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India believes that Africa should take ownership of its resources and define its own interests and goals, says President

India believes that Africa should take ownership of its resources and define its own interests and goals, says President


The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the banquet hosted in his honour by the President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, Mr. Alassane Ouattara at Presidential Palace, in Abidjan on June 14, 2016. The Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Youth Affairs and Sports (I/C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh is also seen.

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee addressed the students and faculty members of India-Ghana Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence in ICT today (June 14, 2016).


Speaking on the occasion, the President said India has always believed that Africa should take ownership of its resources and define its own interests and goals. Our Government is committed to working with partners in Africa in all areas where we can help them to use and adapt relevant, cost effective technologies, share best practices and realise their goals of technological development.

The President said the greatest reward for the Kofi Annan Centre is that its graduates are effectively deployed throughout the Economic Community of West African States. This was India’s primary objective in seeking to build capacity and assist Ghana and its neighbours in their human resource development. The establishment of the Kofi Annan Centre and its partnership with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in India is an example of the successful co-operation between Ghana and India in the field of Information Technology and human resource development. India has always been happy to extend technical support and expertise to its friends in Africa. The President announced an additional million dollar grant to the Kofi Annan Centre on the occasion to help the Centre initiate a Masters programme, expand its laboratory facilities and introduce additional curriculum that will help students stay abreast with rapidly advancing technology.
For immediate release.

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Africa, we stand by you, says President

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee addressed the Indian Community Reception in Accra, Ghana yesterday (June 13, 2016).

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that his visit to Africa was to convey the message that India stands by Africa. He told the Indian community that India's partnership and friendship with Africa are abiding and enduring. India will continue to work with Ghana and other countries of the continent for mutual benefit and progress.

The President said that the ten thousand strong Indian community in Ghana is a vibrant amalgam of individuals from different walks of life. Each one of them has a story to tell - that inspires others towards greater things and motivates an entire generation. Their contributions have, no doubt, been valued and appreciated by the friendly people of Ghana. He said that looking at the Indian Community in Ghana, the people of Ghana could see a microcosm of the Indian diversity and plurality.

The President said that India's trade with Africa is over US$70 billion and investments about US$35 billion. The 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi in October last year provided a medium to long-term vision for India's cooperation with Africa. The Indian Diaspora in Africa will have an important role to play in accomplishing some of the objectives of this vision.

He said that the efforts of the Indian Community in Ghana is complementing many foreign policy measures taken by the Government of India to assist the friendly countries in Africa, including Ghana. India has extended over US$400 million of concessional credit to Ghana in the last few years for various projects. EXIM bank is also providing funding for a railway project. India-Ghana bilateral trade has reached US$3 billion and Indian investments in this country are estimated at around US$1 billion. These giant strides would not have been possible without the active role of the Diaspora. They had become force multipliers of India's growing economic strength. The President thanked them for their commitment.

The President congratulated all of them for making India proud through their contributions to the socio-economic development of Ghana. He called upon them to actively take part in various programmes which the Government of India has embarked upon such as Digital India; Stand-Up India; Start-Up India; Smart Cities; Swatch Bharat etc.

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Address by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the University of Ghana in Accra on June 13, 2016

1.  Good Afternoon to all of you!  It is indeed a pleasure and privilege for me to be amongst you.
2.   It is a great pleasure whenever I have such  an opportunity to see the bright faces, sparkling eyes and young minds of students filled with high hopes, aspirations and a strong desire to make a change in the environment in which they live.
3.  Dear students, your quest for innovation and yearning for positive change are the Critical Mass and Centre-of-Gravity around which a Nation's hopes and aspirations are built. By challenging society's mores, seeking the rationale of ideologies and questioning systems and beliefs, you prevent society from wilting into complacency. I am, therefore, delighted to be with you today.
4.  My delegations consists of Dr Jitendra Singh , Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister of India, Shri Surjit Singh Ahluwalia ,Member of the Lok Sabha -  the House of the People and Shri Mansukh Mandaviya , Member of the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the Indian Parliament. We bring to you the good will, love and affection of the people of India.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

5.  I am aware that the University of Ghana is one of the largest in Africa, and home to one of the most vibrant student communities in Africa. The scholarship that emanates from this University has contributed to the currents of change and advancement in Ghana and other countries in your neighbourhood and beyond.
6.  Friends, today's robust and confident India is not an overnight phenomenon. Decades of toil and the sacrifices of our leaders strengthened by the momentum generated by hundreds of thousands of students and scholars are behind India's freedom and rise; it is their innovations, discoveries, rock-solid determination and self confidence, and more importantly a burning desire to serve the nation, which has contributed to India's success.
7.  Independent India, after 1947, refused to simply replicate what the developed countries were doing, nor did we follow blindly the models of development that might have been successful elsewhere. We recognized that natural and financial resources were only one side of the coin of development; but the other side is the quality of human resource that alone can transform the natural resources into prosperity and happiness of the people.
8.  Distinguished members of the Faculty and dear Students, you would be aware that since the 1960s, the Government of India, guided by her experience, has been sharing her knowledge and skills with nations in Africa and other developing countries. India's capacity-building programmes - Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC) and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Scholarships scheme - have become household names across Africa. Every year, 250 Ghanaian government and semi-government officials receive training in India while about 20 scholars pursue full-time under-graduate, Masters and Ph.D programmes on scholarships.  I have learned, to my delight, that students from Ghana are rated by institutes and universities in India as the finest among all foreign students.  Please accept my hearty congratulations. Having recognized Ghana's immense human resource potential, I am happy to announce that the Government of India has decided to increase seat allocations for Ghana to 300 ITEC slots and increase the number of annual scholarships under other Indian schemes to forty.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
1.  The friendship between India and Ghana is rooted in our common history of struggles against foreign domination and struggle for independence. Both our peoples cherish the shared vision of our founding leaders and the values of democracy, plurality, inclusiveness and human dignity. These commonalities have bound us in a fraternal embrace. The measureless goodwill and the extent of familiarity and affinity that exist between our two peoples defy geographical logic and confound political scientists! No wonder our two governments work so closely together on major international issues and in multilateral organizations including the Commonwealth and the Non-Aligned Movement. By adapting our bilateral relations to the present global context and the changing geo-political dynamics of the present situation, we will be able to renew and nurture this goodwill and affinity.

2.  We should recognize that challenges are an inevitable and integral part of the developmental process. Today our nations face many similar challenges:

      the goal of eliminating poverty,
      defeating the scourge of international terrorism;
      sustainable development in harmony with our environment    and eco-systems;
      preserving and further refining our democratic systems and strengthening our democratic institutions;
      adding greater value to our resources and efficiently generating employment for our youth.
We not only have to be watchful, but have to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in confronting them. India, as a friend and partner, is with you in this journey.

3.  In brief, there is a need for a paradigm shift in the way we conduct our relations - while building further on the foundation of our mutual goodwill. We need to define a new positive and create a brighter, innovative and updated narrative of India-Ghana relations.

4.  I am confident that our youth – who are our leaders of tomorrow would fit in seamlessly into this renewed and revised model of cooperation.  By duly making them stakeholders, we will succeed in reinvigorating our partnership and taking it to a new level.

5.  My dear friends, I do believe that science and knowledge will simply remain a scholarly preserve if it is not translated into wisdom that guides humanity towards a better tomorrow. Education is like a lamp, brightly-lit, which should show the way and enlighten many more lives.  I would, therefore, call upon the youth of Ghana to employ your learning and knowledge in the service of your society and your nation. I am confident that the coming generations of this great nation, the inheritors of the legacy of the great son of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, have the credentials to make their Nation proud. I have no doubt that you will claim for Ghana the rightful place that it deserves in the comity of Nations.

Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen,
6.  I believe that Ghana is already moving in the right direction. Your democratic credentials are the envy of many African countries; your rapid progress in realising the Millennium Development Goals is commendable; your social and religious harmony is exemplary and the peace and stability that prevails in this country are your greatest assets. Your role in the integration of the Economic Community of West African States is widely recognised. The exceptional solidarity shown by Ghana in rendering their support to Ebola-affected countries in Africa is worthy of admiration. However, no developing nation can afford to be complacent. We should continue to strive and be watchful. The road ahead is very long, and sometimes tortuous. Alone we may stumble, but together we can go farther.
Ladies and gentlemen,
7.  India has suffered many challenges in its long history, and continues to confront them. But we are ready to share our success and the expertise we have developed in some key sectors with the people of Ghana under the umbrella of our South-South cooperation programmes. This is one of the reasons why India organized the Third India-Africa Forum Summit in October last year in New Delhi. We want to enhance our developmental cooperation with Africa.

8.  India calls upon students and the faculty of this great university and others to take full advantage of the scholarships and training opportunities announced by India at the India Africa Forum Summit last year. The capacity building dimension of India-Africa relations has been vastly expanded to include research in various fields such as agriculture, bio-technology and other subjects of relevance to your country.

9.  In this context , I would like to commend two eminent centres of learning in Ghana for their role in nurturing an institutional relationship with India: the first is the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, which has been coordinating the Pan-African e-network Programme, a brainchild of my illustrious predecessor, the Late Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. The second is the India-Ghana Kofi Annan Centre of ICT Excellence in Accra, which, I am happy to note, has been imparting ICT skills to the youth of Ghana and also other countries in this region. I am looking forward to visiting this Centre tomorrow morning.

10.      My dear distinguished friends, let us pause and take a look at the present day geo-political global scenario. Outdated structures cannot resolve problems of today. Positive transformation cannot be brought about by archaic systems and concepts. The United Nations, established in the wake of the 2nd World War cannot effectively respond to the rapidly evolving international challenges that we face today. It is imperative that the organs of the United Nations should keep pace with the changing times.  A country of India's size which houses every sixth citizen of the world and the entire African continent do not have a place in the permanent membership of the Security Council. Reform and change of the United Nations is inevitable.

11.      Let me conclude quoting from Gandhi the Mahatma, the Father of the Indian Nation, whose statue I have had the honour of unveiling in the precincts of this University today : Gandhiji had exhorted us against:

‘’Wealth without work; pleasure without conscience; knowledge without character; commerce without morality; science without humanity; worship without sacrifice; and politics without principles.’’

12.         There is no better counsel than the above for the youth, the future leaders of our two countries. I wish you all success in your future endeavours. The world belong to you bright young men and women and the entire community wants you to make the change you desire to see the in the world.
Thank you.

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Need to define a new positive and create a brighter, innovative and updated narrative of India-Ghana relations, says President

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee addressed the students and faculty of University of Ghana in Accra yesterday (June 13, 2016).

Speaking on the occasion, the President said there is a need for a paradigm shift in the way we conduct our relations - while building further on the foundation of our mutual goodwill. We need to define a new positive and create a brighter, innovative and updated narrative of India-Ghana relations. He was confident that our youth – who are our leaders of tomorrow, would fit in seamlessly into this renewed and revised model of cooperation. By duly making them stakeholders, we will succeed in reinvigorating our partnership and taking it to a new level.

The President said education is like a lamp, brightly-lit, which should show the way and enlighten many more lives. He called upon the youth of Ghana to employ their learning and knowledge in the service of their society and their nation. He said that he was confident that the coming generations of this great nation, the inheritors of the legacy of the great Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, have the credentials to make their Nation proud.

The President said every year 250 Ghanaian government and semi-government officials receive training in India while about 20 students pursue full-time under-graduate, Masters and Ph.D. programmes on scholarships. He announced that having recognized Ghana's immense human resource potential, the Government of India has decided to increase seat allocations for Ghana to 300 ITEC slots and increase the number of annual scholarships under other Indian schemes to forty.

The President said India calls upon students and the faculty of this great university and others to take full advantage of the scholarships and training opportunities announced by India at the India Africa Forum Summit last year. The capacity building dimension of India-Africa relations has been vastly expanded to include research in various fields such as agriculture, bio-technology and other subjects of relevance to their country.

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Address by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the India-Ghana Kofi Annan Centre for excellence in Accra on June 14, 2016

1. It is a great pleasure for me to visit the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT. I am accompanied by Minister of State in the Indian Prime Minister’s Office, H’ble Dr. Jitendra Singh, H’ble Shri Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia, Member of the Lok Sabha, the House of the People and H’ble Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Member of the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the Indian Parliament. We bring with us warm greetings and good wishes of the Government and people of India.

2. I am particularly delighted to interact with the students and trainees here. I see in each one of you great promise and potential. You are the future leaders of this country. Your innovative ideas have the potential to transform your country’s economy - and take it to a higher trajectory of productivity and growth.

3. It was deeply satisfying for me to hear of your positive experiences. I am very happy to see that this Centre has grown into an institution par excellence. Since its establishment in 2003, it has, by now, trained over 20,000 students – not only from Ghana but also from other neighbouring countries.

4. I understand that due to the close co-operation between this Centre and the Indian Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, it has been able to steadily expand its curriculum to include several relevant areas of study such as cyber security, mobile computing, enterprise software, high performance computing and so on.

5. I congratulate Director General, Dr. Dorothy Gordon for her dynamic leadership in making this partnership so fruitful. Shri Jeeva Sagar, High Commissioner of India to Ghana tells me that it is her commitment and contribution that are at the core of the Centre’s success.

6. It is also a matter of satisfaction that graduates of the centre have been recognised and valued. I understand that most alumni are presently in good positions in business and industrial organisations, some have started their own businesses and others are using their knowledge to create their own ICT solutions and become employers themselves.

7. The greatest reward for the Kofi Annan Centre is that its graduates are effectively deployed throughout the Economic Community of West African States. This was India’s primary objective in seeking to build capacity and assist Ghana and its neighbours in their human resource development.

8. The establishment of the Kofi Annan Centre and its partnership with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in India is an example of the successful co-operation between Ghana and India in the field of Information Technology and human resource development. India has always been happy to extend technical support and expertise to its friends in Africa.

9. Former UN Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan, a great son of Ghana, is a long-standing friend of India. He is a respected voice in global affairs and South-South cooperation. Therefore, it was only appropriate that this centre should be named after him.

10. India has always believed that Africa should take ownership of her resources and define her own interests and goals. Our Government is committed to working with partners in Africa in all areas where we can help them to use and adapt relevant, cost effective technologies, share best practices and realise their goals of technological development.

11. I am glad to note that the Kofi-Annan Centre for Excellence is duly focussed on research and the application of science and ICT in finding local solutions for national issues.

12. I would like to take this opportunity to emphasise that India’s experience as a developing country has taught us the necessity of giving due attention to equitable and inclusive growth and development.

13. It is very important to ensure that the digital revolution does not create new imbalances between men and women, between rural and urban centres or between the mainstream languages and others.

14. All sectors and segments must be reached in the drive to inculcate skills that will make the targeted population employable; if need be, special programmes must be designed to address their needs. I am happy to learn that the Kofi Annan Centre, through its special programmes is looking at how best to respond to this important requirement.

15. In recognition of the achievements of this centre, my Government is happy to announce an additional million dollar grant to help the Centre initiate a Masters programme, expand its laboratory facilities and introduce additional curriculum that will help students stay abreast with rapidly advancing technology.

16. With these words, I thank Your Excellency, Madame Foreign Minister and Director General, Dr. Dorothy Gordon, for giving me a very satisfying tour of this Centre.

17. To the students and trainees of this Centre, I offer my commendations for your hard work and my best wishes for your success.

18. I am confident that you will leave no stone unturned as you take full advantage of the curriculum offered by this Centre. I have no doubt that you will equip yourselves thoroughly and develop your capabilities comprehensively to one day make your own valuable contributions to the progress of your great country. Your success will be a tribute to the friendship and close partnership between Ghana and India.

I thank you once again!

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