Ghana, Sierra Leone deepen ties

President Akufo-Addo with President Julius Maada Bio

President Akufo-Addo with President Julius Maada Bio

Ghana and Sierra Leone have agreed to deepen their diplomatic, cultural and trade ties which dates back to two centuries.

 

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, expressed the commitment yesterday when the former visited the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday.

 

“It is my sincere desire that we set the tone for Ghana and Sierra Leone to search continually for ways to co-operate, irrespective of who is at the helm of affairs of our respective countries.”

 

“I have no doubt, however, that, together, the two of us can forge a new, strong partnership for cooperation between our two nations for the mutual benefit of our two peoples” President Akufo-Addo said when he proposed a toast to the Ghana-Sierra Leone relationship.

 

The two leaders had lunch together at the Banquet Hall at the Jubilee House, delivered speeches and expressed the commitment to deepen the ties between the two countries.

 

“Mr President, your presence in Ghana should spur our two nations on to develop stronger ties and explore several areas of co-operation to the mutual benefit of our two peoples,” President Akufo-Addo said.

 

Having followed with keen interest, the structural programme being embarked upon by President Maada Bio’s administration, President Akufo-Addo said he was, particularly elated about his “Free Quality Education” initiative.

 

“I urge you to stand firm and see it through, regardless of the opposition you will face. For us in Ghana, our Free Senior High School education policy, within the first two years of its implementation, has ensured that 270,000 more students, whose education would otherwise have been truncated for financial reasons, have access to secondary education,” the President said.

 

Additionally, President Akufo-Addo lauded the Sierra Leonean President’s initiatives in the area of agriculture, aimed at enhancing food security for the people of that country.

 

“It was also good to see Your Excellency sign the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, during the 31st African Union Summit, in Nouakchott, Mauritania.”

 

“I will, respectfully, urge your government to see to the expeditious ratification of the agreement, so that we can quickly reach the minimum threshold of ratification by twenty-two-member states, that will enable the CFTA to come into effect, and permit our continent to take advantage of its huge market”

 

“This will present great opportunities to increase intra-African trade, create jobs, enhance incomes and put the continent onto the path of progress and prosperity”.

 

“In so doing, it is equally important for us to take the necessary measures that will make our regional market of ECOWAS effective, as a sound building block for the success of the CFTA. If our regional markets work well, our continental market will work well” he said.

 

President Maada Bio, on his part, expressed the commitment to push the centuries old Ghana-Sierra Leone relationship a notch further.

 

The two leaders expressed the commitment to work hand-in-hand in areas of trade, education, security, and push for a reform at the United Nations, especially the UN Security Council, as set out in Africa’s Common Position on UN Reform, based on the Ezulwini Consensus.

BY YAW KYEI

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