Investments from the United Arab Emirates into Ghana continue to increase, hitting an all-time high in the history of both countries’ economic relations.
This is because as at the end of November 2018, investments from the seven emirates that make up the UAE stood at over US$3.5billion – which is higher than the US$3billion recorded within the same period in 2017.
The investments are spread within various sectors of the economy by UAE-owned companies currently operating in Ghana.
Speaking at the 47th UAE Day commemoration in Accra, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador to Ghana, Kalifa Yousif Alzaabi said: “The UAE has also championed the values of tolerance and multiculturalism, rejecting discrimination and hatred by adopting nationwide programmes in partnership with various local, regional and international bodies.
“Today, the UAE forges ahead as a model of tolerance and acceptance, with more than 200 nationalities living in harmony, classing it as their second home. The law guarantees residents, similarly to nationals, to enjoy the right of using the state’s healthcare, educational, cultural and entertainment facilities without any discrimination,” he added.
The Ambassador also noted that trade relations between both countries continues to witness significant growth, including direct flights to and from Ghana and Dubai through the Emirates Airlines; and import and export of consumer goods among others.
Donations made in 2017 by the UAE amounted to total Official Development Aid (ODA) of US$5.26billion, which went to over 54 percent of developing and underdeveloped countries around the world.
The Ambassador also took the opportunity to promote the Expo 2020, saying: “Dubai Expo 2020 is one of the most important achievements under way. The exhibition is an effective implementation of international cooperation policies, and plays a central role in expanding and bolstering bilateral and multilateral relations. The exhibition is expected to host more than 200 participating countries.
“It will contribute to strengthening cultural understanding and nurturing cultural dialogue between nations, while changing prevailing perceptions on the region. Dubai Expo 2020 will position the UAE as a cradle of emerging technology, an incubator for SMEs and entrepreneurs in the region.”
The National Day is celebrated every year, and this year the 47th Day was also celebrated at the United Arab Emirates National Day on a very special anniversary for the country. This year, UAE’s first president, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – who founded the country and began his 33-year reign over the unified nation – would have turned 100 years old.
On this day in 1971, the six emirates of Abu Dhabi (the nation’s capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain, joined forces at the Union House in Dubai. One remaining emirate, Ras Al Khaimah, would join in February of the following year thus creating the United Arab Emirates — a rich amalgamation of 7 unique cultures and traditions of centuries past.
To mark the occasion, a spectacular display of fireworks will illuminate the skylines of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah in honour of the national day.
The anniversary had the slogan ‘Spirit of the Union’, conveying the essence of unity among all Emiratis marching onward under their proud flag – hoisted high thanks to the vision and unstinting efforts of the leaders since establishment of the Union to achieve advancement and prosperity. It also personifies the vision of the UAE’s founder, the late Sheikh Zayed.
Her Excellency Samira Bawumia, Second Lady of the Republic of Ghana, was the special guest of honour while the Minister of Inner City and Zongo Development, Mustapha Hamid, was the leader of government’s delegation to the function.
The Minister of Inner City and Zongo Development, speaking for and on behalf of thte government of Ghana, lauded the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for its technological advancement.
According to the minister, the UAE has inspired Ghana a lot with its technological advancement and the speed at which it has developed.
“We are inspired by the economic achievements the UAE has attained through its version 2010 and other commendable developmental policies,” he said.
Mustapha Hamid said even though the relationship between Ghana and the UAE dates back to the 1990s, there is a lot more both sides can do to boost their economies.
“A lot more needs to be done in order to achieve the desired boost; Ghana therefore wishes to invite the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry to explore opportunities for investment. The Nana Akufo-Addo-led government’s flagship programme, 1District-1Factory (1D1F) needs support to bring it into fruition.”
He encouraged the UAE business community to take advantage of the many opportunities created by government to partner with Ghanaian companies.
“I encourage you to partner with Ghanaian companies to set up projects and industries in support of the president’s initiatives – such as the One District-One Factory policy,” he noted.
As part of the Spirit of the Union, which also signifies giving, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Emirates Airlines are to sponsor two people who won a four-night fully- paid round trip to Dubai.
The two people were selected from a bowl that contained call-cards of those who attended the 47th National Day.