Ghana, Sao Tome and Principe sign instruments to deepen bilateral relations

Ghana and Sao Tome and Principe have signed four instruments to deepen the bilateral relations between them.

The instruments include a general co-operation agreement on areas such as trade, agriculture, mining, education and scientific research, culture activities, health, transport, tourism, small and medium scale artifacts, youth and sports, Information Communication and Technology (ICT), and energy.

The two countries signed two Memoranda of Understanding for political consultations and co-operation in the field of Tourism and Arts and Culture with the third instrument being an agreement on visa requirements waiver for holders of diplomatic, service/ officials, and ordinary passports.

The instruments were signed during technical level consultations held in Sao Tome and Principe last Tuesday (October, 19) when the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, visited the country on an official visit.

Ms Botchwey and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sao Tome and Principe Edite Ten Juan signed the documents during the visit which was to intensify the long-standing cordial relations between the two countries.

Ms Botchwey said deeper co-operation between the two countries positioned them to take advantage of the fast-evolving economic landscape of the continent.

“The new continental arrangements and instruments, such as the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, the Single African Air Transport Market and the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons are creating possibilities for an ambitious agenda for progress for our people and we must seize the moment.

 This means working together, building on our different strengths and capabilities to create opportunities but also to take advantage of the new opportunities,” she said.

Ms Botchwey said implementing the agreements had become urgent as the country tackles the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID- 19), stating that Ghana stood ready to deepen her engagement with Sao Tome and Principe in all areas of bilateral co-operation, including in trade and investments.

She rallied Sao To mean business operators to consider Ghana, a member of the 350 million Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as a destination for investments and trade.

On the multilateral front, she said Ghana and SaoTome and Principe shared the same position on the maintenance of international peace and security, including defeating violent extremism on the continent;  sustainable management of the environment, and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals as well as the safe, orderly and regular migration of their citizens.

 She said Ghana would continue to collaborate with Sao Tome and Principe, especially in the coming two years as we assume non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council.

“Our co-operation and our deep affinity for and integrated Africa is the surest way to achieve the socio-economic transformation of our countries and the well-being of our peoples,” Ms Botchwey affirmed.


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