General News of 2012-09-09

Mahama returns from West Africa tour

Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria have affirmed their commitment to deepen their political, economic and cultural relations.

Consequently the four neighbouring countries have pledged to mobilise resources to implement projects and programmes to improve the living standards of their peoples.

This was the outcome of a three-nation friendly and working tour of Togo, Benin and Nigeria by President John Dramani Mahama from Thursday September 7, 2012, to Friday September 7, 2012.

The purpose of the visits was first to thank President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, President Faure Essoxzimna Gnassingbe of Togo, and President Yayi Boni of Benin, for personally attending the funeral and burial ceremony of the late President John Evans Atta Mills, and then hold bilateral discussions with them.

At the separate meetings, the Heads of State acknowledged their strong ties with Ghana and assured President Mahama of their commitment to take the friendship and cooperation to a higher level.

President Mahama's first point of call was the Republic of Togo where he was met on arrival by President Gnassingbe at the airport, where a guard of honour was mounted in his honour.

At their bilateral meeting, President Mahama and President Gnassingbe expressed satisfaction at the steps taken by their Ministers in charge of Water under the Drinking Water Supply project between Sogakope and Lomé, and encouraged them to finalise the relevant documents to the selected financial institution as soon as possible for implementation.

In the field of energy, they discussed progress made in their joint effort under the electrical interconnection programme between Togo and Ghana and renewed their commitment to achieve the joint construction project of a dam near river Oti in northern Ghana to further enhance the energy supply for the two nations.

President Mahama assured his Togolese counterpart of his determination to hold the next presidential election in Ghana in December 2012, in a free and transparent manner to ensure peace and national harmony in Ghana.

On his part, President Gnassingbe informed his Ghanaian counterpart of his willingness to use dialogue and consensus in handling matters of public interest. He further assured President Mahama of his determination to make the coming legislative elections as peaceful, free, democratic, and transparent as possible.

President Gnassingbe commended the people Ghana for establishing strong democratic institutions and the promotion of the rule of law in Ghana, which culminated in a peaceful transfer of power following the sudden demise of President Mills.

He also paid glowing tribute to the late President for his stance on peace and justice, and the role he played in consolidating democracy in Ghana.

President Mahama's next point of call was Abuja, in the Federal Republic of Nigeria where he held bilateral talks with his Nigerian counterpart, President Jonathan.

The two Presidents deliberated on the political situation in the sub-region, especially the conflict situation in Mali. Consequently, they agreed to make every effort to strengthen their cooperation as well as that with other heads of state to resolve the conflict situation in Mali.

President Jonathan underscored the long standing diplomatic and culture relations that bound the citizens of Nigeria and Ghana and pledged to collaborate with President Mahama to deepen the political, economic and social ties between the two nations. He expressed the hope that the visit of President Mahama would take the co-operation between Ghana and Nigeria to a higher level.

Whilst in Nigeria, President Mahama took time to address the Ghanaian community living in Abuja and assured them of his commitment to grow Ghana’s economy and maintain peace in the country.

President Mahama's final point of call was in Cotonoue in Benin, where he held bilateral talks with President Yayi Boni.

During the visit, the two Presidents held discussions on a wide range of issues bordering on bilateral, sub-regional and regional cooperation.

President Mahama assured his host of Ghana's intention to increase its power supply to Benin upon the completion of the Gas processing plant and the Bui hydro electric dam.

On his part, President Boni who doubles as the Chairman of the Africa Union used the opportunity to brief President Mahama on the political developments in Africa and the progress made towards a resolution of conflicts within the continent with emphasis on the political situation in Mali and Guinea Bissau.

President Mahama reiterated Ghana's commitment to peace and security within the continent and assured his counterpart of Ghana's commitment to continue to play a positive role within the league of Nations.

The President was accompanied by a high-powered government delegation that included; Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mrs. Juliana Azumah, Minister of Women and Children's Affairs and Mr. James Bebaako-Mensah, Secretary to the President.

Source: Osu Castle
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