The Metropolitan Chief Executive of Tamale, Sule Salifu, has commended the French Embassy in Ghana for supporting the assembly to develop the capital city of the northern region over the years. He noted that the embassy in the past supported the assembly to execute numerous infrastructure projects in Tamale through the Ghana Urban Management Pilot Programme (GUMPP).

“I want to thank the French Embassy so much for supporting the assembly in the past. Records available here indicate that the French Embassy through the GUMPP project facilitated the construction of very important drainage systems that eliminated the flooding situation that engulfed the metropolis, especially the Gumani area” he stated.

The MCE recounted the devastations of the residents during the period and its impact on the socioeconomic livelihood of the affected communities.

“But, as we speak the area is safe whether in the dry season or raining season. On security, Tamale had the main police station here but through the GUMPP project, another sub-police station was constructed with funds of the project and that has facilitated the safety of the people and police visibility is everywhere,” he added.

Mr. Sule Salifu made these commendations when he received the French Ambassador to Ghana, Jules-Armand Aniabossou, at his office last Tuesday, as part of a working tour of the northern region.

Officials of TMA and French Embassy in Ghana

However, the Mayor during the interaction appealed to the French government to support the assembly to construct a major storm drain at Lamakara, which has caused severe destruction to the inhabitants anytime there is rainfall in the area.

Future plans

In deepening bilateral relations, the Tamale Chief Executive proposed the establishment of a sister city relation between the Tamale metropolis and a city in France to share knowledge and best practices for development.

He also implored the French Embassy to adopt one of the basic schools in the metropolis to strengthen the teaching and learning of French in the area.

Mr. Salifu indicated this, when done, will bridge the language barrier between Ghanaian traders and their counterparts from the surrounding French speaking countries in Tamale.

The Ambassador in his response lauded the vision of the Tamale Chief Executive to use French education as a catalyst for economic growth among multi-nationals in the metropolis.

He said the idea was doable and gave assurance of his commitment to its full realization. 

“To have such a 10-year plan is great because it means you’re thinking about the people. I am fully committed to it, it is doable. We need to find local people like you who are engaged and committed because it is doable. 

“Some Senate members in France are very interested to build a sister city program in Ghana, [because our focus was not too much on the Anglophone countries] but since one year ago, we are trying to find some Ghanaian cities that we can work with and to develop this kind of sister city program.

“Personally, because the North is very important not only for France but the European Union and it is one of our priorities for many reasons; personally I commit and I will talk to some of them to come and see and if they like they will come” Mr. Jules-Armand stated.

The French Ambassador’s delegation included, Christine Battesti, Political counsellor; Julien Lecas, Cooperation counsellor; Jean-Noel Blank, Economic counsellor and the AFD country Director, Christophe Cottet.