The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, returned to Ghana on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, after his 3-day official visit to Equatorial Guinea, with the visit serving as an opportunity for the two countries to strengthen existing bilateral cooperation.
The meetings between President Akufo-Addo and President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo were held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere, as the two leaders examined issues bordering on bilateral, regional and international cooperation, and reaffirmed their commitment to work hand-in-hand to strenghten the ties of cooperation for the mutual benefit of their peoples.
Addressing internal issues in their respective countries, President Obiang Mbasogo congratulated President Akufo-Addo on his decisive victory in the election of 2016, whilst President Akufo-Addo, on his part, congratulated his counterpart for the tremendous developments that have taken place in his country.
Expressing satisfaction at the level of cooperation between the two countries, the two Heads of State mandated their respective Ministers of Foreign Affairs to reactivate the Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC) between Equatorial Guinea and Ghana, which serves as the framework to promote cooperation in the areas of oil and gas, energy, agriculture, food security, mineral resources, maritime transport, civil aviation, trade, defense and security, education, health, among others.
In the area of maritime transport, Ghana proposed the establishment of a shipping link between the two countries using “Tema-Port Harcourt-Douala-Malabo” route, which will also boost trade and commercial activities between the West and Central Africa.
President Akufo-Addo addressing the joint press conference
Following further discussions and deliberations, both countries agreed and subsequently signed two Agreements namely: the waiver of visa requirements for citizens of both countries holding Diplomatic, Official and Service Passports; and Heads of Agreement on the Supply of LNG and the support regarding import infrastructure.
Multilaterally, both Heads of State expressed their support to global and African initiatives for the prevention of and peaceful settlement of conflicts, respect for the Charters of the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU), independence and sovereignty of States, as well as non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.
President Akufo-Addo and President Obiang Mbasogo also expressed concern about the resurgence of tensions on the African continent, and agreed on the urgent need to combat the growing threats of terrorism. They condemned recent terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso, Spain and Iceland, and regretted the loss of human lives in Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other parts of the world.
The pair also expressed their desire to achieve regional integration through the AU Agenda to achieve a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), which is aimed at boosting intra-African trade.
President Akufo-Addo congratulated his Equato-Guinean counterpart on the election of Equatorial Guinea as a Non-Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the period 2018-2019.
Touching on UN reforms, the two leaders agreed that African countries should support the Ezulwuni Consensus, and expand the representation of African countries into the categories of Permanent and Non-Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, with the purpose of making it more efficient, legitimate and representative to reflect the realities of the world today. The Presidents
During his visit to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, President Akufo-Addo visited infrastructure and energy development projects in the city of Malabo, and at the end of his visit extended an invitation to President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo to visit Ghana.
President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo accepted the invitation, which would be communicated through the diplomatic channels with delight.