Akufo-Addo reciprocates Ivorian gesture; honours Ouattara


    Visiting Ivorian President Alassane Dramane Ouattara was honoured with Ghana’s highest civilian honour Tuesday.

    His Ghanaian counterpart bestowed on him “The Companion of the Star of Ghana, Honorary Division” for his “untiring efforts” in ensuring social justice, peace and security both in Africa and across the world.

    This came seven months after Mr Ouattara also gave the Highest National Award, La Grande Croix dans 1’ordre National Ivorien (The Order of the Grand Ivorian Cross) to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in March.

    The Ivorian President has been in Ghana on a two-day visit to hold bilateral talks with his counterpart.

    A joint communiqué released by Foreign Ministers of the two countries said the two leaders agreed to intensify their bilateral cooperation towards the development of a win-win strategy in the cocoa industry.

    “The two leaders noted that peace and security constituted a sine qua non for development and…agreed to strengthen cooperation in the area of Defence and Security,” the communiqué read.

    The relations between the two countries were relatively good until Ghana accused its neighbour of allowing Ghanaian dissidents to use its territory to launch an attack against the then Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) government in 1983.

    Tension rose after some Ghanaian immigrants in Ivory Coast were violently attacked following the defeat of the Francophone country’s national team in 1993.

    But just when good neighbourliness was being restored, Ghana initiated proceedings against Ivory Coat over the maritime boundary in 2014.

    International relations experts had predicted the dispute at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) would drive a wedge between the two countries.

    The prediction was re-echoed after ITLOS Special Chamber ruled in favour of Ghana at the end of the three-year maritime dispute.

    But leaders of the two countries did not allow the dispute to fry the spirit of brotherliness that exists between them.

    At the meeting in Accra, Presidents Akufo-Addo and Ouattara pledged to ensure the smooth implementation of the ruling.

    The two Presidents announced the establishment of a Joint Committee for the implementation of the ITLOS judgment, indicating the composition of the Committee would be made later.

    The two leaders also signed four Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) in the areas of Geological and Mineral Cooperation, Industrial Cooperation, and illegal mining.

    President Ouattara is expected back to Ivory Coast Tuesday.