, ACCRA, Ghana, Mar 6 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for increased trade and investment between Kenya and Ghana in the spirit of Pan-Africanism.
He noted that while trade between the two countries continued to record steady growth, there was room to do even better.
“Let us continue to interact with each other so as to forge partnerships that will lead to more business, more skills transfer and complement the magnificent tourism sector that exists in our two countries,” the President said.
President Kenyatta spoke Sunday when he joined President John Dramani Mahama and the people of Ghana in celebrations to mark the Western African nation’s 59th Independence Day anniversary that were also attended by President Jose Mario Vaz of Guinea Bissau at the Black Star Square in Accra.
The reciprocal visit to Ghana by President Kenyatta follows President Mahama’s visit in 2014 when he also attended celebrations to mark Kenya’s 51st Jamhuri Day at the Nyayo Stadium.
President Kenyatta expressed the need for Kenya and Ghana to harmonize their vision with the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) that is supported by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the East African Community (EAC).
“We take pride in the fact that visa requirements between our two countries is non-existent and our national carrier – Kenya Airways – has daily flights to Accra,” President Kenyatta said.
He affirmed his commitment to a borderless Africa, saying he looked forward to working closely with President Mahama and other African leaders to realize that target.
On the war against terrorism, the Kenyan leader said terrorist attacks will not be allowed to become “the norm rather than the exception”, underlining the key role of peace and security in economic growth and sustainable development.
“We must come together to defeat the enemy that is threatening our peoples’ way of life,” President Kenyatta said.
At the bilateral level, President Kenyatta reiterated Kenya’s desire to work closely with Ghana to deepen cooperation for the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries.
He recalled that relations between Kenya and Ghana date back to the 5th Pan-African Congress of 1945 when the founding fathers of the two nations, Kwame Nkrumah and Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, met in London.
“Our history and brotherhood through our shared experience of Pan-Africanism, the struggle for independence and nation-building helped to establish a strong bond. We have related well at bilateral and multilateral levels for the benefit of our peoples,” President Kenyatta said.
He observed that the Pan-Africanism vision – shared by the founding fathers – is steadily being realized in Africa, particularly with the launch of the Africa Agenda 2063.
“The Agenda is another expression of our determination to bring the people of Africa closer together, amalgamate their ideas and ensure integration for sustained socio-economic and political development of the continent,” President Kenyatta said.
He said the deliberate shift to boost intra-Africa trade should be supported by all African countries.
President Mahama thanked President Kenyatta for honouring the invitation to attend Ghana’s 59th Independence Day anniversary, recalling that he also attended Kenya’s 51st Jamhuri Day celebrations during his visit to Kenya in 2014.
The President of Ghana lauded the role played by the founding fathers of African nations, singling out Presidents Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Kwame Nkurumah for special appreciation.
“The reason why we gather each year to celebrate the Independence Day is to acknowledge the role played by our freedom heroes. Without their struggle and sacrifices, African countries would not be where they are today,” President Mahama said.
He emphasized that leaders have a responsibility to safeguard independence so as to bequeath African future generations with nations that are free, peaceful and democratic.