Media Remarks by His Excellency President Jacob Zuma at the end of the Official Talks with His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama during State Visit to Ghana, 26 November 2013
Your Excellency, My Dear Brother, President Mahama;
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers;
Members of the Media;
We have just concluded our bilateral discussions which have been characterised by the usual friendliness and warmth given the history of relations between our two countries.
As the first country to receive its independence on the continent, Ghana inspired and provided support to South Africa during the times of Apartheid.
This is the background on which we base our relations, a background of friendship, solidarity and a common purpose to move forward together towards prosperity and progress.
We are pleased with the substantial progress that has been made in strengthening bilateral cooperation.
In August 2011 we signed seven Agreements/Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) covering a wide range of sectors including trade and industry, science and technology, defence, tourism as well as information and communication technologies.
Our Ministers responsible for foreign affairs met in Pretoria on 5 November 2013 to adopt action plans with time frames on the implementation of these agreements.
Further agreements were signed today, taking our work to a higher level.
We have agreed that these instruments should translate into concrete projects that will benefit our people.
We have also agreed to further promote our economic relations. A number of South African companies have invested in Ghana.
South African investments into Ghana are significant and amounted to more than 64 billion rand between 2003 and April 2013.
The investments for 2012 totalled five billion rand.
Our two countries are also consulting on trade issues with the intention of unlocking bottlenecks with regard to imports from Ghana.
We are very happy with the growth in trade and investment relations.
We will later today be meeting with the South Africa-Ghana business forum to encourage them to further explore opportunities in the two countries.
We have also agreed to deepen cooperation in the field of science and technology, especially on the Square Kilometre Array project. At the moment there are seven scientists from Ghana that are undergoing training in South Africa in this regard.
We are also keen to take forward cooperation in the oil sector. In this regard, PetroSA is actively involved in the petroleum sector in Ghana.
The two countries are also consulting on a Memorandum of Understanding on peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
We also reflected on developments in our respective regions.
We share a concern about the issues of Maritime Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, and the need to further promote peace and stability throughout the West African region.
Also important is the need to deal with insecurity throughout the Sahel region.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me also take this opportunity to congratulate Ghana on this country’s exemplary institutions of democracy, good governance and development.
This progress has led to the country being nominated by the African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) in South Africa to receive the Africa Peace Award in 2014.
We look forward to hosting President Mahama next year to receive the award.
Let me reiterate our heartfelt appreciation of the warm hospitality since our arrival, which characterises the state of relations between our two countries.
I thank you.
Issued by The Presidency