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Ghana and North Dakota

9/27/2016:

Bert and Ernie, Tom and Jerry, Sherlock and Holmes. These are typical names associated with strong partnerships, but North Dakota and Ghana? Being over 6,000 miles apart, people rarely associate these two countries, but they’re more closely related than you might think. In 2004, North Dakota and Ghana began an affiliation initiated by the State Partnership Program. The SPP takes the National Guard units for each state, and pairs them with the armed forces of another country to work on economic, military, and cultural issues.

North Dakota’s relationship with Ghana has been a beneficial program for both parties. It began in 2004 as a solely military relationship, but it has since expanded to include civilian institutions like Bismarck State College and Sanford Health. The program has many different projects, such as peacekeeping workshops, flood response plans, and a disaster planning program. Many North Dakotans and Ghanaians have visited each other’s country, experiences often deep and enriching. One very satisfactory visit occurred in when Ghanaian officials attended an engineering school, testing out military equipment that they don’t have in Ghana. They were quite impressed with the advanced technology on the shooting and demolition ranges, and vowed to bring that information back to Ghana when they left … on this date in 2011. This is one example of how the partnership operates.

This success of this partnership has led North Dakota to partner up with two other countries in 2014: The Republic of Benin, and the Togolese Republic. Hopefully these relationships can be as fruitful as the friendship with Ghana.

Dakota Datebook written by Lucid Thomas