President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday welcomed the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, to the Jubilee House, with a call on the United Kingdom (UK) and Ghana to make concerted efforts to increase their trade relations.
He said Ghana valued greatly its long-standing relations with the UK, but unfortunately, trade relations had declined in recent times.
He expressed the confidence that the visit of the Prince was a great indication of how the United Kingdom wanted to scale up its trade relations with Ghana.
The Prince of Wales, who arrived in the country with his 71-year-old wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, is on a five-day visit to Ghana, as part of a three-nation West African tour.
Sporting what is gradually becoming his trademark, a long-sleeved shirt, made from a kente designed African print, President Akufo-Addo said Ghana was concerned about post-Brexit.
In the company of his wife, Rebecca, President Akufo-Addo gave an assurance that Ghana was determined to maintain its firm relationship with the UK and ensure that trade relations, among others, were strengthened for the mutual benefit of the two nations and their people.
He said Ghana was influenced by British values and institutional arrangements and that a large number of Ghanaians had been living in the UK.
After the welcome remarks by President Akufo-Addo, the meeting between him and Prince Charles retired into a closed-door session.
Early on when he arrived at the Jubilee House, Prince Charles, who was in his cream suit over a white shorts in a gold tie, inspected a full guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the Ghana Army, and took the national salutes of both countries.
The guard was mounted by 96 men and three officers, led by Captain Darlington Nana K. Koomson.
While the military band was playing the national anthems of Ghana and the UK, some officers fired 19-gun salutes in honour of the visiting Prince.
After the initial welcome ceremony, the President led Prince Charles to inspect a photo exhibition of the Prince during his first visit to Ghana in 1977.
A visibly elated Prince Charles was seen in a hearty chat with President Akufo-Addo about the pictures, which showed him in military uniform inspecting a guard of honour in Ghana.
Earlier at the Kotoka International Airport, Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, had been given a warm welcome on their arrival.
The plane carrying the Royal couple touched down at exactly 2pm. yesterday at the Jubilee Lounge of the Kotoka International Airport with a large entourage.
Speaker of Parliament
They were met on arrival by the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, and his spouse, who, accompanied by some ministers of state, shepherded the visiting Royal couple into a waiting car and drove off to the Jubilee House to be officially welcomed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Among the dignitaries who were also at the airport were the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayokor Botchway; the Defence Minister, Mr Dominic Nitiwul; the Aviation Minister, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, and Ghana’s High Commissioner to the UK, Papa Owusu-Ankomah.
When the plane touched down, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Iain Walker, and other British officials embarked to briefly engage with the couple to prepare them to disembark to the waiting arms of the dignitaries.
No sooner had Mr Walker left Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall than the couple appeared with the Prince of Wales in front.
While in Ghana, the Royal couple will attend a State Banquet organised by the Presidency in their honour to celebrate the ties between Britain and Ghana. The event would be attended by senior dignitaries, British nationals, a cross-section of Ghanaians and prominent figures from business, arts, culture and the media.
Prince Charles will also attend a meeting with Ghanaian and international business leaders to discuss sustainable practice in Ghana’s cocoa industry and key environmental issues.
The visit will throw the searchlight on a number of important commitments made by the Commonwealth Heads of Government during the last Commonwealth summit.
Britain and Ghana are members of the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance and, at the summit, made a commitment to work together to protect the oceans by taking steps to eliminate avoidable plastic waste.
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