The High Commissioner of South Africa in Ghana, Lulama Xingwana says that South Africa and Ghana should strengthen and consolidate bilateral economic relations and promote intra-Africa trade.

Xingwana made her remarks while addressing business people from South Africa and Ghana at a seminar hosted on Monday by the SA Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) in Accra, Ghana.

The seminar was part of the first leg of the Trade and Investment Mission that started in Ghana and will proceed to Nigeria on Tuesday.

“The importance of Ghana to South Africa as an anchor partner country within the West African region is affirmed by the continuous presence of South African delegations in the country, as well as the presence of South African companies that have expanded their businesses to Ghana and contributed more than R71 billion to date in capital investments,” said Xingwana.

The Chief Director of Trade Invest Africa at the dti, Zanele Sanni, underscored that South Africa’s approach towards the rest of Africa is premised on development integration.

“In this regard, we continuously encourage South African businesses to seize opportunities that Ghana presents for trade and investment with the view to contributing to increased market integration, infrastructure and industrial development between our countries,” said Sanni.

“The net effect of any such trade and investment is economic development, job creation and poverty alleviation that fundamentally contributes towards realising and promoting intra-Africa trade and intra-Africa investment.”

Sanni added that the mission was taking place at an auspicious time for the African continent – on the cusp of the signing of the framework agreement to establish the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The AfCFTA has the ability to substantially increase intra-Africa trade and investment by creating a single, massive continental market for our goods and services.

“This business seminar is a practical example of how trade and investment promotion efforts between our two countries are being implemented,” said Sanni.

“South African companies can leverage off the projects that Ghana is offering and the Ghanaian private sector is poised to benefit from South Africa’s willingness to invest in catalytic sectors of the Ghanaian economy.”

Furthermore, South Africa’s efforts to ensure more equitable trade through an investment-led approach were complimentary to Ghana’s reforms aimed at  bolstering consumer and investor confidence by laying the ground work for a more inclusive economy.

“We are optimistic that this signature trade and investment mission paves the way towards the attainment of investment-led, industrialisation and infrastructure-based growth for our two economies,” said Sanni.