The third Round of Ghana-Togo Maritime Boundary negotiations ended in Accra on Wednesday. The last technical meeting between the two countries was held in Lome, Togo from October 30 to 31, 2018.
The agenda for the meeting in Ghana, which lasted for two days, was centred on the conclusion of the minutes of the last meeting and the coming up with a framework for negotiations on applicable law and methodology.
It also focused on the two parties agreeing on technical parameters such as geodetic parameters, land boundary terminus, baseline/base points, nautical charts and software.
Identification of the contentious part of the common border was also on the agenda.
The Chief Director of the Ministry of Energy, Mr Lawrence Apaalse, led Ghana’s delegation, while Mr Hubert Matchonnawe Bakai was the head of the Togolese delegation.
The Minister of National Security, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, opened the session on behalf of the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, who was out of the jurisdiction.
He said the meeting showed that both countries had come a long way in their quest to enhance their mutual interests.
“I recall this process commenced on the initiative of our two Presidents desiring that the good neighbourliness and peaceful coexistence between us should be the framework and basis on which this entire process should be founded,” Mr Kan-Dapaah said.
He said the underlying principle was to derive an outcome that was grounded on international law by utilising established principles governing matters of that nature.
The minister said significant progress was made at the last meeting held in Lome, during which both parties agreed on a work programme with timelines for negotiations and a proposal for provisional arrangements in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), while negotiations for formal delimitation of the maritime boundary would continue.
He commended the nomination of focal persons to facilitate regular contacts and maintain communication between both sides aimed at enhancing the sharing of relevant and vital information to facilitate efficient preparations for meetings.
For his part, Mr Bakai paid glowing tribute to the Presidents of both countries and said Togo was committed to finding sustainable peace in the affairs of both countries concerning their maritime boundary.
He welcomed efforts made by the countries in the last meeting and expressed the hope that amicable resolutions in consonance with international best practices would be found by the end of 2018.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Mr Apaalse said both countries were being guided by the rules of UNCLOS.
He said the negotiations were being held against the backdrop of brotherliness and friendship.
Mr Apaalse said Ghana was applying the lessons learnt in its just-ended dispute with Cote d’Ivoire and expressed the hope that the issues would be resolved eventually.