The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
Role and Responsibilities
  • Print Preview
  • Print: 
  •  Send to Facebook (Opens in a new window)
  •  Send to Twitter (Opens in a new window)
  • Send to E-mail (Opens in a new window)
  • Share: 



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.

For more information on the announcement of these visits, please see the news release.

All timings indicated are in local time zone (Republic of Ghana - Greenwich Mean Time - UTC/GMT +0 hours) 

Monday, May 13

Ghanean performers

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

Tuesday, May 14

Courtesy Call with the President of the Republic of Ghana

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

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

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
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

Wednesday, May 15 

King of the Ashanti People

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

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

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
Crops Research Institute

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 Regionat 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

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