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01.12.2005 General News

United States Embassy is a friend of all - Ambassador

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Tamale, Dec. 1, GNA - Mrs Pamela Bridgewater, United States Ambassador in Ghana, said on Wednesday in Tamale that U.S. Embassy is a friend to all, ready to support, especially in the areas of education and health.

She said the best tool for self-reliance, self-esteem and development was education.

Mrs Bridgewater was speaking at the inauguration of a 50 million cedi block of three classrooms and an office constructed for the Nasiriya Islamic Primary in the Tamale Metropolis.

She urged the people to see the school as an important project for ensuring the effective and secure education of their children. The U.S. Embassy contributed 27 million cedis towards the project under its Ambassador's Special Self-Help Fund, while the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly provided 8 million cedis and the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) 15 million cedis to the complete the project. Mrs Bridgewater commended the PTA for working hard to complete the project and urged them to maintain the school for more children to have access to basic education.

Hajia Rahinatu Dramani-Gariba, Headmistress of the school appealed for more assistance to construct the remaining block of five classrooms for both the primary and nursery to enrol more children in the community.

She also appealed to the government to include the school on the list of the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) Feeding Programme to help retain children in the school. Mrs Bridgewater also inaugurated a 31 million cedi agro-processing plant at Gurugu for the Tiehisuma Women's Group in the Tamale Metropolis.

The women would use the facility to process sheanuts into butter to enhance their income levels.

Mrs Bridgewater assured the women that the Embassy would help find partners in the U.S. who would want to come and buy their produce. She urged the group to use the equipment to add value to themselves and their products to attract consumers from other countries. Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, Northern Regional Minister said the project would serve as a lasting testimony of mutual understanding, trust, cooperation and friendship that already existed between Ghana and the United States of America.

He said the government would not relent in its efforts to create the enabling environment that would accelerate the reduction of poverty and improve the over all living standards of the people.

"The availability of such initiations would certainly facilitate and accelerate government's efforts at reducing female migration and the "Kayayei" menace", he said.

Alhaji Boniface appealed to the women to work hard not only to maintain the facilities but also to create the capability to provide such facilities on their own.

"While we appreciate the kind gesture from our friendly people and governments, we as a people must realise that we cannot continue to live on the charity of other people forever", he advised.

Alhaji Boniface called for peace and unity among the people to allow investors to come in and assist in the development of the region The Chief of Gurugu, Na Ibrahin Moro, commended the U.S. government and the Embassy for supporting the project.

He said unemployment among the youth and poverty were endemic in the community and called for support to improve the living conditions of the people.

Na Moro said education in the community was also low and appealed for assistance from the U.S. Embassy to establish a community library for the youth.

He urged the U.S. Embassy to adopt the Gurugu community, saying: "We love America and her people".

Mrs Fati Paul, a retired educationist who chaired the forum, appealed to women to talk about peace to their children and husbands to bring absolute peace to Dagbon in particular and the Region as a whole.

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