Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, on Thursday bade farewell to Madam Lulama Marytheresa Xingwana, the outgoing South African High Commissioner to Ghana, after the successful completion of her duty tour of Ghana.
Madam Xingwana was appointed the High Commissioner of South Africa to Ghana in April 2015. Madam Ayorkor Botchwey recalled the longstanding historical relations between Ghana and South Africa, dating back to liberation struggles in Africa.
She said the bonds of friendship between the two countries were underpinned by the shared values of mutual respect, commitment to democracy, good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights.
She said the friendship and cooperation between the two countries, particularly in recent times, had grown stronger, characterized by several exchanges of high-level visits that resulted in economic dividends for both countries.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey noted that during a State visit by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to South Africa in July 2018, a decision was taken to elevate the bilateral framework and the Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC) between Ghana and South Africa, to a Bi-National Commission and recalled several State visits by both presidents, which had yielded good results for Ghana and South Africa.
The Foreign Minister indicated that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) created an opportunity for the two countries to boost trade relations and expressed the hope that the business communities in both countries would take advantage of the large market to invest.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey commended Madam Xingwana for the exemplary work done during her tenure in deepening the bonds of friendship between Ghana and South Africa.
She expressed the hope that her successor would continue her good works in strengthening the already cordial relations between the two countries.
She assured the High Commissioner that the government would extend to her successor the same support and solidarity to help advance the relations between the two countries.
Madam Xingwana said President Ramaphosa had to postpone his planned State visit to Ghana early this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed gratitude to President Akufo-Addo for addressing the Centenary Nelson Mandela Lectures in July 2018, on the occasion of Nelson Mandela's hundredth birthday anniversary.
She commended Ghana for its peace, stability and economic growth and said it had a bright future on the continent.