President returns fruitful from Equatorial Guinea visit

Accra, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo returned to Ghana on Wednesday after a three-day official visit to Equatorial Guinea.

The visit helped to shore up relations between the two countries and secured a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) supply agreement to boost and guarantee energy supply and security in Ghana.

The President, during the visit, which was at the behest of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, signed a government-to-government agreement for the supply of 150 million to 200 million standard cubic feet of LNG per day, as part of measures being taken to address the instability in the energy sector.

The agreement is expected to commence later this year.

During the visit, President Akufo-Addo held series of meetings with President Mbasogo, where issues bordering on bilateral, regional and international cooperation were examined, with both leaders affirming to strengthen the ties of cooperation for the mutual benefit of their people.

President Mbasogo congratulated President Akufo-Addo on his decisive victory in Election 2016, whilst President Akufo-Addo congratulated his counterpart for the tremendous developments that had taken place in his country.

Both leaders were content at the level of cooperation between the two countries, and mandated their respective ministers of Foreign Affairs to reactivate the Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC) between Equatorial Guinea and Ghana, which serves as the framework to promote cooperation in the areas of oil and gas, energy, agriculture, food security, mineral resources, maritime transport, civil aviation, trade, defense and security, education and health among others.

On maritime transport, Ghana proposed the establishment of a shipping link between the two countries using Tema-Port Harcourt-Douala-Malabo route, which will also boost trade and commercial activities between the West and Central Africa.

Following further discussions and deliberations, both countries agreed and subsequently signed two agreements namely: The waiver of visa requirements for citizens of both countries holding Diplomatic, Official and Service Passports; and Heads of Agreement on the Supply of LNG and the support regarding import infrastructure.

President Akufo-Addo and President Mbasogo also expressed their support to global and African initiatives for the prevention and peaceful settlement of conflicts, respect for the Charters of the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU), independence and sovereignty of states, as well as non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

Both Heads of State also raised concerns about the resurgence of tension on the African Continent, and agreed on the urgent need to combat the growing threats of terrorism.

They condemned recent terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso, Spain and Iceland, and regretted the loss of human lives in Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other parts of the world.

The leaders also stated their desire to achieve regional integration through the AU Agenda to achieve a Continental Free Trade Area, which is aimed at boosting intra-African trade.

President Akufo-Addo congratulated President Mbasogo on the election of Equatorial Guinea as a Non-Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council for 2018-2019.

Touching on UN reforms, the two leaders agreed that African countries should support the Ezulwuni Consensus, and expand the representation of African countries into the categories of Permanent and Non-Permanent Members of the Un Security Council, with the purpose of making it more efficient, legitimate and representative to reflect the realities of the world.

President Akufo-Addo visited infrastructure and energy development projects in the city of Malabo as part of the visit.

Source: Ghana News Agency