13.07.2005 General News

Germany lauds Ghana's gains

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Tamale, July 13, GNA - Germany is maintaining an intense level of cooperation with Ghana because of the gains she is making in five priority areas that are lauded by the German Development Cooperation.

Mr Peter Linder, the German Ambassador in Ghana, said: "We can see in our host country the respect for human rights, we see popular participation in political decision making particularly when we remember the elections in 2000 and 2004". He said this at the official opening of the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the inauguration of an office project known as the Marketing Oriented Agricultural Programme (MOAP) in Tamale on Monday.

The GTZ, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOFA) and the German Development Service (DED) are jointly implementing the programme that is aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and reducing post harvest losses. Mr Linder said there is progress in the respect for the rule of law and urged the government to put in measures to achieve a stable legal framework. " Many cases are still pending, especially poor people are still being denied justice because they have no access to law". He said the German Embassy was still confident that these issues were being tackled and expressed the hope that there would be progress in the near future.

Mr Linder commended the President for launching the Private Sector Development Strategy and the Trade Strategy last year but said the programmes lacked the implementation work. The German Ambassador expressed optimism that the re-formulation of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) II, which would be presented later this year, would show the commitment and the perseverance of the government in pursuing its goals. He said Ghana had made considerable progress in reducing poverty, improving education and health, which is key to achieving the millennium development goals, but maintained that growth and wealth has not transpired to all regions in Ghana.

"The northern regions still have a long way to go in order to reach the same relative affluence as in other parts of the country", he said. Mr Linder said Ghana and Germany are working together in many well-defined programmes and that his government is committing about 25 million Euros annually for development programmes and projects in the country. Alhaji Saddique Boniface, the Northern Regional Minister, commended the German government for her immense assistance to the region since the start of the German-Ghana cooperation. He said he was hopeful that the efforts of the GTZ, DED and MOFA would lead to the growth of commodities such as mango, chili pepper and communal fish farming. Alhaji Boniface said the conflict and insecurity, which hitherto engulfed the region, was no more and assured the German government maximum security of their investments. The Minister appealed to people in the region to eschew violence and conflict since they shun away investors from coming to invest in the area.

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