Malta and Ghana strengthen relations…hands on systems in pole position
Last month’s visit to Ghana by the President of the Republic of Malta Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, accompanied by a large contingent of investors and corporate leaders, was a most welcome opportunity for both countries.
Close business relations with Malta will open the door to a huge marketplace with a population of over 500 million for the Ghanaian business community.
President Coleiro Preca and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela visited the recently opened HopeXchange hospital in Kumasi (known as the Maltese hospital), offering clinical services in facial malformation surgery to children, during their stay in Accra.
Malta is a close friend of Ghana and, in 2003, through retired Ambassador Anthony DeBono, in his former capacity as Chairman of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation, had selected the first African – the Ghanaian Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah – to head the now 117-year-old Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation as its CEO.
The current President of Ghana, Nana Akufo Addo, was then Minister of Foreign Affairs and, following consultations, there were no objections from the Government although Dr. Spio-Garbrah had other party allegiances. President Akufo-Addo was then guest of honour of Ambassador DeBono during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting held in Malta in 2005.
Former Ambassador DeBono was in Accra as part of a large contingent of Maltese investors. He is currently Chairman of HandsOn Systems Ltd, a leading telematics and RFID player in Europe, with already established links in Ghana.
The meetings with Chief Dr. Michael Agyekum Addo, Chairman of Ghana’s Investment Promotion and President of Ghana’s Red Cross, a very close friend of Ambassador DeBono, coupled with the one with Albert Ankrah, Executive Director of the Ghana Gulf Chamber of Commerce and Jospong Group of Companies, assumed major importance.
In view of his strong bonds with Ghana, the former Ambassador to the Kingdom of Jordan, Anthoy DeBono had the great honour to be given an audience by King Otumfuo Osei Tutu during which they discussed how Ambassador DeBono can serve as a catalyst to mobilise a ‘think thank’ group of erudite specialists to focus on three pillars, namely a modern and robust financial regime, technology to be harnessed as the vehicle for change and most importantly education to serve as a solid foundation for the economy.
A business forum between Maltese and Ghanaian entrepreneurs was held in Accra during the state visit from which there are excellent prospects of new business ventures.
Maltese entrepreneurs will be returning to Ghana to sign a number of agreements, with HandsOn Systems CEO Geoffrey Farrugia having taken the lead with a number of initiatives in joint venture operations with Ghanaian partners, notably Cape 3 Oil & Gas and the Aspire Group.
Before their departure, Chairman Anthony De Bono and CEO Geoffrey Farrugia took the opportunity to present two brand new high-powered laptop computers to two star students, Moses Amedonu and Emmanuel Aikins Nsowah, CEO Farrugia’s renowned savviness in technology has singled out these two young high-fliers with the right ingredients to reach technological prowess of immense proportions.
The Maltese Consul in Accra, Jean Claude Galea, together with Trade Malta and Malta Enterprise played an active role to ensure an effective sojourn for the Ghana-Malta encounters .