ACCRA, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- A senior Ghanaian official has hailed the friendship between African countries and China, saying that the relations had brought benefit to the whole African continent.
In an interview with Xinhua here on Monday, Martha Pobee, Director for Information and Public Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, said that the huge headquarters of the African Union (AU), donated by the Chinese government, showed that the ties between Ghana and China since the west African nation attained independence in 1957 had inured to the benefit of, not only Ghana, but the whole continent.
"China's role in African development today is not coincidental, nor is it coincidental that they have built the AU building with the bust of Kwame Nkrumah (the first president of independent Ghana) in the foreground, but a relationship that has been nurtured over a long time," Pobee explained.
Pobee and many other high profile Ghanaians have expressed joy for the AU to honor Ghana's founding father, Kwame Nkrumah, with a bust at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
African leaders, including Ghanaian President John Evans Atta Mills and the chairman of the AU Commission Jean Ping, unveiled a huge bronze bust of Nkrumah at the courtyard of the magnificent AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital last Saturday.
It was extremely welcome news for the country, Pobee said, adding that "Ghana, and for that matter Nkrumah, championed the decolonization of Africa and also fought hard for continental unity, and our first president linked Ghana's independence to the total liberation of Africa and so the honor being done to him today is well in place".
She believes the AU headquarters building and the Nkrumah statue were only the beginning of good things to come to Africa from its relationship with China.
Pobee said that the presence of Ghanaian president, foreign minister, and other senior government officials as well as two of Nkrumah's children clearly demonstrated how proud the country was at the honor being done for Nkrumah.
Frankline Cudjoe, Executive Director of IMANI Ghana, a policy think-tank in Ghana, said it was very welcome news that Nkrumah had been honored by the AU.
However, he believed that instead of basking in the honor of Nkrumah, current African leaders should learn and understand what Nkrumah exactly stood for.
Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa, a leader of the Convention People's Party (CPP), which was established by Nkrumah, recalled that "everybody knows that the beginning of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was at the behest of Nkrumah."
Akosa told Xinhua that Nkrumah's idea in pushing for the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was to let the continent have a larger voice in international affairs and use their God-given resources for the continent's development.
Akosah, who had for a long time been Ghana's Chief Pathologist and a one time Director General of the Ghana Health Service, believed the OAU would have used the continent' resources in boosting intra-African trade, economic and social development and the welfare of the people, while boosting their confidence.
"It was these ideas the European Union took up to reach where they are today and are even calling for a closer integration," he declared.