7 January 2013

South Africa: Zuma in Ghana for Inauguration

Photo: Flickr
President Jacob Zuma receives visit from President-elect John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, 30 Dec 2012

South African President Jacob Zuma has travelled to Ghana for Monday's inauguration of the west African country's new president, John Dramani Mahama.

Mahama's party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), won the disputed December 2012 presidential and parliamentary election with 50.7% of the vote.

Zuma, accompanied by International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, will be attending the inauguration ceremony at Independence Square in the capital, Accra.

SA-Ghana relations 'strong'

According to the Presidency, Zuma's attendance reinforces the strong relations that South Africa and Ghana share. These relations will be further strengthened when the two countries' Permanent Joint Commission for Co-operation meets in the coming months.

The meeting, which was postponed due to passing of the late president John Evans Atta Mills in July, is expected to come up with action plans for the seven agreements/memoranda of understanding signed during a state visit in August 2011. Further areas of co-operation will also be explored.

"Initially trade between the two countries concentrated on agricultural products, but since 2005 South Africa has begun to export value added manufactured capital goods to Ghana, reflecting the significant presence of SA multinationals in the Ghanaian economy," the Presidency said.

Mahama calls for unity

Ahead of his inauguration, Mahama called on all Ghanaians to forge ahead in unity.

While appraising the country's collective achievements over the past four years, he reminded Ghanaians of the hard work that lay ahead of them.

He called for all, especially politicians, to work towards greater cooperation and collaboration, irrespective of their political differences.

"Keeping the nation safe, anchoring our constitutional and democratic legacy on stronger moral and cultural values, growing stronger institutions; delivering on infrastructural development and social services, infrastructure and amenities to all parts of this nation, as well as affirming our status as a Pan African giant, remain far from finished," he said.

Mahama reminded the country's Members of Parliament that maintaining that success would only come in their shared responsibility to work towards the achievement of these goals.

Mahama said all Ghanaians had to agree and commit to a multi-partisan process to secure the future of the country.



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