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“AFRICAN COUNTRIES SHOULD FOLLOW GHANA”: EMIR OF QATAR

General News

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, has praised President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his leadership over the past 22 months.

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, has praised President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his leadership over the past 22 months.

The Emir said Ghana’s economic fundamentals, coupled with prevailing social indicators, point to a “good example” worthy of emulation by other countries on the continent.

The Emir made these remarks yesterday when President Akufo-Addo paid a day’s reciprocal official visit to Qatar at his invitation.

Security co-operation

In his remarks, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani applauded the conducive business climate being established in Ghana and was hopeful of forging a strong relationship with Ghana, and added: “There are lots of opportunities that we can do together.”

He indicated that Qatar was already readying its Investment Authority, the state-owned holding company which specialises in domestic and foreign investment, to explore energy, tourism, agriculture, security, education and infrastructural development in Ghana.

With the state of insecurity in the Sahel and West Africa a major concern to rest of the world, the Emir said that military assistance from Qatar to help fight terrorism in countries such as Burkina Faso and Mali was in the offing.

He assured Ghana of Qatar’s support in helping to equip Ghana’s security apparatus to deal with the menace.

Ready for investors

For his part, President Akufo-Addo thanked the Sheikh for his invitation.

The President noted that Ghana, as a sovereign country, will not be dissuaded by anyone from pursuing a relationship with the emirate, adding: “We are determined to have a good relationship with Qatar, we value the relationship, and we will continue with it.”

President Akufo-Addo noted that, as the Emir had said, the preoccupation of the Akufo-Addo government since assuming office in January 2017 has been to build a strong economy which will give investors, domestic and foreign, the confidence to do business in Ghana, and thereby deliver improved standards of living for the Ghanaian people.

Consequently, he said, his government is embarking on an aggressive public-private partnership programme to attract investment in the development of Ghana’s infrastructure.

President Akufo-Addo was hopeful that with solid participation from the Qatari government and Qatar’s private sector, Ghana can develop a modern railway network with strong production centre linkages that will connect the country to Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo.

Oil and gas

The President also aired other projects in the areas of roads, water, housing, transport, industry, manufacturing, agriculture, petroleum and gas.

The exploitation of Ghana’s mineral wealth is also being structured to attract private-sector financing.

He was hopeful that the reciprocal visits by himself and Sheikh al-Thani will mark the beginning of a fruitful and productive relationship between the two countries, which will benefit both Ghanaians and Qataris.

Five MoUs signed

In keeping with efforts to deepen bilateral relations, the two countries signed five memorandums of understanding (MoUs).

The first was the “Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income”. This will help to alleviate territorial double taxation of any one income by both countries.

The agreement was signed on behalf of Ghana by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, and on behalf of Qatar by Ali Sharif al-Emadi, Minister for Finance.

Manpower

The next MoU was on “The Regulation of Manpower Employment in the State of Qatar”, again signed for Ghana by Shirley Botchwey, and on behalf of Qatar by Yousif Bin Mohammed al-Othman, Minister for Administrative Development and Labour and Social Affairs.

The third and fourth MoUs concerned abolishing visa requirements for holders of diplomatic or special passports and the establishment of “consultations on issues of mutual interest between the Government of the State of Qatar and the Government of the Republic of Ghana”.

Soltan bin Saad al-Muraikhi, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, signed on behalf of Qatar.

The final MoU, between the Qatar Chamber and the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was signed by Nana Dr Appiagyei Dankwoso I, president of the GNCCI, and Sheikh Khalifa Bin Jassim Bin Mohammed al-Thani, chairman of the Qatari chamber.