The bond between Ghana and Ethiopia was yesterday given a new lease of life when leaders of the two countries pledged to work to strengthen their bilateral relations.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Ethiopian counterpart, President Mulatu Teshome, expressed satisfaction with the state of bilateral relations between the two countries but agreed to do more.
The commitment of the two leaders was the outcome of bilateral talks held between them on the side lines of the 29th Africa Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Welcoming the Ghanaian Leader, President Teshome observed that the history of cordial relations between the two countries dated back to the period when President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia played instrumental roles in the de-colonisation process of Africa and the strengthening of Pan-African institutions.
A good reason to do more
The Ethiopian President said that history ought to serve as an encouragement to do more and also strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.
“We need to deepen the ties between Ghana and Ethiopia in the areas of trade, investment and education and we need to visit each other often,” President Teshome said
For him, it was of utmost importance that the two countries learned from each other and adopted mutual best practices in order to create wealth and prosperity for their peoples.
“Economic diplomacy is now the pillar of relations between countries,” he said, and expressed the hope that with the new-found ground of working to achieve mutual benefits, the bond of friendship and the ties of co-operation that existed between the two countries would be strengthened even further.
President Akufo-Addo said Ghana’s relations with Ethiopia predated the post-independence era when many Ghanaians who enlisted in the then Gold Coast Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Force (British Colonial Force) fought side by side with Ethiopian resistance forces in World War II.
President lauds Ethiopia’s progress
He said Ethiopia had achieved significant economic growth and commended President Teshome for the rapid infrastructural development taking place in that country, adding that that would spur on growth even further in Ethiopia.
On another level, President Akufo-Addo said there would be the need to increase the volumes of trade between the two countries and also deepen co-operation in the area of agricultural modernisation.
He said terrorism had become a matter of prime concern for the whole of Africa, saying Ghana remained resolute in playing its part towards curbing that menace.
He said the peoples of Africa were grateful to Ethiopia for the frontal role it was playing in the fight against terrorism and the efforts being made to guarantee the peace and security not just of Ethiopia but the continent as a whole.
President Akufo-Addo thanked successive governments and the people of Ethiopia for the hosting of the institutions of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now the AU, for the past 54 years.