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21.10.2005 General News

Jamaica wants agreement for Ghanaian nurses renewed

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Accra, Oct. 21, GNA - Jamaica has asked for the renewal of the Ghana-Jamaica Technical Cooperation Agreement in the Health Services sector, which started in 1990.

The technical cooperation agreement, which first saw the dispatching of 23 Ghanaian nurses to Kingston between 1999 and 2003, according to Mr K.D. Knight, Jamaican Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, made a significant impact and "calls for the sustaining of the agreement". Mr Knight indicated that Jamaica was "eager to have this agreement renewed... such cooperation augurs well for strengthened bilateral relations as we confront the challenges of development and social justice".

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday said Mr Knight made the call at the opening of the Second Ghana-Jamaica Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation in Kingston, Jamaica on Thursday. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is leading Ghana's delegation, which include Mr Jake Obestebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City and Professor Dominic Fobih, Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines and officials of the Foreign Ministry. The Joint Commission was rekindled last July when President John Agyekum Kufuor visited Jamaica at the instance of Prime Minister Perceval James Patterson.

Mr Knight said he was happy about further cooperation between Ghana and Jamaica especially in Education, Tourism, Bauxite Mining, Women's Affairs, Health, Sports and Air links.

"It is important to translate these into concrete decisions which will inform our future actions," Mr Knight noted.

"I wish to advise that the success of our discussions will not be judged merely by the quantum of activities earmarked for collaboration, but rather by the sustainability of the projects identified and their ability to generate economic development and employment."

Jamaica has used her role as Chair of the G-77 and China, to bring these developmental challenges to the attention of the G-8 in the areas of trade, finance, and technology, Mr Knight said.

He said the success achieved by developing nations in this respect could be measured in part by the subsequent cancellation of the debt of the 18 most highly indebted poor countries, which included Ghana. Nana Akufo-Addo said the two countries have agreed to have direct air links while strengthening trade links between them.

He said Ghana looked forward to the promotion of tourism and the potential of the Joseph Project; collaboration in the fields of education and health delivery; exchange of initiatives in women's and children's affairs, the development of cultural and sporting exchanges and the generation of greater bilateral trade and investments between the two countries.

Ghana is also deliberating on a draft cultural agreement between Ghana and Jamaica and a bilateral trade agreement.

Nana Akufo-Addo called for greater political consultations over the issues that would arise in the common bodies to which Ghana and Jamaica belonged, notably the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement, ACP, UN and the cooperation between ECOWAS and CARICOM.

He promised Ghana's determination to entrench constitutional democratic rule saying it was a cardinal pillar of good governance. Nana Akufo-Addo said it was important for peoples of African descent to come together to defend and advance their interests to ensure that the African peoples and the African Diaspora gained the places of dignity and respect in the global community that was their due.

"Hence the Joseph Project, which seeks to unite the peoples of African descent in order to make the 21st century the African century. This is for us the significance and importance of the work of the Joint Commission."