23 May 2019

Botswana: Ghana Courts Botswana

Gaborone — A special envoy of Ghana's Nana Akufo-Addo has been in Botswana to garner support for the country's bid to host the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

To that end, the envoy, Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyeman met with President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi yesterday (May 23).

According to a Botswana Government Communication Information Systems (BGCIS) brief, Ghana is one of seven countries that have so far expressed interest in hosting the secretariat.

The others are Eswatini, Madagascar, Kenya, Senegal, Ethiopia and Egypt.

In an interview following his meeting with President Masisi, Mr Owusu-Agyeman said the two of them reflected on bilateral relations between Ghana and Botswana and touched on issues of concern to the African continent, continued collaboration as well as solidarity among African states.

"We have countervailing power if we work together hence it is important to touch base from time to time," he said.

Meanwhile the BGCIS brief says interest in hosting the secretariat follows ratification of the AfCFTA treaty by 22 member states as per which means the accord will come into force on May 30.

The upcoming 12th extraordinary African Union summit scheduled for July will, therefore, officially usher in the treaty.

There is a possibility that discussions on hosting of the secretariat may take place at the summit, says the brief.

It further states that while Botswana might be bound by close association to eSwatini geographically and through membership of Southern African Development Community (SADC), the country is also banking on Ghana for endorsement of its candidate for the position of World Health Organization regional director for Africa.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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