Ghana and South Africa to Bolster Economic Ties

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma is to host the President of Ghana John Atta Mills, who will undertake a two day State Visit to South Africa from Tuesday.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement on Sunday that the visit is aimed at strengthening the already existing “cordial relations” between South Africa and Ghana which dates back to the liberation struggle period.

“The two Presidents will discuss and concretise cooperation in the key bilateral priority areas such as cooperation in trade, tourism, communication technology, energy, mining, agriculture, and science and technology,” said the department.

It is expected that three bilateral memoranda of understanding will be signed during the visit.

With regard to bilateral trade, Ghana represents a major export market for South African goods in West Africa after Nigeria and while total trade volumes are still relatively low in global terms, it is expected that these figures will grow.

In recent years, trade between South Africa and Ghana has grown significantly. South African exports have grown three folds from 1998 to 2009.

Equally, imports from Ghana have shown constant increase during the same period. Products such as vehicles, machinery, mechanical appliances; electrical equipment, base metals, aircraft, vessels & associated products contribute to the increased exports to Ghana.

In 2008 Ghana experienced a trade surplus owing to the large exports of waste and scrap metals, iron, steel as well as wood to South Africa.

There are more than eighty South African multinational and small scale companies registered in Ghana. The South African investors are prevalent in the following sectors: mining, retail, insurance, transport, tourism, banking, telecommunication, construction, services, franchising, manufacturing, fishing, advertising, aviation and energy.

The department said the two will also use the occasion to exchange views in respect of developments at regional level, both with regard to ECOWAS and SADC, as well as discuss broad issues affecting the continent within the context of the African Union.

“They will also discuss enhanced cooperation in dealing with multilateral issues such as reform of global institutions of governance such as the UN Security Council and the Bretton Woods Institutions”.