The European Union (EU) has hailed Ghana’s positive track record of promoting human rights and good governance.
The Union, consequently, pledged its continuous support for Ghana in these efforts, and urged the nation to intensify the fight against corruption, by reinforcing powers of independent constitutional bodies and the role of the Parliament.
Mr Claude Maerten, head of EU delegation to Ghana, who made the commendation at the celebration of the EU Day on Thursday in Accra, also observed that Ghana-EU partnership has developed deeper and stronger over the years.
He said since 1975, the EU had provided more than three billion Ghana cedis in terms of development aid to Ghana.
Mr Maerten said in recent times, the EU had disbursed around 100 million Euros per year as development assistance to Ghana, and that the 2013 amount might be increased.
He said a country like Ghana, which was on the path to becoming aid independent, should consider the private sector as the driver of economic development.
Mr Maerten said the common task of the EU was to promote business between Europe and Ghana.
He said: “Ghana is growing stronger as the model country of hope in African; after attaining about 14 per cent growth in 2011. Ghana had eight per cent growth last year, which is an impressive record when we look at global economic forecasts.
“It will be important for Ghana to sustain an inclusive growth that will reduce inequalities and provide more jobs, to re-establish fiscal consolidation and external balance. It would not be an easy task, but we know that you are fully committed to achieving this result”.
Mr Maerten said Ghana has many assets that could be developed and has good quality human resource that could drive the economy towards a middle income society.
He commended Ghana’s role in the promotion of peace and security in Africa and the world, and said the country was one of the most important African countries participating in United Nations peace keeping operations.
Mr Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, on behalf of the Government and people of Ghana, praised the EU for assisting the nation through various programmes and projects.
He said: “Ghana’s achievements were made possible by the contribution and assistance of the EU and its member states”.
The Minister said Ghana and the EU share similar values such as democracy, good governance, respect for human rights, promotion of the rule of law, as well as press freedom, among other core values of humanity.