Ignatius Baffour-Awuah (left), Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, and Daniela d’Orlandi, the Italian Ambassador, toasting to the vent
Ignatius Baffour-Awuah (left), Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, and Daniela d’Orlandi, the Italian Ambassador, toasting to the vent

Ghana priority for Italian Development Cooperation — Ambassador

Members of the Italian community on Wednesday observed their country’s National Day with a reception at the official residence of the Ambassador, Daniela d’Orlandi, in Accra.

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The function was also attended by traditional rulers, government officials, and members of the Diplomatic Corps. Proposing a toast, Mrs d’Orlandi said the long cordial ties between Italy and Ghana had reached unprecedented heights.

That, she said, was evident the State visit to Ghana by the President of Italy, Sergio Matteralla in April last year; and two recent visits to Italy by the Ghanaian President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, including one on the occasion of the Italy-Africa Summit.

The envoy said Ghana had now become priority country for the Italian Development Cooperation, and Italy looked forward to developing more projects in the agro-food, health, education and digital sectors, to expand support for Ghana, which was beacon of peace, democracy and stability in West Africa.

On education in particular, the Italian Ambassador said scholarships for Ghanaian students would double next year and other initiatives such as the completion of the TVET centres and training programmes for Ghana workers to enable them to work in Italy through regular channels of immigration would be carried out with great zeal.

“As regards our cultural initiatives, I am also pleased to recall that the Embassy brought Italian theatre to Ghana for the first time ever with the Afrocentric adaptation of Pirandello’s play, ‘The License’, which attracted more than 8,000 patrons,” she told the gathering.

The ambassador gave an assurance that Italy remained highly committed to supporting the Coastal States’ efforts to combat piracy and illicit traffic at sea with regular deployment of Italian military vessels.

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah who represented the government at the reception, said, Ghana was honoured to be designated as a priority country for Italian Development Cooperation.

“This focus promises to bring about collaborative projects in various sectors that are vital for our nation’s development,” he said. Mr Baffour-Awuah acknowledged that Italy had been for decades been one of Ghana’ significant trade partners, saying the impressive volumes of bilateral trade between the countries testified to the dynamic economic bond between them.

Meanwhile, the minister said, the cultural exchanges between Italy and Ghana was another vital area of relations between them.

“Italian culture, known for its rich history in art, music, and cuisine has found a welcoming audience in Ghana; equally Ghana culture, with its vibrant traditions and artistic expressions is appreciated in Italy,” he added.

Mr Baffour-Awuah lauded Italy’s commitment to regional security in the Gulf of Guinea as crucial efforts to maintaining peace and security in the region. He commended the ambassador her dedicated service in Ghana and said she had played a pivotal role in strengthening bilateral ties between her country and Ghana over the past four years.

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