President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday arrived in the Burkinabe capital, Ouagadougou, to begin his two-day tour of that country and develop initiatives that will bring prosperity to the people of both nations, and the sub-region.
Top on President Akufo-Addo’s agenda during the working visit are the issues of Agriculture, railway development and water.
At a State Dinner held in his honour, and in responding to the remarks made by the President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, President Akufo-Addo indicated that the most important of these initiatives “are the regional projects in the area of infrastructure, and especially transportation.”
He said: “It would be, for me, perhaps, the highlight of my Presidency if, indeed, I was able, together with you (President Kaboré), to launch the beginning of the Accra-Ouagadougou railway project.”
President Akufo-Addo told his Burkinabe counterpart that his commitment to that project was evidenced by the fact that “right at the beginning of my government, I decided to establish a special Ministry for Railways Development in Ghana. In fact, the Minister himself is here to give testimony to the seriousness with which we look at this project.
“I would be very disappointed if the two sides are unable to find a solution to how we can get the Accra-Ouagadougou railway going”.
President Akufo-Addo stated that “the concern we have in Ghana, that you know about, is about the control of the water resources of our two countries”, adding that these “are matters that we are going to be able to address.”
The President was referring to the yearly opening of the Bagre Dam spillway, which causes flooding in the 3 Northern Regions of Ghana, resulting in the destruction of lives, farmlands, livestock, and property.
It is for this reason that the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Kofi Adda, the Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, and the Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, accompanied President Akufo-Addo on his visit to Burkina Faso to find lasting solutions, with their Burkinabe counterparts, to this phenomenon, by channeling the water spilled from the dam into productive ventures for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
President Akufo-Addo noted that the new crop of African leaders had come into office at a critical time in the lives of the African people, where old alliances are having to be reshaped, and, therefore, implying that Africa has to look for new sources and new areas of committing the development of the continent.
“The most important thing is to recognise the need for us to stand on our own two feet and resolve African problems with African resources and African personnel. We cannot and will not accept that other people can come and develop the continent of Africa for us. It will not happen, and the sooner all of us work together and recognise the necessity of collaborating on a platform that will lead to the prosperity of our people, the better,” he added.
Touching on the fight against terrorism, President Akufo-Addo assured President Kaboré that “in Nana Akufo-Addo and in his government, the people of Burkina Faso have a strong and steadfast friend.”
He expressed the appreciation of the people of West Africa for “the sacrifices the Burkinabe people, who are in the frontline of the fight against terrorism, were making to guarantee the peace and security not just of their own country, but the region as a whole.”
President Akufo-Addo reiterated Ghana’s commitment to “standing beside you in that fight and want you to know that whatever, within our modest means, we can do to promote the success of that struggle, you can count on us.”
With relations between the people of Ghana and Burkina Faso dating back several centuries, President Akufo-Addo stressed that “even though there has been a change in direction and leadership in Ghana, our fundamental commitment to a close and sustaining relationship with the people of the Republic of Burkina Faso remains unchanged. Ghana continues to be by your side and continues to seek a relationship of intimacy and friendship.”