Madam Martine Moreau, the High Commissioner of Canada to Ghana, says Canada and Ghana continue to share common ideas and commitment to advancing the rights of women and girls.
She said both countries recognised gender equality and women’s economic empowerment as crucial issues in promoting social progress and sustainable development while unlocking the full potential of women.
The High Commissioner, speaking at the “2023 Canada Day” reception at her residence in Accra, said Canada and Ghana were committed to gender equality, women’s economic empowerment and the meaningful participation of women and girls in all facets of society.
She said, “Indeed, the evidence is clear that this common endeavour is highly effective in catalysing economic growth and achieving sustainable development.”
The festive evening on Wednesday, to mark the 156th Canada Day celebration, brought together the Canadian community in Ghana, the Diplomatic Corps, Ministers of State, some CEOs of State Enterprises, and the media among others, who were treated to live band music.
Canada Day is significant as it commemorates the anniversary of the nation’s confederation, when on 1st July 1867, the British North American colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada united to form the Dominion of Canada.
On this day, Canadians of all backgrounds and cultures come together from coast-to-coast in a patriotic celebration of the values, principles and democratic freedoms.
Madam Moreau said, Canada shared many of those values and principles with Ghanaians and was rightly proud of their long-standing relationships, which continued to thrive upon a foundation of mutual respect, genuine friendship, common ideals, shared priorities and multifaceted partnerships.
She said such multifaceted partnerships dated back to the early 1960s when Canada established its first African bilateral development programme in Ghana shortly following independence.
With more than 2.5 billion dollars in development assistance to date, the High Commissioner said, Ghana was recognised as one of Canada’s most important international partners.
She said Canada and Ghana continued to work together to promote economic growth, improve health, sanitation and agricultural systems and address climate change while supporting Ghana’s evolving priorities consistent with the Beyond Aid Strategy and the implementation of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.
“Through a broad range of approaches, Canada supports Ghanaian organisations and initiatives through the country in promoting inclusive governance, democracy, human rights, women and youth empowerment.” Madam Moreau said.
She noted that “close alignment and partnerships with friends are absolutely essential, as we navigate through an increasingly complex geopolitical environment.
The High Commissioner said Canada and Ghana shared common objectives in support of peace, democracy, and rules-based international order, and that “we maintain a productive partnership with the Ghana Armed Forces and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, which includes women, Peace and Security agenda” among others.
Madam Lariba Zuweura Abudu, Minister, Gender and Social Protection, in her remarks, said Canada had long been an exemplar in championing human rights, advancing gender equality, children’s rights, and social protection.
“Your nation’s unwavering commitment to these principles serves as an inspiration to many countries around the world, including Ghana,” she said, and that Ghana appreciated the knowledge-sharing initiatives and technical support from Canada to enable Ghana to enhance its policies and programmes in those critical areas.
The Gender and Social Protection Minister said she recognised the significance of the collective efforts of Ghana and Canada in safeguarding the rights and well-being of our citizens, particularly the most vulnerable.
She said Ghana and Canada could further deepen their collaboration and commitment to advancing gender equality, protecting children’s rights, and ensuring the welfare of all their citizens, including persons with disabilities.
She said, “In Ghana, we have been working diligently to strengthen our policies and institutions to promote gender equality and empower women.”
The Minister said Ghana acknowledged the immense potential of women and the critical role they played in national development; hence it was fostering an environment that enabled women to thrive economically, socially and politically.
She commended Canada’s efforts in advancing gender equality, climate action, and inclusive growth, and that the collaboration in those areas had a profound impact on the lives of the people, and both countries must remain committed to working together to achieve even greater results.