Press Conference Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the end of the Official Talks with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the Republic of Ghana, Union Buildings, 5 July 2018
Your Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo;
Your Excellencies, High Commissioners;
Members of the media;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Good day to you all.
Let me begin by extending, once more, a very warm welcome to our esteemed Guest and Dear Friend, President Akufo-Addo and his delegation on his historic state visit to South Africa.
I also wish to express my gratitude to you for honouring our invitation to visit our country. Your visit has offered us with an opportunity to renew our fraternal bonds and friendship.
Ladies and gentlemen,
President Akufo-Addo and I have just concluded bilateral discussions which were characterized by renewed commitment to forge a closer partnership to deepen our bilateral cooperation in keeping with the historical ties that bind our two countries.
During our talks, we reviewed a range of issues of bilateral, continental and global nature. We have noted with great satisfaction the growing bilateral cooperation as demonstrated by the existence of twenty-one bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding. These agreements cover a wide range of fields including trade and investment, science and technology, defence, energy, transport, environment, arts and culture and tourism.
We have recognized that these agreements are at a different stages of implementation. We further noted that a number of agreements are still being negotiated. Determined to ensure fully implementation, we have directed our Ministers and officials to ensure fully implementation of all signed legal instruments for the mutual benefit of our respective countries and peoples. For the outstanding agreements, we directed Ministers to finalise negotiations in the shortest period of time.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Desiring to forge a strategic partnership, and informed by the historical ties that bind our two countries, we have today taken an important decision to establish a Bi-National Commission (BNC) which will be presided over by the Heads of State. The BNC will meet bi-annually alternating between Accra and Pretoria and will create the required momentum and impetus in our bilateral cooperation.
In our official talks, we noted the increased economic cooperation and trade relations between our sister Republics. We noted with appreciation the ever-increasing presence of the South African private sector in the economy of Ghana. In our efforts to increase economic cooperation, a Joint Business Forum has been organised comprising business delegations from both countries.
We will later this afternoon participate in the Business Forum wherein we will urge our business people to take advantage of the friendly and good investment environments existing in our countries and invest in each other’s territories. As Governments, we have committed ourselves to creating an enabling environment to ease the manner of doing business in our respective countries.
Both our countries have identified key sectors for investment to boost economic growth and development. These sectors include manufacturing, agro-processing, infrastructure development, mining, energy and tourism.
Ladies and gentlemen;
We could not complete our official talks without discussing regional, continental and international peace and security challenges. We have noted with concern the continued instability and conflict in some parts of our sister countries. In this regard, we have reaffirmed our commitment to working together in pursuit of peace, stability and development on the Continent. We have saluted the strides being made by the AU Member States to advance continental integration. The launch and signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement is a practical example of the laudable continental strides. We urge fellow AU *Member States to ensure that this important Agreement is signed and ratified within the shortest period of time. The Free Trade Area Agreement will facilitate the required intra-African trade and investment.
On the international front, we have correctly affirmed our common view on the need to promote multilateralism and South-South cooperation. Related to this, we have reiterated our call for the reform of the global system of governance in particular the United Nations Security Council to be more equitable and representative of all regions of the world.
Ladies and gentlemen;
In conclusion, we reaffirmed the importance of our historical relations, and further committed ourselves to working together to enhance close political, economic and social cooperation in keeping with our mutual desire to establish a strategic relationship between the two countries.
Let me thank you and your delegation for visiting us and hope that you enjoyed our warm welcome and the hospitality extended to you.
I thank you
Issued by: The Presidency
Union Buildings, Pretoria