Mr Gerhard Brugger, Ambassador of Switzerland in Ghana, has ranked Ghana third in the Sub-Saharan Africa trade with Switzerland, after South Africa and Nigeria.
He said Ghana was the most important source of Swiss imports of cocoa, representing more than 64 per cent of total Swiss cocoa imports, ahead of Ecuador and Cote d’Ivoire.
He attributed this to the bilateral economic relations between Ghana and Switzerland which dates back to when the Basel Mission Trading Company was established in 1859 and was later transformed into the Union Trading Company (UTC).
“The impact of UTC’s trade activities was felt in almost all of West Africa,” Mr Brugger stated in Accra when he addressed the media to officially exhibit some photographs of the Basel Mission Society (BMS) between 1835 and 1940 in Ghana.
The Presbyterian Church of Ghana also presented activities to mark the year long BMS celebration after 200 years in Ghana.
Speaking on the “Ghana –Swiss Basel @ 200”, Mr Brugger said the Swiss Embassy would commemorate the Ghana –Swiss Basel @ 200 by launching projects throughout the year to progress the domains in which the missionaries worked.
“The results of which will continue to contribute to individuals, communities and the long lasting Swiss-Ghana cooperation,” he said.
Among the major areas the Ambassador of Switzerland to Ghana emphasised on in terms of Swiss’s contribution towards the countries development were education, health, economy transformation, agriculture, environment and Arts and culture.
He lauded the BMS for their major establishments such as education, health and trading institutions which were created to harness missionary activities.
On the activities slated for the celebration, Reverend Dr Samuel Ayete-Nyampong, Clerk of General Assembly, Presbyterian Church of Ghana, said special memorial services would be held on September 25 2015 simultaneously across the 10 regions of the country for all their missionaries who fought a good fight for the Presbyterian Church to be where it is today.
There is going to be an essay competition on a selected topic for all young people in the church and Ghana at large whose ages range from 18 to 30 years with winners going to be flown to Basel for the grand celebration in June 14 in Switzerland.
“This is collaboration between the church and Swiss Embassy,” he said.
Rev Dr Ayete-Nyampong said although a conference and lecture had already taken place in Kumasi early this year, other forms of such programmes are scheduled with December 18 to be the grand celebration in Ghana.
He appealed to the government to give back schools to missions and appealed to Ghanaians to emulate the good examples of the missionaries.
Dr Zagba Narh Oyortey, Executive Director, Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, expressed happiness about the collaborative efforts between the Swiss Embassy and the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board for a historic exhibition.
“Museums document history and we being historians are happy about this event because it will go a long way to collect art works where archives will be kept for new generations to come,” he said.
Source : GNA