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General News of Monday, 9 February 2009

Source: GNA

Kufuor accepts new appointments

Accra, Feb. 9, GNA - Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has accepted two more international appointments with the United Nations World Food Programme and the Milan Expo 2015.

This was contained in a joint statement by the Milan City Council and Alliance for Africa Foundation.

It said the World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director, Josette Sheeran, on behalf of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon made this known to the former President in Milan.

It said with the UN, the former President has been offered to serve as Global Ambassador On Hunger for WFP.

On the Milan Expo 2015, former President Kufuor would serve on its board with the Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, an economist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus, Mayor of Milan, Madam Letizia Moratti and others.

These offers, according to the statement, came on the heels of former President Kufuor's inauguration as the first president of the Alliance for Africa, an international development organisation, which has seed money of $15 million from the Lombardi Regional Government, Milan City Council and the EXPO 2015.

It seeks to work in the areas of health care services, education and defence of civil rights and their bearing on economic development. In his inaugural address on February 5, to policy makers, government representatives, members of the diplomatic corps and financial institutions from Rome and Milan, Mr Kufuor said international development had got to a stage where Africa could not be ignored. Africa's relations with Europe dated to 500 years ago and this, he explained, had not always been in Africa's favour as it had been the victim of exploitation all the time.

But the new era of globalisation and partnership that Africa seeks with the advanced countries, especially sharing of science and technology, would lead to a mutual benefit for both Africa and the rest of the world if it should be fulfilled.

This was because Africa was not a poor continent as attested to by the demand for its natural resources from the rest of the world. The Alliance for Africa which would operate its continental office from Accra, he said, was born out of this spirit of partnership between Africa and Europe.

The President of the Lombardi Regional Government, Formigoni, gave a policy position on Africa which was that, with the formal signing of the Alliance, a statement had been made that Africa would be vital for this century's development and that Europe should use its past relationship with Africa to be at the forefront of this engagement. "It is impossible to neglect Africa and we do so at our own risk." The Mayor of Milan, Letizia Moratti, on her part, was happy to see the launch of the Foundation a year after she first had discussions with Mr Kufuor.