For enhanced governance, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have agreed to establish a strategic partnership to enhance governance and foster mutual development in their respective countries.
President Alassane Dramane Ouattara mooted the idea for a strategic partnership between the two countries when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo held a closed-door meeting with him in Abidjan last Saturday.
The meeting was part of activities that marked President Akufo-Addo’s two-day official visit to Cote d’Ivoire.
At the end of the closed-door meeting, President Akufo-Addo said it was “an exciting idea and if it succeeds, which I have no doubt it will, since we are going into this partnership with sincerity on both sides, it will be a tremendous boost and impetus to the collective process of integration and collaboration in West Africa and within the wider African continent”.
He applauded the Ivorian President for mooting the idea and said: “It is a measure of the man that he should come up with such an idea and I am grasping it very firmly because I can see the benefits it will bring. If we co-operate with Cote d’Ivoire over a broad range of issues, that will help our mutual development.”
President Akufo-Addo said his purpose in Cote d’Ivoire was to tell the Ivorian people that Ghana continued to be a friend, brother and committed ally in the collective struggle of the African people to develop and bring prosperity and dignity to themselves.
“It’s obvious to me, it’s obvious to many people that there is an emergence of a generation of leaders of Africa who are committed to the rule of law, who are committed to the principles of democratic accountability, who are committed to respect for human rights and individual liberties,” he added.
That development, he said, provided the leadership of the continent with a great opportunity to “release the energies of the African people for the development that we have all been seeking for”.
The President contended that there could no longer be any excuse on the part of any African country for remaining in conditions of poverty.
“Other parts of the world which began in situations just like ours have done it. We, for our part, can also do it if we find ourselves with the resolve, determination and will to be able to go forward,” he stressed.
President Akufo-Addo said he was excited that he had President Ouattara as his western neighbour and described the Ivorian President as a man with whom he shared so many common attitudes, sentiments and policies.
“I am hoping that this synchronisation of our periods in office will inure to the benefit of the Ghanaian and the Ivorian people and that it will bring about a period of prosperity in the lives of our two countries and be that light, that beacon, that example for the rest of our continent,” he said.
He said he was exceptionally grateful to President Ouattara for the solidarity that he showed towards him and the people of Ghana by honouring an invitation as the special guest of honour at his (President Akufo-Addo’s) inauguration, even though there were serious challenges in Cote d’Ivoire at the time.
President Akufo-Addo said there were serious disturbances within the security forces in Cote d’Ivoire and that any other person might have said that those were issues that mattered to him, for which reason he would not leave his country, adding: “I would not have had any difficulty in understanding him, but he chose to come to Ghana. He chose to come, despite the difficulties in his own backyard, to come and extend a hand of friendship and solidarity to us by being present at my investiture.
“It is something that will live with me and in the memory of my compatriots for a very long time to come and something that the people of Ghana will continue to treasure.”
The President said for years, Cote d’Ivoire had been a symbol of progress and prosperity in Africa, adding that although it went through significant difficulties, it was now clear that under the leadership of President Alassane Ouattara, “this outstanding African statesman, Cote d’Ivoire is back on the path of recovery and progress”.