The Governments of Ghana and Portugal have signed bilateral instruments of cooperation in the areas of defense, political consultation and trade between the two countries.
The pacts were initialled by Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Portuguese counterpart, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa in Lisbon, Portugal.
This latest engagement, according to President Akufo-Addo, would go a long way to strengthen the ties of friendship and the bonds of co-operation between Ghana and Portugal.
Speaking at a joint press conference with President Marcelo Rebelo De Sousa on Tuesday, President Akufo-Addo said the move is premised on Ghana’s decision to turn its back on “our old economy, which has been dependent on the production and export of raw materials, and also dependent on aid.”
The President emphasised that Ghana wants to build a value-added, industrialised economy with modernised agriculture, which would not be adversely manipulated by the world economic order.
“We want our relations with Portugal and, indeed, the rest of the world, to be characterised by an increase in trade and investment co-operation.
“This is the way to develop healthy relations between our two countries, President Akufo-Addo disclosed, adding: “That would put Ghana at the high end of the value chain in the global marketplace, and create jobs for the teeming masses of Ghanaians, particularly the youth,” he stated.”
He maintained that the discussions also focused on boosting further, political, cultural, and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation at the multilateral level and promoting a better world by addressing global issues relating to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The two Presidents also noted with satisfaction the value that the Ghana-Portugal Business Forum scheduled to be held on Wednesday would add to the two countries’ investment initiatives.
The Portuguese President, according to President Akufo-Addo, has resolved to give voice to Ghana’s cause and interests within the European Union.
He assured that Ghana would also help to facilitate a platform for Portugal to enhance economic engagement with ECOWAS countries. “This should boost the trade volumes and help bring prosperity to our peoples.”
On global security, President Akufo-Addo said the calls by President Joe Biden and President Emmanuel Macron for reforms at the UN Security Council in line with the Ezulwini consensus were welcomed, adding that, Africa was looking forward to the other three Permanent Members also throwing their support behind the reform process.
He assured President De Sousa that Ghana will “collaborate with Portugal to find solutions to challenges such as the eradication of widespread poverty, elimination of irregular migration, insecurity and human rights violations, terrorism and violent extremism, human and drug trafficking, piracy, as well as climate change and its attendant negative impact on the environment and livelihoods.
At the Lisbon City Council, President Akufo-Addo was given the keys to the city of Lisbon by the Deputy Mayor, Filipe Anacoreta Correia.
In his address, the President stated that history holds ample lessons that show “that a rich trading partner, operating within a fair, trading system, brings prosperity to both sides, far more than the exploitation of a poor partner.”
It is for this reason that he indicated that “I have come to Lisbon to advocate for increased investment and trade between our two nations. Trade relations between Ghana and Portugal have evolved through history and it is clear that a new paradigm has to be defined, which will be dependent on the structural transformation of the Ghanaian economy from a raw material producing and exporting economy, to a value-adding, industrialising economy.”
He was confident that, “this will enable Ghana to trade at the high end of the global value chain, dealing in products we make and grow. Out of this, a robust trading system between Portugal and Ghana will be created, which will generate mutual prosperity for the peoples of the two countries.”
Those observations, he stated, were based on the fact that “we, in Africa, have agreed that we have to be self-reliant and shed the image of beggars living on charity, aid and handouts and make better and more intelligent use of our abundant natural resources, to pull ourselves out of poverty and attain prosperity.”
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD