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Business News of Tuesday, 14 November 2017


Iranian Agric Minister visits Bawumia

Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia with Mahmoud Hojjati, Iranian Agric Minister

The Minister of Agriculture in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Hojjati, on Tuesday, 14 November paid a working visit to Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia.

Hojjati is in Ghana for the 6th session of the Ghana-Iran Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation.

After the meeting, Dr Bawumia wrote on his Facebook page that: “This morning, the Minister of Agriculture Jihad of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hon. Mahmoud Hojjati paid me a visit ahead of the 6th session of the Ghana-Iran Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation.

“The relationship between the two countries has been characterised by economic and social ties dating back decades.

“In a brief ceremony afterwards, I participated in the ground breaking ceremony to set up the llam Cement Factory at Dawa Industrial City in the Greater Accra region, in the context of government's ‘One District One Factory’ programme.”

Brief remarks by His Excellency the vice president of the republic of Ghana, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, during the groundbreaking ceremony of IIam cement factory on Tuesday, 14th November, 2017

Minister of Agriculture of Iran, Hon. Mahmoud Hojjati, Your Excellency Dr Nosratollah Maleki, Ambassador of Iran to Ghana Hon DCE, The Media, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me first and foremost, convey deep condolences, on behalf of the Government and People of Ghana to the Government and People of Iran, especially the bereaved families, on the loss of lives resulting from the earthquake that struck parts of Iran on Sunday, 12th November, 2017. We solidarize with them on this occasion and pledge our continuing friendship.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to participate in the ceremony marking the beginning of construction work on the Ilam Cement Factory. I understand that this is being done within the context of the 6th Session of the Ghana-Iran Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation, which is itself a demonstration of how far Ghana and Iran have come in our bilateral relations.

The relationship has been characterized, amongst other things, by respect for each other’s views, mutual goodwill as well as exchange of high level visits. I recall in this regard, my visit to Iran from 5th to 7th August, 2017 to represent His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at the inauguration ceremony of the President of Iran, Dr. Hassan Rouhani. On that occasion, the Ghanaian delegation included several Ministers and a strong business delegation as well as officials in the economic sphere. A number of Memoranda of Understanding were signed and business deals entered into, which reflect the economic dimension of our relationship on which emphasis need to be placed. This is within the overall context of the concept of economic diplomacy by which we seek to leverage and underpin our political relationships with concrete forms of economic cooperation.

This tangible project we are inaugurating today, which Insha Allah we shall be commissioning in about two years, is therefore not only a testament to the excellent bilateral relations between Ghana and Iran over the years but is also evidence of the direction in which our relationship is moving.

Distinguished guests,

This is not to underestimate the cooperation that has existed between our two countries in various spheres over the year. It gives me joy to mention at this great event, just a few areas of cooperation between Ghana and Iran. Iran continues to allocate special scholarships and training programmes to Ghana in the areas of health, petroleum and petrochemical engineering and has supported Northern Ghana with some agricultural projects. Iran not only established and operated a Clinic in Adabraka for a long time but it also upgraded the Iran Clinic to a Polyclinic and established the Islamic University College in Accra, which has trained a number of Ghanaians in various fields.

Honourable Minister Hojjati,

I believe that to ensure the development of a country it is necessary to have some key developmental tools and you would also agree with me that one of the characteristics of a fast developing country is its growing infrastructure. It is an undeniable fact that we cannot have all these beautiful buildings, factories, bridges and roads without affordable and regular supply of cement in large quantities. It is our hope that the opening of this Cement Factory will create the needed competition in the industry to reduce the unit cost of cement for the ordinary Ghanaian.

On behalf of the Government and the People of Ghana, I would like to commend the investors, consultants and the contractors as well as all those whose tireless efforts have resulted in the beginning of construction for the IIam Cement Factory.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At a time when majority of our citizens are faced with youth unemployment, this cement factory should be seen as an imperative in the attempts to create more jobs for the mass of our people. Indeed, the construction of this cement factory could not have come at a better time, as the NPP-led government, under the leadership of H. E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is determined to see to the realization of the “One District One Factory” initiative in each of the 216 districts in the country, as a means of creating socio-economic growth poles that would accelerate the development of those districts, create jobs for the teeming youth and consequently bring prosperity to all Ghanaians.

Honourable Minister Hojjati,

I would like to assure you that the Government of Ghana will continue to create an enabling environment for businesses such as this to thrive and to contribute to the industrial transformational agenda of the government. I understand a fruit processing factory is also to be commissioned at Asamankese under the auspices of an Iranian company. Projecting into the future, I see that there will be many more areas of cooperation that Ghana will enter into with Iran for our mutual benefit.

On this note, I hereby, declare construction work on the Ilam Cement Factory duly commissioned.

Long live Ghana. Long live Iran. Long live Ghana-Iran relations.