Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that his government will enter into a visa waiver agreement with the Republic of Ghana in Africa. According to Holness, the Foreign Affairs Ministers of both Jamaica and Ghana have received mandates to conduct negotiations to complete the agreement. Prime Minister Holness issued a press statement on the matter at Jamaica House on June 15, 2019, together with Ghana’s President His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The President of the Republic of Ghana was in Jamaica for a two-day official working visit. The two leaders had previously held bilateral discussions on the visa waiver issue.
The visit of President Akufo-Addo was part of a tour of the Caribbean he took to promote ‘The Year of Return, Ghana 2019’, a landmark marketing campaign designed to target African American and Diaspora markets in recognition of the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans arriving in Jamestown, Virginia, in the United States.
Prime Minister Holness described Ghana’s marketing campaign as being central to the discussion about visa waivers and noted that the program offered excellent opportunities for the countries to build upon their existing bonds and relations to create greater inter-personal links while deepening trade and commercial ties. Holness added that the visit of Ghana’s president to Jamaica reflected the strong bilateral relationship that exists between the nations and also reaffirmed both countries’ commitment to strengthening their ties into the future.
President Akufo-Addo emphasized that it is time “to give teeth” to the long-time relationship that has existed between Ghana and Jamaica by ensuring areas like education, tourism, and cultural activities are “tied down.” He went on to say that visas should not stand in the way of these relations and that his government is committed to facilitating visa-free arrangements for Jamaicans in Ghana.
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