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Remarks by Chinese Ambassador to Ghana H.E. Mdm. Sun Baohong at the Handing-over Ceremony of the ICT Classroom at Lady Julia ICT Knowledge Community Center

His Majesty Bantamehene, representing His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, King of Ashanti,

Respected Traditional Leaders of the Community,

His Excellency Ambassador Kojo Amoo-Gotffried, President of Ghana China Association of Friendship,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Teachers and Students,

Good afternoon!

This is the sixth time for me to come to Kumasi. The city is known as the Garden City of West Africa. Each time I set foot upon this piece of land, my heart will be full of reverence. The city witnessed the history of Ashanti people fighting against the British colonists, and the Golden Age of rapid development of industry and commerce in Ghana. Ancient civilization and modern civilization merge and mingle here, emitting brilliant light and attracting countless tourists and investors.

Today we are going to witness the inauguration of the ICT classroom aided by the Chinese Embassy in Ghana. With the rapid development of global Internet technology, IT industry has become an important driving force for economic development and social progress. "Internet+" has become the key word for global economic growth and every country wants to grab these new opportunities. China's great politician Mr. Deng Xiaoping once said, "Computer literacy should be popularized at kids’ age." In the past three years, the Chinese Embassy has been committed to improving Ghana’s ICT infrastructure and helping Ghanaian students master IT to be better prepared for the Age of Big Data. So far, the Embassy has built eight ICT classrooms in seven regions in Ghana, and thousands of students benefit herein.

The ICT classroom is named China-Ghana Friendship ICT Classroom to commemorate the deep ties between our two countries that have walked through 57 years hand in hand. Former President of Ghana H.E. Mr. Kufuor, cast the vote 45 years ago to support China’s restoration of legitimate seat in the United Nations when he was the Deputy Foreign Minister of the country, He has made outstanding contribution to development of our relations.

I cannot enumerate all the achievements we have scored in our bilateral cooperation. China and Ghana enjoy frequent high-level exchanges. As early as 10 years ago, His Majesty King of Ashanti paid a goodwill visit to China. Last year, H.E. Mr. YU Zhengsheng, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference visited Ghana successfully. Vice presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia visited China successfully. China-Ghana cooperation on economy and trade has kept good momentum and yielded bountiful results. In 2016, China-Ghana trade volume hit 5.9 billion US dollars, maintaining the 6th place among all African countries. China's direct investment and newly-signed contracts in Ghana also rank in the forefront of African countries. China handed over the Cape Coast Sports Stadium and Kotokuraba Modern Market Project to the Ghanaian side. Other major projects such as the Phase II of Gas Infrastructure Development Project, Sunon Asogli Zero Discharge 700MW Coal Plant and China-aided 1,000-borehole project, are progressing steadily. The people-to-people exchanges are also laudable. Last year, a total of 518 Ghanaian students received various kinds of scholarship to study in China and made the number of Ghanaian students in China close to 5,000, ranking first among all African countries for the past four years. More than 1,000 Ghanaian professionals took part in vocational training programs in China, and this number ranked first in the world. The second Confucius Institute in Ghana was successfully unveiled at the University of Cape Coast, and the China National Youth Football Team and the Jiangxi Culture Exchange Group visited Ghana and made a great sensation across the country.

Kumasi is one of the best points to observe the flourishing development of China-Ghana relations. We have both Kumasi Youth Centre, a Chinese government grant project and Wynca Sunshine Company, a Chinese enterprise committed to establishing a hundred-year-lasting brand and advocating "Invested by China and Made in Ghana". Local business men and women of Ashanti travel to China on a daily basis to purchase all kinds of goods and by introducing in Chinese machinery and expertise, Prefos became the first street lamp factory in Ghana, Rattray Park became the most popular entertaining place. In 2015 and 2016, KATH hosted two Chinese cadio-vascular expert teams. Chinese experts performed surgeries free of charge and saved dozens of peoples’ lives. Last year, due to the help of Wenzhou Chamber of Commerce in Ghana, Kumasi and Wenzhou City of China officially concluded sister-city relations and became the sixth sister-city (sister region) between China and Ghana. Chinese enterprises make new investment to set up cement, auto-parts, plastic re-processing and other manufacturing plants in Kumasi, supporting Ghana’s endeavors of economic restructuring and industrial construction. Kumasi embraces more and more potential Chinese investors. Last year, delegation of Wenzhou Municipal Party’s Committee and business delegation of Henan and the China National Textile and Apparel Council visited Kumasi. During their stay, they held dialogues with governmental officials and business elites and explored the investment opportunities. I believe more good news are on the way.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Last year, I had the great honor of visiting the pride of Ashanti people, former Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Kofi Annan. Mr. Annan is very dedicated to the economic and social development of developing countries after retirement, especially his own hometown. During our meeting, Mr. Annan pointed out that China's development experience is worth learning.

After reform and opening-up for 39 years, China is now the world's second largest economy, largest trading nation in goods, largest holder of foreign exchange reserves, third largest outbound investor, largest tourist market and third largest overseas students host country. China has made remarkable achievements in the development of mankind, not by copying the development model of other countries, but by sticking to a path of development that conforms to its own national conditions; not by war of aggression or colonial plunder, but by people's hardworking and wisdom. The Chinese nation has an open mind, adheres to interaction on an equal footing and mutual learning as well as absorbing all good things from different cultures, and seeking an inclusive development. The Chinese nation has an unyielding backbone, adheres to peaceful development and good neighborliness, and strives for national rejuvenation. The Chinese nation has a fearless heart, adheres to reform, innovation and interconnected development, and realizes win-win cooperation for common benefit. China's development is an opportunity for the world. China is willing to share its developing dividends with all parties, build a community of common destiny for all mankind, and work together for common prosperity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Ghana’s new government has made solemn pledges to Ghanaian people to actively implement concrete measures to achieve national industrialization and economic restructuring. This is a promising era for young people in Ghana to display their talents. “I advise you all not to cherish the gold threaded clothes, but to cherish the golden ages when you are young.” I hope that all students here can set a lofty goal and study for the rejuvenation of Ghana; seize the day, seize the moment, make full use of this ICT classroom, forge all-round skills and make due contribution to the national construction in the future!

Thank you!

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