Ghana day held in the Netherlands

By John MacNally-Boateng (Radio Recogin, Amsterdam)

The city of Almere in the Netherlands hosted the 2nd Ghana Day on the 15th November, 2006.

The one Day working conference was organized by the Dutch Foreign Ministry and the Dutch Embassy in Accra. The Ghana Day was aimed at building network and links between the Ghanaian Associations in the Netherlands and the Dutch NGO's. In her opening address , Mrs. Anne Maria Joristma , the Mayor of Almere said in the last 10 years Almere has established a city link relationship with Kumasi. She said in 2001 the City of Almere decided to strengthen the collaboration with the city of kumasi on Municipal Level , in which the Municipal Council of Kumasi proposed the establishment of the following projects, Waste management, Urban planning and Architecture, promotion of Democracy, Empowerment of women and Cultural exchanges. She said the City of Almere has been collaborating intensively with Almere based Foundation, Samen Werk and the Association of Netherlands Municipalities , VNG to achieve this goals. The new Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, Her Excellency , Mrs. Lidi Remmelzwaal said the primary role of the Dutch embassy is to promote Trade and Culture. She said the Dutch Government's Policy is geared towards the development of Ghana. She added that the Dutch government is involved in various development programmes including ,the alleviation of poverty programme, supporting the National budget, developing the private sector, providing social services, strengthen the civic society and supporting the young democracy of Ghana.

In a speech read on behalf of the Ghana Ambassador, Mr. Bernard Amoh a counselor at the Ghana embassy said Ghana is a developing country faced with several Challenges, therefore Ghanaians living in the Diaspora have a significant role to play in the national development programme. He said Ghana and The Netherlands relationship spans a very long time. He acknowledged that there is a loose relationship between the Dutch NGO's and the Ghanaian Associations in the Netherlands and urged delegates attending the conference to interact to enable them build a working relation. The vice-chairperson of the Interim Advisory Council of Ghanaian Associations in the Netherlands, Ms Doris Vidda also acknowledged that the Dutch has played very important role in the development of Ghana.

Mr. Charles Zwennes the Director of Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Culture(GHAECC) said there are many investment opportunities in Ghana and the GHAECC is there to assist prospective investors to establish their ventures. The delegates had the opportunity to participate in a Thematical workshop that dealt with the co-operation between Big and small NGO's Religion and Development, Investment opportunities in Ghana, Youth Exchange programmes, the role of women in Development and the School feeding programme initiative. Special attraction of this year's Ghana Day was the focus on the Regional platform which identified and discussed various developmental initiative in all the 10 Regions in Ghana. The platform also created fruitful interaction between the Dutch NGO's and the various project in Ghana.

The chairman of the conference Mr. Isaac Acheampong who is also the Chairman of the Interim Advisory Council of Ghanaian associations in the Netherlands expressed his gratitude to l the Foreign Ministry, the Dutch Embassy in Accra and the Ghanaians who attended the 2nd Ghana Day.

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