During the conference which hosted the visiting President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, on Friday, July 29, President John Dramani Mahama pledged Ghana’s support to help restore damaged power generation in Liberia that were wrecked by prolonged conflicts.
President Mahama also announced Ghana’s willingness to strengthen both country’s regional integration, joint cooperation, trade, economy and security, to accelerate development.
The President of Liberia arrived in Ghana for a one day visit at the Flagstaff House, Kanda, to discuss diplomatic and bilateral relationships between both West African countries. Both leaders had long hours of closed-door discussion prior to the conference.
President Mahama disclosed the outcome of the meeting and said that although the West African sub-regions’ are engaged in trade and commerce, sealing their regional integration would become the final endorsement that would strengthen the blocs and the entire continent.
He said the two countries will cooperate in power generation and once Ghana had the comparative advantage in the commodity, efforts would be made to help restore electricity in Liberia – a country engrossed in numerous years of internal conflicts.
Through Volta River Authority and GridCo, the President said Ghana would also train the Liberian technicians in power generation and extension to restore their damages power generators.
Mahama said all relevant issues discussed would soon be signed in a Memorandum of Understanding as part of the regional partnership programmes.
Speaking on security matters, President Mahama said;
“We [both leaders] have agreed to come out with a regional decision that would help to ward off terrorism and other security threats on the continent.”
He informed that armed forces collaboration and with Ghana’s experiences in various sectors of the military and peace-keeping programmes, the country can lend support to Liberia in re-building their army in the future.
In her response, President Sirleaf thanked Ghana for her support to Liberia over the years, pertaining to the Accra Peace Talks during the Liberian conflict as one of the landmark contributions Ghana made for the restoration of peace and harmony in Liberia – especially by accommodating Liberian refugees some of who are still living in Ghana.
In her statement, she said,
“Ghana has been helpful to Liberia in several areas including energy, infrastructural development and mining sector and Monrovia would continue to seek her support to harness their potentials in those areas for development.”
She pointed out that although numerous Ghanaian companies were already in Liberia to support their re-building exercise, there was the need for more partnerships because of Ghana’s vast experience in infrastructural development, energy and the mining sectors.
“We have so many Ghanaian companies working especially on our roads, and we shall continue to collaborate effectively with Ghana because of your experiences in infrastructural development, energy and the mining sectors.”
Among other discussions, both leaders have aligned to reach targets set by the ECOWAS President including, post-Ebola reconstruction, accelerating the free movement of people and goods with the aim of making regional integration and the work of the ECOWAS Commission more effective by reform implementation.
Recall that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had paid a similar visit to late President John Evans Atta Mills in 2010.