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08.08.2005 General News

Canada to focus attention in five priority areas

GNA

Tamale, Aug. 8, GNA - AiLeen Carrol, the Canadian Minister for International Cooperation has said that with the recent release of Canada's International Policy Statement, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) would now focus attention on: Education, health, the environment, good governance and private sector development. In Ghana these priority areas would be closely linked with the provision of potable water, agriculture and rural development. AiLeen Carroll said this when she paid a courtesy call on the Northern Regional Minister Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface at his office on Monday.

Among the Ministers delegation were Mr Donald Bobiash, the Canadian High Commissioner in Ghana, Dr Keith Marths a member of the Canadian Parliarment and Mr Archie Book, the Director for Development Corporation at the High Commission.

She is in the region to pay a familiarization visit to learn at first hand development problems facing the region and also inspect some on-going CIDA projects.

She said agriculture served as a major component in the growth of the country's private sector, providing over sixty per cent employment to the people of the three Northern Regions.

The Minister said investments in agriculture and water would also support health and education because adequate water supply would help reduce malnutrition while better crop yields would contribute to generate money for the purchase of school supplies and health care expenses.

Madam Carroll said throughout the entire process, the underlying principle of CIDAs programming in Ghana would be the promotion of local ownership, which in turn would be guided by the revised Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Alhaji Boniface commended the Canadian government for its interventions, particularly in the areas of the provision of potable water, sanitation and education.

He said the provision of potable water to the rural communities through its small towns water project had help to the reduction of the guinea-worm disease and thereby increasing productivity on the farms.

He said the Canadian government recently provided about 350 million cedis to support all District Assemblies for educational development.

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