President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has conferred Ghana’s highest award, the Companion of the Order of the Star of Ghana, on the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles.
At a state dinner organised in honour of Their Royal Highnesses, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, at the Jubilee House last Monday, the Secretary to the President, Nana Badiatuo Asante, read out the citation that captured all the achievements and life experiences of the heir apparent to the British throne.
The dinner attracted high-profile personalities, including former President J. J. Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu; former President J. A. Kufuor and the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye.
A drawing of Their Royal Highnesses was also presented to the visiting Royals.
In a speech at the dinner, President Akufo-Addo said Ghana would remain a firm partner of the United Kingdom as it prepared to exit the European Union (EU).
He said Ghana was ready to renew and deepen its relations with Britain for the progress and prosperity of its people and confront the challenges that faced their generation.
President Akufo-Addo said Britain was currently going through difficult times in trying to define its place in the world, in view of Brexit.
He said it was the expectation that trade relations between Ghana and Britain would not be negatively affected and that very soon those anxieties would be allayed.
He said Ghana, for its part, wanted to grow its relations with Britain from the current state to a stronger one in the future.
Paraphrasing Edmund Burke, the President said it was in the interest of global equilibrium that wealth should be found everywhere.
President Akufo-Addo recalled that it was agreed at the last Commonwealth meeting in London in April this year that all participating countries bequeath to generations yet unborn a Commonwealth that would help them realise their wishes and aspirations.
He said the Commonwealth must also promote the shared values of respect for individual liberties and human rights, the rule of law and the principles of democratic accountability.
Prince Charles, in reply, recounted memories of his first visit to Ghana 41 years ago and how happy he was to meet again some of the same people who were around during the first trip.
He commended some Ghanaian youth he had met in his current trip who were making a huge contribution to the sustenance of the environment through recycling and at the same time creating jobs.
He described Ghanaians who lived and worked in Britain as important living bridges in the development of the two countries.
Prince Charles said through the work of his trust in the UK, Mr Idris Elba was originally provided with assistance to commence his acting career, while Oswald Boateng, the famous designer, also received help from his trust to start up as a tailor.
He said it demonstrated the unique nature of the Commonwealth family and that those bonds were also demonstrated by Ghanaians and other Commonwealth service men and women serving in the UK Armed Forces.
Prince Charles said he was looking forward to establishing the first office of his Prince’s Trust in West Africa in Ghana in order to offer help to Ghanaians and Africans.