Ms. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration on Wednesday eulogised the Ghana-India bilateral relations which dates back over six decades, saying India has been a great supporter of Ghana’s socio-economic development.
She cited the Seat of Government, the Jubilee House, which was undoubtedly the most iconic project constructed with the support of the India Government and the Foreign Service Institute of her Ministry, which is being undertaken by a facility from the Indian Government.
“I must also underscore the fact that the Ghana-Indian Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence in ICT…is a product of initial work of the late Kofi Annan, “she said.
The Minister said this at a ceremony to unveil the relocated statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Accra, an Indian activist and the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule.
Ms Botchway said Kofi Annan in his capacity as the UN Secretary General approached the India Government for assistance to develop Institutes for advancement of ICT knowledge on the African continent.
She said the India Government responded positively leading to the building and commissioning of the centre in 2003, adding that the Government and the people Ghana were forever grateful and the unveiling signified the strong bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
She noted that Ghana and India maintained long and fruitful relationship since the 1950s when Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana established a cordial friendship with Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, which eventually led to the establishment of diplomatic missions in both countries.
The Minister said it was through that solid foundation that Ghana and India built a dynamic friendship which was characterised by exchanges of high-level visits.
The friendship and cooperation forged between the two countries have since moved to a higher pedestal, cutting across political, economics, trade and investment as well as cultural spheres.
“I am proud to say that the bond between Ghana and India have been well-nurtured over the years. Mahatma Gandhi is, no doubt, a great son of India, who is admired all over the world as one of history’s most transformative and inspirational figures,”
Mr Birender Singh Yadav, the Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, said the unveiling formed part of series of activities to mark the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, which falls on October 2.
He said Gandhi remained the moral compass on the Republic of India; “his teachings are still the touchstone to measure our policies and initiatives”., adding that the 150th anniversary is not for India alone; it is a joy to be shared with the world”.
Mr Yadav said as part of launch of the two years-long commemoration of 150th birthday anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the High Commissioner of India organised several events on October 2, 2018, including; a donation of a water tank and OTC medicines to the maternity Wing, named Gandhi Ward at 37 Military Hospital.
He said he was confident that the relocation of the statue to a prestigious location in Ghana would bring an end to what was a misguided campaign about certain writings of Mahatma Gandhi, adding that “it is therefore important that during his 150th birthday anniversary, we see his contributions in proper perspective”.
Mr Kwasi Adu-Gyan, the Director-General of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence ibn ICT, said the Centre had recently signed an agreement with India to support the development of five state-of-the-art facilities/ laboratories in Ghana.
He pledged their resolve to continue to work to make the relationship even stronger and make sure they derived benefits for the IT industry in Ghana.
The decision to relocate the statue of Mahatma Gandhi from the University of Ghana premises to its current location was taken in October 2016 by the Government of Ghana.