The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday donated 50 tons of pressed dates as a humanitarian gesture to Ghana. The Kingdom did a similar donation in April 2017.
The items were jointly presented by Mr Meshal Hamdan Al-Rogi, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Ghana and Mr Khalid Mohammed R. Alburayh, the Head of the Delegation from the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRELIEF) and the Ministry of Finance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Receiving it, Alhaji Mohammed Habib Tijani, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, said since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1960, Saudi Arabia had demonstrated its trust and commitment to forging closer ties of friendship and cooperation with the people of Ghana.
He said Saudi Arabia had been a worthy partner in Ghana’s development agenda.
“We note also with appreciation that Saudi Arabia has considered Ghana a worthy partner to share one of its most treasured fruits, which is the date fruits, a national symbol of the Kingdom with the Government and the people of Ghana,” he said.
“We in Ghana and particularly, our large Muslim communities across the country are honoured to be the beneficiaries and to receive the blessings of this important fruit which has unparalleled significance in the Islamic faith and for mankind in general.”
He said the date fruit contains great vitamins and mineral, rich in fibre, good fat and protein in addition to other essential food nutrients.
Mr Al-Rogi said the fruit’s proven energy qualities make its consumption during the month of Ramadan very essential.
“It is, therefore, with deep sense of gratitude that we acknowledge the donation of 2,500 cartons of the date fruits from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salmon Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud,” he said.
“We also recognize the many contributions made to other vital areas of the country‘s development, most importantly in health, education, energy, road construction as well as significant donations towards construction at mosques, schools and many more in communities dominated by our Muslim brothers and sisters.”
Alhaji Tijani said: “It is our expectation that the bond of friendship between our two countries and peoples would continue to flourish in the years ahead”.
Mr Al-Rogi, who conveyed greetings from Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the custodian of the two Holy Mosques, to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and to the friendly people of Ghana, also wished Ghana more progress and prosperity.
Mr Al-Rogi said the dates were special gifts sent by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz as an affirmation of the deep strong relations of cooperation and friendship existing between the two countries since the 1960s.
He said the KSRELIEF primary mission was to provide humanitarian aid without any political, religious, cultural or ethnic biases.
He said as a part of fulfilling this mission, KSRELIEF was providing 7,000 tons of dates this year to those in need around the world.
“The Dates project will serve beneficiaries in 30 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe and South America,” Mr Al-Rogi said.
“Since its inauguration on May 13, 2015 to date the Centre has disbursed humanitarian aid and relief grants amounting to $1 billion, with 375 projects, benefiting about 108 million people globally.”