FORTY one diplomats and public servants have graduated from the Colombian Spanish Language Course in Accra yesterday.
The course which is the fifth edition, had participants drawn from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Agriculture, Gender, Children and Social Protection, Interior, Defence and Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts.
Participants were also drawn from other governmental institutions like the Ghana Police Service, Immigration Service, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Narcotics Control Board (NCB), Ghana Armed Forces, National Youth Authority (NYA) and the Northern Development Authority.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mohammed Habibu Tijani said the course had trained over 180 Ghanaian foreign service officers and other public servants for the past five years.
He said the course was organised within the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Ghana and Colombia in February 2014.
The Deputy Minister said many of the participants had improved in the language and were now capable of speaking, reading and writing the Spanish language.
"We can now engage more meaningfully with our friends from Colombia as well as the larger Spanish-speaking community," he stressed.
Mr Tijani said Ghana's bilateral relations with Colombia centred on key areas such as education, health, arts and culture and the successes achieved showed the immense contributions of the Colombian Embassy in Ghana.
He said the ministry would continue to deepen the existing relations for the mutual benefit of both countries.
The Colombian Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Claudia Turbay Quintero, said her outfit had observed that Ghanaians over the past five years had developed their language skills in Spanish and also had a deep understanding of the Colombian culture.
She said over the past five years, over 40 government institutions had benefitted from the programme at the beginner, intermediate and advance levels of the course.
She said the course had the capacity to further deepen the relationship between Ghana and Colombia thereby promoting tourism.
Ms Quintero urged Ghanaians to embrace and study other languages aside from English in order to boost bilateral relations.
She urged the government of Ghana to replicate the gesture by allowing Colombians to come and study English in Ghana.
A representative of the Northern Development Authority, Ms Eunice Abbal Safari, was adjudged the overall best student.