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Governor General to Undertake State Visits to Ghana, Botswana and South Africa

Governor General to Undertake State Visits to Ghana, Botswana and South Africa 
OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/08/13 -- 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. 
"Sharon and I are looking forward to our State visits to Ghana,
Botswana and South Africa to reinforce Canada's continued engagement
in Africa," said His Excellency. "My meetings with government
officials and civil society will provide an opportunity to underscore
Canada's interests in further strengthening its commercial and
education ties with all three countries, as well as to highlight good
governance, the rule of law, democracy, freedom of expression and
human rights. Reinforcing our existing partnerships and assessing
opportunities to create new ones is essential for greater cooperation
between Canadians and Africans." 
His Excellency will be joined by parliamentarians; and an
accompanying delegation of Canadians who will enhance
people-to-people ties with their Ghanaian, Botswana and South African
counterparts. These exchanges will further develop the wide-ranging
and multi-faceted relationship with Africa, a major economic player
and priority market for Canada, and will provide greater visibility
for bilateral co-operation initiatives in various sectors,
particularly in strategies promoting innovation, economic development
and education in all three countries. 
State Visit to Ghana - May 13 to 16  
In the capital city of Accra, Their Excellencies will be officially
welcomed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
During meetings with the President, government officials, and civil
society, the Governor General will underscore Ghana's good will and
progress on governance, democracy, the rule of law and respect for
human rights. He will also witness first-hand the impact of the
Canadian International Development Agency's involvement in an
agricultural research project on maize at the Crops Research
Institute in Kumasi, and the success story of Canadian Kathy Knowles,
who built a library and literacy program for disadvantaged children
out of a 40-foot container in Accra. Furthermore, His Excellency will
help promote Canada's investment interests and trade collaboration at
a business networking luncheon with Ghanaian and Canadian leaders in
the capital city, and during a one-day visit in the Ashanti Region,
in Kumasi. 
State Visit to the Republic of Botswana - May 16 to 19  
Upon their arrival in Gabarone, Their Excellencies will be welcomed
by the President of the Republic of Botswana. The Governor General
will highlight the strong trade and business relations in the
extractive industry and the importance of corporate social
responsibility during a visit to the Karowe Diamond Mine, owned by
Lucara Diamond Corporation based in Vancouver. There will also be an
opportunity to acknowledge Canada's support for the fight against
HIV/AIDS during visits to both the Tebelopele HIV Testing and
Counselling Centre and Stepping Stones International, an after-school
community outreach program serving orphaned and vulnerable
adolescents and their caregivers. In addition, His Excellency will
meet with Canadian volunteers from World University Service of
Canada, a key education partner for Canada in Botswana. Both
countries have developed strong defence relations through the
Department of National Defence's (DND) Military Training and
Cooperation Program. Many senior members of the Botswana Defence
Force have been trained in Canada, and Botswana will deliver
Canadian-designed peacekeeping programs to other countries in the
region. As commander-in-chief of Canada, the Governor General will
reinforce the continued assistance offered by DND in his address to
staff college students and army staff at the Botswana Defence Force
Staff College. 
State Visit to the Republic of South Africa - May 20 to 22  
While in Cape Town, the Governor General will meet with the President
and senior ministers and discuss the progress made in South Africa
since the end of apartheid to build a democratic and inclusive
society. He will emphasize the importance of Canadian co-operation in
Africa's growth, underscore the development of education and industry
partnerships, and stress the need to respect diversity, pluralism and
service to society. The Governor General will be the first Canadian
representative of the Head of State to address a joint session of the
National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces at the
Parliament of the Republic of South Africa. In Johannesburg, the
Governor General will speak to South African and Canadian business
leaders at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the largest exchange on
the African continent.  
Visits abroad by a governor general play an important role in
Canada's relations with other countries. They are highly valuable as
they help broaden bilateral relations and exchanges among peoples. 
Members of the public can follow the Governor General's State visits
to the Republic of Ghana, the Republic of Botswana and the Republic
of South Africa online at www.gg.ca, where speeches and photos will
be posted. 
The detailed itinerary and the accompanying delegation will be
published at a later date. 
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Contacts:
Marie-Eve Letourneau
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-998-0287
marie-eve.letourneau@gg.ca