‘Merkel fata Ghana’ – Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo has symbolically stated that German Chancellor Angela Merkel deserves the new cloth ‘Merkel Fata Ghana,’ named after the German leader.
The presentation of a customized Ghanaian traditional cloth to the German Chancellor, one of Europe’s most powerful leaders, was the highlight of the latter’s official visit to Ghana.
The cloth, named by President Akufo-Addo as ‘Merkel Fata Ghana,’ which when loosely translated means ‘Ghana deserves Merkel,’ was handed over to Dr. Merkel on Thursday, August 30 when she paid a day’s historic visit to Ghana.
Incidentally the president welcomed the German leader to the Jubilee House in the ‘Merkel fata Ghana’ cloth.
Her visit to Ghana, which comes after similar visits by some powerful European leaders such as French President, Emmanuel Macron, is the first of its kind by a German Chancellor in over 10 years, and it is seen as a testament of the growing interest by world leaders in the Akufo-Addo administration and Ghana at large.
President Akufo-Addo, DAILY GUIDE learnt, purposefully gave her the cloth as a gift for not rejecting his invitation in March 2018 to visit Ghana.
Dr. Merkel assured President Akufo-Addo at the time that she would surely visit Ghana and true to her words, she did actually visit the country.
She held bilateral talks with the Ghanaian leader whose vision is to transform the country’s industrial sector, thus getting the German automobile giant, Volkswagen (VW) to express interest in establishing an assembly plant in Ghana to feed the West Africa sub-region.
Checks by this paper revealed that the pink, black and gold coloured fabric with broom-like designs was produced specifically in the country for the German Chancellor by GTP.
The ‘Merkel Fata Ghana’ cloth is similar to a hand-woven Kente cloth, which was named after Helena Ritz Fathia Nkrumah, born Fathia Halim Ritzk, who was an Egyptian and wife of the late President Kwame Nkrumah.
President Akufo-Addo, who has virtually become a friend of many powerful world leaders, presented the German Chancellor with another Kente cloth by name ‘3dwene se dweneso’ and rich locally made beads to match.
Dr. Merkel was completely ecstatic about the honour done her by the Ghanaian leader and expressed her profound appreciation to the President.
Entourage and Partnerships
The German Chancellor, who was on a three-nation tour of Africa, arrived in Ghana with a large number of German investors.
At a joint press conference with President Akufo-Addo, she stated emphatically that the investors were particularly interested in setting up companies and establishing joint partnerships in Ghana.
Also, she disclosed that German companies that are already operating in Ghana are looking for ways to expand their footprints with the intent of helping to provide job opportunities and improve the economy of Ghana which is key on Mr. Akufo-Addo administration’s agenda.
The Chancellor assured her Ghanaian counterpart that her country was prepared to support Ghana in building its infrastructure and shaping its energy sector to be more efficient in adapting to new challenges.
Throwing more light on the VW deal, President Akufo-Addo said an agreement between Volkswagen, Government of Ghana and a local Ghanaian company was reached after a business meeting.
At a joint press briefing on Thursday, President Akufo-Addo said, “there are so many areas that our bilateral relationship has offered us, but the key part of it, for me is the emphasis on investment and trade cooperation.”
He emphasized Ghana’s “determination to deal with matters confronting the country such as youth unemployment, desire of our youth to seek greener pastures elsewhere by improving the management of our national economy.”
President Akufo-Addo stressed that “the stronger the economy we have, the more opportunities it gives to the young people and obviously, the pressure that will be on them to embark on those hazardous undertakings, will be dealt with.”
He told the press that “in so doing, we’ve set for ourselves a vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid, a Ghana which will depend more and more on mobilizing its own internal resources to confront the issues of development that there are before us.”
In all of this, President Akufo-Addo indicated that “there are a lot of opportunities here, and we are hoping that this business delegation that you have brought with you will see the opportunities that there are in several of the flagship programmes of our government, the One-District-One-Factory, the industrial parks, that we are determined to create.”
President Akufo-Addo also assured Chancellor Merkel of Ghana’s continued cooperation with the international community on issues bordering on illegal migration.
On the threat of terrorism, President Akufo-Addo thanked Chancellor Merkel and Germany for the assistance in tackling the jihadist menace.
“Within our modest means, we will continue to play our effective role, because clearly it is in our interest to do so. “It’s in our interest to contribute to ridding the region of these instruments of destabilization and destruction,” he added.