The presidents of Ghana and Mali, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta have pledged to work towards strengthening the ties of co-operation that exist between the two countries and a resolve to reinforce co-operation in the areas of trade, agriculture, security and West African integration.
In a joint communiqué issued at the end of a day’s working visit to Mali by President Akufo-Addo on Sunday, May 28, the two heads of state expressed satisfaction with the current state of the relations. The two countries also re-affirmed their commitment towards the implementation of the ECOWAS protocols on the free movement of goods and persons in order to harness the corresponding economic and commercial benefits to the two peoples.
On agriculture, and in order to curb the smuggling of agro-chemicals, the two countries agreed to put measures in place to stop the illegal movement of agro-chemicals from Ghana into Mali, as well as take steps towards the diversification of agriculture in the two countries. “To efficiently address the issue of illegal activities at the borders, notably corruption and racketeering,” a framework to exchange and share information in tackling terrorism, violent robberies and organised crime will also be established.
President Akufo-Addo, stressed Ghana’s “fundamental commitment to a close and sustaining relationship with the people of the Republic of Mali.”
He also assured President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta that people of Mali “have a strong and steadfast friend in Nana Akufo-Addo and in his government,” in the fight against terrorism. He further reiterated Ghana’s commitment to Mali.
President Akufo-Addo’s trip to Mali is part of a tour of the ECOWAS region West Africa which commencing with the three countries bordering Ghana- Togo, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire. He has also paid working visits to the Gambia, Guinea, Senegal, Cape Verde, Sierra Leone and Liberia and would later pay official working visits to Nigeria and Benin.
The tour is in line President Akuffo-Addo’s quest to strengthen ties between Ghana and countries in the ECOWAS region. During the tour, he rallied his counterparts to strengthen the regional bloc and give true meaning to the ECOWAS Protocols on Free Movement of Goods and Persons by promoting open borders in the Community. “The opening of our borders will give true meaning to the ECOWAS Protocols on Free Movement of Goods and Persons, and will spur on progress and prosperity for our peoples,” he said.
The Ghanaian President also pledged to strengthen the ties between Ghana and countries in the region. He has also pushed for the ratification of certain bilateral agreements between Ghana and some of the countries visited.