News24

Ghana, Zimbabwe seek closer ties

2010-05-31 23:09

Accra - Business leaders from Ghana and Zimbabwe met in Accra on Monday to forge closer economic and trade co-operation between the two African countries.

Zimbabwean Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara told AFP on the sidelines of the Ghana-Zimbabwean business forum that investors from both countries should look out for opportunities to enhance their bilateral trade.

"Ghana can tap our rich experience in the agriculture sector while we can also learn from Ghana’s banking sector which has seen a lot of reforms," he said.

Ghana's deputy trade minister Mahama Ayariga shares a similar view.

"The best way forward for African countries is to trade among themselves and the initiative by Zimbabwe is a step in the right direction," he said.

On fresh elections in Zimbabwe, Mutambara said the southern African country would not rush into the process.

"We are busy working on electoral reforms, economic, political reforms and constitutional reforms that will make our elections free and fair," he said.

Quality elections

"In Zimbabwe the question should not be about how soon elections should be held, it should be how to organise quality elections. There will be no elections until such time that we are ready," he assured.

Asked when elections are likely to be held, Mutambara said: "It will not go beyond 2013. We want to make sure that everything is set before elections are held."

He said the unity government in place following disputed presidential polls in 2008 when President Robert Mugabe claimed victory after his rival Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of a run-off, citing violence against his supporters, was doing well.

"President Mugabe and the prime minister drink tea every morning... and the coalition is very stable. There is no problem," he added.

Mugabe, who at 86 is Africa's oldest leader, has already indicated that he is ready to stand for another term, raising fears that the polls could see a repeat of the deadly bloodshed that marred the 2008 race.