A senior official of Ghana’s government says President John Atta Mills will be holding bilateral talks with his Angolan counterpart, President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, in the capital, Accra Monday.
Foreign minister Muhammad Mumuni said the visit will allow both leaders to consolidate strong bilateral and multi-lateral relations.
“The main reason for the visit really is a friendly bilateral visit to promote understanding and cordiality between our two countries. Our two countries already have good relations, at both bilateral and multi-lateral level, at a very high level, and they just want to consolidate and deepen these relations,” he said.
Ghana's President Professor John Evans Atta-Mills
Mr. Dos Santos’ two-day visit is his first to the West African country despite strong relations that have existed between the two countries over the years.
Analysts say Ghana stands to learn a great deal from Angola, an oil exporter. Ghana recently discovered over a billion barrels of oil deposits offshore. Ghana’s oil discovery has been described by experts as one of the largest oil finds along the West African region.
Foreign minister Mumuni said the talks will also focus on how Ghana can learn from Angola’s oil production experience.
“Both presidents will have their bilateral teams and there will be a meeting between the two teams to explore the areas of cooperation and to extend the frontiers of our relations and certainly. Oil will be one of the main features. Ghana is an emerging power because we recently discovered oil and gas and it is programmed that, by the close of the year, we should start exploiting the oil,” Mumuni said.
In 2008, Angola overtook Nigeria as Africa’s largest and the world’s eighth largest, producing well over 1.9 million barrels per day of high-quality crude oil from onshore and near-shore fields, up from 900,000 bpd in 2002 and from 500,000 bpd in 1993.
Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos
Foreign minister Mumuni said the administration’s policy is to positively engage countries in Africa.
“The cornerstone of President Mills’ foreign policy is deepening relations with his neighbors and with other African countries. And, therefore, President Mills is simply trying to actualize his vision of a foreign policy that is African-centered that really involves building strong bilateral and multi-lateral relations between Ghana and other African countries. That I believe is the main motivation from this visit,” Mumuni said.