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15.07.2004 General News

France to increase her development assistance

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Accra, July 15, GNA- France is to increase its development assistance to Africa by 50 per cent over the next four years, Mr Jean-Michel Berrit, French Ambassador to Ghana, said on Wednesday. Speaking at a reception to mark the National Day of France, in Accra, he said the increase was to promote peace and stability on the continent.

Mr Berrit commended President John Agyekum Kufuor for his role in the efforts toward peace in Cote d'Ivoire and the West African sub-region, saying, "Since we share the same commitment for peace, we have endeavoured to help African countries to ensure regional security".

The French Ambassador said the recent decision of the African Union for a meeting on Cote d'Ivoire on July 29, in Ghana to reactivate the reconciliation process showed the positive and significant role of Ghana with regards to conflict resolution, in Africa.

Mr Berrit pledged France's commitment to the objectives of the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD).

Mr Kwamena Bartels, Minister for Private Sector Development, commended France for increasing its assistance to Ghana through the French Development Aid Agency (AFD).

"The role of AFD in the implementation of the Ghana Government's Poverty Reduction Strategy and the Multi-Donor Budgetary Support process need special mention," the Minister said.

Mr Bartels stressed the government's determination in ensuring free and fair elections in the December polls and thanked France and other donors for supporting Ghana's electoral process.

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