Opening Remarks by H. E. Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, on the occasion of the 4th Session of the SA-Ghana Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC) in Accra, Ghana, 6 May 2016

Your Excellency, Madam Hanna Tetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of the Republic of Ghana;

Co-Chairs of the Senior Officials’ Meeting;

Your Excellencies, High Commissioners of Ghana and South Africa;

Senior Officials from our respective countries;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

Good morning to you all!

On behalf of the South African delegation and on my own behalf, I wish to thank you Honourable Minister for your kind words of welcome.  Your warm words of welcome have made us to feel at home to this great country, the country of one of the pioneers of the African unity – Kwame Nkrumah.

Honourable Minister, may I also extend our profound gratitude to you and your Government for the hospitality accorded to us since our arrival.

Your hospitality is reflective of the warm, historical and fraternal relations that happily exist between our two sister Republics.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We meet here this morning only nineteen (19) days before our mother continent celebrates its fifty third (53rd) anniversary of the African Union. As we march towards the most important day in the calendar of the continent, we cannot but remember the founding fathers of the Organisation of the African Unity (OAU).

It is more telling that one of them came from here. These leaders and pathfinders bequeathed us with a free and united Africa. It is up to us to take the baton and march towards the Africa we want! As our own founding President, Nelson Mandela always said – “it is in your hands”. Indeed, it is in our hands.

Madam Minister and ladies and gentlemen,

Happy Africa Day in advance.

Co-Chair,

I fully concur with your assessment of our bilateral cooperation. Our relations are not only historical but special and that should always guide our work. We meet on the occasion of this 4th Session of the Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC) not only to take stock of our cooperation, but also to identify new areas of cooperation.
Your Excellency,

We have a task at hand. Our Presidents gave us a directive to ensure that we implement all signed Agreements and memoranda of understanding. We have a duty to ensure that these legal and enabling instruments bear fruits for our citizens.

In our collective efforts to strengthen cooperation, we note with great appreciation the granting of further rights to the South African Airways to fly between Accra and Washington DC. We believe that this will facilitate travelling within the continent and across the Atlantic.

Madam Minister,

We cannot overemphasise the need to further strengthen our economic cooperation. We need to continue to encourage mutual private sector investments in our respective countries. As we do that, we also need to ensure that we create an environment that would make such investments flourish. It is pleasing to note that a growing number of the South African companies have taken advantage of the opportunities that exist in this country. Equally, Ghanaian companies are doing the same. This needs to be encouraged and supported.

Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen,

Our two countries continue to work together in pursuit of peace and security on our continent.

We congratulate all the countries that have held successful elections on the continent since January 2016. Of significance, Madam Hon Minister, all these elections have been commendably peaceful. May we take this opportunity to wish all those that have yet to hold their elections well.

We also need to applaud our cooperation on multilateral issues as exemplified by our collective efforts that resulted in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals. We need to continue and enhance this cooperation in other areas such as the reform of the UN Security Council and other global institutions of governance.

Your Excellency,

I look forward to the report of the Senior Officials who met yesterday and I hope that their report will contribute towards broadening our areas of cooperation.

I thank you

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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