IMF Director Lauds Ghana For Addressing Environmental Challenges

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The 2018 Ghana Garden and Flower Show (GGFS) was opened on Friday, September 21 at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park in Accra by Mr Oral Hiworth Williams, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Director, AFRITEC West 2 Technical Assistance Center in Accra.

This sixth edition of GGFS is under the theme; “Enriching Ghana; a garden at a time”. The Show runs till Wednesday September 26, 2018.

Mr. Hiworth lauded Ghana for taking very positive steps to address the key challenges confronting the environment, including addressing climatic conditions.

“Ghana should be commended for taking steps to tackle some of its environmental challenges, especially in dealing with illegal mining, over-fishing and in handling of plastics and e-waste as well as the announcement by the President that Accra will be the cleanest city in Africa by 2020” he said.

According to him, the IMF’s commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change encompasses helping its membership to mitigate carbon emissions through energy subsidy reform, building resilience through increasing fiscal buffers and international foreign reserves to respond to shocks.

Mr Williams commended Stratcomm Africa and the Garden and Flower Movement for initiating and sustaining the Show over the past six years and called for support from stakeholders in the private and public sectors.

The Ambassador of the Royal Netherlands to Ghana, Ron Strikker, who was the Guest of Honour emphasized the economic and aesthetic value of flowers to countries, using Netherlands as a key reference point.

He said among others that with about 3,000 flower growers in the Netherlands, the country earns about 6 billion euros through the export of flowers, with that industry growing by between four to six per cent annually. “Flowers simply represent beauty and make us happy. Imagine a world without flowers. It would be a nightmare,” he added.

Constance Swaniker, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Accents and Arts, Guest Speaker for the occasion, stressed the importance of creating value out of trash. “Only if people realized the real value of trash, we will pay a lot more attention to making better use of the things we discard as trash,” she said.

Speaking on the theme for this year’s Show, the Chief Executive Officer of Stratcomm Africa, Ms. Esther A.N. Cobbah, indicated that Stratcomm Africa, being a communications company has built the Show using communication as a behavior change tool.

She explained that the theme for this year’s Show focuses on individual and neighborhood responsibility for environmental conservation.

Ms. Cobbah stressed the need for better management of plastic waste. She said; “each time we litter the environment with plastic waste, we are contributing to flooding in the country which results in fatalities. “Let us have flower, vegetable and fruit gardens and not plastic gardens. “We invite you to join the Movement for a Greener, Cleaner, Healthier, Wealthier, and more Beautiful Ghana” she concluded.

In connection  with promoting individual community involvement in developing and maintaining greener and cleaner  surroundings, she introduced a team from the Nima Mother’s Club and the James Town Ngleshie Noyaa Kpee, both of whom have embarked on projects of developing gardens and supporting other green initiatives in their communities.

The Show, a flagship event of the innovative Ghana Garden and Flower Movement initiated by Strategic Communications Africa Limited (Stratcomm Africa) in 2013, is aimed at promoting benefits of gardens and flowers and gardens with regard to income generation, job creation, clean and healthy lifestyles, beautification of the country’s public spaces and homes as well as the promotion of environmental conservation among Ghanaians. It also seeks to contribute to the realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. (UN SDGs)

The opening ceremony was attended by policy makers, government officials, academics in the agriculture sector, business community, florists and horticulturists, botanists, home owners, estate developers and garden and flower lovers among others.

The opening was immediately followed by a beautiful display of colourful fireworks and Music in the Park. Performers included Kokui Selormey and Edwin along with Mayaa and BiQo.

Among the list of exciting activities that took place at the Show over the weekend include Fashion in Park, Party in the Park, Taste of the Park and Kids Play Ground.

 

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