Ghana, Ethiopia to work towards enhancing relations

President Mahama in a press conference with Prime Minister Hailemanriam Desalegn at Jubille  Lounge of the Kotoka International Airport.                                                 Photo: Vincent Dzatse

President Mahama in a press conference with Prime Minister Hailemanriam Desalegn at Jubille
Lounge of the Kotoka International Airport. Photo: Vincent Dzatse

The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desaleyn ended his three-day State visit to Ghana on Saturday, with renewed commitment to enhance the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Among other things, the two governments agreed to increase their trade relations, as well as engage more in the areas of agriculture, mining, cocoa and coffee production and processing, energy and security.

At a joint press conference at the Golden Jubilee Lounge of the Kotoka International Airport before his departure, the Ethiopian PM and President John Mahama expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the visit, which is expected to consolidate the ties between the two countries.

They said the two countries recognised the need to work together towards addressing their common developmental challenges, adding that they, had agreed to offer quality leadership in that regard to effectively optimise the opportunities from their friendship.

President Mahama announced that Ghana’s co-operation with Ethiopia would, among other objectives, focus on agriculture, energy, security and the fight against terrorism.

“Ethiopia, is one of the highest coffee producing countries, while Ghana also prides itself as a leading cocoa producer”, he said adding that their partnership in agriculture could yield mutual dividends.

In addition, he noted that Ethiopia had enormous expertise in leather production, and that the government would open discussions with that country to share knowledge and supply of the raw material for Ghana’s leather industry.

Touching on regional security and terrorism, President Mahama said both Ghana and Ethiopia were close to countries which had witnessed terrorist attacks, and it was important for the two countries to collaborate and share ideas to ward off the recurrence of such unacceptable acts of terrorism on the continent.

President Mahama announced that they also discussed the process of regional integration, and was optimistic that efforts towards building a continental free trade system would yield the desired results.

He pledged Ghana’s commitment towards renewed regional integration efforts and hoped that her partnership with Ethiopia would provide some momentum to the process.

To demonstrate Ghana’s commitment to their partnership, President Mahama announced that he would pay a reciprocal visit to Ethiopia in pursuance of their bilateral discussions, to finalise some of their discussions initiated during the Prime Minister’s visit.

Mr. Desaleyn, for his part, described the bilateral talks during the visit as successful, and was optimistic that the two sides would build on the gains.

Among other things, he indicated that Ethiopia was ready to strengthen its relations with Ghana in the mining sector, since Ghana had been engaged in gold mining for decades.

“I actually enjoyed my stay in Ghana, especially visiting some of the most important areas like the mighty Akosombo Dam in Ghana,” the Ethiopian Prime Minister added.

Mr. Desaleyn is the second Ethiopian leader to visit Ghana, after Emperor Haile Selassie who visited in 1970.

Apart from visiting the Akosombo dam, the Prime Minister visited the Touton Cocoa Processing Company in Tema, and the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum where he and his wife, Roman Tesfaye, laid wreaths in honour of Ghana’s first President Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, who together with Emperor Haile Selassie, and others championed the cause for Africa’s emancipation and the establishment of the Africa Union.

By Edmund Mingle

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