Accra, Dec. 5, GNA -
Ghana and South Africa have signed an agreement for the establishment of a
Bi-National Commission to scale up relations and increase trade and investment
between the two nations.
The agreement will enhance greater cooperation in the areas of defence, trade, infrastructure, services, and finance.
The agreement was signed after bilateral talks between visiting South African leader Cyril Ramaphosa and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House in Accra on Thursday.
The first meeting of the Commission is scheduled to be held next year to fashion a roadmap to enhance the ties of cooperation between South Africa and Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo addressing a News conference after the meeting noted that South Africa had become Ghana's largest trading partner on the continent and “we believe that the time has now come to enhance the conversation and relations between our two countries".
He said the Commission would serve as the framework for closer co-operation, and a strategic partnership that will heighten the mutual benefits for the two countries.
“The close collaboration of stable, fully functioning democracies, such as ours, will give a great boost to the growth of stable, constitutional governance on the entire African continent, which can only inure to the benefit and welfare of the African peoples.
“I share wholly the vision of the possibilities of deeper trade and investment relations and co-operation between Ghana and South Africa. It is the most effective way towards building a sustainable future of progress and prosperity for our respective countries and populations, and maintaining a healthy relations between our two nations,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo was optimistic that during his and the South African leader's tenure in office, relations between both countries would wax stronger.
"It is my hope that relations between Ghana and South Africa, during our terms of office, will grow stronger, and continue to be rooted in the common struggle of our two peoples for the liberation of our continent from foreign control, in our shared commitment to the development of the new Africa on the principles of democracy, social justice, respect for human rights and the rule of law, and in our mutual determination to chart paths of self-reliance for the progress and prosperity of our peoples.”
The President praised Mr Ramaphosa for the “exceptional gesture” of sending a delegation to Ghana to apologise for the actions of the perpetrators of the violence in the recent xenophobic attacks, saying that the apology was accepted in good faith.
He said the manner in which the South African President dealt with the issues demonstrated his commitment to finding a lasting solution to the phenomenon, adding that such events ought not to be repeated for the sake of African unity.
The President assured his South African counterpart that Ghana would assist and support his country in every way possible as she assumes the chairmanship of the African Union (AU) in the year 2020.
President Ramaphosa on his part praised Ghana's democratic credentials, describing the country as a citadel of democracy and an example to the rest of the continent.
“Today we continue to see Ghana as a real citadel of democracy and good governance and rule of law and we as South Africans who are still young in our democratic journey have a lot to learn from Ghana and we always watch with great admiration the achievements that Ghana is making in this regard.”
The South African Leader said the signing of the agreement to have a Bi-National Commission "means that we want to deepen our relations with Ghana and we now have a much broader spectrum of deepening that relations.”
He was happy that trade between the two nations increased considerably "and we want it to grow even further and with the ascension of the Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, we are delighted that it is going to be a huge springboard for Ghana and South Africa to deepen their trade relations.”
On the recent xenophobic goings-on in his country, Mr Ramaphosa said the phenomenon was a 'faultline' that his government was dealing with holistically to ensure that migrants to South Africa live in peace and safety.GNA