The Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin, has described President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s visit to Senegal, Guinea and Cape Verde as productive.
He said the visit would not only inure to the economic and bilateral benefit of Ghana but also strengthen the resolve for the attainment of the goals of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Towards that end, he said, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Charles Owiredu, had been charged with the responsibility for overseeing the attainment of the bilateral agreements reached between Ghana and the three countries.
Addressing the media on the President’s arrival at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra yesterday, Mr Arhin said the assignment given to Mr Owiredu was to ensure that the meetings and deliberations between Ghana and the three countries moved beyond mere rhetoric to the attainment of mutual benefits.
The President left the country on May 15, 2017 for Senegal, Guinea and Cape Verde on the second leg of his tour of ECOWAS countries.
The first leg took him to Togo, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire.
The President’s next trip, he said, would take him to Sierra Leone and Liberia before the ECOWAS Summit takes place on June 4, 2017.
In Senegal, Mr Arhin said, the main item for discussion was how to boost co-operation and trade between the two countries, adding that Senegal had discovered oil in commercial quantities.
In view of the discovery, the President of Senegal made a request to send a team to Ghana to understudy the processes and practices that Ghana had adopted in the management of its oil finds.
He said President Akufo-Addo was taken to an enclave called Diamniado, a new city that was being built in Senegal for the sole purpose of manufacturing and adding value to the raw materials produced in that country.
Also, Mr Arhin said, Senegal was in the process of constructing a railway to connect its major cities, a development that, according to him, was in alignment with President Akufo-Addo’s vision to construct a railway from the Western Region to Paga in the Northern Region.
President Akufo-Addo was decorated with Senegal’s highest national award, the Grand Cross of the Line, by President Macky Sall.
The main focus of discussions in Guinea, he said, was on the joint exploitation of the natural resources of both countries, as Guinea had the world’s largest deposit of bauxite
He said President Akufo-Addo had declared his intention to present a bill to Parliament aimed at developing an integrated aluminium industry to ensure the addition of value to bauxite.
In Cape Verde, Mr Arhin said, it was realised that around 2013 the volume of trade between the two countries was about $4 million but that had dropped drastically to $200,000 because Cape Verde had turned to other countries for what it imported from Ghana.
It was, therefore, agreed that the necessary steps would be taken to boost trade between the two countries.
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