By Hassan Isilow
JOHANNESBURG (AA) - South Africa and Ghana signed cooperation agreements Saturday aimed at bolstering ties.
They signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in agriculture and cooperation in trade and investment, among others.
“We wish to see increased trade in more value-added products between our two countries,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is on a two-day visit to Ghana, said during the inaugural Ghana-South Africa Bi-National Commission.
Ramaphosa said increased political and economic cooperation between the two countries could not come at a more opportune time as they both strive to rebuild in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The pandemic highlighted the need for the continent to become more self-sufficient through industrialization and increased manufacturing capacity,” he said.
Ramphosa said South Africa and Ghana, as part of a continental collective, need to work together through bilateral and multilateral avenues to advance the African economic integration and development agenda as envisaged in Agenda 2063.
He said the two countries will further explore new areas of economic, trade and investment cooperation, especially in Ghana’s key sectors such as roads and railway infrastructure, mining, energy, manufacturing and agro-processing.
According to the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, there are more than 200 South African companies registered in Ghana employing 20,000 Ghanaians and 500 expatriates.
“Over the past 10 years, South African companies have undertaken over 170 projects in Ghana with a capital investment valued in excess of $1 billion,’’ said Ramaphosa.
-Armed conflicts in Africa
Ramaphosa and host Nana Addo Akufo-Addo also discussed continental issues related to matters of good governance, democracy and elections.
“We further discussed armed conflicts and security challenges on the continent and the threat they pose to our efforts to usher in sustainable development and economic prosperity,’’ Ramaphosa said in a statement.
Ramaphosa commended Akufo-Addo for his efforts in mediating and calling for the promotion of peace and stability in the West African region in his capacity as Chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
He also congratulated Ghana for being elected a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council from January 2022 to December 2023.
“We agreed that peace and stability is key to the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area that came into operation in January this year,’’ he said.