The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in collaboration with the Columbian Government on Friday hosted the closing ceremony of the Second Colombian Spanish Language Course in Accra.
The six months course was aimed at enhancing the capacity of Ghanaian diplomats and public servants to perform effectively in Spanish speaking countries.
It was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, the Colombian Embassy and the Political Bolivarian University in Medellin, Columbia.
Sixty participants from seven ministries, departments and agencies including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, the National Youth Authority, the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Immigration Service and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation took part in the course.
Speaking at the Ceremony, Ms Hannah Serwaa Tetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration said, prior to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the teaching of Colombia Spanish in February in 2014, both parties knew it was an important step towards strengthening their bilateral relations, for the years to come.
She noted that the proficiency in Spanish, participants had acquired would not only provide better opportunities for their personal development, but would also go further to promote the development and consolidate the friendship between the two countries.
The Minister explained that bilaterally, the two countries have on-ongoing cooperation in various fields including education and culture, agriculture, sports and youth development.
She said, at the sub-regional level the Colombian Government donated $ 100,000 to the United Nations Ebola Response Multi-donor Trust Fund for West Africa.
“This was a significant message of solidarity to the three countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to which the Ambassador of Colombia is concurrently accredited”, she stated.
In her remarks, Mrs Claudia Torbay Quintero, the Columbian Ambassador, said the ability to learn a new language would not only strength the relationship but would expose participants to a new way of thinking.
She commended the participants for their commitment and dedication and as well tasked them to bring their new knowledge to bear as diplomats and public servants.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Professor Yanneth Alvarez, Spanish Lecturer at the Pontifical Bolivarian University, Medellin, Columbia, said the course was successfully organised as Ghanaians already had the passion to learn and speak other languages.
The MOU on sports cooperation was signed between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Columbia Institute of Sports – Coldeportes of Columbia.
Another MOU was signed between the National Youth Authority and the National Training Service of Columbia in the field of youth entrepreneurship.
Ghana’s part of the agreements was signed by Ms Tetteh, and Alhaji Dr Mustapha Ahmed, Minister of Youth and Sports; while Mrs Patti Londono Jaramillo, the Deputy Columbian Minister of Foreign Affairs initiated for her country. GNA