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Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional integration Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey is urging the private sector in Sao Tome and Principe to consider extending their investments into Ghana.
According to the Minister, the COVID-19 pandemic has set many countries back, therefore, Ghana stands ready to deepen her engagement with Sao Tome and Principe in all areas of bilateral cooperation, including in trade and investments.
The Island nation has given effect to four new instruments which will see increased partnerships with Ghana. These include the General Cooperation Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Government of the Republic of Sao Tome & Principe which covers fields of cooperation in trade, agriculture, mining, education and scientific research, culture activities, health, transport, tourism, small & medium scale artifacts, youth and sports, ICT, energy.
There is also a Memorandum of Understanding for political consultations plus another deal concerning waiver of Visa requirements for holders of diplomatic, service/ official and ordinary passports and co-operation in the field of Tourism and Arts & Culture.
Speaking at a news conference in Sao Tome after an official ceremony to sign the agreements, Ghana’s foreign minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey expressed hope that as both parties give effect to the new documents, there would be increased partnerships which will yield mutual benefits for all.
“I take this opportunity to invite Sao Tomean business operators to consider Ghana, a member of the 350 million economic community of West African States, as a destination for investments and trade,” she said while adding that deeper cooperation “will position our two countries to take advantage of the fast-evolving economic landscape of our continent”.
The minister also explained that new continental arrangements and instruments, such as the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, the Single African Air Transport Market and the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons are creating possibilities for an ambitious agenda for progress which all nations must take advantage of.
“This means working together, building on our different strengths and capabilities to create opportunities but also to take advantage of the new opportunities. I see strengthened relations with Sao Tome in all spheres as an important step in this direction,” Ms Botchwey noted.
She also reiterated the government’s firm conviction that cooperation and deep affinity for an integrated Africa is the surest way to achieve the socio-economic transformation for African countries and the well-being of its people.