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GHANA, UK CELEBRATE OLD RELATIONSHIP: PRESIDENT, OTUMFUO RECEIVE PRINCE OF WALES

General News

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described the relationship between Ghana and Britain, which spans centuries, as a valuable one that continues to bring great benefit to both countries.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described the relationship between Ghana and Britain, which spans centuries, as a valuable one that continues to bring great benefit to both countries.

 

“We know the relations between our two countries go back centuries. Some of them were happy; some of them not so happy. But we are in the happier period now,” said the President when he hosted the Prince of Wales, Charles, and his partner, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at Jubilee House on Friday.

“So many of our values are influenced by British traditions and institutional arrangements and a lot of the people who are living in your place [ie, in the UK] are doing well; they are well treated.

“It’s a relationship that we value.”

A time to remember

The visit by the royal couple signals the depth of relations between Ghana and the United Kingdom, President Akufo-Addo said.

“It’s a big honour for us to receive you in Ghana. Your coming here shows that you attach a great deal of importance to your relations with Ghana. So we are very happy to have you here.

“I am sure these five days that you are going to be here will be a memorable time for both of you,” the President said.

The Prince and the Duchess are on a three-nation tour of West Africa. They have already visited Gambia. After their stay in Ghana they will travel to Nigeria. The intention behind the tour is to consolidate the UK’s partnership with all three Commonwealth nations in relation to a range of shared priorities.

This is the Prince of Wales’s first visit to any Commonwealth countries in Africa since the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting decided unanimously in April this year that he should succeed Her Majesty the Queen as the head of the Commonwealth.

Kumasi affair

Yesterday in Kumasi, Prince Charles and the Duchess were special guests at Manhyia to celebrate the eighth Akwasidae durbar with the Asante people. The event was held specially in honour of the Prince.

The day was marked by great pomp and pageantry.

On Saturday in Accra, the Prince and the Duchess had visited Christiansborg Castle in Osu, a mid-17th-century Danish slave fort later bought by the British. Christiansborg, renamed Osu Castle, served as the seat of Ghana’s government from the colonial era until 2008.

The Prince was taken round the castle by Samuel Acquaah, head of education at the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board. The Prince was accompanied of Nana Oforiatta Ayim, a member of the national museums and monuments board, who runs the Ano contemporary art gallery and research centre in Osu. Ms Ayim, an independent curator, is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Oxford.

Marine Drive

The staircase at Christiansborg was designed to be particularly narrow so that slaves could only walk one by one and not overpower the Danish traders.

At the bottom are dungeons and a holding cell where enslaved Africans were kept for up to six months as they awaited transportation to the Caribbean and the Americas.

It is estimated that more 1.5 million African people were traded through Christiansborg during the period when the Danes dominated the slave trade along the coast of what is now Ghana, out an six million human beings traded from West Africa.

In the mid-19th century, the castle was sold to the British to be used as the headquarters for the new colonial administration.

Jamestown colours

Prince Charles will meet with policymakers to discuss renovation and reuse of Christiansborg. The historic landmark will be part of redevelopment efforts aimed at remodelling Accra’s waterfront.

The Marine Drive project, as it is known, was conceived by David Adjaye, principal architect for Ghana’s planned National Cathedral and the creative brain behind the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, DC, which opened in 2016.

The royal couple also attended an exhibition of fine art, music, dance and youth culture in the Jamestown area, an old English enclave which is now one of the most fashionable and dynamic parts of Accra. The Prince was given a gift of children's books about the “colours of Africa” for his grandchildren, as well as maps of the area and souvenir mugs.

Before he leaves, Prince Charles will meet with a number of British Ghanaians in the business, arts, culture and media industries.

He will again meet with key players in Ghana’s cocoa industry to discuss innovative ways to sustain one of the country’s most profitable resources.

Meanwhile, the Duchess, who is president of the Women of the World Festival, will attend an event featuring Ghana’s top female leaders.