|UK Envoy Confident Of Democratic Gains|
|Monday, 25 June 2012 15:30|
The British High Commissioner in Accra, Mr. Peter Jones, has expressed confidence that Ghana will continue to add to its reputation as a model of democratic practice in the region.He said that in recent years, Ghana had been leading the way in the region as a model of best democratic practice. He was proposing a toast to commemorate the official birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in Accra, last Thursday.
Mr. Jones said that this year was special for Ghana as the global community looked forward to elections at the end of the year.
He said the relationship between Ghana and the United Kingdom, founded on a shared history, was deep and strong. "We estimate that there are around 700,000 people in the Ghanaian diaspora in Britain, and there are around 10,000 British citizens here in Ghana, ‘’Mr. Jones disclosed.
He said that each community made a massive contribution to the other and that the relationship for many people was literally one of family, an enduring friendship which would serve both countries very well in the years ahead. He also said that government-to-government link between the UK and Ghana was also close.
"We are cooperating in a wide range of diplomatic areas. In defence we have just enjoyed two highly successful ship visits by HMS Dauntless, one of the most advanced naval vessels in the world, and RFA Gold Rover. Trade is booming: rising by over 30 per cent in 2011 with a total bilateral trade flow in goods of around €750m last year.
British companies are significant contributors to the health of the Ghanaian economy in a range of sectors from oil and gas to banking to telecommunication to agricultural products and beyond.’’
He said the UK’s development commitment to Ghana also remained strong.Despite financial challenges at home, he said that the UK had remained committed to doing her part to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), recognizing not only the moral compulsion on all of us to eradicate the poverty and deprivation that characterizes the lives of many millions of people.
He said it was also in the interest of the UK that Ghana was able to continue to build on its development successes and ensure that all citizens could benefit from the growing prosperity.
Additionally, he said increasing UK’S development assistance programme in Ghana was focused for example on ensuring that all children could get a good education on tackling malaria- the type of assistance that you might expect us to provide.
The UK, he said was also helping to address inequality between the opportunities for men and boys on the one hand, and women and girls on the other, and between the north and south of Ghana.
It is assisting in perhaps less obvious areas like helping the private sector to grow and create jobs, and in strengthening the accountability and transparency that provide the essential foundation of sustained growth and prosperity. The British Council, Mr. Jones pointed out, was another important feature of the Ghanaian landscape.
He said that the council continued to provide unrivalled educational opportunities and exchanges for young people and professionals in Ghana and the UK.
He said this year was special for the people of UK because ‘’we are marking Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee: 60 years since her accession to the throne in 1952.’’
We in the United Kingdom are proud of our heritage, and also proud to be one of the most innovative, creative, vibrant and diverse countries in the modern world. The Jubilee celebrations reflect both aspects of our identity.
Tonight we join other in celebrating all that Her Majesty has contributed in 60 years during which much in Britain and around the world has changed. We salute Her Majesty’s year of duty and dedication to the people of the United Kingdom and to the global community.
He said 2012 was special for another reason, because London was the host city for this year’s Olympic and Paralympics Games. We are delighted to be inviting the world to London and to the United Kingdom in this jubilee year.
Mr. Mike Hammah, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, who led a government delegation to the function, said Ghana was very much committed to deepening bilateral ties with the UK.
He expressed appreciation for all the assistance Ghana had received from the UK over the years. In attendance were former President J.J Rawlings, Ministers of state, Members of Parliament, the diplomatic corps, traditional rulers, among other.
Source: Daily Graphic