The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts Dr. Ziblim Barri Iddi has said the visit to Ghana by the president of Cote d’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara will be crucial to the country’s quest to ensure sustainable economic development.
“Most importantly for economic diplomacy, Ivory Coast [Cote d’Ivoire] and Ghana are the largest producers of cocoa, and between the two countries we produce close to 70percent…of the global output of cocoa and so having a good economic diplomacy with Ivory Coast in terms of discussion on the pricing of cocoa is so key and fundamental to the economy of Ghana,” he told Morning Starr host Francis Abban Monday.
The purpose of Mr. Ouattara’s visit, according to the presidency is to deepen further, the already strong relations that exist between the two countries, as well as explore other areas of co-operation to their mutual benefit.
This visit is a reciprocal one to the visit made to Cote d’Ivoire by the President Akufo-Addo, in May this year, at the start of his tour of the countries of West Africa and it will be the first time the two heads of state are meeting after the crucial maritime boundary dispute ruling by the international maritime court that handed victory to Ghana.
The two Presidents and their respective teams are expected to hold bilateral discussions at the Flagstaff House on Monday, 16th October 2017, after which the two leaders will address a joint press conference. President Akufo-Addo will, later in the evening, host his Ivorian counterpart to an official dinner.
Prior to President Ouattara’s departure, on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, the two countries will sign a bilateral agreement, and inaugurate a joint commission for the implementation of the recent judgement passed by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on the delimitation of the maritime boundaries of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
It will be recalled that early this year, from 5th May 2017 to 7th May 2017, President Akufo-Addo paid a 3-day visit to Cote d’Ivoire, at the commencement of his tour of the countries of West Africa.
During that visit, the President revealed that the close co-operation between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire will be facilitated by a new initiative dubbed “An Agreement For a Strategic Partnership”, that will be signed by the two countries.
This agreement, according to President Akufo-Addo, will bind Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire “in even closer intimacy and go beyond the bounds of the concept of the Permanent Joint Commission, which is the conventional tool for co-operation.”
President Akufo-Addo noted one of the areas of focus of this Agreement will be in the cocoa industry.
President Akufo-Addo was also decorated with the Highest National Award of Cote d’Ivoire, La Grande Croix dans l’ordre National Ivorien, at a State Dinner held in his honour by the President Alassane Ouattara.