Ghana and Zambia on Friday signed ten (10) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of a mechanism that would facilitate the promotion of trade and investment, as well as enable them engage directly to deal with critical matters of concern.
They committed themselves to boosting political and economic relations specifically on matters of Trade and investment; cooperation in Tourism, Arts and Culture; Science, Technology and Innovation; Skills Development, and Prevention of illicit Consumption and Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursor Chemicals and other related offences.
The rest include the Exploration and Exploitation of Hydrocarbons Resources; Youth and Sports; Information, Communication Technology; Commerce and Industry; and Investment Promotions.
The agreement became possible when the Zambian President, Hakainde Hichilema paid a courtesy call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House on Friday, as part of his three-day visit to Ghana.
Earlier, the two Presidents engaged in a tête-à-tête at the Ceremonial Room at the Jubilee House before the signing of the MoU.
The Zambian President’s visit to Ghana is to provide a platform for the two countries to strengthen their political and economic relations.
Investment opportunities abounds in Ghana and Zambia and that, it is imperative both governments facilitate the process at the bilateral level for the benefits of their respective countries.
Later in the evening same day, at a dinner organized in honour of the Zambian President at the Banquet Hall of the Jubilee House, President Akufo-Addo said Ghana and Zambia have a greater responsibility to deepen even further, their bond of friendship, and intensify the bilateral corporation and partnership between the two countries.
The President said the three-day state visit of the Zambian President to the country would raise the Ghana-Zambia relations to a higher level and wished that it is sustained and moved even higher for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
On his part, President Hakainde Hichilema commended President Akufo-Addo for hosting him, as well as for his sterling leadership both in Ghana and in Africa.
He said Dr Kwame Nkrumah and President Kenneth David Kaunda who struggled for independence from colonialism and racist role, laid a formidable foundation, for which the two countries have to build on.
He said two countries have committed to increase their trade volumes, tourist exchange and enhance cooperation in the fields of agriculture, environment, science and technology, transport, security and institutional cooperation among others to bolster their bilateral trade.
Ghana and Zambia have enjoyed friendly relations since their respective independence in the 1960s. Both countries were key players in the pan-African movement and sought to promote unity and solidarity among African nations.
They collaborated on various initiatives to advance the African cause, particularly during the post-colonial era.
In the 1960s, Ghana’s first President, Kwame Nkrumah, and Zambia’s first President, Kenneth Kaunda, shared a common vision of African independence, social justice, and economic development.
They collaborated on political and economic issues, including the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the precursor to the African Union (AU).
During this period, Ghana provided significant support to Zambia’s liberation struggle against white minority rule in neighboring Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and South Africa.
Ghana offered political asylum and logistical support to the African National Congress (ANC) and other liberation movements. Ghanaian technical experts also contributed to Zambia’s infrastructure development projects.
However, in the 1970s and 1980s, both countries faced economic challenges, and their relations became less prominent. Ghana experienced political instability and economic decline, while Zambia struggled with the effects of falling copper prices and an economic downturn.
In recent years, efforts have been made to revitalize and strengthen bilateral relations between Ghana and Zambia. Both countries recognize the importance of economic cooperation and have explored opportunities in trade, investment, and agriculture. Additionally, cultural exchanges and people-to-people interactions continue to foster closer ties between the two nations.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD