The President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, has expressed gratitude to the government of Ghana for supporting his country’s healthcare sector.
The Sierra Leone leader made the remarks when he addressed the press at the foyer of the Jubilee House together with President Akufo-Addo on Monday, 22 October 2018.
President Bio is on a two-day state visit to Ghana, his first since assuming office in May this year.
The two leaders, before addressing the press, held bilateral talks to discuss specific areas of cooperation.
A joint communiqué was subsequently issued. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, signed the Communiqué on behalf of Ghana and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone, Dr. Alie Kabba, signed on behalf of Sierra Leone.
The 14-paragraph communiqué was subsequently read by Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey.
It read in part as follows:
“Both leaders reviewed the state of bilateral relations and observed that the current level of trade between the two countries was low and required new and additional measures to improve the volume of trade. They noted the need to strengthen commercial relations between the private sectors of the two countries and called for the facilitative role of the two Governments in bringing the private sectors together”.
“Both leaders reiterated the importance of education as a long-term development tool and recalled the implementation of the Free Senior High School programme in Ghana and the recently introduced Free Quality Education policy of the Government of Sierra Leone. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assured President Julius Maada Bio of the Government of Ghana’s commitment in sharing her experience and expertise on the Programme with the Government of Sierra Leone as it begins the implementation of the Free Quality Education policy for primary pupils and secondary students”.
“President Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that the Government of Ghana will carefully consider the request of the Government of Sierra Leone for technical assistance in the form of experts in the area of technical and vocational education training and will work with the Government of Sierra Leone on the modalities for implementing the request”.
“Both leaders noted the importance of quality health. President Julius Maada Bio expressed appreciation for the capacity development assistance that the Government of Ghana was providing, in collaboration with Médicins Sans Frontières, for nurses from Sierra Leone who were undergoing top-up training in Ghana. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo indicated that Ghana was prepared to work with Sierra Leone to develop arrangements for an overseas medical personnel deployment programme to help the Government of Sierra Leone meet her health needs”.
“Both leaders stressed the importance of food security and discussed the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme in Ghana and the new commercial agriculture policy of the Government of Sierra Leone. The two leaders noted the need for national food security and the alignment of national food security strategies with the ECOWAS Regional Food Security Reserve, which is part of the Regional Agricultural Investment Programme”.
“The two leaders noted the importance of cooperation in the area of energy. H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo indicated that Ghana would consider providing technical expertise to Sierra Leone in the Energy Sector”.
“Both leaders discussed the fisheries sector of the two countries and expressed the need for greater cooperation in the sector and as well as enhanced collaboration within international fora such as the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. The two leaders requested the Ministries of the two countries responsible for fisheries to forge stronger links of cooperation”.
“The two leaders recalled the General Cooperation Agreement signed between the two countries for the establishment of a Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation and pledged to work towards the convening of the First Session of the Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation as soon as possible, to enable the varied areas of cooperation between the two countries to be enhanced under a unified framework”.
“The two leaders discussed the African Continental Free Trade Area and noted its immense benefits on trade expansion, job creation and national welfare gains for all African countries. Both leaders expressed optimism about the operationalisation of the Agreement. The President of Sierra Leone indicated that the Government of Sierra Leone will soon complete the national ratification process and deposit her instrument of ratification with the African Union Commission. The two leaders affirmed their commitment to pursue the agenda of an Africa Beyond Aid”.
“The two leaders reviewed the state of peace and security in the Region and noted the need for holistic measures and concerted action in addressing threats to the peace and security of the Region. They emphasized the need to address the root causes of extremism and terrorist violence in the Region. They pledged the commitment of their two Governments in countering terrorism and extremism in the Region”.
“The two leaders reaffirmed the commitment of the two countries to cooperate at the level of ECOWAS, the African Union, the Commonwealth, and the United Nations and to deepen the shared values of democracy, good governance and respect for human rights”.