President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has expressed his excitement at being in Ghana on official duties.
He arrived in Ghana on a three-day visit. His last visit to Ghana was in 2019. “It is a great pleasure to be back in Ghana after an absence of two years.
“I last visited Ghana in December 2019 on a Working Visit, during which our Ministers signed an agreement establishing the Bi-National Commission, which has elevated our relations to a Head of State level,” he told the press.
His visit comes a day after FIFA ruled in a case involving Ghana and South Africa relative ti the outcome of a World Cup qualifier played in Cape Coast.
The South Africa football body, SAFA, petitioned FIFA against decisions by Senegalese referee Maguette N’diaye, which they claim led to their loss via a controversial penalty.
It is a great pleasure to be back in Ghana after an absence of two years. I last visited Ghana in December 2019 on a Working Visit, during which our Ministers signed an agreement establishing the Bi-National Commission, which has elevated our relations to a Head of State level. pic.twitter.com/1dBGnINgMC
— Cyril Ramaphosa ???????? (@CyrilRamaphosa) December 4, 2021
Media remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa during media briefing on the occasion of the State Visit to Ghana
Your Excellency, President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo,
Members of the Media,
It is a great pleasure to be back in Ghana after an absence of two years.
I last visited Ghana in December 2019 on a Working Visit, during which our respective Ministers of International Relations and Foreign Affairs signed an agreement establishing the Bi-National Commission, which has elevated our relations to a Head of State level.
This development underscores the long-standing and growing relations between our two countries.
Today we held the inaugural session of the Bi-National Commission.
As part of the effort to strengthen bilateral relations between two countries, we have just witnessed the signing Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Agriculture. The implementation of this MOU will contribute towards food security for our respective countries and our continent.
We have discussed exploring possible new areas of economic, trade and investment cooperation, especially in Ghana’s key sectors such as roads and railway infrastructure, mining, energy, manufacturing and agro-processing.
There are over 200 South African companies registered in Ghana, employing nearly 20,000 Ghanaians and around 500 expatriates.
Over the past ten years, South African companies have undertaken over 170 projects in Ghana with capital investments valued in excess of USD 1 billion.
We also discussed continental issues related to matters of good governance, democracy and elections.
We further discussed armed conflicts and security challenges on the continent and the threat they pose to our efforts to usher in sustainable development and economic prosperity.
I have commended President Akufo-Addo for his efforts in mediating and calling for the promotion of peace and stability in the region in his capacity as Chair of ECOWAS.
We have congratulated Ghana for being elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the period 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2023.
His Excellency and myself have agreed that peace and stability is key to the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area that came into operation on the 1st of January this year.
In conclusion I want to take this opportunity to thank you Your Excellency for the demonstration of solidarity with South Africa in agreeing that this visit should go ahead.
As we are all aware, a number of countries have imposed a travel ban on South Africa and our sister countries in the Southern African region in response to the detection of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
I have expressed to His Excellency and I want to repeat it here, this is a slap in the face of not just South Africa, but of African excellence in scientific endeavor.
It was African scientists who detected this variant first. It was African scientific expertise, particularly in genomic sequencing, that brought it to the world’s attention.
These arbitrary travel restrictions are already causing substantial damage to national economies in the region, particularly those that are heavily reliant on tourism.
They are punitive by their very nature.
On Wednesday at a joint briefing with the African Union, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described it as travel apartheid, and that is what it is.
Our presence here in Ghana is an affirmation that as African countries we reject some African countries being singled out and isolated when this is a global pandemic requiring global cooperation.
We are standing together as a united front, as we have done from the outset.
Those countries that have imposed the travel bans are urged to reconsider their decisions. I want to speak to them directly. Come and invest in Ghana and in South Africa.
We are driving the health recovery. We are open for business. Be part of driving Africa’s recovery, and not of holding Africa back.
This has been a most successful inaugural session of the Bi-National Commission and I look forward to the implementation of the many resolutions and outcomes.
Mr. President, allow me to once again extend my gratitude for the very warm welcome.
I thank you.