Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has paid a courtesy call on Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud, Chairman of the Kingdom-holding Companies of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh.
The courtesy call was part of the Minister’s itinerary, when she paid a working visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the invitation of her Saudi counterpart; Prince Faisal bins Farhan Al Saud.
Madam Botchwey, who is Ghana’s first Foreign Minister to pay an official to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, recounted that when Prince Al-Waleed visited Ghana in 2005, during former President John Agyekum Kufuor’s tenure, she was then the Deputy Foreign Minister, while President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was the then Foreign Minister.
She said President Akufo-Addo had got ambitious programmes for a “Ghana Beyond Aid”; a Ghana that is opened for investors and businesses.
The Minister appealed to Prince Al-Waleed, who is a Saudi Arabian businessman, an investor and a member of the Saudi royal family, and the richest man in the entire Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East to come invest in Ghana.
Madam Botchwey commended Prince Al-Waleed for his contributions to the economy of Ghana over the years noting that a few years ago, Ghana and Prince Al-Waleed signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the construction of a mosque in Kumasi, which was yet to materialize.
She informed Prince Al-Waleed that the President had set-up a Ministry of Inner-cities and Zongo Development, a ministry that was focusing on developing the nation’s Zongos, where a lot of Moslems lived in Ghana.
Madam Botchwey, who noted that a Zongo Development Fund was established by the Government to accelerate the development of the Zongos, also appealed to Prince Al-Waleed for support for the Fund.
She said the Fund was meant to educate and empower the youth and women from Zongo Communities in the country.
Touching on the economy of country, Madam Botchwey said Ghana’s economy was doing well, and that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had projected that Ghana’s economy would be one of the fastest growing economies in the world in 2020.
Prince Al-Waleed recalled with nostalgia, his five visits to Ghana and the opportunity offered him to visit the Asante Kingdom, where he met the Asantehene; stating that “we have great memories about Ghana”.
He said the Alwaleed Philanthropies was investing in Ghana in the areas of healthcare and education.
“Ghana is a jewel, not only in West Africa, but in the whole of Africa,” Prince Al-Waleed.
He further lauded Ghana for its democratic credentials and the rule of law.
Present at the meeting were Sheikh T.B Damba, Ghana’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Mr Meshal Hamdan Al-Rogi, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Ghana.