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Ghana Seeks to Oust Israel from Partnership in Construction Work

The demand by the Government of Ghana that Solel Boneh, the Israeli construction cooperative, sell its 40 percent share in Ghana’s National Construction Company; came as a surprise to the Israeli firm here, although a Foreign Ministry spokesman indicated today that it was within the framework of Israeli policy to assist African and Asian enterprises up to the point where they can operate on an independent, local basis.

Solel Boneh officials expressed surprise over the move by the Ghana Government since the contract signed when the Ghana construction firm was established in 1958, provided for the partnership arrangement for a period of five years. The early demand by the Accra Government that Solel Boneh relinquish its holdings in the company was explained by political circles here to be based on the growing nationalistic feelings in the West African state as well as the close contacts between Kwame Nkrumah’s Government and the Arab world.

This is the second case of an Israeli firm being ousted from partnership with a Ghanian Government-sponsored firm, the first being the Zim-Israel Navigation Company, which was a founder and partner in the Black Star Line, Ghana’s national shipping company, Solel Boneh, which has already agreed to divest itself of its holdings in the Ghanian construction firm, will remain on to manage the company.

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