SA drumming for stronger relations with Ghana

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pretoria - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has assured Ghana of South Africa's support and loyal friendship and hopes that the two countries use this friendship to cooperate in addressing the challenges facing the continent and in the international arena.

Motlanthe is in Ghana for a working visit which might see, amongst others, the two countries cooperating in the energy sector.

"These long established relations, which will invariably guide our deliberations during this working visit, are anchored on the foundations established long ago through our common struggles to free Africa from racial oppression, colonialisation and imperialism," Motlanthe told a gala dinner held on his behalf.

The visit by Motlanthe is expected to play a vital role in solidifying relations with Ghana. Motlanthe will hold bilateral talks with his counterpart Dramani Mahama as well as pay a courtesy call on President John Evans Atta Mills.

Already relations, especially trade, have grown strong between the two countries with South African exports reported at over R3 billion in 2009.

The Deputy President said he was pleased that work was underway to implement other agreements that have been signed , saying it will further bolster relations.

Motlanthe used the opportunity to congratulate Ghana on celebrating its 55th Anniversary of Independence in March.

"As one of the African countries holding elections this year, we look up to your excellent track record and good governance in holding free and fair elections. We hope your country will once again serve as a shining example of democratic change," said Motlanthe.

Motlanthe said he was pleased that Ghana continues to play a critical role in peacekeeping and in upholding good governance in Africa.

Like South Africa, Ghana has contributed tremendously in the peacekeeping missions in the region and in Africa.

Bilateral political relations between South Africa and Ghana, one of the most stable multi-party democracies in the West African region, are very good, with both countries maintaining residential diplomatic missions in each other's capitals.

The two countries share similar views on the reform of the United Nations and African representation in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and other decision making organs of the United Nations.

Ghana's foreign policy is anchored on the priorities which include good governance, rule of law, respect for human rights, attainment of social justice and equality, ideas that are entailed in the constitution of South Africa.

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