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Sunday, 11 February 2018

Bilateral Cooperation between Sudan and Ghana Progresses

(Graphic Online) The bilateral cooperation between Sudan and Ghana is progressing very well, the Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan to Ghana, Babikir Elsiddig Mohamed Elamin, has stated.
Just two days ago in Addis Ababa, he said the ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two countries, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a mechanism for regular political consultations between the two ministries.
Meanwhile, the minister said preparations for holding the second meeting of the Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation between Sudan and Ghana were also going on progressively in Khartoum and Accra.
Mr Elamin said this in his address at a reception in Accra, to mark the 62nd Independence Day celebration of Sudan.
The reception was attended by members of the Council of State, ministers of state, Members of Parliament (MPs) and the diplomatic corps, eminent religious and traditional leaders.
Economic front
Touching on the economic front, he pointed out that last July his embassy, in collaboration with the Ministry of Business Development and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), organised the Sudan-Ghana Business Culture, and Higher Education Expo.
Mr Elamin noted that it was a great success and constituted an excellent opportunity for fostering serious and promising partnerships between the business communities in both countries, while contributing immensely towards a better mutual understanding between the two brotherly peoples.
The ambassador disclosed that the embassy managed to secure about 120 scholarships for Ghanaian students in Sudanese universities for this academic year, adding that the figure was triple the number of scholarships usually offered annually.
“The increase was brought about by engaging additional three private Sudanese universities, namely the University of Medical Science and Technology, the Ahfad Women University and the Future University alongside the International University of Africa that remained the biggest contributor.
Out of these scholarships, he said 90 were allocated to female students from needy families and communities.
Due to some academic and administrative requirements, not all these scholarships have been filled and the embassy is working to ensure that all available opportunities are used.
Lifting of sanctions
Mr Elamin recalled the big challenges Sudan faced in its recent history, especially in terms of protecting its national unity, territorial integrity and achieving economic and social development.
Fortunately, he said they managed to overcome the majority of these challenges.
He said the lifting in October 2017 of the United States unilateral economic sanctions on Sudan, which had been in place for almost 20 years, was currently paving the way for Sudan to fully engage in international trade in a manner that reflects its huge potential and vast amount of economic resources.
Currently, he said they were in the final stages of liberating their economy in order to create a more enabling and competitive business environment.
This often meant taking some difficult and painful, though necessary, decisions as had happened at the beginning of the year, but they were surely on the right track when it came to economic reform and restructuring.
Politically, he said the preparations for the 2020 general elections are well underway, with the possible candidates for presidency and parliamentary seats beginning to emerge.
“The success of the all-inclusive national dialogue between 2014-2016, led by President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, and the subsequent formation of the National Accord Government in May last year has greatly contributed to consolidating democracy, constitutionalism and elections as the only means for assuming power and public offices in the country”.
Regionally, Sudan remains a key player in collective efforts to strengthen peace, stability and to counter terrorism, human trafficking and cross-border criminal activities in the region, continent and the entire Globe, he added.
He extended new year greetings and best wishes to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his family, and the government and the Ghanaian people coupled with felicitations for a very successful one year in office.
The National Day
The occasion is a reminder of the tremendous sacrifices their founding fathers had to undergo in order to attain their freedom and independence, Mr Elamin noted.
He said it was also a chance to reflect on their progress as a nation towards development, social justice and democracy.
Minister of Fisheries
The minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Madam Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye, expressed appreciation to the government of Sudan, for the scholarships awarded to Ghanaian students to pursue various academic programmes in leading educational institutions in Khartoum.
She said the fact that 90 out of the 120 scholarships were allocated to female students confirmed the government’s Gender Policy of empowering and involving women in national development.