Guyana and Ghana Tuesday signed agreements to boost travel and trade between the two countries; Ghana has also made a commitment to send experts to Guyana to assist in managing the petroleum industry.
The agreements were signed on the occasion of the State Visit of President of Ghana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Guyana and Ghana established diplomatic relations in 1979, but Mr Akufo-Addo said that nothing was done since then to fully establish those relations; his visit and the signing of the agreements serve to change that.
The agreements signed are an Air Services Agreement, a Visa Waiver agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding on investment.
The visa waiver programme will allow nationals of both countries to travel freely without the need for a visa. The visa-free access will be granted for an initial 90 days and an extension could be sought.
The Ghanaian president took 13 hours via Europe to arrive in Guyana; with direct air travel, that time could be cut by half, Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon noted in speaking with reporters.
In the areas of business, Harmon said that Ghanaians have expressed interest in the rum industry and in Guyana’s woods.
The delegation has scheduled visits to Guyana’s rum producers – DDL and Banks DIH. Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman planned an exposition of Guyana’s wood species which could be traded with Ghana.
In the area of the petroleum industry, Ghana is prepared to send experts to Guyana, with their travel and salaries paid, to help Guyana manage the industry as the country prepares for oil production next year.
“The President of Ghana made a very clear offer that they are prepared to assist Guyana with technical cooperation – with personnel and so – to assist us in development of oil and gas sector,” said Harmon.
The Ghanaian President said Ghana has been a modest exporter and producer of crude oil of recent and said the effective management of the oil and gas revenues could hopefully finance the “spectacular development of Guyana.”
With President David Granger looking to expand the Department of Energy into a full-fledged Ministry, Harmon said that the Ghanaians help would be served in meeting the needs of that Ministry.