State Dinner hosted by His Excellency Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana, and Mrs. Lordina Mahama
Accra, Ghana, Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Sharon and I are delighted to be here with you today to celebrate our long-standing friendship.
It is a pleasure to follow in the footsteps of my predecessor, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, by undertaking a State visit to Ghana. In fact, this is not my first visit to this country. I was here in the 1980s for a conference on universities—now, as then, I am impressed with Ghana. I can certainly see why Canada would consider this a country of focus in Africa.
Ghanaians recognize the importance of building a smarter, more caring world and a fairer, more just society. As such, your country has the respect of many countries around the world; they look to you as a bastion of stability and progress.
With that respect comes the responsibility of creating better lives for your citizens, the region and the world. I can see that you have already shown important leadership in this area, which is beneficial not just for Ghanaians, but also for all Africans.
And our country is always ready and willing to work together with yours to further that goal.
For over 100 years, our two countries have been connected through people, and through the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and cultural understanding.
This, of course, is fortified by the large Ghanaian-Canadian community, who share with us their heritage, and make wonderful contributions to the rich diversity of our country.
I know that Canadians have worked closely with their Ghanaian counterparts to improve lives here. This includes through education, food security and secure livelihoods, access to clean water, and the fight against disease. Canadian organizations are also working with Ghanaian partners to promote volunteerism and corporate social responsibility. Your government has made tremendous progress in these areas and continues to achieve much for your citizens, and, as partners and friends, we strive to do this together.
When we look even deeper, we see a shared commitment to the principles of democracy, which allow every citizen a say in our respective societies, and of good governance, which our peoples can trust. It is these common bonds that underpin all our interactions, and that have created the friendship we treasure.
Let us use that friendship to strengthen other areas of co-operation, such as science and technology, innovation and trade. Our already strong base allows us the opportunity to do more, and that is an advantage upon which we should seize.
I am honoured to be here with you to celebrate our close relationship and to discover new ways in which we can strengthen our bonds.
Allow me to raise a glass to our two peoples and to our friendship, which continues to flourish.