- Jamaica is to give assistance to the Republic of Ghana, which has been a consumer of the alumina from Jamaica for the past 30 years, to develop its own alumina refinery.
- Prime Minister P. J. Patterson, who made the announcement at a joint press conference at Jamaica House today (July 13) following bi-lateral talks with Ghanaian President John Kufuor, said the president's three-day working visit while short, had been productive.
- Of his introduction to the rudiments of Jamaica's bauxite industry, President Kufuor said he had learnt much to equip him to engage in discussions with industry professionals.
Jamaica is to give assistance to the Republic of Ghana, which has been a consumer of the alumina from Jamaica for the past 30 years, to develop its own alumina refinery.
Prime Minister P. J. Patterson, who made the announcement at a joint press conference at Jamaica House today (July 13) following bi-lateral talks with Ghanaian President John Kufuor, said the president’s three-day working visit while short, had been productive.
The Prime Minister said he had assured President Kufuor of Jamaica’s readiness to share its knowledge of the bauxite industry with Ghana and would welcome its advisors, as well as make members of Jamaica’s own alumina team available at the Republic’s request.
“We have said to President Kufuor, whatever we know, we are prepared and willingly to share. His advisors will be welcome in Jamaica and we are prepared to make members of our own alumina team available should he need them,” he said.
He noted that the Ghanaian President had “very strong interest in what (has been done) in Jamaica in the development of the mining sector and the alumina industry in particular.” Ghana has developed smelting capability through the construction of a dam many years ago and is presently engaged in discussions with multinational companies to expand that facility. Mr. Patterson said it was anticipated that some of the alumina would originate from Jamaica.
The Prime Minister told journalists that the leaders had discussed areas for further cooperation, given the countries common ancestral roots and the fact that as developing nations, both Jamaica and Ghana had mutual interest in promoting South-South cooperation and intensifying contacts at the political, economic and cultural levels between Africa and the wider Caribbean.
The Prime Minister said it was also decided that the Joint Commission between Jamaica and Ghana, should meet during the latter half of this year, to look at areas that require further development and to see the benefits to be had from the arrangements made through the work of the Commission.
Prime Minister Patterson said the importance of people to people exchange, cooperation in education at the tertiary level, promoting cultural interactions and the exchange of professionals in the fields of education and health, was also emphasized.
He said the work being down by both countries in all the international fora to which they were attached, was also discussed, including the ongoing talks on the reform of the United Nations and its agencies.
Prime Minister Patterson said Jamaica and Ghana were also working together in their negotiations with the European Union for regional economic partnership agreements and would continue to collaborate in the Commonwealth.
President Kufuor in his remarks, said his visit to the island was a satisfying one. The President, who toured the Jamalco refinery in Clarendon yesterday said the visit had served to educate them further on the prospects of establishing a similar refinery in Ghana, while describing the Jamalco facility as a world class operation. Like Jamaica, Ghana has huge deposits of bauxite but it is not as developed as Jamaica’s.
Of his introduction to the rudiments of Jamaica’s bauxite industry, President Kufuor said he had learnt much to equip him to engage in discussions with industry professionals.
President Kufuor noted that he was returning to Ghana “quite equipped to negotiate the way forward.” He commended the Jamaican government on the selflessness displayed in its decision to help Ghana in developing its industry by putting at their disposal, all the necessary guidelines, “saving them from having to reinvent the wheel.”
In the meantime, President Kufuor said both countries should deepen their cultural ties.