Accra, April 13, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Tuesday said Brazil's goodwill for Africa must be converted into practical applications in the spirit of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and South-South Cooperation.
He said this would help Africa secure a place in the global mainstream in terms of trade, economic and socio-cultural development. "This must be the legacy Brazil under the leadership of President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva should achieve for much of the developing countries including Ghana", he added.
President Kufuor made the call when he proposed the toast at a State Banquet held in honour of President da Silva in Accra. President da Silva is on a two-day visit to Ghana as part of his five-nation West African tour.
He said the Zone of Peace and Cooperation in the South Atlantic formed by countries along the coast of West Africa and South America should continue to serve as a platform for their collective endeavours at strengthening and deepening their cooperation at the bilateral, sub-regional and continental levels. President Kufuor announced that Ghana would host the next session of the reactivated Ghana-Brazil Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation, the second session was held in Brasilia, Brazil in August 2004.
"We must also intensify the links between the private sectors of both countries. This is how we can promote South-South economic engagement, which is central to our abilit y to secure a respectable corner of the global market," he added. On Ghana, President Kufuor said after a long spell of deep political and economic crisis, the nation was fast re-awakening and strongly putting its act together to establish a very firm foundation for economic growth and accelerated national development.
President da Silva replying to the toast said Ghana now served as a model for political democracy in Africa and the relevant role it had played in conflict resolutions that still affected the Continent.
He said both countries had a lot to do through their Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation towards a more diversified cooperation in health, energy resources, agricultural, economic and education sectors through exchange programmes and award of scholarships.
President da Silva called on Ghanaian entrepreneurs to endeavour to improve on the imbalance in trade between both countries because there were more investment opportunities in Brazil for Ghanaian investors. He said with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on bilateral air service agreement between both countries diplomatic relations between both countries had been enhanced.
President da Silva stressed the need for developing countries to break the barrier and challenges affecting them in the era of globalisation in the area of hunger and poverty, adding: "We need to change the trend and with determination our efforts will be rewarded because they are the obstacles to the building of a justifiable society."
He said the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) should be the priority of the international community because the world could not tolerate a situation where much wealth was created but diseases continued to afflict some countries in the world although the diseases could be reduced through the provision of better nutritious food and good sanitary conditions.