From Edmund Mingle, Ottawa, Canada.
The Parliament of Canada has praised Ghana for its impressive socio-economic growth in recent years and especially the progress of democracy in Ghana, indicating that Ghana is a country worth emulating.
The Canadian legislature also commended the government for its commitment to ensure that the upcoming general elections was free, fair and transparent, saying that was vital in consolidating the gains made in the pursuit of democracy and good governance.
Renel Andreychuk, Chairperson of the Canadian-African Parliamentary Association, at meeting between Canadian Senators and President Mills at Parliament House in Ottawa as part of his visit to Canada, said the Senate was impressed about the tremendous progress being made by Ghana.
According to her the Senate, and particularly the Canadian-African Parliamentary Association, the progress of Ghana was being followed with keen, applauding her improved democratic credentials.
President Mills, addressing the senators, President affirmed his commitment to ensure that the gains made in the area of democracy were built on and protected.
He thanked the government of Canada for its continuous support, describing that country as a “reliable and genuine development partner.”
Explaining some of the objectives of a number of economic policy to the members of the Senate, President Mills noted that although the country has an emerging oil industry, “we do not want to rely on oil revenue.”
Instead, he said the focus was on advancing the agriculture sector which has a huge potential for sustainable socio-economic growth.
He also noted that the nation’s drive infrastructure development, which is a major pillar in the government better Ghana agenda, was in high gear, and therefore called for more support in that regard.
“It’s our determination to ensure free and fair elections,” he told the legislators.
“We do not want to fall into the trap which other countries could not avoid,” he said, adding that one of the ways of protecting the rights of citizens toward enriching democratic rule was to conduct credible elections.
Inviting them to monitor the elections, President Mills said the government was prepared to fully resource the Electoral Commission to perform the task satisfactorily, and called for the cooperation of all partners.
Canada is a model that all of us would want to emulate
“At a time when others were not prepared to help us, Canada gave us a helping hand,” he told the Senators, and stressed his administration’s preparedness to continue to partner Canada for the mutual benefit of both nations.
As part of the visit, President Mills called on the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper where they held closed door discussions with the aim of further consolidating the ties between the two nations.
Prime Minister Harper, was very happy about the enhanced cooperation between the two countries, and assured Ghana of Canada’s partnership towards achieving Ghana development objectives.
The Prime Minister also lauded the opening of refurbished Ghana Mission in Ottawa, indicating that it would help increasing interaction between the people of the two countries.
From there, President Mills opened the refurbished Ghana Mission building in Ottawa, amidst excitement among Ghanaians in that country.
He opening of the refurbished building, which was purchased by Ghana comes in the wake of the need for a permanent building to facilitate the trade and immigration activities between Ghana and Canada.
The building, which was acquired by Ghana after independence, deteriorated over the year due to poor maintenance.
Opening the building, President Mills thanked all who contributed to the reopening of the facility, and saying it should be considered milestone in government’s objective of advancing trade and cooperation between Ghana and Canada.