Ghana and Zambia have signed 10 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) during a three-day state visit of President Hakainde Hichilema to the country.
The agreements cover Trade and Investment; Tourism, Arts and Culture; Science, Technology and Innovation and Skills Development.
Others are Prevention of Illicit Drugs and Trafficking of Narcotics; Exploitation of Hydrocarbon Resources, Youth and Sports, ICT, Chamber of Commerce and Industries, and Investment Promotion.
The ministers of state and officials of the two countries signed for their respective sectors in Accra.
At a banquet held in his honour at the Jubilee House, President Hichilema called for closer collaboration and speedy execution of the mutual agreements signed between the two countries for the growth of their economies and improvement of the lives of the people.
The event was attended by members of the Council of State, ministers of state, Members of Parliament, service chiefs, members of the clergy, members of the diplomatic corps and captains of industry.
President Hichilema said one of the critical areas Zambia wanted to learn from Ghana was the management of its gold resources.
“So we are here to also pick those skill sets that will assist us to exploit and manage the resource that has popped up in our country,” he said, adding that they would also use such experience to manage other resources in their country.
“I think we have a strategic advantage which for many years we never really realised and exploited.
I think it is now time for us to do just that,” he added.
President Hichilema also called for reforms of the global financial architecture to ensure that as Africans work to exploit their resource endowments, they do not export them in their raw form.
He said there was also the need for African countries to deepen economic ties and invest among themselves before turning to foreigners for support.
President Hichilema said when there was the need for support such as requesting more capital “they must bring the capital at a fair price and not at a discriminatory price”.
On security, the President said the cooperation between Ghana and Zambia in the areas of security, peace and stability was essential, and acknowledged the exemplary leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in initiating strategies to help deal with emerging security challenges.
He expressed concern over the increasing rate of instability in the southern Africa region, including northern Mozambique, Central African Republic, Eastern Congo and Sudan.
President Hichilema said instability anywhere, no matter the distance, should be a concern for all peace-loving people, and cited the negative effect of the Russia-Ukraine war which he said had led to some economic challenges for many countries including Ghana and Zambia.
Regarding calls for reforms at the UN Security Council to accommodate Africa which has 53 nations and a population of 1.3 billion, President Hichilema said he would work closely with President Akufo-Addo and other regional bodies such as the AU and the Commonwealth to ensure that Africa got a fair share of what it deserved.
“With 1.3 billion population, Africans ought to sit at the decision table in the global political situation room, the Security Council.
We all agree that it is time for Africa to have a proper, not a Cinderella session, nor by invitation,” he added.
President Hichilema further commended Ghana for its support to Zambia in its fight against colonial domination leading to the attainment of independence of his country.
He also expressed appreciation to the government of Ghana for its support in sending teachers to Zambia to help develop the educational sector of that country.
President Akufo-Addo said since 1964 when Ghana established a diplomatic mission in Zambia at the ambassadorial level, not much was done until he paid a state visit to that country in 2017, where a permanent joint commission for cooperation was established.
He said that had led to the enhancement of cooperation in the areas of agriculture, education, science and technology; infrastructure and health, among others, including coordination in the exploitation of natural resources.
President Akufo-Addo said one of the essential pillars of the Ghana-Zambia relations they needed to prioritise was nurturing of the youth who would inherit the legacy they had built together to improve on the fortunes of the two countries.
He also said that there was the need for them to continue to work closely to deal with terrorism and the violent extremism happening on the continent and around the globe.