By Ray Chickrie
GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Guyana and Ghana have fast-tracked cooperation and investment at the conclusion of vice-president Mahamadu Bawumia visit to Guyana by the signing of various agreements to put in place a roadmap to see tangible outcomes of the visit.
The three agreements signed include a Framework Agreement on Cooperation between the government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and Government of the Republic of Ghana; a Memorandum of Understanding between the ministry of natural resources of the Republic of Guyana; and the Petroleum Commission, Ghana on cooperation in the petroleum sector of the Republic of Guyana; and a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in investment promotion between Guyana office for investment and Ghana Investment Promotion Center.
President Mohamed Irfaan Ali promised the visiting Ghanian vice president, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia during a meeting of government and private sector officials that Guyana “ bureaucratic red-tapes would be removed in order to expedite business opportunities between the two historic allies.
“Both governments agree to make the functionaries of government and the system of government accessible to the private sector of both countries,” president Ali said.
President Ali said that Guyana is pleased to be part of the process that not only seeks to integrate the people of the two countries but, more importantly, to integrate the two local private sectors.
“This linkage, the president added, will be important in finding common ground where mutual opportunities can be examined and joint strategies built. He noted that from the level of both governments, there has been clear direction and agreement that their private sectors will be the “engines that will drive the process forward”.
Vice president Bawumia, said: “It is our expectation therefore that the private sector through an innovative approach would partner with government to create sustainable growth by focusing on the pillars of development for economic prosperity.
“There is an economic imperative, at this momentous occasion in our relation for the two countries to broaden the scope of our engagements given the commonalities and the synergies in our economics. Areas of possible collaboration include Oil and Gas, Petrochemical sector, Agro-processing and Agriculture, Education, Mining (extractive sector) and Tourism,” he added.
“The Ghana government welcomes the increasing collaboration between private sector operators from the two countries aimed at identifying potential investments and addressing the persistent trade imbalances in our ties.”
“The private sector should also promote entrepreneurial activity and interaction between universities and companies through innovation in research which all growth depends on, as well as other market instruments such as credit and economic subventions, and direct investments in health and fintech developing technology solutions.”
Another important area requiring urgent attention is the issue of connectivity between the two countries, the vice president of Ghana noted.
“For us to realise this commercial objective of promoting trade and investments between our two countries, it is crucial that the private sector should support the Air Services agreement between Ghana and Guyana designed to improve air connectivity between countries in Africa and South America. It is expected that the private sector or airlines will be able to fly without any restrictions to the desired destinations to promote connection between the two continents. One of the strategies to be adopted by both sides is to embark on a promotional drive to sensitise the business community about the potential benefits associated with sustainable air linkages in one of the largest aviation projects in the world.”
Meanwhile, last Monday, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and vice-chancellor of the University of Guyana (UG), Dr Paloma Mohamed-Martin, met to identify areas where universities of the two countries could collaborate.
“Across the board, we are very much looking forward to having some interactions between you and our university. Students building collaboration. We believe that if we get the universities involved then we will bring the countries closer.”