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Business News of Thursday, 16 May 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Ghana Israel to solidify relations at 60 years of cooperation

Ghana and the State of Israel have resolved to solidify the already existing relations between them and further deepen those relations for the interest of their citizenry.

The two countries are currently negotiating to conclude the required framework agreements to express their desire to cooperate in trade and investment, security, health, agriculture and education.

At the commemoration of the 71st anniversary of the State of Israel and six decades of cooperation between the two countries in Accra last Friday, they looked forward in the coming years to deeper cooperation and to further strengthen the relations in the years ahead.

Evening to remember

The event was attended by a cross-section of invited guests including political, religious and traditional leaders, the Israeli community in Ghana and some students from selected schools in Accra.

It was an evening to remember with an exciting event of classical, pan-African and Israeli music that gave the guests something to cheer about.

Led by an Israeli Maestro, Nir Brand, the event was an enactment of the Nigerian Gabriel’s poem, Pianos and Drums – thus giving meaning to the cooperation touted by the two countries, as the National Symphony Orchestra, the Pan African Youth Orchestra and Seasonal Opera House blended beautifully with strings and drums.

With the local ‘atentenben’, drums and xylophone blending with trumpets, piano, violin, double bass and harp, the National Theatre was lit up with the electrifying performance led by Mr Brand, who intermittently enticed the crowd to perform alongside with him on the keyboard.

Remarkable strides

Addressing the guests earlier, the Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Mrs Shani Cooper-Zubida said, “the past six decades had been filled with remarkable strides of cooperation and diverse avenues of cultural exchanges”.

She said the relations between the two countries were not just based on development, but were based on mutual understanding and joint values on respect to tradition with a spirit of innovation and on a spiritual connection between Ghanaians and Israelis.

Terrestrial passage

Mrs Cooper-Zubida said Israel was the only country in the world that had a terrestrial passage to Africa and explained that, “the people of Israel crossed this passage to reach their homeland,” adding that many Israelis who were currently living in Israel originated from Africa.

“We are brothers and sisters. We are one family,” she declared, saying that the formal relations might have started six decades ago, but the strings of harmony between the people had existed for centuries and would exist forever.

Projects

Touching on various projects being executed in Ghana by the State of Israel through its International Cooperation Agency, MASHAV, she said since 1958, Israel had trained more than 2,000 Ghanaians in agriculture, education, health, women empowerment, water, energy among others.

Mrs Cooper-Zubida particularly mentioned that Israel, through the MASHAV, was running long term projects in Ghana and mentioned them to include, two neonatal units in two hospitals in Kumasi, early childhood education project in Accra, Agro studies on the job training for 11 months in Israel.

Diplomatic relations

Replying to the speech, a Minister of State at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Dr Nurah Gyiele, who spoke on behalf of government, said six decades of diplomatic relations was an achievement worth celebrating.