France Volontaires mark 10 years

BY: Kate Baaba Hudson
Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr Charles Owiredu
Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr Charles Owiredu

The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr Charles Owiredu has called on France Volontaires Ghana to contribute towards the government’s efforts by sharing lessons and experiences gained from working in Ghana and elsewhere across the world.

He said such experience sharing, could help inform and enrich the country’s policies and initiatives.

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Addressing the 10th-anniversary celebration forum of the France Volontaires Ghana at the residency of the French Embassy in Accra, he said he was happy that France Volontaires Ghana focused on the creation and expansion of volunteers and offered other opportunities, as well as experiences for the youth.

“As you well know, the youth are at the center of our current development efforts,” and the government of Ghana has designed policies to address the challenges of youth unemployment, he stated.

He cited the Free Senior HIgh School Policy, the Nation Builders Corps and the Planting for Food and Jobs among others, which were all initiatives aimed at expanding economic opportunities for the youth of this country.


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Long tradition

He was happy to observe that France Volontaires Ghana, followed a long tradition of mutually benefial partnership and cooperation between the two countries.

He said the partnership continued to grow from strength to strength and they were happy that at the 17th La Francophonie Summit held in Armenia, recently, Ghana was confirmed a full member of the community, further solidifying Ghana’s membership of the French Priority Solidarity Zone.

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At the same Summit, he said “the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, emphasised in his speech, the importance of the French language to Ghana, given our location in the sub-region, where we are happily sandwiched among French-speaking countries.”

Ambassador of France

In her address, the Ambassador of France to Ghana, Madam Anne Sophie Ave, said a lot more could be done to promote the French language and Francophonie in Ghana and the French volunteers were an asset in this respect.

She said France was ready to send more volunteers to Ghana, but they needed to work together to make their stay easier.

The Ambassador said France Volontaires provided the opportunity for the volunteers to learn from and about Ghana, its culture and dynamism, adding, back in France, they will be “ambassadors” for Ghana.

She commended Ghana for having an extremely dynamic and high-potential youth.

Since last year, she said three young Ghanaian volunteers have been welcomed to France, particularly in agricultural high schools, for one-year missions.

The Ambassador expressed the hope that they could welcome more Ghanaian volunteers to learn from each other and to strengthen the relations between the two countries.

Experiences

Experiences were shared by the Director of Alliance Francaise, Accra, Mr Frederic Dart, the Head of the French Department at the University of Mines and Technology, Mr Evans Kokroko and Miss Habibatou Cisse, who is on French National Service at the Alliance Francaise in Accra.

Ghana’s Ambassador to France, Mrs Anna Bossman and the First Volunteer of reciprocity, Ms Nana Afua-Asuming, shared experiences through video.