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Governor General to Undertake State Visits to Ghana, Botswana and South Africa

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OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/10/13 -- At the request of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston will conduct State visits to the Republic of Ghana, from May 13 to 16; the Republic of Botswana, from May 16 to 19; and the Republic of South Africa, from May 20 to 22, 2013.

STATE VISIT TO THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA

Accra Monday, May 13



3:15 p.m.

Official Welcoming Ceremony in Ghana

Upon their arrival in the capital city of Accra, Their Excellencies will be officially welcomed by the Honourable Hanna Tetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, and Mrs. Trudy Kernighan, High Commissioner of Canada to the Republic of Ghana. The Governor General will then inspect the guard of honour and receive a 21-gun salute.

Kotoka International Airport

PHOTO OP

Accra Tuesday, May 14



9:15 a.m.

Wreath-Laying Ceremony at Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park

Their Excellencies will pay homage to the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, former president of the Republic of Ghana (1960-1966), who oversaw the nation's independence from British colonial rule on March 6, 1957, and became the first president of the country. They will lay wreaths at the Mausoleum housing the tombs of the late president and his wife, Fathia Nkrumah. Upon their departure, Their Excellencies will sign the museum's guest book.

Mausoleum, Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park

PHOTO OP

10 a.m.

Courtesy Call with the President of the Republic of Ghana

The Governor General will meet with His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana, to further strengthen the bilateral relations between our two countries. An expanded meeting with the official and accompanying delegations will take place at 10:25 a.m.

President's Office, Flagstaff House

PHOTO OP-At the beginning of the meeting with the President and at the end of the expanded meeting with the official and accompanying delegations

MEDIA AVAILABILITY-The Governor General and the President will deliver a joint statement and answer questions from members of the media following their meeting, from 11 a.m. to 11:25 a.m., in the Foyer.

10 a.m.

Visit to BasicNeeds Ghana by Her Excellency Sharon Johnston

BasicNeeds Ghana is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that aims to increase recognition and respect for underprivileged people suffering from mental illness. Her Excellency will tour the psychiatry section of the hospital and meet with staff. The NGO received support from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, which went towards training for local political bodies, NGOs and community-based organizations to include mentally ill individuals and primary caregivers in their planning. For more information, visit www.basicneeds.org/ghana.

PHOTO OP-Official photographers only

12:30 p.m.

Canada-Ghana Business Networking Luncheon

The Governor General and Canadian delegates will attend a business luncheon focusing on trade relations between Canada and Ghana. The working luncheon will be attended by over 120 Ghanaian business representatives, composed primarily of Canadian-based firms or their representatives, important partners of Canada, senior members of the Canada-Ghana Chamber of Commerce, and Ghanaian government agencies. On this special occasion, the Governor General and His Excellency Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana, will speak about the economic ties between Canada and Ghana to business leaders from both countries who are involved in Ghana's growing economy.

Ballroom 1, Movenpick Ambassador Hotel

OPEN TO MEDIA-Speeches only

2:30 p.m.

Panel Discussion at the University of Ghana

Upon his arrival, His Excellency will be welcomed by Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, for a panel discussion on 'Education and the Role of Higher Institutions in Promoting Economic Advancement and Development.' The Governor General will deliver a speech on the intersection of education, innovation and the economy to academics, administrators, university students and NGOs that specialize in education and development.

The speech will be followed by a discussion with Canadian and Ghanaian panellists, moderated by the Honourable Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman, Minister of Education. The event will take place at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana. Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has recently provided funding to the ISSER through the Think Tank Initiative to support the research project Gender and Enterprise Development in Africa: A Cross-Country Comparative Study.

The University of Ghana is the oldest and largest public university in the country. Its mission is to develop world-class leaders and capabilities to meet national development needs and global challenges through quality teaching, learning, research and knowledge dissemination. For more information, visit www.ug.edu.gh.

Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, University of Ghana

OPEN TO MEDIA

3:30 p.m.

Visit to the Kathy Knowles Osu Community Library by Her Excellency Sharon Johnston

In 1990, Canadian Kathy Knowles read from a basket of books to six children in her garden in Accra. Two years later, she transformed a 40-foot shipping container into a permanent library for children. The project was such a success that the Osu Children's Library Fund has since built seven large libraries in Greater Accra and supports more than 200 initiatives in Ghana and beyond.

During the visit, Her Excellency will meet with children who benefit from this free literacy program and will present a gift of Canadian books that have won the Governor General's Literary Award for children's literature text and illustration. At 4:30 p.m., the Governor General will join her for storytime with the children. For more information, visit www.osuchildrenslibraryfund.ca.

PHOTO OP-Official photographers only

7 p.m.

State Dinner Hosted by the President of the Republic of Ghana

Their Excellencies will attend a State dinner hosted by the President of the Republic of Ghana. The Governor General and the President will deliver speeches on this occasion.

Banquet Hall, Flagstaff House

OPEN TO MEDIA-Speeches only

Kumasi Wednesday, May 15



9:40 a.m.

Arrival in Kumasi

Upon their arrival, Their Excellencies will be greeted by a representative of the Kingdom of Ashanti and the Honourable Eric Opoku, Ashanti Regional Minister.

Kumasi Airport

PHOTO OP

9:45 a.m.

Courtesy Call with Ashanti Regional Minister

Their Excellencies will meet with the Honourable Mr. Eric Opoku, Ashanti Regional Minister.

Lounge, Kumasi Airport

PHOTO OP

10:20 a.m.

Visit to the Crops Research Institute (CRI)

Their Excellencies will visit the CRI, where they will learn more about the Ghana Grains Development Project (GGDP). Dr. Hans Adu-Dapaah, Director of the CRI, will provide an overview of this project, which focuses on maize research. Their Excellencies will then visit a maize field and speak with farmers and researches about the benefits of this successful Canada-Ghana collaboration in agricultural research.

Canada's support for the GGDP contributed to several new and improved varieties of maize now widely used by farmers, including varieties which have a higher nutritional value than traditional maize. As an indication of the close relationship between Canada and Ghana, researchers nicknamed one of the new Quality Protein Maize varieties "CIDA-Ba" (CIDA Baby). For more information about the CRI, visit www.cropsresearch.org.

Crops Research Institute

OPEN TO MEDIA

1:30 p.m.

Durbar with the King of the Kingdom of Ashanti

In honour of Their Excellencies' visit to Kumasi, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, 16th King of the Kingdom of Ashanti, will host a durbar-a gathering of chiefs of the Ashanti Region-at the Manhyia Palace.

Amid traditional drumming, singing and dancing, a procession of chiefs and Queenmothers and the King of Ashanti will appear at the durbar in traditional ceremonial clothing accentuated with jewellery and precious beads. The Governor General and the King of Ashanti will deliver remarks on this occasion.

Manhyia Palace

OPEN TO MEDIA

3 p.m.

Courtesy Call with the King of the Kingdom of Ashanti

Their Excellencies will meet with Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, 16th King of the Kingdom of Ashanti.

State Room, Manhyia Palace

PHOTO OP-Official photographers only

STATE VISIT TO THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA

Gaborone Thursday, May 16



3:35 p.m.

Official Welcoming Ceremony in Botswana

Upon their arrival in the capital city of Gabarone, Their Excellencies will be officially welcomed by His Excellency Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President of the Republic of Botswana, and Mrs. Lisa Stadelbauer, High Commissioner of Canada to the Republic of Botswana. During the inspection of the guard of honour, the Governor General will receive a 21-gun salute.

Sir Seretse Khama International Airport

PHOTO OP

5:10 p.m.

Courtesy Call with the President of the Republic of Botswana

The Governor General will meet with the President of the Republic of Botswana. An extended meeting with the official and accompanying delegations will take place at 5:30 p.m., in the Cabinet room.

President's Office, Office of the President Building

PHOTO OP-At the beginning of both meetings

Gabarone Friday, May 17



8:50 a.m.

Visit to the Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB)

Their Excellencies, joined by the Honourable Onkokame Kitso Mokaila, Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, will visit the DTCB and see first-hand how rough diamonds arriving from the mines are sorted into different categories according to their size, shape, quality and colour.

Since the early 1980s, Botswana has been the world's largest producer of gem diamonds. DTCB is a 50/50 joint venture partnership between the Government of the Republic of Botswana and the De Beers Family of Companies. It is known as the world's largest and most sophisticated rough diamond sorting and valuing operation. For more information, visit www.dtcb.co.bw/index.php.

Diamond Trading Company Botswana

OPEN TO MEDIA

10:15 a.m.

Visit to the Tebelopele HIV Testing and Counselling Centre by Her Excellency Sharon Johnston

The prevalence of HIV among adults (aged 15 to 49) in Botswana is estimated to be 25 per cent. Her Excellency Sharon Johnston will visit Tebelopele, a local HIV testing and counselling clinic that administers rapid testing to over 2 000 patients on a monthly basis and offers counselling services to HIV patients and their families. It also runs an awareness campaign aimed at encouraging people to reduce their risks of contracting HIV.

Tebelopele HIV Testing and Counselling Centre

OPEN TO MEDIA

10:30 a.m.

Courtesy Call with the Commander of the Botswana Defence Force

His Excellency will meet with Lieutenant General Gaolathe Galebotswe, Commander of the Botswana Defence Force.

Botswana Defence Force Staff College

PHOTO OP-At the beginning of the meeting.

10:45 a.m.

Visit to the Botswana Defence Force Staff College and Address to Students

As commander-in-chief of Canada, His Excellency will visit the facility to see how Canada and Botswana have developed strong defence relations through Canada's Military Training and Co-operation Program. Many senior members of the Botswana Defence Force have been trained in Canada. In turn, Botswana will deliver Canadian-designed peacekeeping programs to other countries in the region.

Following the visit, His Excellency will address students and college staff on the strong bilateral relations between Canada and Botswana, as well as highlight Canada's excellence in training and capacity building.

Auditorium, Botswana Defence Force Staff College

OPEN TO MEDIA

12:30 p.m.

State Luncheon Hosted by the Vice-President of the Republic of Botswana

Dr. Ponatshego P. H. K. Kedikilwe, Vice-President of the Republic of Botswana, will host a State luncheon in honour of Their Excellencies' visit to the country.

Tsodila A Room, Gaborone International Convention Centre

OPEN TO MEDIA-Speeches only

3:30 p.m.

Visit to Stepping Stones International by Her Excellency Sharon Johnston

Her Excellency will meet with Canadians from World University Services Canada (WUSC) who volunteer at the centre. She will also have the opportunity to participate in after-school activities and engage with youth who benefit from the program.

The goal of Stepping Stones International is to unlock the potential of orphaned and vulnerable adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 years by nurturing their mental, physical and emotional well-being, and by creating attainable opportunities for them to become self-sufficient. The centre received funding from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives and the Canadian-based Stephen Lewis Foundation, which works with grassroots organizations to turn the tide on HIV/AIDS in Africa. The program was designed with input from community members, the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Education and the District Multi-sectoral AIDS Committee. For more information, visit www.steppingstonesintl.org/newsite/ and http://stephenlewisfoundation.org/index.cfm.

Stepping Stones International, Mochudi, Kgatleng District

OPEN TO MEDIA

Orapa/Letlhakane Kimberlite District Saturday, May 18



9:40 a.m.

Visit to Karowe Diamond Mine Facilities and Operations

Their Excellencies, accompanied by the Honourable Onkokame Kitso Mokaila, Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, will tour this state-of-the-art mine located in the Orapa/Letlhakane Kimberlite district, one of the world's most prolific diamond-producing areas. Owned by the Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond Corporation, Karowe Mine's mission is to build a leading African-focused diamond production and development company. Their Excellencies' visit will highlight Canada's commercial strength and capacity for innovation in the resource sector, and the deployment of a comprehensive corporate social responsibility program. For more information, visit www.lucaradiamond.com/s/home.asp.

Karowe Diamond Mine

OPEN TO MEDIA

11 a.m.

Kgotla with Stakeholders

Following their visit to the Karowe Diamond Mine, Their Excellencies and the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources will participate in a discussion with chiefs, small chiefs and traditional leaders from surrounding villages on how the mine impacts their communities.

Kawore Diamond Mine

OPEN TO MEDIA

5:30 p.m.

Discussion with World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Volunteers

His Excellency will meet with Mr. Philip Landon, WUSC Regional Director in Botswana, and with Canadian volunteers who are working in the country. WUSC's program in Botswana has focused on strengthening national-level NGOs to provide more inclusive, improved and increased HIV and AIDS services, to foster equality between women and men, and to engage in policy dialogue for the benefit of disadvantaged or marginalized communities.

WUSC is a network of professionals, students, volunteers, faculty and community leaders who, together, provide opportunities to some of the world's most disadvantaged youth. WUSC works with and through its southern partners-government, civil society and the private sector-to strengthen education systems, expand employment opportunities, and foster an environment in which the aspirations and full participation of young people can be realized. For more information, visit http://wusc.ca/

PHOTO OP-Official photographers only

Gaborone Sunday, May 19



11:40 a.m.

Official Farewell Ceremony

The Vice-President of the Republic of Botswana will bid Their Excellencies farewell during an official ceremony that will include a guard of honour and 21-gun salute.

Sir Seretse Khama International Airport

PHOTO OP

STATE VISIT TO THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

Cape Town Sunday, May 19



2:15 p.m.

Arrival in South Africa

Upon their arrival in Cape Town, Their Excellencies will be welcomed by officials from the Government of South Africa and Mr. Gaston Baran, High Commissioner of Canada to the Republic of South Africa.

Cape Town International Airport

PHOTO OP-Official photographers only

Cape Town Monday, May 20



(ii) The detailed itinerary for this day is still to be confirmed and will be published at a later date.(ii)

Cape Town Tuesday, May 21



9 a.m.

Official Welcoming Ceremony

Their Excellencies will be officially welcomed by His Excellency Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa. During the ceremony, the Governor General will inspect the guard of honour and receive a 21-gun salute.

Parliamentary Precinct, Tuynhuys

OPEN TO MEDIA

9:35 a.m.

Courtesy Call with the President of the Republic of South Africa

The Governor General will meet with the President of the Republic of South Africa. An expanded meeting with the official and accompanying delegations will follow at 10 a.m.

Parliamentary Precinct, Tuynhuys

PHOTO OP-At the beginning of both meetings

MEDIA AVAILABILITY-The Governor General and the President will deliver a joint statement and answer questions from members of the media following their meeting, from 11:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

10 a.m.

Visit to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens by Her Excellency Sharon Johnston

Her Excellency will visit this amazing botanical garden, which is dedicated to preserving the fynbos genus of plants. The genus is unique to the Western Cape, yet contains one of the greatest number of plant species in the world. During Her Excellency's tour, she will hear about the work that Canada has supported through the South African Department of Treasury and the National Biodiversity Institute, in such areas as leadership development and change management. For more information, visit www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch.

Kirstenbosch Gardens

OPEN TO MEDIA

12 p.m.

State Luncheon Hosted by the President of the Republic of South Africa

On the occasion of Their Excellencies' visit to the country, the President of the Republic of South Africa will host a State luncheon. The Governor General and the President will deliver remarks on this special occasion.

Banquet Hall, Tuynhuys

OPEN TO MEDIA-Speeches only

2 p.m.

Address to the Joint Session of Parliament

Upon their arrival at the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency and the President will be welcomed by the Honourable Max Sisulu, Speaker of the National Assembly. The Governor General will be the first Canadian head-of-State representative to address a joint session of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. In his speech, the Governor General will highlight Canada-South Africa partnership and shared values regarding democratic institutions, the rule of law, freedom of expression and human rights. For more information, visit www.parliament.gov.za.

Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

OPEN TO MEDIA

4:30 p.m

Courtesy Call from the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa

The Governor General will meet with His Excellency Kgalema Motlanthe, Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa.

Table Bay Hotel

PHOTO OP-At the beginning of the meeting

Pretoria Wednesday, May 22



9:24 a.m.

Journey on the Gautrain

His Excellency and Canadian delegates will travel on the Gautrain, Africa's first rapid-rail public-transport project. Bombardier, as part of the Bombela Consortium, is the builder of this high-speed commuter rail service that travels between the central business districts of Johannesburg and Pretoria. For more information, visit www.gautrain.co.za

Hatfield Station

OPEN TO MEDIA

Johannesburg Wednesday, May 22



10:30 a.m.

Visit to the Apartheid Museum

His Excellency will visit an exhibition dedicated to Nelson Mandela, who was central to every stage of South Africa's epic struggle against apartheid. from formulating a new approach in the 1940s and leading the mass struggles of the 1950s to the formation of Umkhonto we Siswe in the early 1960s and his 27-year imprisonment. This great African leader initiated and led negotiations in the 1990s, and served as the first president of a democratic South Africa, building a new nation from the fragments of conflict. For more information, visit www.apartheidmuseum.org.

Apartheid Museum

OPEN TO MEDIA

12 p.m.

Canada-South Africa Business Networking Luncheon

His Excellency will deliver a keynote address to over 120 South African and Canadian business leaders at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the largest exchange on the African continent. The Governor General's address will focus on the strong South Africa-Canada trade relationship, as well as the advantages of having Canadian companies as partners in such areas as research, academic exchanges and innovation.

Atrium, Johannesburg Stock Exchange

OPEN TO MEDIA-Speeches only

Pretoria Wednesday, May 22



7 p.m.

Official Farewell Ceremony

Their Excellencies will be bid farewell during an official ceremony that will include a guard of honour.

Waterkloof Airbase

PHOTO OP-Official photographers only

Visits abroad by a governor general play an important role in Canada's relations with other countries. They are highly valuable as they help broaden bilateral relations and exchanges among peoples.

Members of the public can follow the Governor General's State visits to the Republic of Ghana, the Republic of Botswana and the Republic of South Africa online at www.gg.ca, where speeches and photos will be posted.

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Contacts:
Marie-Eve Letourneau
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-998-0287
marie-eve.letourneau@gg.ca



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