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Business News of Thursday, 12 March 2015

Source: GNA

Mahama promises to promote continental trade

President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday said he would do everything under his purview as the Chair of Continental Free Trade to promote Intra-African trade.

He said although various regional economic communities were working around the clock to actualize what had over the years been on the drawing board, individual countries need to leverage areas that they had comparative advantage to realize their dream.

President Mahama said this after he was conducted round the Botswana Meat Commission in Francistown in Northern Botswana as part of his three-day state visit to the Southern African country.

The Ghanaian President was accompanied by Ms Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Nii Osah-Mills, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Haruna Attah, Ghana's High Commissioner to Botswana among others.

He also earlier in the day inaugurated a water dam at Dikgatlhong also in northern Botswana.

The country's Meat Commission provides all the meat needs of Botswana and neighbouring countries like Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

President Mahama said the meat commission in Botswana had one of the first class facilities in the world and there was the need for them to open up their exports to more African countries since it was shorter and cheaper.

"I will not hesitate to encourage and recommend this meat company to West African countries, because of the quality and proximity."

He said African countries could succeed in the intra-African trade with the engagement of both the state and private sectors and called on all African leaders to step up their collaborations to achieve their continental goals.

Madam Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Botswanan Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said Botswana had positioned herself properly to export their products to willing African countries.

She said they had the capacity to produce and deliver on demand and called on President Mahama to use his position as ECOWAS Chair and Chair of Continental Free Trade to encourage countries to be more vibrant to become self-reliant.

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