France marks National Day today

BY: Kate Baaba Hudson
President Macron and Abedi Pele,́ former Olympic Marseille player and ex-captain of the Black Stars
President Macron and Abedi Pele,́ former Olympic Marseille player and ex-captain of the Black Stars

The Ambassador of France to Ghana, Mr Francois Pujolas, has said the bilateral relations between France and Ghana have improved significantly.

The ambassador mentioned areas such as security, education, trade, culture/French language, among others.

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He was speaking to the Daily Graphic in an exclusive interview ahead of France’s National Day which falls today.

The day is set aside to observe the values of liberty, equality and fraternity which have acquired a universal dimension over time, evolving in line with the planet and humanity.

“Today, these values are synonymous to sustainable development, and they do leave their mark on relations between Africa and Europe, Ghana and France,” he stated, adding that as our slogan says, “Ghana and France are moving forward together” in the right direction.


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Security framework

Ambassador Pujolas pointed out that since the issue of security was a major concern to Ghana as with other countries, in 2016 France and Ghana launched a specific cooperation framework to effectively counter terrorism.

In the light of this, he said several training sessions had been organised, with two simulations of terrorist attacks.

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Mr Francois Pujolas with the writer

In the area of education, he was happy to note that the number of Ghanaian students studying in France had doubled in the last three years.

Mr Pujolas announced that concrete steps had been taken in the teaching of the French language.

He said they would start rolling out their programme of ensuring bilingualism, a vision which was shared by both Presidents of France and Ghana.

This year, he said, they would start the bilingual French/English classes in primary schools for the very first time in Ghana.

Investment

The ambassador was happy to note that trade between the two countries had also increased and there was growing interest in investment.

Mr Pujolas observed that hitherto, there was no direct flight from France and Ghana.

He said last year, Air France started direct flights from France to Accra on a daily basis.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and President Emmanuel Macron during an official visit last year

He was also happy to announce the new building of the French Embassy in Accra, which he noted was the symbol of renewal and vitality in the relations between the two countries.

Presidential visit

The ambassador said it was very exciting to have the French President, Mr Emmanuel Macron visit Ghana last year.

He said the visit sought to further deepen the relations between the two countries.

The celebration

The ambassador said the French Embassy would be hosting a reception this evening to be attended by ministers of State, Members of Parliament, religious and traditional leaders, the academia, business executives, members of the diplomatic corps and the French community.