PRETORIA– Relations between South Africa and Ghana will experience a new impetus as the two countries have upgraded their relations with the estabalishment of a Bi-National Commission (BNC), which will be headed by the Heads of State of the two countries.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Ghanaian counterpart President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will meet bi-annually, alternating between Accra and Pretoria in order to build on the bilateral and economic co-operation between the two countries.

This was announced here Thursday after official talks during the State visit by President Akufo-Addo to South Africa aimed at strengthening the already good political, economic and social relations between the two countries.

Up until now, the Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC) oversaw the implementation of the existing 22 bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding that the two countries share.

Speaking to media after their official talks here, President Ramaphosa said the visit was characterized by a renewed commitment to forge a closer partnership to deepen bilateral co-operation. We have noted with great satisfaction the growing bilateral cooperation, as demonstrated by the existence of the bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding,” he added.

These agreements cover a wide range of fields including trade and investment, science and technology, defence, energy, transport, environment, arts and culture and tourism.”

In order to ensure that the agreements are fully implemented, the two Heads of State have mandated their officials to ensure the full implementation of all signed legal instruments for the mutual benefit of the two countries and their peoples.

Already, the two countries have identified new key sectors for investment to boost economic growth and development. These sectors include manufacturing, agro-processing, infrastructure development, mining, energy and tourism.

The Ghanaian leader said there is a need for close collaboration between the two countries to ensure the development of the continent.

“We need to ensure that we are masters of our own destinies by building an Africa free of foreign control and free of foreign domination, which can respond to the aspirations of our people. This is the big challenge currently confronting the leaders in the continent, said President Akufo-Addo who committed to partnering with President Ramaphosa in this regard.

The two leaders also discussed the impact of corruption on the development of the continent echoing that it is an issue that they can no longer run away from. The African Union itself has estimated that every year over 148 billion US dollars are drained out the continent through various corrupt activities and acts, representing about 25 per cent of Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The hour has come for African leaders to tackle corruption which is the elephant in the room …. It must be the heads of government who lead the charge in fighting corruption,” President Ramaphosa said.