Mayoral candidates for London have, together with the Ghana Society in the United Kingdom, reiterated the need to foster greater links between Ghana and the United Kingdom. This is to harness the potential of helping Ghanaian raw material producers using technology transfer from the United Kingdom to develop their produce.
At the Parliamentary forum hosted by Kevin Hopkins, MP and organised by the Ghana society at the Portcullis House, on 1st July 2015, Ghana’s Republic day, several of the London Mayoral candidates outlined the importance of what could be done to realise the theme for the event: CAN MAYORAL CANDIDATES ENABLE TRADE BETWEEN GHANA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM BY ENABLING GHANAIANS TO DEVELOP THEIR RAW MATERIALS LOCALLY WITH TEHNOLOGY TRANSFER FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM?
The discussion centred on how the UK can collaborate with Ghana to foster longstanding ties. Panellists comprising publishers, economists and politicians used the floor to explore how Ghana’s mineral wealth, manpower and expertise can be partnered with the UK.
The forum identified renewable energy, tourism and agro processing as the most viable products for the intended collaboration.
‘’ … with agro processing not only does the investor benefit but the lives of the local Ghanaian is improved and poverty is reduced.’’ Mr Anthony Ayarkwah, Economic policy & Agro Processor Consultant said.
.. A yearly activity which we can pursue is to bring together two research institutions to look at certain products, with the help of the Mayors, to improve on such products and improve their value. Another activity is to create a platform to showcase products of agro based producers and with the help of the mayors facilitate the meeting of input producers and investors for mutual benefits’, Mr. Ayarkwah added.
Kofi Addo, the Minister Counsellor for Trade at the Ghana High Commission who represented the High Commissioner, stressed the importance of harnessing Ghana’s resource base and adding value to the raw materials.
‘‘Salt production in Ghana is an opportunity that isn’t being taken full advantage of… Despite Ghana having enough salt to more than meet domestic consumption, Ghana imports tonnes from Brazil. And if only technology in cashew production in Ghana were more cutting-edge, areas such as Wenchi in Ghana’s middle belt would be in a position to meet the needs of the UK market’’, he stressed.
Other speakers at the successful and well attended event were: Kelvin Hopkins MP, Nana AyebIa Clarke MBE, Managing Director of Ayebia Clarke Publishing Limited; Hon.Gareth Thomas MP and London mayoral Candidate, Christian Wolmar, a Labour mayoral candidate, Mr Anthony Ayarkwah, Economic Policy & Agro Processor Consultant, Tom Chance, the Green Party’s mayoral candidate
Maria Lovell CEO/Founder Ghana Society UK said in her welcome speech ‘Ghana Society UK continues to push to the forefront issues pertaining to Ghana, to inform and change the mind sets of many a Ghanaian in the Diaspora, both old and young with the “can do” mentality to encourage our positive engagement in issues both local and national which affect us and our communities to become a better people and contribute to a better Ghana’
The forum resolved to:
1. To harness the relationship with the would-be London Mayor to bring researchers from the two countries together to promote economic development
2. To advance a platform for bringing input suppliers and agri-business operators together to enhance wealth creation
3. The Ghana Society to set out a project in Ghana & UK to facilitate the collaboration that is established by the forum.
4. Establish a yearly review of the collaboration between the Mayor of London and the Ghanaian community in the United Kingdom.
5. To forge relations with the All Party Parliamentary Group with focus on Ghana