Kingston, June 16, GNA – Ghana and Jamaica have both waived entry visa requirements for citizens wanting to travel to and from both countries, with effect from July 1, 2019.
This was disclosed at a press conference addressed by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, after the two held bilateral discussions in Kingston, Jamaica, on Saturday, as part of President Akufo-Addo’s two-day official visit to the Caribbean nation.
The President has undertaken a five Caribbean nation tour that has taken him to Guyana, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados to promote the “Year of Return” 2019, a major landmark event to bridge and build stronger ties between Ghana, those on the Continent, and the African Diaspora.
President Akufo-Addo who drummed the
importance of the relations between Ghana and Jamaica, indicated that
the two nations had an excellent opportunity to building on their strong
ties, imposed by culture and history, so as to derive maximum economic
value for their respective populations.
“We cannot have visas standing in the way of those relations, so the decision has been taken by my government that, as Ghanaians benefit from visa free arrangements here in Jamaica, we are also going to provide visa free arrangements for Jamaicans in Ghana, to facilitate and also make it easier for you to come and join us for the ‘Year of Return’”, he added.
The President was happy with the two nations pledging to reactivate the Ghana-Jamaica Permanent Joint Commission for Co-operation, which had been dormant for some time.
He explained that, when properly structured, the Commission would serve as a legal framework for the doing of business between the two countries.
“Now, it has come to
the time to give teeth to those relations by making sure the various
areas of engagement in education, tourism and cultural activity are
specifically tied down. That is really my purpose of coming here, apart
from a mission to sensitize you in Jamaica about an event that we are
commemorating this year,” he added.
Describing Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade as a “horrendous episode of human history”, President Akufo-Addo explained that Ghana was keen on commemorating the event, largely because a large number of slaves came through slave forts located in Ghana.
“We want to commemorate it, to be able to say together that never again will Africa and her people permit themselves to be subjugated to these types of dehumanizing and inhumane events. Never again!” he added.
“At the same time, we want to use the symbolism of this year to take concrete steps to solidify the relations of our kith and kin in the Americas and the Caribbean. The relationship that we are forming here in Jamaica will form part of the process of solidifying the relations between those of us on the continent of Africa and those of you in the diaspora, outside Africa.”
The President said his visit to the Caribbean was to “strengthen the relations across the water, and build the bridge that we have to build over the Atlantic so that we could find a way of strengthening each other in growing and empowering our economies, to play a more and more critical role in the new global architecture that is being drawn up now. We are going to have relations that are intimate.”