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Ghana and Kenya step up relations, establish Binational Commission and sign seven other MoUs

State visit by President William Samoei Ruto of Kenya to Ghana. Jubilee House, Accra (3 April 2024). Shaking hands with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo exchanges pleasantries with President Ruto in the foyer of Jubilee House

The Republics of Ghana and Kenya have stepped up diplomatic and economic relations by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which will establish a binational commission between the two countries with the sole aim of finding ways through which the West and East African states can boost their trade, economic and social ties.

The two countries also signed seven other MoUs, ranging from education, tourism and defence co-operation to investment promotion, industry, manufacturing and commerce.

The signing of four of the eight MoUs took place at Jubilee House, the seat of Ghana’s presidency, during a courtesy call on President Akufo-Addo by the President of Kenya, William Ruto, who is on a three-day state visit to Ghana.

Presidents Akufo-Addo and Ruto held talks at Jubilee House and addressed the presidential press corps after their meeting.

In his remarks, President Akufo-Addo said the meeting was very successful and that it has reignited the historic relations, bonds of friendship and ties of co-operation between Ghana and Kenya.

Economic transformation

Akufo-Addo declared that just as the two first leaders of Ghana and Kenya, Kwame Nkrumah and Jomo Kenyatta, were united by their common determination to free their peoples from foreign domination and racist exploitation, so are he and President Ruto united in their determination to win the battle for rapid economic development.

Kenya and Ghana will pursue this aim, Akufo-Addo said, by helping to intensify the value-adding, industrial transformation of both economies, anchored on the things the two countries make and grow.

“It is this transformation that will give us the best opportunity to derive maximum benefit from our abundant natural resources in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and help bring prosperity and progress to our peoples,” President Akufo-Addo said.

Changing the narrative

President William Ruto noted that during his discussions with President Akufo-Addo, it became clear that African leaders must redouble their efforts to silence the guns on the continent if Africa is to achieve the much-desired economic growth she so desperately needs.

He further said that the African Union and other economic communities across the continent must be resourced with greater capacity to enable them to do more in pursuit of peace and stability in Africa.

“It is possible for Africa to provide solutions rather than just being part of the problem,” President Ruto said. “For a long time, Africa has been defined and profiled as a continent of conflict, war, diseases, and poverty but we believe that that is half the story.

“The correct narrative is that Africa is a continent of opportunity, and significantly changing the narrative is our assignment,” Ruto said.

State-level agreements

Among the memorandums of understanding signed are an agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Government of the Republic of Kenya for the establishment of a binational commission, and an MoU for scientific and educational co-operation between the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Ghana and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Kenya.

The two other memorandums signed at Jubilee House were an MoU between the Hotel, Catering and Tourism Training Institute (HOTCATT) Ghana and Kenya Utalii College, Kenya, and another on co-operation in defence matters between the Republics of Ghana and Kenya.

Industry signings

Four other memorandum were subsequently signed during a business summit between the two countries held at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra.

They are a memorandum of understanding between Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and the Kenya Investment Authority (KENINVEST), and an MoU between the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers.

The third memorandum of understanding signed at the Kempinski was between the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The last agreement signed was between the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and the Kenya School of Governance (KSG).

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

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