The Tamale–Bordeaux Friendship and Co-operation has gained another level of momentum with a visit by a high powered 34-member French delegation led by Mr. Pierre Goguet, President of Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Bordeaux, the world’s major wine industry capital is a strategic and significant business centre in France, famous for its wine, tourism and its regeneration into a smart and sustainable city.
Other leading members of the delegation are Mr Pierre de Gaëtan Njikam Mouliom, the Deputy Mayor of Bordeaux and Mr Bernard Lauret, the Mayor of Saint Émilion. In addition the two are local government leaders from the Bordeaux Municipal Council, investors and academics.
The partnership seeks to complement Ghana government’s efforts to transform Tamale, the Northern Regional Capital into a beautiful city for their mutual benefit.
The five-day visit, which is in response to an invitation by President John Dramani Mahama, during his visit to France in October, 2015, would pave the way for increased French investment and cooperation in Ghana.
The delegation’s scheduled meetings with the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) Authorities and President Mahama in Tamale was shifted to Accra, due to the bad harmattan weather conditions, which prevented local flights from flying from Accra to Tamale.
Mr. Abdul-Rahman Abdul-Hanan Gundado, Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive, in his address to formally welcome the French delegation to Ghana, said as part of efforts to create congenial atmosphere for businesses, the TMA has acquired a 42-acre land, which would serve as a free zone for business establishments.
He said the Tamale International Airport would become operational by September, and this would open up the northern sector to international investors and also lessen the number of flight hours to get to Ghana and vice versa.
He said due to the importance of education, 70 per cent of the assembly’s 2016 budget is dedicated to educational infrastructural improvement.
Mr. Gundado identified promoting women in vegetable farming as one of the key areas in reducing poverty among the people and also making Ghana self-sufficient in vegetable production.
He was full of praise for the USAID playing a pivotal role in promoting women in agriculture, since they dominate the informal sector.
Mr. Goguet called for the strengthening of trade and economic ties between the two countries; he, however, expressed their disappointment in not being able to reach Tamale due to the bad weather.
Professor Herbert Dei, Dean of the Graduate School, University of Development Studies, said the establishment of the university 24 years ago has contributed greatly to accelerate the development of the three northern regions.
The Dean announced that a school of engineering would be added to the Nyankpala campus and that land had been acquired at Damango for the establishment of a teaching farm.—GNA