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03.06.2005 General News

Africa has moved into era of partnerships - Kufuor


Accra, June 3, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Friday said Africa had moved into an era of friendships and partnerships. He said the partnerships were not only with know-how and capital transfer but also with a humane conscience to show that "we are all human with resources and appreciate that Africa is a Continent of people that must be respected in a win-win situation".

President Kufuor made the observation when the visiting Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Alsaud paid a courtesy call on him at the Castle, Osu.

He said the African Union (AU), with the establishment of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), had re-awakened African countries and their peoples from stagnation that had affected the Continent's socio-economic and political development.

President Kufuor said the partnerships envisaged under NEPAD were for Africans to see themselves as partners in development but Africa could not live in isolation and needed to extend partnerships to other parts of the world towards globalisation.

"You are the partner we have and Ghana is lucky to have you to move into business to restore the Ambassador Hotel to its past glory. You are not only just a friend of Ghana but a corporate citizen in Ghana and you bring your stature as a Prince to put Ghana where it should be placed in the great names of nations. Ghana is winning and will win with you." Prince Alwaleed expressed appreciation for the signing of the agreement to rehabilitate the Ambassador Hotel in Accra.

He expressed his willingness to execute more development projects in Ghana apart from the health and education sectors.

"We have full trust in your leadership based on African standards with peace and stability that has been acknowledged internationally. I hope our bonds of friendship would be strengthened and made solid with time."

President Kufuor later witnessed the signing of an agreement between Ghana and Prince Alwaleed, Chairman of the Saudi-based Kingdom Holding Company, for the rehabilitation of the Ambassador Hotel. Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City signed on behalf of Ghana, while Prince Alwaleed signed for the Company.

Briefing newsmen, Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said the first phase of the project that would raise the status to a five star hotel with all facilities was expected to cost about 30 million dollars.

The second phase was expected to cost about 50 million dollars. Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said with the signing of the agreement work on the ground testing that had begun would continue to be followed by international competition for the design and tender for the contract and actual work to begin.

He said it was being envisaged that the project would be completed for the Golden Jubilee celebration of Ghana's Independence and the hosting of the African Union (AU) Summit both in 2007.