The Indian government has donated US$1 million to the government for the renovation of the Flagstaff House, an edifice which was financed and constructed by India.
India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr M.J. Akbar, made the presentation when he paid a courtesy call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Flagstaff House on Tuesday.
The visit was also in connection with the 70th anniversary of India’s independence.
Applauding the policies and programmes being implemented by the government, Mr Akbar said: “We celebrate also the fact that your programmes and policies, evidenced in your signature policies about villages and agriculture, are indicative that you are as close to the people of your country as you always have.”
Father of democracy
Describing President Nana Akufo-Addo as the Father of Democracy in Africa, Mr Akbar indicated that the government and the people of India celebrated the ongoing contributions made by the President to Ghana’s development.
He noted that in human history, sometimes power distorted the relationship between the powerful and the people.
“But your commitment to the people and your constant search for ways and means in which you can improve the lives of your people are the spine around which your government operates,” he added.
Mr Akbar expressed the hope that Ghana and India would build bridges in the immediate future that would have the strength to transform the two countries.
Ghana and India
Receiving the Indian Minister, President Nana Akufo-Addo said the synergy between Indian and Ghanaian freedom was deliberate.
“The people who began the struggle for our nation’s freedom were heavily influenced by events in India. Indeed, it was exactly 11 days before August 15 that they met at Saltpond to begin the battle for Ghanaian freedom, and they did so because they were conscious of what was taking place in India,” he said.
He said many of the pioneers of Ghana’s independence struggle had close friendships with many of the leaders of the Indian nationalist movement.
President Akufo-Addo conveyed the appreciation of the Ghanaian people to India for the warm relations Ghana had enjoyed with the Indian people, which, to some extent, was symbolised by the Flagstaff House.
He also applauded the impact being made by the India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, not just domestically but also on the international scene, and also the contribution to the development of Ghana being made by the Indian community resident here.
The President also thanked the government and the people of India for the $1 million donated for the rehabilitation of the Flagstaff House.
He was hopeful that in the course of his administration and during the tenure of Prime Minister Modi, Ghana and India would explore further avenues for economic intercourse and development.
“There is so much our two countries can gain from stepping up the quality of the value of exchanges between our countries, which currently stands in the region of $3 billion,” he added.