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02.06.2005 General News

Canada to assist Ghana with 480 billion cedis annually

By GNA

Accra, June 2, GNA- Vice President Aliu Mahama on Thursday lauded Canada for pledging 480 billion cedis to aid Ghana's development efforts annually, from this year.

The Vice President expressed the appreciation when he received the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Donald Boblash at the Castle Osu.

Ghana has became a beneficiary as one of 25 countries selected by the well-endowed country for priority attention in support of their determination to progress by maintaining peace, stability, democracy and good governance practices.

Vice President Aliu Mahama said the resources would be judiciously utilized to improve the quality of life of all Ghanaians. Ghana, he said, was content with its excellent relations with Canada, which wrote off the country's debt off 4.2 million Canadian dollars upon reaching the HIPC completion point.

"The assistance towards the provision of potable water, quality education, our electoral process and good governance programmes are worthy," he stressed.

"I recall the joy and gratitude of the people of Bolgatanga when in 1975 the Canadian International Development Assistance (CIDA) made it possible for them to enjoy potable water and the impact it made on their lives."

About 1.3 million people have access to potable water because of Canadian assistance.

Mr Boblash said Canada had initiated a programme to directly assist district assemblies to fund some of their development projects. About 15 million Canadian dollars has been budgeted this year for 34 districts, particularly in Northern Ghana to select their own projects for funding.

Mr Boblash said he was excited that his country had increased its assistance to Ghana by more than 400 per cent over the past four years, and expressed the hope that his duty tour would see bilateral relations further flourishing.

The High Commissioner, who first visited Ghana as part of his project thesis in 1985 as Graduate Student of the Oxford University, United Kingdom, said he was impressed with the progress over the years across the country.

"There are better roads, better infrastructure etc wherever I've been," he noted.

Mr Boblash assumed duty as a High Commissioner in August last year.

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