ACCRA, Ghana and Mali have pledged to work towards strengthening the ties of co-operation that exist between them, after the Presidents of the two countries expressed satisfaction with the current state of bilateral relations.

In a joint communique issued at the end of a one-day working visit to Mali by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Sunday, both nations resolved to reinforce their co-operation in the areas of trade, agriculture, security and the process of West African integration.

The two countries also re-affirmed their commitment towards the implementation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocols on the free movement of goods and persons in the sub-region in order to harness the corresponding economic and commercial benefits to their two peoples.

Referring to agriculture, and in order to curb the smuggling of agro-chemicals, the two countries agreed to put measures in place to stop the illegal movement of agro-chemicals from Ghana into Mali, as well as take steps for the diversification of agriculture in the two countries.

Touching on security, it was agreed that a framework to exchange and share information in tackling terrorism, violent robberies and organized crime be established. To efficiently address the issue of illegal activities at the borders, notably corruption and racketeering, both sides agreed to hold regular meetings in order to put an end to these practices, the communique noted.

President Akufo-Addo said: Even though there has been a change in direction and leadership in Ghana, our fundamental commitment to a close and sustaining relationship with the people of the Republic of Mali remains unchanged. Ghana continues to be by your side and continues to seek a relationship of intimacy and friendship.

We cannot and will not accept that other people can come and develop the continent of Africa for us. It will not happen, and the sooner all of us work together and recognize the necessity of collaborating on a platform that will lead to the prosperity of our peoples, the better. �