Ghana and India have enjoyed longstanding bilateral ties in a broad range of areas which predate the colonial era. The two countries have, since their attainment of independence from the British in 1957 and 1947 respectively, continuously strengthened South-South cooperation.
Ghana’s relationship with India includes centuries-old ties of commerce and culture, common struggle against colonialism, and the need for equality and justice in global endeavours.
To give a further boost to this existing rich ties, President John Dramani Mahama last Tuesday held bilateral discussions with the Indian Prime Minister, Mr Shri Narendra Modi, in New Delhi ahead of the opening of the India-Africa Forum Summit.
At the discussions between President Mahama and his Indian counterpart, it was reported that the development of Ghana’s transport sector, principally the dualisation of the Accra-Kumasi road and revamping of the rail sector, came up for mention.
We recall that India provided funds for the reconstruction of the Flagstaff House, the seat of government, in addition to funding the revival of the Komenda Sugar Factory as well as many other forms of assistance to Ghana.
In spite of the modest gains achieved by the two countries, including examples of success stories in sustainable development and empowerment of their people, there is still more room for improvement in enhancing the bilateral ties that exist between them.
It is in this light that the Daily Graphic views the meeting between President Mahama and Prime Minister Modi as timely to find new areas of cooperation.
For instance, there is a lot that Ghana and India can learn from each other in terms of poverty alleviation and we hope that the new bond of friendship that has been struck with the meeting of the two leaders would help advance prosperity for the peoples of the two countries.
Ghana and India must also work strategically not only to boost socio-economic and political ties but strive to develop their partnership on grounds of empowerment, capacity building and human resource development.
The ties between India and Ghana, and for that matter Africa and India, must be seen as going beyond strategic considerations because of their strong emotional and historical links.
As stated by India’s External Affairs Minister, India’s relations with Africa and the ongoing summit ought to be seen as a “family reunion” and used to set the tone for a new partnership for development in Ghana and Africa as a whole.
Many countries in the Global South, commonly referred to as the Third World, have, over the years, gone through socio-economic challenges partly due to the fact that they have almost always looked up to the so-called developed North.
The need for a wider level of South-South cooperation and trade between and among the block in the South has therefore become pertinent now more than ever before.