Princess Anne’s visit to Ghana and Sierra Leone

The Princess Royal has concluded a visit to Ghana and Sierra Leone, which claimed to ‘underly the bond of friendship’ between the UK and the two African nations.

Princess Anne at the durbar in Ghana (RoyalFamily)

Princess Anne spent two days in Ghana, and two days in Sierra Leone.

On the first day of the tour, the Princess arrived at Kumasi Airport, and was driven to Manhyia Palace. Anne then held an audience with the President of Ghana, Mr Nana Akufo-Addo, at Flagstaff House in Accra. They discussed ways in which to improve the bilateral relationship between Britain and Ghana. Anne said she wanted to focus on empowering women by supporting female education and entrepreneurship.

Anne’s third visit to the country marks 60 years of Ghanaian independence, she previously visited Ghana in 1998 and 2011.

She later met Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who is the 16th Asantehene, ruler of Ashanti and Ashantiland. The Princess attended a traditional Durbar ceremony, a colourful ritual used to celebrate the inauguration of new leaders. The Asantehene remarked that the UK and Ghana were, “joining hands in celebration of their friendship, they are demonstrating that it is possible to replace the drums of war with the drums of mirth of joy”.

“Your visit to Ghana attests to your commitment to the development of women and the girl child which are fundamental to the development of any country”, he said.

The British High Commissioner Jon Benjamin said, “As Ghana celebrates its 60th anniversary with themes of reflection, celebration, challenge and togetherness, we can also celebrate how our celebration has grown and matured over the last 60 years. Central to that is the strong links between the Kingdom and Kumasi”.

The Princess Royal laid a wreath for war veterans at Christianburg War Cemetery, photos of which you can view here. She  was accompanied by Ghana’s Defence Minister and the Chief of General Staff, who also laid wreaths on behalf of the Ghanaian people and army. The Princess then signed a book of condolence.

Afterwards, Anne made a stop at the Varkey Foundation, a charity which she sponsors, to take part in a video conference lesson, aimed at expanding the reach of high quality education to rural areas. Anne also attended a garden party at the residence of the British Commissioner, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Ghana’s independence.

On day two, the Princess Royal toured Gods Heritage Academy, to see how the charity ‘Opportunity International UK’ (of which she is patron), is helping young people to ‘unlock their potential’, before heading to Wesley College of Education, to meet volunteers and learn about the work that is being done to improve education by the Voluntary Service Overseas, another charity of which the Princess is patron.

Anne then moved on to Sierra Leone, arriving on Wednesday. She met President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at the State House in Freetown. The President noted the strong relationship between the UK and Sierra Leone, stating that, “relations between Sierra Leone and the UK go beyond independence”. The President cited the British government’s support towards the fight against the deadly Ebola virus, and acknowledged Britain’s role towards institutional reforms in Sierra Leone, aimed at tackling corruption.

Anne also met with the UK’s High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Mr Guy Warrington. The Princess held several meetings with cabinet ministers, and various state dignitaries throughout the day. In the evening, a reception was held in the Ballroom at State House, hosted by the President in honour of The Princess Royal.

Furthermore, Anne paid a visit to the Pay No Bribe (PNB) call centre at the Lottery Building, Tower Hill, Freetown. PNB is an organisation, designed to tackle corruption.

Explaining the campaign, Anti-Corruption Commissioner, Ady Macauley, said corruption in Sierra Leone was as a major factor in causing the decade-long civil conflict. He added, “The campaign against bribery is on course. The PNB model is the envy of other anti-graft agencies in Africa”.

Princess Anne said, she was pleased to be at the Call Centre, noting the major achievements of the campaign. She also asked a variety of questions, regarding the operation of the centre.

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