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General News
Foreign Minister Addresses Africa Partnership Forum 5/24/2007
Berlin, 22 May, 2007: Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Foreign Minister of Ghana has urged the European Union and Africa to forge a new era of relationship different from that of the last five hundred years.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Africa Partnership Forum in the German capital, Berlin, the Foreign Minister observed that such a partnership was needed to confront effectively the challenges of globalisation and the imperatives of our day.

“Africa”, says Nana Akufo-Addo, “can no longer continue to be, in short, a mere provider of raw materials to Europe, her main trading and economic partner, or, indeed, to any other continent, if she is to escape the debilitating, dehumanising tentacles of mass poverty.”

The Ghanaian Foreign Minister told the assembled delegates, amongst them the German Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel, the Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen and President Festus Mogae of Botswana, that the major challenge confronting “this generation of Africans is to accomplish the structural transformation of the African economies so that we can compete successfully in the globalised economy and be, like others, beneficiaries of globalisation, not its victims.”

In a wide ranging speech covering a number of important issues affecting the African continent and its relations with the outside world, Nana Akufo-Addo stressed that the industrialisation of Africa was the order of the day and welcomed Europe`s participation in “that project so that, at long last, the long suffering masses can be released from poverty and backwardness.

“The economic transformation we envisaged for the continent will occur with the improvement of the quality of our governance, political and economic, and the acceleration of the process of political and economic integration of the nations of our continent.”

Listening with rapt attention, the assembled dignitaries were reminded of the forthcoming African Union Summit in Accra where the main and central issue would be the “Grand Debate on the Union Government for Africa, that is the definition of the steps we need to take to strengthen and accelerate the process of integration to achieve the unity of Africa.”

Nana Akufo-Addo announced that Ghana has moved away from the disequilibrium of seven years ago when apresident J.A. Kufuor took office. He said a rate of inflation of some 40% has been reduced to 10%; and that prohibitive rates of interest of 50% have come down to 17 to 18% adding that a plummeting currency has given way to the longest period of Ghana`s history of exchange rate stability for her currency.

The Foreign Minister said GDP growth rates have been consistently in the region of 6% in the last four years “with every indication that we can attain systematically the 8% rates of growth which will enable us to reach our national goal of becoming a middle income nation with the next decade.

Musah Ibrahim Musah

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