The Jospong Group of Companies (JGC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Nigerian investment holding company, EGTA Investment Limited, to work together exclusively on identifying relevant experts, rice farmers and value chain players through EGTA to support the Jospong Rice project in Ghana – spearheaded by the Asian-African Consortium (AAC).
The MoU further sets out the general framework that will serve as the foundation upon which a binding agreement can subsequently be signed. The Lead Coordinator for the Jospong Rice project, Rev. George Tsidi Blavo, noted at the MoU signing ceremony in Abuja-Nigeria on Friday, September 8, 2023 that the economic vision of Ghana hinges on transforming its economy beyond aid, and shifting from import-dependency to becoming a manufacturing and value-added economy with the private sector leading the way.
He added that the AAC is committed to contributing significantly in this transformative journey by partnering countries and institutions with the necessary expertise: “Given Ghana’s geographical proximity and similar economic characteristics, it is prudent for us to draw from Nigeria’s experiences and insights to achieve our goal of ensuring food security.
“It is against this backdrop that we have chosen to pursue this MoU with EGTA of Nigeria; with the primary objective of promoting growth and development of the agricultural sector, including the production of rice, soya beans, wheat, yellow corn and sunflower; and milling, storage, marketing, export, research, training and related industries,” he further stated.
The Managing Director of EGTA Investment, Bashiru Ibrahim, on his part noted that the future of Africa depends on the concept of cooperation – financing, investment, technical, social, economic and political cooperation between African nations.
He explained that under the technical, financial and investment cooperation component of the MoU: “We are going to share the technical know-how; we are going to bring investment into Ghana, and under training and capacity building we will expose the players to a lot of training in both Nigeria and Ghana and even elsewhere, so that whatever we do is in line with international best practices,” Mr. Ibrahim stressed.
“We are confident that in the end this cooperation will create wealth and employment in the two countries, and the private sector in both counties will set an example for other private sector organisations to follow,” he concluded.
Ghana’s acting High Commissioner to Nigeria, Edison M. Agbenyega, was excited that one of the cardinal foreign policies of Ghana – which is economic diplomacy – is uniting the various countries through economic activities, adding that: “This signing ceremony is a step toward achieving such a goal”.
He observed that Nigeria has the potential to develop its agricultural sector capacity to feed Africa and the rest of the world.
He noted that the planting for Food and Jobs project has contributed to Ghana’s agricultural growth, stating: “Indeed, this is the underpinning policy to the MoU that we are signing today”.
The enduring brotherly relations between Ghana and Nigeria is a source of pride, and the AAC said it is determined to continually strengthen existing ties through robust collaborations for mutual benefit. Over the years, the two nations have cooperated on diverse fronts including trade, investment, technology, security and agriculture.
The Federal government of Nigeria was represented at the ceremony by Muhammed Bello, Federal Minister of Water Resources, who witnessed the signing ceremony to signify how much importance the Nigerian government attaches to this partnership.