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General News of Friday, 1 November 2019

Source: Tourism Ministry

Bilateral co-operation between Ghana and Turkey to continue - Barbara Oteng-Gyasi

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Lawyer Barbara Oteng-Gyasi

The Turkish Embassy in Ghana held its 96th Anniversary in commemoration of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey at the Marriott Hotel in Accra. The occasion was to mark Turkey’s Republic Day being celebrated worldwide and in Ghana as well. Ghana joined in the celebration as part of the cordial relations existing between the sovereign nation and Turkey to mark this momentous occasion.

The national day of Turkey commemorates the events of 29th October 1923 when Mustafa Kamal Ataturk declared that Turkey a republic. Shortly after the declaration a vote was held wherein Ataturk was elected as the first President of The Republic of Turkey.

The Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Lawyer Barbara Oteng-Gyasi as well as Turkey’s Ambassador to Ghana, Her Excellency Mrs. Özlem Ergün Ulueren both indicated on the mutual economic growth and the continued assurance of bilateral relations between the two countries.

Speaking at the ceremony, Turkey’s Ambassador to Ghana extended goodwill message to country saying, “We always commend Ghana’s pioneering role in the history of the continent. At this juncture of deepening integration at the continental scale, we congratulate Ghana for being elected as the host country for the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area.”

Her Excellency Mrs Özlem Ergün Ulueren further expressed continued interest in Turkey’s contribution to Ghana’s development, “Turkish companies have so far proved their competences in contributing to Ghana’s development efforts, in the sectors of energy, construction, logistics, aviation, health, and water treatment. Whereas, tourism, agriculture, transport and affordable housing stand as promising additional areas.” She further noted that Turkey is determined to continue to be a development partner for Ghana in line with His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo vision of Ghana Beyond Aid and other flagship projects.

Also speaking at the ceremony, the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi expressed gratitude saying, “In the area of cultural and educational cooperation, I wish to acknowledge the valuable contribution the government of Turkey made towards Ghana’s 60th Anniversary celebration which was marked on 6th March 2017, by offering to re-roof the National Gallery/National Museum of Ghana through MAPA Ghana Limited which shows the importance Turkey attaches to its cultural cooperation with Ghana.”

She further reiterated Ghana’s commitment to economic development adding that, “Our determination is to build a resilient economy, modernize our agricultural sector, pursue industrial transformation and infrastructural development demonstrate Government’s commitment to creating a competitive, stable and healthy economy that makes Ghana an attractive destination for investment.”

The Honourable Minister also mentioned in particular, the construction of the new terminal at the Kotoka International Airport and the establishment of a bus assembly plant in Cape Coast as two of the most notable investments between our two countries in recent years. She also stated that, “As a developing country, Ghana’s ability to reduce poverty, boost economic growth, create jobs and increase income largely depends on a well-educated population. That is why the Government of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo introduced the free Senior High School Education in 2017 to ensure that no child in Ghana will be denied access to education because of inability to afford school fees. We, therefore, welcome the participation of Turkish companies in the expansion of Ghana’s educational infrastructure.”

Ghana Government's prioritization of strategic sectors such as pharmaceuticals, mining, petrochemicals and integrated aluminium situated within the ambit of flagship programmes such as “One District One Factory” presents a golden opportunity for an enhanced Ghana-Turkey cooperation. The Honourable Minister therefore took the opportunity to invite more Turkish investors, as well as other foreign partners to take advantage of the favourable conditions in Ghana to invest in the country.

The National Day brought to light that Ghana and Turkey are set to collaborate on future projects and to create strong ties between the two countries. These collaborations are aimed at ensuring mutually beneficial relationship that will yield positive results in order to ensure economic development of both countries. Ghana is however ranked as the third biggest trade partner of Turkey in Sub-Saharan Africa. She noted that Turkeys opening to the African continent has been shaped in line with the vision of His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey, and implemented on the basis of Turkeys Enterprising and Humanitarian Foreign Policy since 2005.

Turkey is ranked among the top holiday destinations in the world with over 40 million international tourists. The country is blessed with the ancient civilisations and diverse cultural richness of Anatolia, the homeland where remarkable turning points in the history of mankind came into being.

Some of the remarkable ties Ghana and Turkey have embarked on as enumerated by the Turkish Ambassador include:

•Opening of the Nursery and Kindergarten of the Maarif International School in Accra under the auspices of Turkish Maarif Foundation

•Protocols signed between Ankara University and University of Ghana opened for Ghanaian university students and scholars to engage in academic life in Turkey as guest students and lecturers

•Turkish Airlines continues to support Ghana’s development efforts by connecting the country to 316 destinations through Istanbul.

The event had in attendance some important dignitaries from both Turkey and Ghana including the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Cynthia Morrison, Minister for Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon. Carlos Ahenkorah, Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency and Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa, Nii Kwabena Bonne V the Osu Alata Mantse, Her Royal Highness Felicia Kyei of Adjin Kotoku Traditional Area, Former Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Ekow Spio-Gabrah, Kwaku Ampratwum Sarpong, Samia Yaba Nkrumah - Former Chairperson of the CPP, etc.

Others present also include Members of the Council of State, Members of Parliament, Religious and Traditional leaders, members of the Turkish community in Ghana.