Ivory Coast have honoured Ghana’s president, John Dramani Mahama with its highest national award, the dignity of Grand Cross of the National Order of Côte d’Ivoire, whiles his wife Lordina Mahama was also decorated with the rank of Commander.
This was during a dinner organized in honour President Mahama who is on a two-day (June 1 – 2) official visit to Ivory Coast, which lies on Ghana’s western border.
The Ivorian President, HE Alassane Ouattara, praised his Ghanaian counterpart for his strides in the area of strengthening regional ties and security during his tenure as leader of the regional bloc, ECOWAS.
“I applaud your action at the head of the ECOWAS. (you) contributed to the strengthening of the integration process in West Africa,” Ouattara said through the twitter handle of the Ivorian presidency.
Ouattara also thanked Ghana for its efforts in the area of sheltering Ivorian refugees who fled the country in the time of civil strife. An assistance that Mahama said Ghana was happy to offer and would never renege on.
#prci:“Je félicite votre action à la tête de la CEDEAO. Elle a contribué au renforcement du processus d'intégration en Afrique de l'ouest.”— Presidenceci (@Presidenceci) June 1, 2016
On his part, the Ghanaian leader who is facing a major election in November this year, thanked the Ivorian people for the award reiterating that Ghana and ivory Coast were like twins born out of the same womb.
He expressed condolences relating to the Grand Bassam attacks and added that whatever affected Ivory Coast affected their neighbour in equal measure.
The two leaders also spoke about agriculture especially about cocoa production because the two west African giants contribute about 60% of the world’s cocoa as noted by the Ivorian leader.
Maritime boundary dispute
The visit comes at a time when Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire are divided on the demarcation of their maritime border.
“The methods advocated by the parties to delimit the border differ: Ghana advocated equidistance while Côte d’Ivoire opted for the bisecting line” according to a statement from the Ivorian government sent to AFP.
The case was brought by Abidjan before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), which ordered 25 April 2015 in Ghana to limit its oil activity in this area pending a judgment on the merits.
The parties “must take all measures necessary to prevent serious harm to the marine environment (…) continue their cooperation and refrain from any unilateral action that could lead to the aggravation of the dispute”, concluded ITLOS, both countries are awaiting final decision expected next year.