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General News Wed, 18 Aug 1999

Netherlands Cements Development Ties With Ghana

ACCRA, Ghana (PANA) -

The Ghanaian government has received an aide memoire from the Dutch government, announcing a new impetus in bilateral co-operation.

Vice-President John Atta Mills Tuesday received the document from Netherlands ambassador to Ghana, Alesander Heldring, outlying that the Dutch government would not only maintain bilateral development with Ghana but also intensify support toward its development in the future.

Heldring said the co-operation would initially be centred on priority areas of health and environment, identified by the Ghanaian government.

He explained that the possible expansion of the assistance programme would be thoroughly discussed between the two countries in 2000, during which the ownership of the recipient country would be the guiding principle.

He noted that emerging international consensus demands that the effectiveness of aid should be linked closely to environment policy in recipient countries. Heldring observed that Ghana has so far satisfied the criteria, which included good governance, socio-economic progress and the potential for the reduction in the level of poverty.

He said the Dutch government based its assessment on findings by a delegation of the Foreign Relations Committee from the Dutch Parliament after it had proposed Ghana among 19 selected countries for structural development assistance in the coming years.

Heldring said the parliament subsequently approved the list June, reducing it to 17 countries, "but Ghana remained among the 17 without any problem."

Source: PANA