Economic development is focus for Cyril Ramaphosa during Ghana visit
SA and Ghana elevate their relationship through bilateral commitments
SA and Ghana have cemented bilateral ties by signing memoranda of understanding in the areas of transport, agriculture, women and children.
Ramaphosa is on a state visit to Ghana as part of his four-nation tour to West African countries including Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Senegal.
The agreements are commitments by both countries to work together through bilateral and multilateral avenues to advance the African economic integration and development agenda as envisaged in Agenda 2063.
In a joint media briefing at Jubilee House in Accra on Saturday evening, Ramaphosa and his Ghanaian counterpart Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo presented a united front regarding addressing poverty, recovery from the devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the massive unemployment plaguing both countries.
The two governments, which enjoy a good relationship, signed four agreements on international relations, transport, agriculture and gender issues. Two more agreements are expected to be signed virtually.
“The Africa Continental Free Trade Area is a means of achieving this and it confirms that the economic development of our continent is a responsibility that we share and from which we can all benefit,” said Ramaphosa.
Africa, he said, needs to stop relying on others and focus on its industrialisation and increased manufacturing capacity.
“It is about time that we develop regional value chains for our own agro-processed goods. We should further explore new areas of economic, trade and investment co-operation, especially in Ghana’s key sectors such as roads and railway infrastructure, mining, energy, manufacturing and agro-processing.”
SA has more than 200 companies registered in Ghana employing around 20,000 Ghanaians and 500 expatriates, according to data from Ghana’s Investment Promotion Centre.
SA companies have over the last 10 years undertaken 170 projects in Ghana with a capital investment valued in excess of US$1bn.
In the wake of developed counties imposing travel bans on SA over the latest Covid-19 variant, Ramaphosa thanked the Ghanaian president for his unwavering support saying: “We appreciate this show of solidarity from Ghana in the light of travel bans imposed by some countries on SA and sister countries in the region in response to the detection of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.”
Akufo-Addo said the purpose of Ramaphosa's visit was to “reaffirm the ties of co-operation and the bonds of friendship between the two countries.”
The two heads of state spoke at length about how the two governments can boost their political and economic relations, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, as well as co-operation at continental and multilateral levels.
Akufo-Addo expressed his gratitude to Ramaphosa for supporting Ghana’s bid for the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council.
“Ghana will make sure that Africa’s voice is heard loud and clear in the deliberations of the Security Council, both on matters affecting the continent and on global issues, and we will consult broadly to define Africa’s interests,” he said.
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