President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says Ghana’s relations with the Russian Federation must be based on increased trade and investment co-operation, and not by the export and import of raw materials.
“This, we believe, is the way to develop healthy relations between our two countries. Our vision is to build a free, prosperous country, a Ghana Beyond Aid, as a dynamic component of an independent and prosperous Africa,” he said.
The President disclosed this on Thursday when he delivered a statement at the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, Russia.
The Summit, being held under the theme: “For Peace, Security and Development”, is aimed at deepening ties and seeking mutually beneficial areas of cooperation between the Eastern European nation and Africa.
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that Ghana was determined to build a value-added, industrialised economy with a modernised agriculture, and to trade in the global marketplace “on the basis of things we make and grow, and to chart our own self-reliant, independent path within the world economic order.”
“We believe that effective co-operation with Russia will help us attain this goal.”
Noting Russia’s geo-political role in Africa’s liberation struggle from colonialism and imperialism, the President said the Federation had continued to increase its co-operation with Africa in several sectors, including health, energy, communications, mining and railway construction, even after the Cold War era.
“Today, the deepening ties of friendship are evident in the growth in trade between our two sides, which stood at US$20 billion in 2018, a 17 per cent rise over the previous year.
“At the multilateral level, particularly at the United Nations, Russia has also been supportive of Africa’s call for reforms at the UN Security Council, as set out in Africa’s Common Position on UN Reform – the Ezulwini Consensus,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo was happy that Russia had taken a keen interest in Africa, because, the World Bank projects that six of the world’s ten fastest growing economies this year, including Ghana’s, are in Africa.
“The continent is rich in natural resources, and in possession of 30 per cent of the earth’s remaining mineral resources. She has a vibrant young population, and, though there are still important security challenges, she is more at peace than before,” he stressed.
President Akufo-Addo further emphasized the importance of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which will cover a market of 1.2 billion people, with a combined GDP of $3 trillion, across the fifty-four (54) member states of the African Union.
He stated that Ghana’s hosting of the AfCFTA Secretariat held excellent prospects for trade relations between the continent and Russia.
“We hope that this new era of Ghana-Russia, and Africa-Russia relations will reaffirm the principles of solidarity, mutual trust and respect, which have anchored those relations for several decades, and which will assist us deliver peace, security, development, progress and prosperity for our peoples,” the President said.