ACCRA, GHANA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/14/13 -- It is a pleasure to be here with President Mahama to reaffirm the long-standing friendship between Canada and Ghana.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to His Excellency for welcoming my wife, Sharon, our Canadian delegation and me to this beautiful and impressive country.
This is my first visit to Ghana as governor general-though my second overall, having attended a conference on post-secondary education here in the 1980s.
Today, I am pleased to return to learn more about Ghana's people and culture, and to see so many wonderful examples of partnership between Canadians and Ghanaians.
As I said, I am accompanied by a delegation of accomplished Canadians. Let me tell you a bit more about the wonderful group that came to Ghana. With us are Parliamentarians, academics, business leaders and researchers.
We have travelled to Ghana because it is a leader among African nations. Canada is proud of its ties with Ghana, our partner in the Commonwealth and in numerous spheres of society.
Together, we share the goal of building smarter, more caring societies and a fairer, more just world. We have many values and aspirations in common.
Among those values are respect for democracy, the rule of law, good governance and human rights. In this sense, Ghana inspires others across Africa and around the world.
Canadians and Ghanaians are also working together in the realm of post-secondary education. Learning is one of the keys to achieving our full potential as human beings and as whole societies, and I am pleased to note the ways in which our educational ties are strengthening.
The people of our two countries are also partnering on initiatives to increase food security, improve access to clean water, secure livelihoods, and fight disease here in Ghana.
Canadian organizations are also working alongside their Ghanaian counterparts to promote volunteerism and corporate social responsibility.
Ghana has made solid economic gains in recent years that have been noticed around the world, including in Canada. Many Canadian firms and enterprises have found Ghana to be a positive place to do business.
In fact, trade between our two countries increased by 220 per cent between the years 2000 and 2012-a remarkable rate of growth that also requires us to act as careful environmental and social stewards.
In sum, we have a wonderful opportunity today to work together build smarter, more caring and prosperous societies.
Canadians and Ghanaians have so much to learn from and offer each other.
With this in mind, I look forward to continued friendship, dialogue and co-operation between our two countries.
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