The first office of the Brazil-Africa Institute (IBRAF), which will help facilitate the execution of the institute’s actions and programmes in Africa, has been launched at a ceremony in Accra.
The institute, which is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and will be working with civil society organisations and other similar bodies, will serve as a catalyst for opportunities for Brazil and Africa, within the scope of triangular technical cooperations, and serve as a bridge for development between Brazil and Africa.
Former President Kufuor
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, who launched the institute, said Brazil “is a melting pot of what the future should be for the world.”
He observed that Brazil was big and it had everything; including what it took to carry out the development programme, as the institute sought to forge.
However, he noted that Brazil hadn’t related to Africa the way it should and said it was better late than never.
It is never too late to start a deserving relationship with Africa, he noted, adding that the institute would therefore use Brazil as a bridge over which developing nations could be supported to also move over to the developed level.
Mr Kufuor, as its patron, expressed happiness to be part of the programme which would help produce new ideas and serve as the platform for exchanging ideas and experiences.
In his address, the President of IBRAF, Mr João Bosco Monte, said the institute would serve as the gateway to the African continent.
Mr Monte said through the institute, Brazil would learn more about Africa and Ghana in particular, while Ghana would also learn more about Brazil.
He noted that it was mandatory for the institute to work with other NGOs, and added that the institute had already started interacting with other NGOs.
The institute, he said, would also be undertaking a youth empowerment programme and there was the possibility of partnerships.
“Young Africans will be sent to Brazil for training in various areas, under the Youth Technical Training programme, such as public service, agriculture, education, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), tourism, among others,” he added.
In her welcome address, the Brazilian Ambassador to Ghana, Madam Maria Elisa de Luna, expressed optimism that the institute would help to further deepen the relationship between Africa and Brazil.
Ghana’s Ambassador to Brazil, Madam Abena Pokua Adompim Busia, said she was happy the institute was established in Accra, as it would help Brazil and Africa appreciate each other’s cultures, customs, dance and songs, among others.
The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Sudanese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Babikir Elsiddig Mohammed Elamin, and the Egyptian Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Mohamed Mostapha Heider.