13.08.2004 Regional News

British High Commissioner in Upper East Region

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Bolgatanga, Aug. 13, GNA - Mr Gordon Wetherell, the British High Commissioner in Ghana, has said one of the best developments in Ghana in recent times has been the consolidation of the democracy and the promotion of good governance in the country.

He also praised the District Assembly Concept and the effective collaboration between traditional rulers and government officials in the national development effort.

"The Ghanaian situation is a success and Britain is happy to be of assistance", he said.

Mr Wetherell was speaking in Bolgatanga on Thursday during a courtesy call on the Regional Minister, Mr Mahami Salifu at the start of a three-day official tour of the Upper East Region.

He said relations between Britain and Ghana had reached high level, with Ghana ranking high among Britain's key development partners in Africa.

Mr Wetherell mentioned education, health, agriculture, good governance, culture and military co-operation as some of the areas of support the British Government has extended to Ghana and that British assistance to Ghana would continue to be guided by the priorities of the Ghana Government.

On the special Commission for Africa launched in May this year, by British Prime Minister Mr Tony Blair, the High Commissioner said it was meant to initiate a new action towards the achievement of a more prosperous Africa.

"The Commission, however, is not coming to overturn what was already on the ground but seeks to give additional momentum to existing structures such as the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and the African Union (AU)."

Mr Salifu appealed for increased assistance in the areas of agriculture, health, education and the strengthening of local government institutions in the Region.

Mr Wetherell also paid a courtesy call on the Paramount Chief of the Bolgatanga Traditional Area, Martin Abilba III and moved to Tongo, Capital town of the newly created Talensi-Nabdam District, where he called on the Paramount Chief of the area, Tongo-Rana Kwadan Tii and inspected some of the infrastructures being developed for the inauguration of the new District.

En-route to Bawku, the High Commissioner made a stop at Zebilla in the Bawku West District, where he interacted with the District Chief Executive, Mr Moses Abare Appiah, the Presiding Member, Mr Roy Ayariga and some staff of the Assembly.

At Bawku, Mr Wetherell attended a welcome durbar organized in his honour by the DCE, Mr Abdul-Rahman Gumah and Madam Hawa Yakubu, Member of Parliament for Bawku Central. He paid a courtesy call on the Bawku Naba, Asigri Abugrago Azoka II.

Naba Azoka appealed to the High Commissioner to assist with the development of the Tamne Irrigation Project near Garu, saying it would improve the living standards of his people and stem the drift of young people from the area.

The High Commissioner also visited Garu, capital town of the newly created Garu-Tempane District and interacted with the chiefs and people of the area.

Requests made by the chief of Tempane, Naba Akolwine 111, included office and educational infrastructure for the District, roads, clinics, markets, dams and micro-financing for income-generating activities. Mr Wetherell gave the assurance that he would take a good look at the requests and concerns raised by the people when he got back to Accra and see how best the Mission could be of assistance.

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