South Africa and Ghana have agreed to elevate their bilateral relations to boost trade and investment between the two countries. This emerged after high-level talks led by President Cyril Ramaphosa and his visiting Ghanaian counterpart Nana Akufo-Addo.
The talks which were held at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, centred around the need to implement bilateral agreements in the fields of defence, energy, environment, transport, science and technology.
A 21 gun salute for President Nana Akufo-Addo on his maiden state visit to South Africa. Ghana is regarded as one of Africa’s most stable and lucrative economic markets – with its economy expected to grow by 8.3% this year, making it one of the world’s fastest growing.
According to President’s Cyril Ramaphosa, the visit by his Ghanaian counterpart Nana Akufo-Addo has aimed at forging strategic partnership between the two economic powerhouses.
Briefing the media, Ramaphosa emphasised the importance of increasing two-way trade between South Africa and Ghana.
“We as two Presidents have directed our ministers to ensure full conclusion of these agreements and ensure that they are implemented. We are determined to forge a strategic partnership between our two countries. As governments, we have committed ourselves to improving the ease of doing business in our two countries.”
Some of the major South African exports to Ghana include nuclear reactors, boilers, vehicles, metals and electrical equipment. A large number of South African companies have also invested in Ghana, including MTN, Anglo-Gold Ashanti, Goldfields, SABMiller, Woolworths and Engen amongst others.
President Ramaphosa has urged South African business to use its footprint on the continent to help support and drive industrialisation and innovation initiatives.
“We have a number of South African companies on the African continent and where they are able to help the countries to improve they should be able to do so. So we urge South African companies not to look for profits but should also look at how they can make those countries as areas where they can help develop those economies as well.”
Meanwhile, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo says increased intra-African trade will help propel the continent’s potential to become the globe’s most competitive economic market. In March African leaders signed a pact establishing the continental Free Trade Agreement.
The goal of the agreement is to boost African economies by harmonising trade liberalisation across sub-regions and at the continental level.
According to the U.N. Economic Commission on Africa, intra-African trade is likely to increase by 52.3% under the treaty, and will double upon the further removal of non-tariff barriers.
President Akufo-Addo has called for the speedy implementation of the continental free trade pact.
“Recognising that the implementation of the free trade area is enlarging opportunities with trading with ourselves. It’s important the continental free trade area becomes a reality.”
Both President’s Ramaphosa and Akufo-Addo have also condemned sporadic incidents of rebel activity in some parts of the continent and have pledged to support the African Union mission to silence the guns by the year 2020.
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