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Ghana, Sierra Leone to ratify agreement for cooperation

Ghana and Sierra Leone have agreed to ratify the agreement for cooperation between them to provide the legal framework for addressing their trade and investment concerns.

Despite the good relations that exist between the two countries, there is no framework for cooperation to guide those relations, a situation which is undermining the deepening of bilateral ties and cooperation between the two countries.

The resolve of the two countries to ratify the agreement was one of the outcomes of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s one-day official visit  to Sierra Leone last Wednesday.

Speaking after the visit, the President gave an assurance that he would work with Parliament to ratify the agreement.

The two countries signed the agreement for cooperation on December 19, 2013, but it is yet to be ratified by Ghana’s Parliament.

The President’s visit to Sierra Leone was the third phase of his West African tour of ECOWAS member countries to strengthen bilateral relations between Ghana and other West African nations.

“Cooperation in the development of our agriculture, education, science and technology, infrastructure, health, energy and culture and the coordination of the exploitation of our mutual natural resources, such as bauxite, iron ore, diamond and gold, will be of immense benefit to our two countries,” he said.

In addition to intensifying the links between Ghanaian and Sierra Leonean enterprises, the President underscored the need for  the process of regional integration to be hastened.

“For a region that has made the choice of pursuing integration, we have not done much as we should have in liberalising and encouraging trade among member countries,” he stated.

He said research had shown that countries or groups of countries with the largest share of world trade were located within regions with the highest share of intra-regional trade and bemoaned the fact that trade among African regions remained low, compared with other parts of the world.

More trade and investment

With such low level of trade and investment cooperation, President Akufo-Addo said deliberate measures at expanding trade and business collaborations must be put in place to improve the prospects for prosperity in countries in West Africa.

Reiterating his commitment to strengthen ECOWAS, he said he was certain that “for a marked improvement in the welfare of the 350 million people currently living in the 15-member states of ECOWAS, I believe it is extremely important that we, the leaders, demonstrate strong political will to make the community an economic and political success and make the project of integration real”.

Commendation

The President commended his Sierra Leonean counterpart for the efforts he had made in restoring law and order, fostering a spirit of national reconciliation among the people and the strong leadership he had exhibited in restoring macroeconomic stability since assuming office in 2007.

“In 2013, for example, the GDP growth rate reached a record, all-time high of 20.70 per cent. In 2014 and 2015, in the face of two major shocks, the Ebola virus outbreak and the collapse of iron prices, Sierra Leone’s economy was shaken. Growth rates slumped dramatically,” he said.

However, he said, “with prudent economic policies, spurred on by new investments in mining, agriculture and fisheries, economic growth has resumed, with GDP growth projected at 5.4 per cent in 2016. Hopefully, this growth path will endure”.

President Akufo-Addo said it was his desire that “Ghana and Sierra Leone will search continually for ways to co-operate, irrespective of who is at the helm of affairs in our respective countries. I have no doubt that, together, we can forge a new, strong partnership for cooperation between our two nations for the mutual benefit of our two peoples”.

With Sierra Leoneans going to the polls in March 2018 to elect a new leader, President Akufo-Addo hoped that “that process will be enhanced, to the admiration of all in our region and beyond, by the quality of arrangements for the next electoral contest in Sierra Leone and by the quality of the democratic transition which Sierra Leone is about to witness. I wish you and the Sierra Leonean people well and Godspeed”.

Ghana and Sierra Leone have agreed to ratify the agreement for cooperation between them to provide the legal framework for addressing their trade and investment concerns.

Despite the good relations that exist between the two countries, there is no framework for cooperation to guide those relations, a situation which is undermining the deepening of bilateral ties and cooperation between the two countries.

The resolve of the two countries to ratify the agreement was one of the outcomes of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s one-day official visit  to Sierra Leone last Wednesday.

Speaking after the visit, the President gave an assurance that he would work with Parliament to ratify the agreement.

The two countries signed the agreement for cooperation on December 19, 2013, but it is yet to be ratified by Ghana’s Parliament.

The President’s visit to Sierra Leone was the third phase of his West African tour of ECOWAS member countries to strengthen bilateral relations between Ghana and other West African nations.

“Cooperation in the development of our agriculture, education, science and technology, infrastructure, health, energy and culture and the coordination of the exploitation of our mutual natural resources, such as bauxite, iron ore, diamond and gold, will be of immense benefit to our two countries,” he said.

In addition to intensifying the links between Ghanaian and Sierra Leonean enterprises, the President underscored the need for  the process of regional integration to be hastened.

“For a region that has made the choice of pursuing integration, we have not done much as we should have in liberalising and encouraging trade among member countries,” he stated.

He said research had shown that countries or groups of countries with the largest share of world trade were located within regions with the highest share of intra-regional trade and bemoaned the fact that trade among African regions remained low, compared with other parts of the world.

More trade and investment

With such low level of trade and investment cooperation, President Akufo-Addo said deliberate measures at expanding trade and business collaborations must be put in place to improve the prospects for prosperity in countries in West Africa.

Reiterating his commitment to strengthen ECOWAS, he said he was certain that “for a marked improvement in the welfare of the 350 million people currently living in the 15-member states of ECOWAS, I believe it is extremely important that we, the leaders, demonstrate strong political will to make the community an economic and political success and make the project of integration real”.

Commendation

The President commended his Sierra Leonean counterpart for the efforts he had made in restoring law and order, fostering a spirit of national reconciliation among the people and the strong leadership he had exhibited in restoring macroeconomic stability since assuming office in 2007.

“In 2013, for example, the GDP growth rate reached a record, all-time high of 20.70 per cent. In 2014 and 2015, in the face of two major shocks, the Ebola virus outbreak and the collapse of iron prices, Sierra Leone’s economy was shaken. Growth rates slumped dramatically,” he said.

However, he said, “with prudent economic policies, spurred on by new investments in mining, agriculture and fisheries, economic growth has resumed, with GDP growth projected at 5.4 per cent in 2016. Hopefully, this growth path will endure”.

President Akufo-Addo said it was his desire that “Ghana and Sierra Leone will search continually for ways to co-operate, irrespective of who is at the helm of affairs in our respective countries. I have no doubt that, together, we can forge a new, strong partnership for cooperation between our two nations for the mutual benefit of our two peoples”.

With Sierra Leoneans going to the polls in March 2018 to elect a new leader, President Akufo-Addo hoped that “that process will be enhanced, to the admiration of all in our region and beyond, by the quality of arrangements for the next electoral contest in Sierra Leone and by the quality of the democratic transition which Sierra Leone is about to witness. I wish you and the Sierra Leonean people well and Godspeed”.

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