Ghana To Receive Africa Peace Award

Ghana has been selected to receive the prestigious Africa Peace Award in recognition of its shining example in promoting democracy, good governance, peace and security. The African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) selected Ghana for the award, slated to be given to the country in South Africa next year. The centre is a South Africa-based civil society organisation working throughout Africa in conflict management, analysis and prevention. President John Dramani Mahama is expected to receive the award on behalf of Ghana. The South African President, Jacob Zuma, made this known when he responded to a toast proposed by President Mahama at a State Banquet in honour of the visiting South African President in Accra on Tuesday night. The banquet was attended by former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor, as well as the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, the Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, diplomats, parliamentarians and government officials. President Zuma In his remarks, President Zuma said the fact that the two former Presidents of Ghana, though coming from rival political parties, were sharing a table together and conversing freely was positive because that scenario was rare in Africa. “It once again illustrates the strength of democracy in Ghana,” he stated. He underscored the need for South Africa and Ghana to work tirelessly to build a peaceful and prosperous Africa to fulfill the objectives set by the African Union (AU). “We are both committed to regional integration and the formation of free trade zones within the continent,” he said, adding that the implementation of the AU Infrastructure Development Programme by member countries would enhance economic development and change the face of the continent. He expressed appreciation to President Mahama for the warm reception accorded him and his wife, Bongi Ngema-Zuma, during their stay in the country. He also expressed satisfaction for having had the opportunity to pay his respect to the late Dr Kwame Nkrumah at the Nkrumah Mausoleum. President Mahama Proposing the toast, President Mahama thanked President Zuma for the reciprocal visit, following the 2011 state visit to South Africa by the late President John Evans Atta Mills. He said relations between the two nations, dating years back, had now been transformed into a healthy business relations. “We note with pride the remarkable transformation of South Africa under your leadership and also note with pride your efforts at bringing peace to troubled spots on the continent,” President Mahama said. Communique A joint communiqué issued at the end of the visit and read by Ghana's Foreign Minister, Ms Hannah Tetteh, said the two leaders had held fruitful discussions on a wide range of issues of mutual interest to the two countries and in furtherance of cooperation at the bilateral, regional and international levels. President Mahama and President Zuma expressed satisfaction with the continuously expanding bilateral trade and direct investments, as well as the progress made in consultations aimed at unlocking bottlenecks in market access. President Zuma and his spouse, Bongi, who were accompanied to Ghana by seven Cabinet ministers and a large business delegation, have since returned home.