Ghana is South Africa’s second largest export market in West Africa
Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the Honourable Ms Hanna Tetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs
JOINT COMMUNIQUÉ AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE 3RD SESSION OF THE PERMANENT JOINT COMMISSION FOR COOPERATION (PJCC) MEETING BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA, PRETORIA, 5 NOVEMBER 2013
• At the invitation of the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the Honourable Ms Hanna Tetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Regional Integration, accompanied by a delegation of Senior Officials, paid a Working Visit to the Republic of South Africa on 5 November 2013. The main purpose of the visit was to Co-Chair with Minister Nkoana - Mashabane the 3rd Session of the Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC) between South Africa and Ghana on 5 November 2013.
• The 3rd Session of the PJCC was preceded by a Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on 3-4 November 2013 during which the status of bilateral cooperation between the two countries was discussed and a report was prepared for consideration and adoption by the Ministers. The Senior Officials Meeting was conducted under the following Working Groups: Foreign Affairs; Economic (Trade, Transport, Tourism, Agriculture and Finance); Security (Defense, Police, Immigration and Justice); Environment, Science & Technology and Communications (Inputs provided under the Foreign Affairs Working Group); Minerals and Energy; and Social.
• The Ministers discussed the forthcoming State Visit by President Zuma to Ghana from 26 to 27 November 2013 and expressed the view that the visit will contribute significantly in consolidating and strengthening even further the already excellent and cordial relations that exist between the two countries.
• During their Official talks, the two Ministers exchanged views on a number of issues of mutual interest ranging from bilateral, regional and international matters.
• The two Ministers expressed their mutual satisfaction with the current state of bilateral cooperation, as conducted within the framework of the Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC), and emphasized their determination to further strengthen and expand cooperation between the two countries.
• On bilateral co-operation, both Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Minister Tetteh underscored the bonds of friendship that exist between the two countries, founded on shared values of mutual respect, commitment to democracy, good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights. Both countries share common positions on peace and security, peacekeeping and reconstruction and development. It was agreed that both countries should continue to share information at their respective Missions at key multilateral institutions such as the United Nations (UN) in New York and Geneva, and at the AU in Addis Ababa, so that there can be an exchange of notes on issues of mutual concern.
• They also expressed satisfaction with the continuously expanding bilateral economic relationship and noted that Ghana is now South Africa’s second largest export market in West Africa. In 2012 alone South African investment in Ghana amounted to more than 5 billion Rands. The Ministers were pleased to note that the two countries are consulting on trade issues with the intention of unlocking bottlenecks with regard to market access.
• The Ministers further expressed their satisfaction with the deepening bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the fields of Energy, Science and Technology, Trade and Industry, Tourism, Environment, to name but a few. In many of these sectors Agreements/MoU on cooperation were either exchanged or work plans for implementation submitted and agreed to. In the Transport sector the meeting discussed issues relating to Air Transport, Maritime and Road Traffic Management amongst others. The parties further agreed that the draft MoU will be presented for signature by the respective authorities during the upcoming State visit of President Zuma to Ghana. In the Energy Sector it was agreed that working groups would be established within three months after the envisaged signing of an MoU which will further investigate cooperation on identified areas such as generation, transmission, distribution, energy efficiency, renewable energy, research and development, exchange of information related to policy, etc.
• South Africa and Ghana made substantial contributions towards the inception, preparation, coordination and winning of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) bid. Through the SKA Senior Officials Working group, South Africa and Ghana are part of the working group that is currently developing the SKA implementation Strategy which will be presented to the SKA Ministers meeting early in 2014. The two countries are also at an advanced stage in the implementation of the Africa Very Long Baseline Interferometry (AVN) programme.
• In the same vein, both countries agreed to encourage people-to-people contacts through sports, cultural activities, youth development and Tourism.
• The two Ministers also exchanged views on issues of mutual interest, particularly related to peace, security and stability on the continent and discussed the political and security situation, among others, in regions such as the Sahel, the CAR, and the eastern DRC.
• Minister Tetteh briefed Minister Nkoana-Mashabane on political developments in the West African region, as well as internal developments in Ghana. Minister Nkoana - Mashabane also briefed her counterpart about developments in SADC as well as internal developments in South Africa. They further reaffirmed their commitment to working together in promoting Pan-Africanism, peace and stability in the Continent.
• At the conclusion of the Working Visit, Minister Tetteh, on behalf of the Ghana delegation, expressed gratitude and appreciation to Minister Nkoana-Mashabane, the Government and people of the Republic South Africa for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to her and the Ghana delegation during the visit and extended an invitation to the Republic of South Africa to attend the next Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation meeting, to be held in Accra, Ghana on mutually agreed dates.