The President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has reiterated his commitment to developing strong bilateral ties and exploring areas of co-operation with Ghana, under the leadership of its President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to the mutual benefit of the two countries.
According to President Lungu, the margin of victory chalked by President Akufo-Addo in the 2016 election “was a true reflection of the confidence the people of Ghana have in your vision, and for that reason, we look forward to working closely with you during your tenure of office.”
The Zambian President noted further that “there are a lot of things you (Ghana) are doing in mining, agriculture, infrastructure development, amongst others, which can benefit Zambia, by being emulated. It is about common, good practices, Mr. President, and what you do better, we should not hesitate to emulate.”
President Edgar Lungu made this known on Tuesday, July 27, 2017, when he held bilateral talks with the Ghanaian President and his delegation, at the commencement of the 3-day official State Visit by President Akufo-Addo to Zambia.
With the two countries having signed an agreement for the establishment of a Permanent Joint Commission on Co-operation (PJCC) to serve as the legal framework to address their trade and investment concerns, President Lungu bemoaned the non-implementation of this commission.
He, however, indicated that the PJCC will be given a new lease of life under his and the tenure of office of President Akufo-Addo, so as to ensure that “our Ministers will begin co-operating, and, henceforth, make the PJCC a living document.”
On the Ezulwini consensus, a position on international relations and reform of the United Nations agreed by the African Union in 2005, President Lungu was confident that the pioneering role played by President Akufo-Addo, then Foreign Minister of Ghana, in the fashioning of the document will be of invaluable to the cause of the AU.
Strong relations between Zambia and Ghana
On his part, President Akufo-Addo thanked President Lungu for inviting him to visit Zambia, and thanked him for attending his inauguration on 7th January, regardless of the political upheavals that existed in Zambia at the time, as a result of a closely fought election.
With Ghana-Zambia relations spanning nearly six decades, President Akufo-Addo stated that “in our time we must continue to build on it”. The coming into full effect of the PJCC, he said, will be the means to strengthening the areas of co-operation in trade, agriculture, mining, investments, amongst others, between the two countries.
On the Ezulwuni consensus, President Akufo-Addo noted that “it is not right that we (Africa) continue to be marginalised on the Councils of the world. If, today, we make the decision to bring UN reforms back to the centre of the global agenda, I think it is an important thing to do. The G4 countries (Japan, Brazil, Germany and India) are ready to support the African position on UN reforms – the consensus that was fashioned in Ezulwini, some 12 years ago.”
To the Zambian President, President Akufo-Addo assured that his visit is to reciprocate the hand of friendship that Pres. Lungu extended to Ghana, and that he was ready to go side-by-side with Pres. Lungu in developing the new paradigm for the African continent – democratic accountability, more rapid economic growth, focus on stimulating and empowering our various private sectors.
The co-operation and collaboration of African countries with each other, President Akufo-Addo, said is the way to overcoming Africa’s developmental hurdles and, thereby, bettering the lives of the African people.