(January 23 , 2017)
Honorable Mr. Osei Frimpong, Member of Parliament of the Republic of Ghana,
Respected Traditional Leaders,
Respected Secretary General and Friends from Ghana-China Friendship Association,
Dear Teachers and Students,
It's a great pleasure for me to celebrate the handover of China-aided ICT Centre to the Akoase Methodist Junior High School in the Eastern Region with you all. This Centre is the 7th ICT classroom aided by the Chinese Embassy in Ghana. A few days ago, the ICT classroom aided by the Embassy to the Adeiso Presbyterian Senior High School in the Eastern Region was handed over successfully. These years, I have left my footprint all over Ghana and got to know that computer is quite a luxury for many ordinary Ghanaian families to buy for their children. Therefore, the Chinese Embassy wishes to make humble contribution to talent cultivation and education cause of Ghana by aiding ICT classrooms.
When I visited the Aburi Botanical Garden in the Eastern Region not long after I came to Ghana, the tour guide told me the history of cocoa cultivation in this country. In 1876, Mr. Tetteh Quarshie brought some cocoa beans from Equatorial Guinea to the Eastern Region. Henceforth, cocoa takes root, grows and flourishes in Ghana, winning the country reputation of the "Kingdom of Cocoa". The Eastern Region is rich in natural resources, beautiful landscape, precious treasures and outstanding people. The tranquil Volta River flows through the Region, nourishing the fertile land, bringing rich resources and giving birth to a large number of Ghanaian political elites - three of "The Big Six" had indissoluble bound with the Eastern Region, while H.E. President Nana Akufo-Addo was a long-term Member of Parliament for the Eastern Region and stood up for interests of the people. As the ancient Chinese said, "The running of government relies on talents, and talents are products of school education". School education not only shoulders the responsibility for training elites of political and economic governance and high quality workers, but also deeply affects the future for our children.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Students,
In the era of knowledge-driven economy, computer technology has become an essential skill for a citizen. As a bridge connecting the world, Internet links with the endless ocean of knowledge. I hope all the students will make full use of this ICT Centre to swim and surf in the knowledge ocean. Chinese ancient educationist Confucius used to say, " To study hard and never feel contented, to teach others tirelessly." As Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, I can't help introducing my motherland to Ghanaian people from time to time. I hope you don't mind my advertisement.
China is now the world's second largest economy, largest trading nation in goods, largest holder of foreign exchange reserves, third largest outbound investor, largest tourist market and third largest overseas students host country. As China's relationship with the world becomes closer and closer, the growth of world economy relies more and more on China. Countries are expecting China's development provides more opportunities. Ghana is the second Sub-Saharan African country to establish diplomatic ties with China and China's traditional friendly country and important development partner. In 1972, H.E. President Kufuor, in the capacity of then Deputy Foreign Minister of Ghana, voted for China to restore its legitimate seat of the United Nations at the UN General Assembly. In 2006, H.E. President Kufuor and the then Foreign Minister Nana Akufo-Addo, discussed and promoted the construction of Bui Hydropower Project with Chinese leaders. Bui Hydropower Station was accomplished and put into operation more than 3 years ago. All these reflect the strong mutual support between China and Ghana on the issues concerning each other's core interests and major concerns.
In the past year, China and Ghana maintained close exchanges. H.E. Mr. YU Zhengsheng, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference visited Ghana and vice presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) H.E. Mr. Mahamudu Bawumia visited China successfully, which greatly elevated China-Ghana friendship. Our cooperation on economy and trade has kept good momentum and yielded bountiful results. In the first 10 months of 2016, China-Ghana trade volume reached US$4.8 billion, remaining the 6th place in that of Africa. China's non-financial direct investment inflows into Ghana hit US$130 million, ranking 8th in that of Africa. The Cape Coast Sports Stadium, Kotokuraba Market Reconstruction Project in Cape Coast and Phase II Project of Sunon Asogli Power Plant have been completed successfully. The new major cooperation projects, such as Phase II of Gas Infrastructure Development Project and Sunon Asogli Zero Discharge 700MW Coal Plant are progressing steadily. The cultural exchange between China and Ghana was frequent. In 2016, the Chinese government provided more than 1,000 various training opportunities to Ghanaian professionals. The second Confucius Institute in Ghana was successfully unveiled at the University of Cape Coast. The China National Youth Football Team and the Jiangxi Culture Exchange Group visited Ghana. The Chinese government attaches great importance to Ghanaian people's livelihood. The Kpong Water Supply Project in the Eastern Region, which was built with support of a preferential loan from China, has greatly alleviated the shortage of water supply in Ghana. China is constructing 174 boreholes out of the 1,000-borehole project in the Eastern Region as a grant project and more than 50,000 local residents directly benefit from it. In May 2015, I came to the Eastern Region, awarded scholarships to 10 drop-out girls, and donated school supplies to 100 girls and computers to two district education bureaus. It was on that occasion that I promised to build an ICT classroom in this Region.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Students,
Chinese people always say that, "When you have a bowl of rice and porridge, think about how much effort is paid; When you have a piece of cloth, think about how hard it is earned." The achievements of China-Ghana relations do not come easily, and we need to keep forging ahead. After last year's general election, President Nana Akufo-Addo concluded with emotion that, "The going was not easy. The road has been rough. The valleys were deep. And the mountains were steep. We stumbled many times along the way. Sometimes we came tantalizingly close to the proverbial walls of the city but, painfully the city gates were closed in our faces. But we never lost hope. We learnt from each mistake and we soldiered on. In the belief that in his own time, we will get there, better prepared." My heart was deeply touched. It is not only the summary of H.E. President Nana Akufo-Addo's life journey, but also his expectations to every Ghanaian national. Let us encourage each other by his words. I hope the people of our two countries will overcome difficulties and obstacles on the road of national development and make great efforts to achieve national prosperity and rejuvenation. I wish that China-Ghana relations would make new progresses with each passing day and China-Ghana friendship last forever!