Malta President Lays Bare Vision for Ghana and Africa

The President of Malta, His Excellency George William Vella is in for serious business with Africa as he seeks to intensify and enhance his collaboration with not just individual countries but the whole continent.

He reiterated this to the King of the Asante Kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II during a courtesy call on Saturday, March 9, 2024, at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.

The official visit with his spouse, Miriam Vella formed part of his three-day working visit to Ghana.

Among his entourage were Malta’s Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Research and Innovation, Keith Azzopardi Tanti, Secretary to the President of Malta, Ms Rosette Spiteri Cachia, Malta High Commissioner to Ghana, H.E. Jean Claud Galea Mallia and others.

Introducing the President at the Manhyia Palace, H. E Galea Mallia marked the visit as the second by a Maltese ceremonial head of state with the first in 2017.

“Our two countries are bound by longstanding and excellent relations marked by numerous high-level visits and meetings over the years. Very significantly, the respect that our countries nurture for one another is also evidenced by active resident High Commissions in Malta and Ghana.”

In his speech, President Vella outlined his vision for trade relations with Ghana and Africa at large.

According to him, Malta’s vision to enhance relations and partnership with the continent is evident in the establishment of its first Sub-Saharan diplomatic representation in Ghana, adding that, “Africa as a whole and Ghana feature prominently in Malta Foreign Policy.”

He posits that the island country continues to actively pursue the implementation of this Africa strategy from the year 2020 to 2025 to further enhance their cooperation with their African partners and friends.

“Malta is doing this by creating meaningful relationships with our African partners through intensified trade and development, through investments and people-to-people contact. We will continue to strive and to push for meaningful and tangible cooperation with Ghana not only at the political level but also through the facilitation of exchanges between Maltese and Ghana private sectors and civil society.”

He continued, “There is ample interest on both sides to further expand our relations and collaborations in various sectors such as tourism and culture, climate change and environment, pharmaceuticals, education and the agric sectors.”

In the area of youth development, the President underscored the need to make adequate investments by placing youth development and employment on top of the scale of preference as he suggested exchange programmes between universities from both countries.

“Investing in the education of our youth is an investment in our collective future. Besides, Malta is also fully committed to giving priority to people exchanges in the field of education. We would like to create further opportunities for Ghanaian citizens to study, specialise or upscale at higher education institutions in my country such as the University of Malta, Malta College of Arts Science and Technology the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies and the International Maritime Law Institute as well as the Institute of Tourism Studies.”

He believes there is room for greater focus on capacity building, youth entrepreneurship and leadership, sustainable development and economic growth. He also places a premium on youth development and health.

For his part, His Majesty recognized the visit as an affirmation of the commitment, collaboration and deep relationship between Ghana and Malta.

“During your first visit, there was encouragement for a joint commission to be able to develop economically in the areas of tourism, education and various sectors. This visit affirms that commitment. In your meeting with the President {of Ghana}, I know you affirmed a joint cooperation and collaboration that Malta seeks with Ghana.”

On Malta’s pursuit to increase collaboration with Africa, His Majesty assured the President of the needed environment and atmosphere in Ghana for investment as well as mutually benefitting collaborations.

“I’ve seen also the cooperation you seek with sub-Sahara Africa. I want to assure you that anything we have to do to collaborate in relation to developing our two countries, should be mutually beneficial to our two countries, we would support doing that.”

“Ghana is ready. Investors from there can come here. There is a stable democracy in this country. We change our government with the ballot. We are stable and therefore investors are assured of a stable atmosphere and climate for them here. Governments will come and go but we will remain here to protect them.”

Additionally, the Monarch called for collaboration between the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the University of Malta.

“I seek collaboration between our university here, the {Kwame Nkrumah} University of Science and Technology, and the University of Malta. We can exchange students, and exchange programmes to advance in education. Education will aid in developing our countries., therefore, we will have quality education so we can create employment for our people to have adequate human resources.”

Story by Hajara Fuseini

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