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Bilateral Relations

African Union (AU)

South African Development Community (SADC)


4.1 Political Relations

Bilateral political relations between South Africa and Ghana are very good, with both countries maintaining residential Diplomatic Missions in each other’s capitals. In 2007, South Africa and Ghana launched the Inaugural Session of the Permanent Joint Cooperation Commission (PJCC) in Pretoria.

The Second Session of the PJCC was held on 9 -11 March 2010 in Accra, Ghana. The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoane-Mashabane led a high level delegation of senior government officials to the PJCC in Ghana in March 2010. In August 2011 President Mills undertook a State Visit to South Africa by President Mills which culminated in the signing of 7 Agreements between the two countries.

Current Agreements are as follows:

MOU on Information and Communications Technologies

  • Parcel Post Agreement
  • Exchange of Notes Establishing Diplomatic Relations
  • Agreement for the Promotion and Protection of Investments
  • General Trade Investment Agreement
  • Bilateral Air Services Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and that of the Republic of Ghana
  • MOU between the Aeronautical Authorities of South Africa and that of Ghana
  • Agreement on Defence Training and Technical Cooperation.
  • Agreement on the Establishment of a Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC)
  • MOU on Cooperation in the Field of Foreign Relations
  • Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the
  • Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and Capital Gains
  • MOU on Cooperation in the Field of Arts and Culture
  • MoU Regarding Economic and Technical Cooperation

4.3 Economic Relations

With regard to bilateral trade, Ghana represents the major export market for South African goods after Nigeria and while total trade volumes are still relatively low in global terms, it is expected that these figures will grow.

In recent years, trade between South Africa and Ghana has grown significantly. South African exports have grown from less than R1 billion in 1998 to over R3 billion in 2008. Equally, imports from Ghana have shown constant increase during the same period. Products such as vehicles, machinery, mechanical appliances; electrical equipment, base metals, aircraft, vessels & associated products contributes to the increased exports to Ghana. In 2009 there was a decline of trade flow between the two countries and this could be as a result of the global economic meltdown. 2008 presented a peculiar case in that Ghana experienced a trade surplus owing to the large exports of waste and scrap metals, iron, steel as well as wood to South Africa.

There are more than eighty South African multinational and small scale companies registered in Ghana. The South African investors are prevalent in the following sectors: mining, retail, insurance, transport, tourism, banking, telecommunication, construction, services, franchising, manufacturing, fishing, advertising, aviation and energy.

The two countries should take specific measures to promote and expand bilateral trade and investment. South Africa would like to pursue investment opportunities in amongst others agro-processing, construction, energy, financial services, hospitality, ICT, mining, transport, oil and gas services.

4.4 Trade statistics between South Africa and Ghana.
Rands (‘000)








SA exports







SA imports







Trade balance







Trade between SA and Ghana from 1998 up to 2009 followed a positive trend, where the level of imports and exports between the two countries increased.

4.5 South African companies involved in Ghana

Some of the South African companies invested in Ghana include MTN, Telkom, Standard Bank, Gold Fields, SABMiller, Woolworths, Engen, Hytec Engineering, Multichoice, Alliance Media, Steeldale, Stanbic, Shoprite Checkers, Sherwood, Steers and SAA which operates four weekly flights between Johannesburg and Accra. A South African company, Anglo-Gold made headlines in April 2004 when it signed a merger deal with Ghanaian Ashanti Goldfields valued at US$ 1.4 billion. This meant that South African investment in the Ghanaian mining sector accounted for more than 60 % of the total Foreign Direct Investment into the sector.

South African Breweries has acquired the majority shareholding in Accra Breweries Limited (ABL), which is listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange. The Profurn Group (operating as Barnetts) has opened a large network of retail stores in Ghana.

The acquisition by MTN of Avria has made MTN the biggest mobile phone operator in Ghana. It is expected that this development will serve as a further catalyst for South African investment in Ghana.

H E Ms G J Mason
Head of Mission
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