Ghana and Mali have pledged to work towards strengthening the ties of co-operation that exist between them, after the presidents of the two countries expressed satisfaction with the current state of the relations between them.
In a joint communiqué issued at the end of a day’s working visit to Mali by President Akufo-Addo, on Sunday, 28th May, 2017, it was resolved that the two countries reinforce their co-operation in the areas of trade, agriculture, security, and the process of West African integration.
To realise an increase in the free movement of goods and persons, and the corresponding economic and commercial benefits to the two peoples, both countries re-affirmed their commitment towards the implementation of the ECOWAS protocols on the free movement of goods and persons.
On agriculture, and in order to curb the smuggling of agro-chemicals, the two countries agreed to put measures in place to stop the illegal movement of agro-chemicals from Ghana into Mali, as well as take steps towards the diversification of agriculture in the two countries.
Touching on the issues of security, it was agreed that a framework to exchange and share information in tackling terrorism, violent robberies and organised crime be established.
“To efficiently address the issue of illegal activities at the borders, notably corruption and racketeering, both sides agreed to hold regular meetings, in order to put an end to these practices,” the communiqué noted.
With relations between the peoples of Ghana and Mali spanning several centuries, President Akufo-Addo, in his remarks to his Malian counterpart, stressed that “even though there has been a change in direction and leadership in Ghana, our fundamental commitment to a close and sustaining relationship with the people of the Republic of Mali remains unchanged. Ghana continues to be by your side, and continues to seek a relationship of intimacy and friendship.”
According to President Akufo-Addo: “We cannot, and will not, accept that other people can come and develop the Continent of Africa for us. It will not happen, and the sooner all of us work together and recognise the necessity of collaborating on a platform that will lead to the prosperity of our peoples, the better.”
Touching on the fight against terrorism, President Akufo-Addo assured President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita that “in Nana Akufo-Addo, and in his government, the people of Mali have a strong and steadfast friend.”
He expressed the appreciation of the peoples of West Africa for “the sacrifices the Malian people, who are in the frontline of the fight against terrorism, are making to guarantee the peace and security, not just of their own country, but the region as a whole.”
To this end, he reiterated Ghana’s commitment to “standing beside you in that fight, and want you to know that whatever, within our modest means, we can do to promote the success of that struggle, you can count on us.”