Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire sign strategic partnership agreement

Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire Tuesday signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SAP), which would serve as a dynamic framework for an enhanced mutually beneficial cooperation between both countries.

The agreement covers the areas of Defence and Security; Cocoa, Cashew and other strategic crops; Maritime cooperation; Mining, Energy and Environment; Transport and Economic Trade Policies.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who signed the agreement at the Flagstaff House, to climax the two-day visit to Ghana by Ivorian President Alassane Ouattarra, said it would further enhance the longstanding ties between both nations.

“This Agreement will bind our two countries in even closer intimacy, and go beyond the conventional tools of co-operation, and I am confident, will yield results of a historic and enduring nature for our two peoples,” he noted.

On Defence and Security, the two countries agreed to reinforce the relationship among the relevant agencies, to organise joint exercises and operations and to establish joint training programmes.

“In order to effectively fight terrorism, maritime piracy, cybercrime, human trafficking and narcotics, the illicit circulation of small arms and light weapons, and the spread of destabilizing acts from one territory to the other, the two Governments have decided to strengthen their cooperation in the field of information exchange and intelligence,” the agreement read.

Both countries agreed to intensify bilateral cooperation for the development of a win-win strategy for a sustainable cocoa industry and expressed commitment to ongoing discussions between the Ghana Cocoa Board and the Le Conseil Café-Cacao to develop joint marketing strategies in the international trading platform and other related issues in the industry.

Additionally, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire pledged to put in place a common strategy, including the need to converge towards a harmonised and consolidated price to be paid to farmers, to contribute to the eradication of smuggling of cocoa and cashew.

The governments of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire pledged to ensure the smooth implementation of the ruling by the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on the delimitation of the maritime boundaries between both nations, delivered by the Special Chamber on September 23, 2017.

To that effect, the two nations have agreed to establish a joint Committee for the implementation of the ITLOS judgment. The composition of the committee would be decided at a later date.

The two Governments also agreed to develop practical arrangements for the joint exploitation and management of trans-boundary oil and gas and other resources.

“They will also work to achieve stronger cooperation in the areas of oil research, hydrocarbon exploration, development and management, and sharing of information,” the agreement said.

Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire also agreed to strengthen co-operation in the areas of mining, policies, increase in national participation and exchange of information, capacity building, climate change and combating the proliferation of illegal small- scale mining to eliminate its negative impact on the environment.

The two Governments also decided to strengthen their cooperation in the area of air, sea, rail and road transport. In the short term, they have agreed to speed up the Abidjan-Accra highway project.

They also pledged to increase the volume of trade between both nations to guarantee a stable economic environment, as well take measures to harmonise their economic policies.

To this end, a Conference of Heads of State shall be established within twelve (12) months of the signing of the Agreement, which will be responsible for guiding and promoting the implementation of the common strategic policies defined in this Agreement.

Additionally, a Joint Implementation and Monitoring Committee shall be established, consisting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the Ministers of the two Governments in charge of the strategic areas defined in the Agreement. The Joint Committee shall be responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the decisions of the Conference.

President Ouattara and his delegation of 10 Ministers have since left Accra for Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

Source: GNA

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