The Kingdom of Netherlands is working assiduously to reduce to a large extent its aid to Ghana and replace it with trade and investment, its ambassador to Ghana has announced.
Ron Strikker said this has become necessary following the “enormous economic growth” of Ghana over the past 15 years. Ghana recently attained a lower middle income country status and has to pay a price for the improved position by losing significant aid from development partners.
Addressing a symposium at the Nursing and Midwifery Council in Accra Thursday, Mr. Strikker said the Kingdom of Netherlands has set a 2020 agenda to facilitate more trade and investment to Ghana.
He noted that judging by the economic performance of the West African country, it has “grown from aid to trade”.
“Which means there is more need for trade and investment, less for aid. This is [Ghana] government’s policy here and this is also the policy of the Dutch government,” he stated.
The symposium was organized by the Netherlands Alumni Association of Ghana (NAAG) with support from the Netherlands Embassy.
It was under theme: ‘Food Security, Sustainable Energy and Water Management in Ghana’s Developmental Agenda, Netherlands Alumni Perspective’.
Mr. Strikker, who recently presented his letter of credence to President John Mahama, commended Ghana for its economic achievement over the years.
He was upbeat about the relationship between the two countries especially in the area of trade, noting that the Netherlands is Ghana’s 5th export destination and third importing country.
Touching on investment, the ambassador noted that there are over 100 Dutch investors in Ghana and “many more investors are interested in coming to Ghana to look for opportunity in Ghana…it could be energy, waste management etc.”
President of NAAG, Francis Babongte Avura, who underscored the importance of the symposium, noted with regret how very vital papers of Ghanaians have been stacked in various universities in the Netherlands.
He noted most of them contain panacea to some challenges in the country but they are not available to the public because the papers are not published.
He therefore urged Ghanaians who schooled outside the country to do their best to publish their works.
He was appreciative to the Kingdom of Netherlands for training over 5,000 Ghanaians in various fields of endeavour who are contributing meaningfully to the growth of Ghana.
He also appealed to persons who schooled in Netherlands, be it Ph.D, Masters or short courses – to register and be part of the Association as he enumerated the many benefits therein for members.
By Isaac Essel|3news.com|Ghana
Photos: Emmanuel Kwame Amoh