Royal visit to West Africa: Ghana

Day four: Monday 5th November

Today, on day four of the Royal visit to Ghana, The Prince of Wales began the day by giving a speech on The Commonwealth.

In the speech, His Royal Highness talked about the importance of the Commonwealth and people-to-people connections.

The speech was delivered at the British Council’s Start-Up exhibition and was attended by a number of Ghanaian entrepreneurs. After being introduced by The President of Ghana, The Prince said during his speech:

It is clear to me that the Commonwealth remains as vital today, as it has ever been.  It brings us together, building bridges between our governments and our people, and offering the practical means to work together for a better future.

The Duchess of Cornwall meanwhile attended a Women of the World (WOW) roundtable event alongside meeting Mr. Chikodi Onyemerela, Director of Programmes and Partnerships at the British Council and Jude Kelly CBE, founder of WOW. 

The WOW – Women of the World festival is a global movement celebrating women and girls and looking at the obstacles that stop them from achieving their potential. The Duchess met women who shared their stories in a panel discussion.

Next, The Duchess visited the Ghana International School (G.I.S.) and launched The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2019.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world’s oldest schools’ international writing competition, managed by The Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883. In 2018, the competition’s theme was "Towards a Common Future". The Africa region gained 685 medals and in Ghana 198 were awarded.

Her Royal Highness will present the awards on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen during a reception at Buckingham Palace on 22nd November.

The Duchess then attended a Commonwealth Big Lunch at the Ghana International Junior School where HRH met youngsters and saw a variety of performances including reading, dancing and poems. 

The Prince of Wales meanwhile joined a Roundtable Discussion on Cocoa with guests including senior representatives from the Government of Ghana, cocoa industry, development partners, farmer organisations and civil society. 

His Royal Highness then attended a plastics event to discuss the importance of tackling plastic waste and hear about the issue of Ocean Plastics in Ghana. Representatives from industries presented their plans and commitments to reduce plastic waste and The Prince visited a number of stalls and exhibitions that displayed how artists are tackling plastic waste in their communities.

In the evening,  The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended a State Banquet at Jubilee House, hosted by President Akufo-Addo and First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo.

During the evening, Mr. Edward Enninful O.B.E., Editor in Chief of British Vogue, introduced a fashion show specifically designed to showcase Ghana’s world-leading role in fashion. Three global designers each showcased three designs from the collections of: Ozwald Boateng O.B.E., Christie Brown, and Adrian Sauvage, alongside three up and coming Ghanaian designers. 

Day three: Sunday 4th November

The Prince of Wales began the day by attending a church service with The President of Ghana at Accra Ridge Church.

Accra Ridge is a large English language inter-denominational church based in the residential neighbourhood of Ridge. Following the service, The Prince met members of the congregation.

The Prince of Wales visits a church in Ghana

 

Next, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Manhiya Palace for a Durbar and Tea with the Asantehene.

Their Royal Highnesses were greeted by the Asantehene, King of the Ashanti, and his spouse, Lady Julia, before having a private meeting at the Palace.

His Royal Highness toured the Manhiya Palace Museum and heard about key moments from the Ashanti and British History, and Their Royal Highnesses greeted Chiefs and religious leaders before taking their seats on the parade ground for the Durbar and cultural display.

The Asantehene has a long-standing relationship with the British Monarchy, having met Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2000, The Prince of Wales in Glasgow where they both received honorary degrees, and The Earl of Wessex during his visit to Kumasi with The Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme in 2016.

The Prince of Wales then visited New Kumasi Market, the single largest market in West Africa.

His Royal Highness met a number of market Queen Mothers, who represent the 10,000 traders of the Kumasi Market, and spoke to Ghanaian entrepreneurs who have been supported by the Department for International Development’s SME Programme Enhancing Growth in New Enterprise (ENGINE).

The Prince of Wales visits a market in Ghana

 

The market is due to undergo a restoration which has been designed to provide a safer and more secure covered shopping area. The Prince heard about the plans for the new market which will house 30,000 traders and cater for 1,000,000 shoppers every day.

Next, The Prince of Wales toured a Cocoa Farm and learned about the history of the cocoa industry in Ghana. Accompanied by the farm’s owner, Mr. Agyin Brefo, His Royal Highness was able to taste cocoa and see a number of different production and post-production stages.

Following this, The Prince was introduced to a women’s cooperative and heard about the role women play in cocoa in Ghana. Cocoa was introduced by Dutch missionaries in the coastal areas of the then Gold Coast as early as 1815, and Ghana is currently the second largest global cocoa producer accounting for 20% of global production.

The Prince visits a Cocoa farm in Ghana

 

The Duchess of Cornwall, meanwhile, visited the National Cultural Centre in Kumasi, the home of local arts and craft making. It was founded in 1956 by the late Dr. Alexander Atta Yaw Kyerematen under the name Ashanti Cultural Centre. The aim of the centre was to collect, preserve and restore artefacts of historical and ethnographical importance.

Her Royal Highness viewed several activities including pottery, a Kente weaving workshop, basket making and beading. West Africa has a rich history and culture of traditional arts and craft making and Ghana is renowned for its hand woven textiles, beading, brass work, jewellery, ceramics and wood carving.

The Duchess of Cornwall then attended the K.N.U.S.T. Literacy and Essay Prize Event and joined a number of children’s reading circles.

K.N.U.S.T., (the name honors Kwame Nkrumha, the first Prime Minister and later President of Ghana) was established in 1952. It has colleges of Agriculture, Health, Humanities, Art and the Built Environment, Engineering and Science.

Finally, The Prince of Wales joined Her Royal Highness at K.N.U.S.T. to inaugurate the newly-titled ‘The Prince of Wales Park’, which was named to commemorate His Royal Highness’s visit. The Prince planted a tree, before unveiling a plaque to officially name the new park.

Day two: Saturday 3rd November

To begin the second day of the Royal visit to Ghana, The Prince of Wales visited Christiansborg Castle in Osu.

Built in the 17th Century, Christiansborg Castle originally operated as a Danish slave trade fort. It is estimated that over 1.5 million African people were traded through Christiansborg Castle and that, overall, six million human beings were traded from West Africa.

The Prince of Wales in Ghana

 

Below Christiansborg Castle at sea-level are dungeons, now filled in, where enslaved Africans were kept for as long as six months whilst awaiting shipment overseas.

His Royal Highness was guided around the castle by Samuel Acquaah, Head of Education, Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, and walked to the top of a spiral staircase, where captured African slaves were imprisoned before they were transported to the “new world” through the ‘Door of No Return’.

The Prince also saw some recent artefacts that have been found in the grounds of the castle and heard about plans for the castle’s restoration and redevelopment into a museum.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall then attended an Art, Music, Dance and Youth Exhibition at Jamestown, Accra.

TRH in Ghana

 

Their Royal Highnesses viewed the James Barnor photography exhibition before being introduced to Boxers Azumah Nelson and Isaac Dogboe.

In an outdoor courtyard, The Prince and The Duchess were introduced to Shatta Wale, a leading musician in Ghana with a global following and His Royal Highness watched a performance by D.J. Switch. The performance included choreography by the dancers and roller skaters from the Performance for Action Team, a community-based team of performers, teachers, and volunteers.

Day one: Friday 2nd November 

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall arrived in Ghana this morning to begin an official visit to the country. 

Their Royal Highnesses were greeted by Iain Walker, High Commissioner to the Republic of Ghana, before travelling to Jubilee House in Accra to meet with the President of Ghana and the First Lady.

On arrival at Jubilee House, the official residence of the President, the band of the Ghana Armed Forces played the Ghanian and British National Anthems and a 21 Gun Salute from the Ghana Army formally marked the arrival of Their Royal Highnesses to Ghana. 

His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo greeted The Prince and The Duchess at Jubilee House and welcomed Their Royal Highnesses to Ghana during a private meeting.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall then joined The Earl of Wessex, who is in Ghana to attend events in his role as Chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh International Award Foundation, for a wreath laying ceremony at The Christiansborg War Cemetery.

 The Prince of Wales and The Earl of Wessex each laid a wreath on the Memorial, along with The President of Ghana. Just over 1,800 Commonwealth war dead of the two world wars, mainly members of the West African forces, are buried or commemorated in seven sites in the Ghana.

Their Royal Highnesses saw individual graves in the graveyard and The Duchess laid posies on three graves. Before departing, Their Royal Highnesses were introduced to the gardeners who maintain the cemetery grounds, Ghanaian veterans, and young members of the National Cadet Corps.

In the evening, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended a Reception at the British High Commissioner’s Residence and met a number of guests representing a cross section of the U.K.-Ghana relations.

Some of the people Their Royal Highnesses met included representatives from groups including Ghanaian Diaspora, politics, media, and sport. 

To keep up to date with the Royal visit to West Africa, follow #RoyalVisitTheGambia, #RoyalVisitGhana and #RoyalVisitNigeria.