President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the various governments in Africa to attach importance to the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (ACFTA) to boost trade and investment among countries and raise the standard of living on the continent.
The President made these remarks when he received the letters of credence of new ambassadors from seven African countries, in addition to the new envoy from India, at the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday.
They are Mr Kufa Edward Chinoza from Zimbabwe, Abdoul Karder Toure from Mali, Eliphas Mugendi Barine from Kenya, Sugandh Rajaram from India, Colonel Awoki Panessa from Togo, Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyira from Rwanda and Madame Olga Syradin from Guinea.
President Akufo-Addo met them in separate meetings and, in all the meetings, highlighted the immense contribution of the ACfTA agreement and the need for all African countries to commit to its success.
While expressing the country's appreciation to its peers on the continent for choosing Ghana to host the secretariat of ACfTA, he said the government was working assiduously to bring the secretariat into being by March this year.
He said the country would get a world-class secretariat that was fit for purpose to drive the new initiative expected to begin this year.
"If we are able to have an increased trade among ourselves, it will become a very effective tool for raising the living standards of our people and bringing about growth and development of our people," the President said.
President Akufo-Addo also spoke about the growing menace of terrorism on the continent and pledged to contribute to ongoing efforts to address the problem.
He said Ghana would not be "indifferent" about the fight against terrorism but would take a "forward position" on the menace which had become a major security concern in the Sahel and Eastern Africa in recent times.
President Akufo-Addo said Ghana valued its relations with their respective countries and expressed the government's readiness to help push the relations closer.
He urged the new envoys to contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the President for any assistance, adding that the government was ready to support them to make their tour of duty successful.
The new envoys outlined their plans to help improve the relations between Ghana and their respective countries and explore new areas to enhance trade and investment cooperation.