Ghana and St Vincent and the Grenadines commit to enhance relations

By Iddi Yire, GNA   

Accra, Feb. 14, GNA – Ghana and St Vincent
and the Grenadines have renewed commitments towards enhancing bilateral
relations for their mutual benefits.

The two countries signed the agreement at
the end of the maiden Session of the Ghana – St Vincent and the Grenadines
Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC) in Accra, from February 12 to

The PJCC originated from discussions between
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Dr Ralph Everard Gonsalves, the Prime
Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, when the latter paid an official
visit to Ghana in November, 2018.

President Akufo-Addo also paid a reciprocal
visit to the 32-island nation as part of his tour of the Caribbean region in
June, 2019.

Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of
Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, and Sir Louis Hilton Straker, Deputy
Prime Minister, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce of St
Vincent and the Grenadines, signed the Agreements for Cooperation and a
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

During the Session, the technical teams of
the two countries exchanged views and tabled various proposals, which would
undoubtedly enhance their bilateral relations through cooperation in the fields
of agriculture, fisheries, health, education, scientific research, tourism,
arts and culture, aviation and investment.

It also discussed provision and exchange of
technical support in the tourism industry, the establishment of the proposed
Africa, Brazil, Caribbean and Diaspora Commission (ABCD Commission) and the
production of cocoa and cocoa-related products, as well as root crops such as
yam and cassava.

Madam Botchwey said on the political front,
Ghana endorsed the initiative of the Government of Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines to establish the ABCD Commission.

At the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly
of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), held in Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia, President Akufo-Addo tabled this proposal to his colleagues
for consideration.

Madam Botchwey said during the PJCC Session,
Ghana and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines also agreed to cooperate closely in
the training of nurses in specialised areas.

St Vincent and the Grenadines committed to
offering five scholarships to Ghana while Ghana offered to share her technical
expertise in plant medicine with her.

That, she said, would allow for joint
research in the cultivation of plants for the production of medicines.

The Vincentian side further proposed to
sponsor two Ghanaian researchers to survey the various species of plants in
their country as well as facilitate Ghanaian investment in their pharmaceutical

As a means of boosting tourism between the
two countries, it was agreed that skilled Ghanaians in dressmaking and cultural
artefacts would assist their Vincentian counterparts to sharpen their artistry
within the frame work of the MoU.

They also agreed to partner for investment
promotion opportunities and expressed a strong interest in bridging the gap
between the African Continent and the Caribbean by signing the bilateral Air Services
Agreement, which is currently under consideration.

Madam Botchwey said arrangements were
ongoing for Ghana’s soon-to-be launched national airline to include the
Caribbean Region in its routes.

Sir Straker, on his part, noted that although
St Vincent and the Grenadines is a small country, it looked forward to
developing “a big relations with Ghana.”

“We want the people of Ghana to know that
they have brothers and sisters in the Caribbean and we are trying very hard to
reach out to you. We know it is very difficult because of the connectivity that
is lacking.”

That was due to the absence of air transport
to easily bring people of average means together, he said.

Sir Straker noted that they were working
hard to establish direct air link between the Caribbean and Africa, to
facilitate easy movement of their people, goods and services.

The Second Session of the PJCC would be held
in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 2022.