Relations between Ghana and Togo took centre stage in discussions between Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe and Vice President Kwesi Amissah–Arthur on the sidelines of the 25th anniversary of the ECOBANK Transnational Incorporated, in Lome.
Specific areas were on strengthening joint co-operation in the water and energy areas.
“Our discussions were on bilateral issues that are to the benefit of the people,” President Gnassingbe told journalists in a joint interview with his guest at the seat of the Government in Lome, after a closed door meeting, on Thursday before the Vice President left Togo back to Ghana.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur’s participation in the celebration was on behalf of President John Mahama.
The invitation to Ghana was at the instance of the Togolese leader in appreciation for the role and support of Ghana at the foundation stage of the bank and its subsequent years.
Ghana was the first to transfer money to the bank when it was formed in 1998.
President Gnasssingbe said the two nations took take advantage of the event and had discussions on how to speed up joint projects between the two-sister nations, mentioning the water and energy projects as specific examples.
The Governments of the two nations in 2011 agreed to implement the Sogakope-Lome Transboundary Water Supply Project, for the supply of water from the River Volta in Ghana to Lome in the Republic of Togo. The pumping point would be at Sogakope in Ghana.
The agreement in 2011 marked the rebirth of the project which had been on the drawing board since the1970s.
About 17 communities along the Volta Lake in Ghana would benefit from the project.
In the joint energy project, President Gnassingbe said Ghana would supply electricity to some parts of Togo.
On the summit itself, President Gnassingbe praised the success story of the bank in its 25 years of existence.
He gave thumbs up to the founders of the bank for getting political leaders and subsequently the private sector involved in a project that had created a success story for the entire continent of Africa.
On his part, Vice President Amissah- Arthur, a former Governor of the Bank of Ghana, endorsed the need for Accra and Lome to continue to collaborate and strengthen their bilateral ties.
President Blaise Campoare of Burkina Faso; President Thomas Yayi Boni of Benin; leaders of two other neighboring nation of Togo also participated in the celebrations.
During the celebration, the host President and senior officials took the leaders to a tour of the bank’s training centre and witnessed an exhibition depicting art works of some participating countries.
They were also a closed door annual general meeting and a meeting between the Heads of States and the Bank.
Known also as Ecobank Transnational, the bank is a pan- African banking conglomerate with banking operations in 33 African countries.
It is the leading independent regional banking group in West Africa and Central Africa serving wholesale and retail customers. It also maintains subsidiaries in Eastern Africa, as well as in Southern Africa; and representative offices in Angola, China, Dubai, France, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur has since returned home.