Source: Zim, Ghana seek closer ties | The Herald July 9, 2018
Sibongile Maruta Herald Reporter
Ghana and Zimbabwe aim to strengthen ties through economic integration, a senior Government official has said.
Speaking after Ghana’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Eric Odoi-Anim paid a courtesy call on him on Wednesday last week, Information, Communication Technology (ICT) and Cyber Security Minister Supa Mandiwanzira said they wanted to transform the relationship between the two countries from being political to economic, so that people in both countries benefited.
“Zimbabwe and Ghana have a long history of cooperation and very good political relations. However, the economic and commercial relations value of the trade and transactions between the two countries is pathetically low.
“His Excellency the Ambassador Mr Eric Odoi-Anim has paid a courtesy call to investigate the opportunities and possibilities of us transforming the relationship from just being a political relationship to a strong economic relationship, so that our people in both countries can benefit,” he said.
Minister Mandiwanzira said there were huge opportunities for investments in the ICT sector in Zimbabwe.
“There is nobody in Zimbabwe manufacturing, let alone assembling mobile phones,” he said.
“We keep giving this business together with its employment opportunities to countries outside Africa.
“We should be looking at how we can jointly cooperate and find business people who can develop some of these industries and take advantage of both Ghanaian and Zimbabwean markets, because once there is a joint cooperation between the two countries, we are expanding the market possibilities.
“We were also discussing how we can learn from each other. As Government, we are a huge investor in the telecommunications space in our country. We also have a private sector, which is very strong and we would like the Government and the private sector to go to Ghana and look at opportunities there that they can develop further.
“Similarly, we would like men and women from Ghana who are in the ICT business to come and look for opportunities we have and invest in our country.”
Minister Mandiwanzira said it was time African countries invest in each other’s territory to offer big markets, expand markets and keep employment and foreign currency within countries.
Mr Eric Odoi-Anim said there was need to look at cooperation between Ghana and Zimbabwe.
“Ghana has some experience in the ICT sector, but hasn’t got it all,” he said.
“The purpose of the visit is to look for avenues for cooperation between Ghana and Zimbabwe.
“With our collective history as colonised developing countries, we can look for avenues where we can mutually share the experiences that we have. We look forward to evolving models and modules within the ICT space that will be of mutual benefit to our respective countries.
“The government of Ghana is looking forward to expanding its cooperation with Zimbabwe. What we need to do now is to improve and expand politics into the economic realm so that our people will benefit from each other. There are spheres in tourism, mining and commercial farming, which we can mutually benefit from each other’s cooperation.”
Mr Odoi-Anim said Ghana was not trying to play a big role as a senior partner, but wanted a level playing field with a brotherly partner .
“Both countries should have the same experience and should also supplement and complement each other at both national and private sector level,” he said.
Mr Odoi-Anim said Zimbabweans should have an opportunity to look at what was happening in West Africa to be able to access the markets, while those from West Africa should do the same with Zimbabwe.