Former President Jerry John Rawlings has called on Norway to boost its technical support for Ghana especially in the area of oil and Gas exploration. He said Ghana currently has a progressive government in power and described the atmosphere for investment in Ghana as very conducive.
The former President was speaking at a meeting with the Norwegian Minister for Environment & Development Assistance, Mr. Erik Solheim in Norway this morning. Mr. Rawlings described President Mills as "a man with a high degree of integrity who would not put up with corruption” and encouraged Norway to strengthen their trade relations with Ghana.
On his part, Mr. Solheim said Norway is very interested in working with Ghana and look forward to sharing their expertise in oil and gas exploration. The Norwegian Minister for Environment and Development Assistance said his country currently has some work with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, GNPC and hope to extend Norway`s development assistance to other areas of the Ghanaian economy. He hinted on plans to establish an Embassy in Accra to among other things facilitate trade relations with Ghana.
Flt. Lt Rawlings and his wife, former first lady Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings are in Norway for the inauguration of the Norway branch of the National Democratic Congress. The inauguration is scheduled to take place on Saturday September 5th. The former president was accompanied by the International Relations Director of the NDC, Hon. Kofi Attor Deputy National Youth Organizer and Special aid Kofi Adams and NDC`s Chairman in Norway.
The former President is scheduled to give a public lecture at the University of Oslo on the theme – Achieving a Human Centred Development in Africa; possibilities and challenges. He is scheduled to give a second lecture on Saturday 5th September at the National Veterinary Institute.
Ex President Rawlings in a later interaction with the Press in Norway said it would be unfortunate for Africans to continuously blame the West for their failures. He said it is “crucial for Africans to display a patriotic spirit. The president said greed, neglect and corruption against the people of Ghana over the last eight years under the New Patriotic Party “should not go unpunished.” Mr. Rawlings said Ghanaians can count on President Mills for good governance and not the rhetorical one “we had from the NPP.”
Norway currently has 6.7 billion barrels of proven oil reserve as of January 2009, making it the largest oil reserves in Western Europe according to the Oil and Gas Journal. Norway is the largest oil producer in Europe and produced 2.7 million barrels a day in 2008. It is believed that with the country’s efficient management of its oil resources, Norway could be a good source of help for Ghana.
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