Ghana and Colombia took their bilateral relations a notch higher yesterday with two cooperation agreements to enhance sports and youth development in both countries.
The first agreement relates to the development of sports, while the second one focuses on youth development and entrepreneurship.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Hannah Tetteh, and the Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr Mustapha Ahmed, signed for the government of Ghana, while the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, Madam Patti Londono Jaramillo, initialled for her country.
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The ceremony also served as the first ever political consultations between the two countries to discuss various issues of interest.
Ghana and Colombia relations deepened in 2013 when a Colombian Mission was opened in Ghana in July, 2013.
In her remarks, Ms Tetteh said Ghana and Colombia’s diplomatic relations dated back to 1988 but it remained dormant until 2013 when the Colombian mission was opened in Ghana.
Following the opening of the mission, the minister said, she visited Colombia in February 2014, where she held discussions with the Colombian Foreign Minister on issues relating to agriculture, education, youth development, culture, sports and health.
The discussions, the minister indicated, had resulted in the first-ever political consultations between the two countries and the signing of cooperation agreements.
Already, she said Colombia was cooperating with Ghana to teach Ghanaian diplomats and public servants, build capacity of the Ghana Police Service, Immigration Service and the Narcotics Control Board on cybersecurity and drug trafficking.
The two countries were keen to explore further avenues, including health and agriculture for cooperation, she stated, adding that both countries had lots to learn from each other in their quest to improve the standard of living of their people.
In her response, Ms Jaramillo expressed her country’s interests in partnering with Ghana on various initiatives for their mutual benefit, adding that the agreements would strengthen sectoral cooperations.
While the two continued to explore other opportunities for cooperation, she said, Colombia was keen on institutional strengthening and capacity building.
She said Colombia was evolving in the area of sports, hence the reinforcement of its sports sector to attract the young men and women of the country.
Having visited Colombia to observe their sports facilities, Dr Ahmed affirmed that the country had good sports facilities which Ghana could benefit from, especially the country’s athletes.