Why Ghana, Russia must rekindle ties

Russia, on Wednesday, pushed forward its agenda of increasing its footprints in Africa, by hosting the maiden Africa summit in Sochi, Russia.

The first ever summit, attracted over 40 African leaders to Russia whose main aim is to seek to rebuild neglected relations and search for new political allies and trading partners.

Russia had been a major player in Africa in the cold war era and had been seeking to restore its influence since that title was taken over by China after the fall of communism.

Although it maintains a strong presence in the Gulf, Russia recently has been trying to forge new allies in Africa mainly for strategic reasons.

There are enormous opportunities in trade and investments in energy, mining and defence that Russia is seeking to exploit.

It is, therefore, not surprising that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, have agreed to increase trade and investment cooperation between their two countries.

“Ghana wants its relationship with the Russian Federation to be characterised by an increase in trade and investment co-operation, and not by the export and import of raw materials.

“This is the way to develop healthy relations between our two countries. Our vision is to build a free, prosperous country, a Ghana Beyond Aid, as a dynamic component of an independent and prosperous Africa” he said.

The President who was delivering a statement at the summit held under the theme; “For Peace, Security and Development,” said, “for us in Ghana, our resolve is to build a value-added, industrialised economy with modernised agriculture, trading in the global marketplace on the basis of things we make and grow, and to chart our own self reliant, independent path within the world economic order”.

The path that the two leaders have agreed to tread is a clear departure from the relationship that existed between the two countries during the cold war of Africa’s struggle for decolonisation and liberation from colonialism and imperialism.

The Ghanaian Times is happy that both the bilateral and multilateral level cooperation between the two countries have continued to increase in several sectors such as health, energy, communications, mining and railway construction.

It is our hope that the deepening ties and friendship would open a new window of opportunity for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

No doubt, Russia has been an ally who has provided Ghana a lot of opportunities, particularly in education where Ghanaian students were offered scholarships to study in that county in various areas of study.

Other sectors of Ghana’s economic and social life had benefitted from the benevolence of Russia. That is why we welcome the renewed effort by the two countries to rekindle their relationship.

We know what benefits the county derived from the old friendship and we are very optimistic that the new found “love” would blossom again for the benefit of the people of the two countries.

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