President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday received a $1 million donation from the government of India for any renovation works that the seat of Ghana’s government, the Flagstaff House, may require.
The donation was made on behalf of the government of India by Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar, who called on President Akufo-Addo at the presidency. It was a courtesy call to mark the Asian nation’s 70th anniversary. “Today is not only a celebration of the last six or seven decades, but is also a celebration of the next 6 decades, and the birth of a new partnership that will make Ghana such a valuable destination for India,” Minister Akbar said.
“Together, we defeated colonisation. Together, as partners, we must define the future of the 21st century, by lifting our nations and taking them to the economic and equity forefront of the world. Our responsibility is to give the generations of the future an equally dramatic change so that we can also belong to, what is conventionally called, the best of the First World,” he added. He applauded the policies and programmes being implemented by the Akufo-Addo-led government. ‘Father of Democracy’ Describing President Akufo-Addo as “a father of democracy in Africa”, the External Affairs Minister indicated that the government and people of India celebrate the ongoing contributions made by President Akufo-Addo to Ghana’s development.
“We celebrate also the fact that your programmes and policies, evidenced in your signature policies, about villages, agriculture, are indicative that you are as close to the people of your country as you always have,” Mr. Akhbar said. “Unfortunately, in human history, sometimes, power distorts the relationship between the powerful and the people. But your commitment to the people, and your constant search for ways and means in which you can improve the lives of your people is the spine around which your government operates.” Expressing his delight at the visit at of the Minister, President Akufo-Addo noted that the synergy between Indian and Ghanaian freedom was deliberate.
“The people who began the struggle for our nation’s freedom were heavily influenced by events in India. Indeed, it was exactly 11 days before the 15th of August that they met in Saltpond to begin the battle for Ghanaian freedom, and they did so because they were conscious of what was taking place in India,” he said. He continued, “Many of them, in fact, had close friendships with many of the leading lights of the Indian Nationalist Movement, and thought it would not be right to announce the struggle for Ghanaian freedom after Indian independence. So they did everything possible to assemble in Saltpond, even if it was 11 days before India’s independence.” President Akufo-Addo conveyed the appreciation of the Ghanaian people for close and warm relations enjoyed between the two countries, the symbol of which is the Flagstaff House.
He also applauded the impact being made by India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, not just domestically but also on the international scene, and also the contribution to the development of Ghana being made by the Indian community resident here. President Akufo-Addo also thanked the government and people of India for the $1 million donated for the rehabilitation of the Flagstaff House.
The President was hopeful that in the course of his and the administration of Prime Minister Modi, Ghana and India would explore further “avenues of economic intercourse and development. There is so much our two countries can gain from stepping up the quality of the value of exchanges between our two countries, which currently stands in the region of $3 billion.”