Accra, May 13, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Thursday gave the assurance that the governments of Ghana and Zambia had the support and goodwill of their peoples so long as they continued to provide accountable, transparent and caring leadership.
"We owe it a duty therefore, to show through our leadership that we have the courage and singleness of purpose to lead our respective peoples to a peaceful, stable and prosperous future. I pray that both of us will succeed".
President Kufuor gave the assurance when proposing the toast at a State banquet held in honour of the visiting Zambian President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa in Accra.
President Mwanawasa is on a five-day State visit to Ghana. President Kufuor expressed appreciation that both countries adopted the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and had successfully passed the completion point.
He said in Ghana, HIPC relief resources had been very critical in accelerating socio-economic development under the comprehensive Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS).
"We are already witnessing improvement in education and health service delivery for the most vulnerable in our society. Rural electrification, feeder road construction, rural water rehabilitation, improved sanitation and credit for micro enterprises development continue to receive attention", he added.
President Kufuor said the dialogue on the experiences of both countries especially in implementing post-HIPC benefits would be of mutual interest as they deepen the cooperation between their countries.
President Mwanawasa replying to the toast said the visit should be seen as a tribute to Ghana and Ghanaians because the support Ghana offered to Zambia's struggle for independence formed the veritable basis for the establishment of diplomatic relations between them.
"I wish to re-affirm Zambia's unwavering commitment to the further development of these relations", he added.
President Mwanawasa said the economic emancipation on the African continent after the achievement of political liberation could only succeed when Africans were lifted out of the quagmire of poverty and social distress.
He said this had made it imperative for countries such as Ghana and Zambia to develop closer avenues of economic and technical cooperation that would foster their development. 13 May 05
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