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Swiss Ambassador calls on Mayor of Accra

By Vincent Ashitey
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The Mayor of Accra, Hon. Elizabeth Kwatsoe Tawiah Sackey has assured of her commitment towards strengthening the existing relationship between Accra and Switzerland.

She made this known when the new Switzerland Ambassador to Ghana, Her Excellency Simone Giger called on her at the Accra City Hall on Tuesday to formally introduce herself to the city administration and explore areas of collaboration.

The purpose of her visit touched on areas such as urban mobility, waste management, climate change, women empowerment and sister-city relationship, among others.

Ambassador Simone Giger in a remark outlined urban mobility and waste management as some areas that needed adept intervention adding that urban mobility is one of the areas where there could be a high impact with financial resources available.

“I think it is certainly one key area that is very striking when you arrive here and that’s urban transport. I feel urban mobility is one of the things where we can have quite a high impact with our limited financial resources that we have available” she said.

The Mayor of Accra, Hon Elizabeth Kwatsoe Tawiah Sackey in her welcome address highlighted some areas of collaboration including climate change, women empowerment, and solid waste management among others.

She reiterated the Assembly’s ardent effort to mitigate the issue of solid waste management and cited solid waste separation and the procurement of street sweepers as some actions her outfit had already set in motion to address the canker of filth.

“Recently, there was a take-off in operations concerning solid waste separation to manage the amount of waste that is received by the city to help in proper waste management.”

Concerning that as well, the mayor also said, “hopefully, this month we’ll be launching the Sweepers on the Streets Programme with respect to how to manage Street Sweepers like it is done in Europe” she noted.

On solid waste management, her Excellency Simone Giger lauded the Mayor for her efforts to champion and rid the city of filth.

However according to her, even though a lot has been done so far to tackle the issue of solid waste management, she believes the problem is still prevalent suggesting possible solutions that can be put in place to curb the problem.

She also disclosed that her outfit was ready to assist the Assembly in terms of resources to tackle the issue of urban mobility in Accra citing a possible partnership with heads of transport in the various MMDAs to regulate public transport and improve data collection.

“We have been working together with the cooperation for the Ghana urban mobility and accessibility project. This is a project that wants to assist the heads of transport within the MMDA’s to regulate public transport and of course, also improve data collection. The very good news here is that we have 1 million in grant funding to ease six notoriously congesting junctions and integrate into the Accra region” she added.

The Lady Mayor of Accra, Hon Sackey also proposed a capacity-building program for staff, through exchange programs for individuals of the Assembly to acquire knowledge on climate change and global warming as well as solutions to combat climate risks.

The Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Hon Elizabeth Kwatsoe Tawiah Sackey expressed appreciation to the Swiss Ambassador, Her Excellency Simone Giger and was looking forward to partnering with her outfit to undertake the aforementioned projects.

Ambassador Simone Giger who leads an all-female management team at the Swiss Embassy was accompanied by Simone Harberli, Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Cooperation.

Present at the meeting was the Presiding Member of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Hon. Alfred Adjei, Head of Development Planning, Richard Kwame Oduro, Director of Finance for the AMA, Francis Anaba and the Director for Transport, Alex Johnson, among others.