island of Mauritius, Sir Anerood Jugnauth and former Nigerian President, General Ibrahim Babangida, at the State House in Accra.

It was also to commemorate the 44th anniversary celebration of Ghana's Republican status and to honour Senior Citizens in the country in acknowledgement of their various roles in the service of the nation over the years at the family, community and national levels.

President Kufuor said the need for such harmonized effort had become even more urgent in the increasingly challenging globalised world, adding, "It is in this regard that we cherish and are particularly pleased with the very close level of relations that Ghana and Mauritius are developing."

He said Ghana was impressed by the socio-economic achievements of Mauritius and was endeavouring to tread the same path and in pursuit of this, the Government had initiated policies aimed at agricultural diversification, promotion of manufacturing and industrialization. President Kufuor said the Government was paying particular attention to agro-processing, textile development under the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) Initiative and the promotion of tourism. In addition, he said the Government had commenced a programme to develop Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to enable the country to gain fuller access to the benefits of globalisation.

President Kufuor said Ghana was taking a leaf from Mauritius and was working hard to launch a successful system of offshore banking, an area in which Mauritius had some experience.

"In the meantime, Government's policies are yielding positive results and Ghana is now attracting partners from different parts of the world to invest into her priority areas" he added.

Sir Anerood said the visit by President Kufuor to Mauritius in May last year; bore much testimony to his commitment to boost the already cordial relationship between the two countries.

He said both countries shared the common vision in the respect for the rule of law and good governance.

Sir Anerood pledged the support of Mauritius in the establishment of institutions on the African continent that would enhance effective and efficient governance such as the African Parliament and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

He announced that Mauritius would host the African Court of Justice to build the future of the African Union (AU).

Sir Anerood stressed the need for all regional groupings on the continent to share ideas and relate to each other in order that the unity among the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries was not undermined.

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