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12.08.2004 General News

Kufuor calls for African Institutions to develop talents

By GNA

Accra, Aug. 12, GNA- President John Agyekum Kufuor on Thursday called for partnerships between African Institutions to recover numerous human resources and talents that abound on the Continent for development.

He said when such resources and talents were recovered they could be used to add value to the natural resources on the Continent for the benefit of Africans and humanity.

President Kufuor made the call when Professor J. A. Hans van Ginkel, Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and Rector of the United Nations University (UNU) paid a courtesy call on him at the Castle, Osu.

He said for effective partnership between Scientists in Africa and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) to achieve its vision of Africa's socio-economic development, research should be the key to plan on the effective utilisation of natural resources.

President Kufuor said the offer by the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) at the University of Ghana, Legon, to contribute and co-operate with NEPAD to develop the Continent, was an ideal issue that should be accepted by African leaders and the African Union (AU).

However, he said such an offer should be communicated formally to the African leaders by the UNU-INRA to get them on board to unearth talents from Africans outside the Continent to contribute to NEPAD's success.

President Kufuor expressed appreciation to the Directors of the UNU-INRA for the confidence they have in the Government, adding, " our ambition as leaders in Ghana is for the country to become the nerve-centre of development at least within the West African Sub-region".

Professor Ginkel who is on a six-day visit to Ghana, said the vision of the UNU-INRA was to ensure that it was made the Centre of Excellence for NEPAD by coordinating its activities and programmes from the various African Countries.

He said the University had a five-year Strategic Plan to develop operational units in different countries towards development integration on the Continent.

Professor Mohammed H.A. Hassan, Chairman of the Board of UNU-INRA said the objective of the Strategic Plan was to elevate the status of the University to a true Pan-African Institution.

He said African Scientists in Africa and the Diaspora would be mobilised to discuss specific strategic and development issues. Professor Hassan said UNU-INRA could train new scientists to utilise the various operation units that would be carefully selected and established with the commitment of the various governments.

Professor Uzo Mokwunye, Director of the UNU-INRA said a meeting of the Board was being organised to review natural resources in Africa and use scientists to build the needed manpower for the benefit of the people.

He said the UNU-INRA was also in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to establish a New Hunger Task Force to assist farmers to produce food crops consistently to ensure food security on the Continent.

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