General News of Fri, 30 Jan 20041
Reduce problems in acquisition of visa-Kufuor
Accra, Jan. 30, GNA- President John Agyekum Kufuor on Friday appealed to Ambassadors and High Commissioners in Ghana to endeavour to reduce the long delays in the processing of application of visas to their countries.
He said Ghanaians also complained that not enough courtesies were extended to them at their consulates where they had to queue for long hours on-end before they were given attention.
President Kufuor made the appeal at the New Year reception for the Diplomatic Corps at the Castle Gardens, Osu.
He called on the diplomats to discuss Africa's problems, which were real and to draw attention to the bold efforts that were being made in Ghana and elsewhere on the Continent to break the cycle of poverty and improve on the standard of living of the people and to ensure socio-economic development.
President Kufuor said this was necessary because the world continued to see Africa in the stereotypical fashion as war-torn, famine , disease ridden and corrupt.
"Inform the world about our emerging private sector and the peaceful environment to give a truer and clearer picture of Ghana to the world and thereby encourage investors to turn towards Ghana", he said. President Kufuor who is also the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), expressed appreciation to the international community and organisations to the ECOWAS in its search for solutions to the complex conflicts in the troubled parts of the sub-Region.
He said the peace gradually taking hold in Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Liberia and Cote D'Ivoire were the result of the substantial support which many of the nations and organisations they represent continued to give.
President Kufuor said continentally, the recognition and encouragement of NEPAD and the African Union were also much appreciated and taken as indicative of the readiness of the rest of the world to co-operate with Africa in its resolve to join the mainstream of globalisation. He said the realization of these visions and efforts would depend to a large measure on their commitment as individual ambassadors to and within Africa to fostering good international relations and upliftment of humanity.
Mr Emmanuel Tanoe, Ivorian Ambassador in Ghana and acting Dean of the Diplomatic Corps said the re-election of President Kufuor as Chairman of ECOWAS was a testimony of the confidence other leaders within the sub-Region had in him and his efforts to restore peace and stability. The Ivorian Ambassado said the Ghanaian government had endeavoured to build a society on sound justice equity and democracy.
He, however, said a major challenge to the government was how to organise peaceful elections within the dictates of democracy and all principles of fairness this year.
Among the dignitaries were the First Lady, Mrs Theresah Kufuor, Vice President Aliu Mahama and his wife Hajia Ramatu Mahama, Ministers of State, Parliamentarians, Politicians, members of the Council of State, diplomats and heads of international institutions and organisations.