Putting the agenda of deepening ties with the African countries on a fast-track, India and Ghana on Monday signed three bilateral agreements to strengthen co-operation in varied fields.
Though symbolic in nature, the pacts came during the first ever visit of President Pranab Mukherjee to the country.
Ghana is the first country visited by the President during the six-day African tour which commenced on Sunday. The other two include yet another maiden trip by a President to Ivory Coast and to Namibia after a gap of two decades.
The three agreements signed with Ghana, after delegation level talks between Mr. Mukherjee and his Ghanaian counterpart John Dramani Mahama, included one for visa waivers for holders of diplomatic and official passports and one for setting up a Joint Commission.
The commission will periodically review various aspects of the multi-dimensional ties between the two countries. A mutually convenient date for its first meeting will be decided later.
After hosting the third India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) in New Delhi in October 2015, India is working on a plan to consolidate and further strengthen its engagement with Africa.Nuclear cooperation
Ghana has sought India’s civil nuclear cooperation to explore the possibilities of reducing its dependence on traditional energy sources to cut costs and focus on cleaner environment.
The issue figured during the talks between Mr. Mukherjee and Mr. Mahama.
India has agreed to study the proposal from Ghanaian side. “In the new areas, it came for the first time ... the Ghanian President specifically mentioned that since India is leader in nuclear energy they want to look at having a civil nuclear cooperation with India,” Secretary (Economic Relations) Amar Sinha said.
“They are signatory to COP 21 [Paris climate deal] and want to move towards clean energy,” Press Secretary to President Venu Rajamony said.
India is the largest foreign investor in Ghana today, with more than 700 projects. More than 222 of these projects are in the manufacturing sector.