Pretoria – Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe continues his working visit to Ghana today, with a host of meetings and discussions which might see, amongst others, the two countries cooperating in the energy sector.
The visit is expected to play a vital role in solidifying relations with Ghana – whose petroleum industry is still in its infancy stages, with production having started in 2010.
On the agenda, according to the Presidency, will be cooperation in key priority areas such as energy, security, energy-related technology, and environmental issues, including the management of national parks.
Pretoria is looking at supplies from new oil markets to maintain its growing economy and energy demands.
In this light, Motlanthe will hold bilateral talks with his counterpart Dramani Mahama as well as pay a courtesy call on President John Evans Atta Mills.
According to the International Relations and Cooperation Department, Ghana represents a major export market for South African goods in West Africa after Nigeria.
“While total trade volumes are still relatively low in global terms, it is expected that these figures will grow,” said the department.
In recent years, trade between the two countries has grown significantly. South African exports have grown from less than R1 billion in 1998 to over R3 billion in 2009.
Equally, imports from Ghana have shown a constant increase during the same period. Products such as vehicles, machinery, mechanical appliances, electrical equipment, base metals, aircraft, vessels and associated products contribute to the increased exports to Ghana.
There are more than 80 South African companies registered in Ghana in various sectors such as mining, retail, insurance, transport, tourism, banking, telecommunication, construction, franchising, manufacturing, aviation and energy.
Motlanthe is accompanied by Ministers of Energy Dipuo Peters and Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba as well as International Relations Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim.
Source: BuaNews – 20 April 2012