The Cuban Ambassador to Ghana, Pedro Luiz Gonzalez is advocating a renewed bilateral relation between Cuba and Ghana to transcend education and healthcare which had been the traditional areas of co-operation between the two nations.
Ambassador Gonzalez said Tourism, Coastal Conservation, Sugar production and a common fight against Malaria could define a new Ghana – Cuba relations, in addition to the provision of scholarship for studies as well as the supply of medical personnel to improve healthcare, which had underpinned the 60 years of friendship.
Ambassador Gonzalez made these suggestions in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
He said Ghana became the first African country to recognise the Cuban Revolution in 1959, and proceeded to exchange diplomatic missions in Accra and Havana and has since maintained an interrupted special relationship.
Ambassador Gonzalez said through its Medical Brigade, Cuba has been supplying Ghana with medical doctors most of whom serve in rural and unserved parts of the country where their local counterparts decline posting.
The decade old support, he said, had aided Ghana’s health delivery significantly, bridging the already unimpressive patient –doctor ratio.
In the field of education, Ambassador Gonzalez said currently 243 Ghanaian students are studying in Cuba, mostly in Medicine, for which 229 of them are expected home after graduation this year.
“Apart from our traditional areas of education and health, there are many other areas we can collaborate. For instance, Ghana is seeking to improve and advance its tourism sector by cleaning its
beaches. Sanitation can be used to promote tourism as we do in Cuba” Ambassador Gonzalez said.
On the status of 100 Cubans living in Ghana, Ambassador Gonzalez said “they live here without any problem”.
Ghana’s Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey paid a five-day working visit to Cuba last September at the invitation of her Cuban counterpart, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla.
The visit was used to strengthen relations between the two countries.