President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the bonds of friendship and ties of co-operation existing between Ghana and Trinidad and Tobago have been strengthened following the visit to Ghana of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Keith Christopher Rowley.
Holding bilateral talks with the Prime Minister Rowley at Jubilee House, on Thursday, 5th March, 2020, President Akufo-Addo stated that the visit has highlighted areas of co-operation in sectors such as health, energy and education, in which the two countries can have meaningful exchanges.
“What we have already is a major link, which is provided by the Republic Bank, which is doing very well here, and is in a position to advance other Trinidadian investments. My understanding is that there are plans already to finance the gas extension plan, as well as the malaria project that we want to do,” the President said.
Appreciating the response by persons of African descent to the “Year of Return”, he stated that the initiative of ‘Beyond the Return’ will concretise the relationship between Africa and her Diaspora not just on the cultural level, but also on the economic level.
To help realise this, President Akufo-Addo indicated that the two countries must implement an air services agreement.
“I think it’s time that we began step-by-step, but let’s begin. Weekly flights, twice weekly flights, something like that would be a very big beginning. It is one of the things that I’m hoping will be a concrete result of your visit here,” he added
On is part, Prime Minister Keith Rowley thanked President Akufo-Addo for the “very generous invitation to join you on this very auspicious occasion, particularly because it is being held in Kumasi. We have heard a lot about your history and so, people like me and my colleague here look forward to touching the people and the soil of Kumasi.”
Prime Minister Rowley stated that there exist opportunities for Ghana and Trinidad and Tobago to concretize the efforts that the two countries have been making, since 2010, “to have Ghana and Trinidad & Tobago benefit from collaborations between our two countries.”
On the air services agreement, the Prime Minister stressed that “we hope that, once we establish an air service agreement and establish a direct length between the Caribbean and Africa, we believe that there is tremendous potential there – economic growth, contacts to be made, investments to be made and for recreational purposes.”
He added that “we anxiously await your resuscitation and reestablishment of Ghana Airways. As you get your new equipment, we would like to anticipate that one of the legs of Ghana Airways would be Accra to the Port of Spain, because that will bring all the people from the Caribbean and the Americas on to Haiti which will take us directly to the shortest link from the Caribbean across the Atlantic.”
On cocoa relations, Prime Minister Rowley stated that the University of the West Indies still maintains a cocoa research unit, and in Ghana’s quest to become the world’s number one producer of cocoa “your collaboration with the research unit in Trinidad and Tobago is very important, as you maintain the gene pool.”
He continued, “We have a lot in common that we want to work on. Our technical people are putting some effort into it, and I anticipate that, very soon, we can conclude on the assignments that we have embarked upon from 2016, and that they will reflect themselves in activities between Trinidad and Tobago and Ghana.”