Government to strengthen relations with India —–Senior Minister

The government will strengthen its relations with the Republic of India to grow Ghana’s private sector and the economy to solve the unemployment problem in the country, Senior Minister, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Marfo has said.

He said the government believed the private sector was a powerful avenue for job creation, if the right environment was created for its growth.

“We will be getting even closer to ensure that you help us develop our private sector, to grow the economy to develop employment because if we have any problem in Ghana today, it is unemployment and we need you to help us solve it,” he stated.

The Former Minister of Finance was speaking at the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme Day celebration organised by the Indian High Commission on Friday in Accra.

The programme funded by the Indian government is aimed at addressing the needs of developing countries through innovative and technological cooperation.

It covers varied range of sectors including banking, information technology, development journalism and science.

Tracing the Ghana-India technical cooperation to many decades ago, Mr. Osafo-Marfo said India had been supportive of Ghana and hinted that the government would discuss the one-district–one factory and one-Village-one- dam projects with the Indian government for orientation since it had the technical know-how.

He stated that Ghana had some lines of credit with India and “ with the new government’s emphasis on the private sector, we are going to plead for more of these credit lines to enable us support the private sector and industrialisation projects”.

He said Ghana had a lot of short term funds and if Ghana had any weakness in its economy, it was the lack of long term funds, indicating that India could provide credit lines to Ghana through the banking system at very low rates.

Mr. Osafo-Marfo commended India for its democracy, educational system, strides in medical transplant and stressing the need for the promotion of the ITEC programme, thanked the India government for increasing Ghana’s slot from 250 to 300.

The Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr. Birender Singh Yadav said the ITEC programmme had been successful in Ghana with about 2000 people benefiting from it so far.

He said the Ghana-Indian development partnership had stretched half a billion dollars and listed some of the projects and financial support given to Ghana to include areas such as water supply, agriculture and lines of credit.

He said India had a philosophy to support the socio-economic development of other countries and indicated its commitment to further develop the relation by finding new areas of cooperation.

Some beneficiaries of the ITEC programme shared their experiences while the ceremony, attended by various beneficiaries and officials from both countries, was climaxed with some cultural performances.

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