South Africa: Presidency On Bi-National Commission Establishment Between Ghana and South Afirca

press release

Bilateral relations between South Africa and the Republic of Ghana have been elevated to the Presidential level with the witnessing by President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of an agreement to establish a Bi-National Commission chaired by Heads of State.

The Bi-National Commission will replace the Presidential Joint Cooperation Commission that has to date facilitated engagement between the two countries.

The two leaders observed the signing of the agreement today, Thursday 05 December, at Jubilee House, seat of the Ghanaian Presidency, in Accra, Ghana. The signing by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Dr Naledi Pandor and Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, the Ghanaian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, was a highlight of President Ramaphosa's Working Visit to Ghana.

President Ramaphosa paid a Working Visit to the Republic of Guinea yesterday, 04 December 2019, and will depart from Ghana later today to visit the Republic of Togo.

The visits take place in the context of the deepening of South Africa's political, economic and social relations with sister countries on the Continent and preparations for South Africa's term as Chair of the African Union in 2020.

In official talks in Accra today, President Ramaphosa and President Akufo-Addo expressed their anticipation that the establishment of a

Bi-National Commission will deepen bilateral relations - characterised by President Ramaphosa as a special relationship - and lay the basis for closer cooperation and strategic partnership.

The two leaders identified opportunities for cooperation in defence, security, agriculture, sport, arts and culture and infrastructure development, among other areas.

The leaders committed South Africa and Ghana to intensifying people-to-people relations through cultural exchange programmes and related activities that will build understanding and partnership between citizens of the two countries.

This initiative is directed at overcoming challenges that gave rise to unfortunate incidents of violence against African nationals in South Africa in 2019.

President Akufo-Addo today conveyed his deep appreciation and regard for President Ramaphosa's despatch of Special Envoys to a small number of countries, including Ghana, whose nationals had been affected by events in South Africa.

President Ramaphosa reiterated his sincere apology for the unfortunate events as well as his assurance that South Africa is welcoming and open to people from parts of the Continent and the globe.

President Akufo-Addo assured President Ramaphosa of Ghana's support for South Africa's imminent role as Chair of the African Union, and notably South Africa's leadership on the AU campaign on the "Silencing of the Guns" - an initiative to end all manifestations of conflict, including gender-based violence, on the continent.

President Ramaphosa congratulated President Akufo-Addo on Ghana's designation as the seat of the Permanent Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which comes into force in 2020.

The two leaders also participated in a business forum that enabled entrepreneurs and political leadership to explore possibilities for deepening trade, investment and the transfer of skills and technology between Ghana and South Africa, which is Ghana's second-largest trade partner on the Continent.

At the business roundtable discussion, the Presidents witnessed the signing of an agreement between the South African state-owned Transnet and the Ghana Railway Company Limited and Ghana Railway Development Authority on the rehabilitation of the Takoradi Tarkwa railway line in the western region of Ghana.

Issued by: The Presidency

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