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Bilateral ties that will benefit all Guyanese

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Bilateral ties that will benefit all Guyanese

Dear Editor,

I AM certain that the saying “Short and sweet’’ is the apt description that can be applied to the just-concluded visit of the President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Danka Akufo Addo to Guyana. But such a momentous and historical occasion, as it certainly was, has to be placed in its proper context, for the absolutely great satisfaction of finally having a visit to these shores of the leader of the West African country, Ghana, which descendants are numbered among African Guyanese.

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It was a visit that has served to re-kindle that very special GuyaneseGhanaian connection that began over 300 years ago with the early Akan people arriving as slaves. This was the beginning of the bonds that has over the many decades been standing at the heart of the spiritual symbolism between the two countries.

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It was unbelievable, listening to sister Penda Guyan, that indefatigable Africanist who publicly spoke of former presidents Donald Ramotar and Bharrat Jagdeo not only refusing to consider a visit from a Ghanaian president, but the reason given – that there were no benefits to be had.

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Editor, if such a response does not reek of discrimination, then what does? It was a perception, I suspect, concluded from the fact of the general challenges that many African states were encountering; I suspect that it was due also to the PPP/C administration adopting a one-size-fits-all view, rather than an objective appraisal as to the state of affairs of individual states, which has seen Ghana already reaping the benefits of democratic stability and socio-economic growth and development that eventually made her a blueprint for other African nations to follow. Not even promoting cultural ties with a country which people, because of slavery, had been forcibly brought to these shores, was considered.

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Is it not ironic, editor, that this very African state, prospering, and whose leader has been “promoting economic security and stability on the Continent of Africa; “regionalism,” “the interests of developing states,’’ and whose ‘’continued leadership and stewardship to protect their gains and secure their future,” but which  had been shunted into the column of states, deemed as “no benefit to Guyana can now offer this country, an array of benefits through improved bilateral ties? Of course, these offers are welcomed, and are in keeping with President Granger’s vision of an economic foreign policy.

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Surely, such an economic powerhouse, with a very high single-digit of economic growth, and with a visionary president giving leadership to his continent, just did not occur overnight. It would have been a gradual process, that began with the Jerry Rawlings presidency, and sustained by his successors onto this current Head of State

As the sixth largest oil producer in Africa, with five to seven billion barrels of oil in reserve, and six trillion cubic feet of national gas reserves, Ghana is well placed to guide Guyana in the crucial establishing of its oil and gas industry. Its plan to send its experts to train Guyanese in this field, at its own expense, is indeed welcome, and will build much-needed human capacity. Further, it will help to shut the mouths of the numerous overnight gas experts who have mushroomed overnight

There are tremendous benefits for Guyana, coming from a country that has almost 50 years of experience in this vital economic resource. And with a Memorandum of Understanding that has now placed relations on a very firm legal footing, particularly removing the visa requirement for travelling between the two countries, and establishing the parameters for trade and investment between the two countries

As further proof of Ghana’s development of its human resource capacity, and sincerity towards helping developing countries, albeit a sister Commonwealth country, Ghana and Barbados are in the process of an agreement, whereby the former will send 400 nurses to plug this vital manpower shortage that has been plaguing the island’s health system. And all this, coming from a country, against which the PPP/C administration had discriminated

This is a diplomatic achievement for the A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), which will benefit ALL of Guyana

Regards, Earl Hamilton