President Nana Akufo-Addo wants Ghana and Liberia to continually search for ways to co-operate, stressing that it is important that the two countries forge a new, strong partnership for cooperation and mutual benefit.
The President made this known on Friday, May 27, 2017, at a State Dinner held in his honour by President Johnson Sirleaf, at the commencement of his two-day visit to Liberia, where he recounted the history of Ghana’s bilateral relations with Liberia.
These relations encompassed the times when President William V.S. Tubman of Liberia and Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah helped to facilitate the establishment, in 1963, of the Organisation of African Unity, President Akufo-Addo noted.
He also referred to the involvement of Ghana in the consolidation of peace and security in Liberia in the last decade, as well as playing host to thousands and thousands of Liberian refugees who fled the civil war.
Through the efforts of Ghana’s Volta River Authority, electricity was extended to post-conflict Monrovia for the first time in 2006.
“Co-operation in the development of our agriculture, education, science and technology, infrastructure, health, energy, and the co-ordination of the exploitation of our mutual natural resources, such as iron ore, diamonds, gold, timber and rubber, would be of immense benefit to our two countries,” President Akufo-Addo stressed.
‘Sirleaf truly a historic figure’
Liberia is about five months from its next presidential election, signalling the beginning of the end of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s tenure of office.
With this in mind, President Akufo-Addo also commended President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for the strong leadership she has exhibited in promoting the development of an economy still recovering from the 2014 Ebola outbreak.
President Akufo-Addo hailed the spirit of national reconciliation she reached for, amongst Liberians after the country’s civil war.
“Your [Sirleaf] efforts, in this regard, were recognised. You won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, along with two others, for your role in contributing to securing peace in Liberia, promoting economic and social development, and also strengthening the position of women.”
“Again, during the outbreak of theEbolaa virus in Liberia, which resulted in the death of thousands, your resolve and that of all Liberians were tested. However, at the end of the day, the people of this resilient nation prevailed under your guidance, and ensured an end to the outbreak of this deadly disease.”