The envoy in a handshake with Madam Gina Blay as Felix Lomans of the Dutch Embassy, Fortune Alimi and A.R Gomda look on
The Dutch Ambassador to Ghana Ron Strikker last Tuesday paid a working visit to the offices of Western Publications Limited, publishers of the DAILY GUIDE during which he recounted the contributions of his government towards the developmental efforts of the country.
The envoy who was accompanied by Felix Lomans, Second Secretary/Trade & Private Sector Development at the embassy told his hosts, Gina Blay, Chief Executive Officer of Western Publications Limited, Fortune Alimi, Editor, Kwame Blay, Business Development Manager and A.R. Gomda, Chief News Editor that “we want to be part of Ghana’s development.”
When he set out to recount the projects in which the Dutch government is involved, there was a handful.
The Dutch government, he said, recognizes the role of the private sector as the engine of growth and has therefore been involved in a number of activities towards the enhancement of this critical segment of the economy.
The Dutch government, he said, has been active in what he described as the following pillars: food security, hygiene, entrepreneurial development.
In the area of agriculture, the Dutch have been subsidizing efforts of some companies in the cocoa industry as a means of improving their production capacities besides the good links with the Agriculture Ministry.
In the area of entrepreneurial development which appears to have a special place in the hearts of the Dutch, he said “we are willing to say more about entrepreneurship which we recognize as the engine of development.”
In the area of the provision of potable water, he disclosed how the Dutch government through a partnership with an Indian company, Waterhealth is providing water to various communities across the country.
In order to ensure the sustainability of the programme, he explained that the treated water is not supplied gratis but at a fee from the various water stations being operated under the programme.
An amount of €50,000 capital has already been provided for the sustenance of the programme which is impacting positively on people in potable water deprived areas, he said, adding that the project has been replicated in the Ashanti, Volta, and Western Regions. In Ablekuma one of the water stations is operational.
He took the opportunity to announce the approaching activities being hosted by the Dutch embassy to commemorate the country’s national day.
The ‘Orange Week’ as it is dubbed would incorporate a number of programmes such as a photographic exhibition, food and dance and the climax, King’s Day, scheduled for 27th April, 2017.
The visit to DAILY GUIDE, according to him, was a recognition of the place of the newspaper in the local media industry.
Gina Blay who gave a brief history of the humble genesis of the newspaper, pleaded for refresher programmes for local media practitioners something she said the Dutch used to do for Ghanaian journalists until a lull set in.
Speaking on behalf of the Ghana Journalists Association, Private Newspaper Proprietors Association of Ghana and Independent Broadcaster Association of Ghana, she said such refresher programmes would go a long way in enhancing the capacity of journalists.
By A.R. Gomda