SA foreign minister in Ghana

SA foreign minister in GhanaForeign Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will on Tuesday depart to Ghana where she will represent South Africa during the inauguration ceremony of President-elect, Professor Atta Mills.

“During this visit, Minister Dlamini Zuma is expected to convey on behalf of President Motlanthe, the congratulations of the government and the people of South Africa, and on her own behalf to Prof. John Atta Mills on his democratic election as President of Ghana,” said the Department Foreign Affairs.

To be inaugurated on Wednesday, Professor Mills was declared the winner after the elections which commenced on 28 December.

In his congratulatory message issued shortly after the announcement of the election results, President Kgalema Motlanthe reaffirmed South Africa’s “commitment to work together with Ghana for the political unity and integration of the African continent within the framework of the African Union and through our support for NEPAD as well as the AU institutions.”

He said South Africa also looked forward to the consolidation and strengthening of bilateral, political; economic and trade relations between the two countries.

The Electoral Commission (EC), on Saturday declared Prof Mills, a former Vice President, as the winner of Presidential Election 2008.

Prof Mill’s presidential candidate of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), obtained 4 521 032 votes, representing 50.23 percent, of the valid votes cast while Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, presidential candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) got 4 480 446 votes, representing 49.77 percent.

Prof Mills won eight out of 10 regions while Mr Akufo-Addo won two regions during the Presidential Election Runoff.

In his victory speech delivered on Saturday to thousands of supporters, who thronged the Osu Kuku Hill Campaign Office of the Mills campaign, Prof Mills accepted the challenge to be the President and has given an assurance that he will be the President for all Ghanaians. “There will be no discrimination. Atta Mills will be father to everybody,” he said expressing his appreciation to God for bringing Ghana so far.

He was also grateful to outgoing President John Agyekum Kufuor for declaring his intention to hand over power to him on 7 January 2009. Mr Mills said it had been a long struggle with sacrifices and with the elections over, there was only one Ghana.

“With the elections over, there is only one Ghana. There is no NDC Ghana, there is no New Patriotic Party (NPP) Ghana, there is no CPP Ghana. There is one Ghana,” he said to the roar of the milling supporters.

He congratulated his main contender, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the NPP, and leaders of the other political parties that contested the elections.

Prof Mills said he hoped that together with all Ghanaians, he would be able to work to build a better Ghana and expressed his appreciation to the Electoral Commission, security agencies and the media for helping to keep politicians and the parties on their toes during the electioneering process.

“We have to be preparing for the task ahead. This is just one step of a journey of a million miles.”

Source: BuaNews, Pretoria