The President of Malta, Ms Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, has described Ghana as a role model for the West African sub-regional stability and democratic growth.
She has, therefore, pledged her country’s unflinching support for Ghana’s development, particularly in the health, education and tourism sectors.
In line with this, she has directed the health and education hierarchy of her country to commence immediate deliberations with Ghana to facilitate the move.
At a meeting with Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at the Presidential Palace in Valletta in Malta, she said: “I believe in Ghana.” President Coleiro Preca said this during a bilateral discussion with Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II in Malta in Europe and also pleaded with the Asantehene to use his influence and exposure to commence processes for the establishment of a West African Tourism Foundation to be headquartered in Ghana.
Otumfuo and his large entourage of chiefs, drummers, dancers and horn blowers were in Malta at the invitation of the President to participate in the Fifth Mediterranean Tourism Foundation which brought in all the stakeholders in the tourism industry in countries around the Mediterranean, officials of the European Union and Presidents and ministers from some European countries.
President Coleiro Preca noted that Ghana must be supported to maintain and progress in its status so that it would continue to be a shining example to other conflict-prone and war-torn countries and also serve as the hub of progress, stability and development in Africa.
She stated that she was aware of Otumfuo’s determination to ensure improvement in maternal and infant mortality and stated that with its rich experience in health delivery and research, Malta would assist Ghana in realising its great dream of saving the lives of mothers and their babies.
Malta’s health care, which is based on a national health insurance scheme financed through taxation, is described as well advanced. Malta has a long history of publicly funded health care. The first functioning hospital was recorded in 1372.
Malta was used as a base by the Allied Forces during the Second World War and the infrastructure and systems have since been improved, leading to its current excellent state and advancement in medical research.
President Coleiro Preca stated that her country was eager to support Ghana, especially in the maternal mortality sector.
She indicated that the commitment of the government and people of Ghana to strive to attain progress, development, advance democracy must be encouraged and supported so that Ghana would progress in its democratic stabilisation and economic progress for other countries in Africa to look up to.
That, she explained, would make countries experiencing armed conflict and political upheavals and democratic instability to halt such retrogressive tendencies and toe the line of Ghana.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II commended the Maltese President for the invitation and said he looked forward to a long-lasting collaboration between the government, people and businesses of the two countries for their mutual benefit.
He assured President Coleiro Preca that her Ghanaian counterpart, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, had expressed the commitment of his government and people for such collaboration.
Regarding the directive from the Maltese President on health and education, Otumfuo said he would also ensure that such collaboration yielded fruits early for the peoples of both countries.