By JAMES KUNDA -
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has called for the revival of the moribund Zambia-Ghana Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation (JPC) to spur social and economic interaction between the two countries.
Mr Lungu said the policy required a new lease of life for the two countries to share best practices on eliminating poverty and human marginalisation between the two peoples.
The Zambian Head of State directed the ministers of Mines, Commerce, Tourism and Agriculture to work with their Ghanaian counterparts in ensuring that their faculties thrived under the JPC.
“We need to give the JPC a new lease of life to stimulate cooperation between our two countries for the benefit of our people,” President Lungu said.
• PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu (right) and his Ghanaian counterpart Nana Akufo-Addo share a light moment before holding private talks at State House in Lusaka yesterday. Picture By SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE
He said this at State House in Lusaka yesterday when he held bilateral talks with his Ghanaian counterpart Nana Akufo-Addo.
Mr Akufo-Addo was elected in January this year and Zambia is the first Southern African country he has visited since his election.
President Lungu cited mining taxation as one of the elements on which both countries could share common practices on the best form of policy implementation.
He said Zambia and Ghana could collaborate in pioneering the social and economic integration of Africa.
The President said democracy and good governance thrived in Zambia and Ghana, placing the two countries at a vantage point in pushing for the African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) reforms.
Mr Lungu said Zambia had been instrumental in fostering peace in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, while the same could be said for Ghana in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
“We look forward to working with you in the area of good governance as we push for reforms on the AU and UN, because good governance has been placed on premium in both countries,” Mr Lungu said.
The Head of State admired how both countries had used sport, particularly football as an instrument in nation-building.
At the occasion attended by Government officials from both countries, Mr Akufo-Addo reminisced how the founding fathers of Zambia and Ghana, Kenneth Kaunda and Kwame Nkrumah, respectively, pioneered the bilateral relations between the two countries.
Mr Akufo-Addo hailed the roles of both countries in fostering peace in Africa from the days of the fight against colonialism.
He said he was in Zambia to reciprocate President Lungu and Zambia’s hand of friendship to ensure both countries walked together in ending poverty and marginalisation amongst their people.
Mr Akufo-Addo said he and President Lungu had embarked on a journey of building on where the past leaders of the two countries left off, starting with the revival of the JPC.
“Reigniting the JPC is a concrete step in getting out of the block and stimulating common relations and cooperation between our two countries,” Mr Akufo-Addo said. “The marginalisation of our people is not acceptable.”
He expressed concern at the low intra-Africa trade as compared to the ‘Western world’ where countries interacted with one another and were thriving in development.
Mr Akufo-Addo said there was need for the continent to reduce dependence on foreign-produced goods and services, hence the need for a paradigm shift to be led by the private sector in generating
prosperity for people in the two countries.
After the talks, the two Presidents posed for photos with their delegations, an occasion which President Lungu utilised to jokingly tell his counterpart of how much he enjoyed teeing on the State House golf course.