Message from the High Commissioner
On behalf of the Government of Canada, I am pleased to welcome you to our High Commission’s website.
Ghana and Canada share many values including freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
Over this past few years, our countries witnessed an unprecedented number of high level visits by Canadian officials to Ghana, including the state visit of the Governor General, David Johnston; and the visits of the Minister of International Trade, the Minister of Foreign Affairs , as well as two visits by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
These visits highlight the importance Canada places on our bilateral relationship, and the recognition that Ghana is a strong partner in development, democracy, human rights, global security and trade and investment.
I look forward to continuing our partnership to enhance bilateral trade and investment, and by extension, to create jobs and growth in both our countries. Ghana has leveraged its stability and strong democratic credentials to achieve significant economic progress since its independence in 1957. I am pleased that Canadian investment partners are joining Ghana on this path to prosperity. We are eager to expand and strengthen our trade and investment cooperation with Ghana. One hundred and twenty-eight Canadian companies are active in Ghana; sixty-two of which have offices here. I hope to see the Canadian presence continue to grow during my tenure.
On matters of global security, Ghana has been a long-standing partner in Canada’s Military Training and Cooperation Program, with more than 300 Ghanaian participants. Canada has welcomed Ghana’s significant contribution to peacekeeping operations around the world and has contributed over $3 million along with personnel and expertise to the Kofi Annan International Peace Training Centre. We are also cooperating in the areas of maritime security and illegal migration.
On human rights co-operation, our shared values run deep, and cooperation is extensive, both here in Ghana and internationally. As an example, the governments of Canada, Ghana and the Netherlands hosted an event on the margins of the 68th United Nations General Assembly entitled “Too Young to Wed: Empowering Girls as Leaders of Tomorrow.”
And, of course, across Ghana, Canada is known for being a reliable development partners since the country’s independence. Ghana is a country of focus for Canadian development assistance and one of the top five recipients of Canadian bilateral assistance worldwide. Canada is also consistently among the top five bilateral development partners in Ghana.
Canada is committed to working with the Government of Ghana, civil society and the private sector to support development in strategic areas such as agriculture, nutrition, clean water and basic sanitation. We were pleased that the Mutual Accountability Framework was signed in April 2015 by both our governments. The Framework further strengthens our bilateral relationship and sets the tone for Canada’s continued support to implementation of Maternal Newborn and Child Health initiatives and the a focus on the three thematic priorities. These priorities include support to food security, through investments in agriculture and basic nutrition, and securing the future of children and youth through improved access to clean water in underserved areas and improving basic sanitation. As we move forward, we will be expanding our development partnership to include stainable economic growth programming. This will help Ghana’s transition to a stable middle income country.
The relationship is also one of shared experiences and personal connections. Canada is proud to host thousands of Ghanaian students and visitors every year, and a growing and diverse Ghanaian diaspora. To make this happen, our visa office is busy providing services for ten countries. We have recently opened a Visa Application Centre (VAC) to assist our clients in submitting temporary resident visa applications in Accra and we are excited about the recent launch of Canada’s Express Entry system which will help select skilled immigrants on the basis of their skills and expertise. It will allow us to better respond to Canada’s changing labour market needs and, as its name suggest, qualified candidates can expect faster processing times.
The enduring friendship between Ghana and Canada is demonstrated by the thousands of Canadians who are in Ghana at any given time to invest, work, study, teach, visit family and friends, or tour the country’s many beautiful and historic sites. The High Commission provides consular services to Canadians in Ghana, Togo, and Sierra Leone including passports and assistance to Canadians who find themselves in situations of distress. If you are a Canadian in one of these three countries, I recommend you register your travel, since that is the mission’s best way of knowing that you are in the region and for us to stay in touch in case of emergency. Registration is simple and confidential at www.travel.gc.ca.
I encourage you to explore the links on this website for detailed information on the range of services we provide, and to engage with us on Twitter (@CanHCGhana) and Facebook (High-Commission-of-Canada-to-Ghana-Togo-and-Sierra-Leone) for regular updates on our activities and issues that may be of interest to Canadians and Ghanaians alike.
A native of British Columbia, Canada's most western province, Christopher Thornley grew up in the Rocky Mountains. His scenic hometown of Golden is surrounded by spectacular national parks and is known for world-class alpine skiing.
A graduate of the University of Victoria and Dalhousie University where he received a Master of Public Administration degree, he began his career with the Province of Nova Scotia in the field of international market development. Mr. Thornley subsequently joined the Canadian Foreign Service. His first posting was to Stockholm followed by an assignment to the Consulate General of Canada in Boston, U.S.A. From 1999 to 2002, he headed the Consulate of Canada in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He was Ambassador of Canada to the Republic of the Philippines from 2010 to 2013.
At Headquarters in Ottawa, he has served in numerous assignments, including as Deputy Director responsible for bilateral relations with India and as Director of the Southeast Asia and Pacific Division and Director of Foreign Service Assignments. He has also served as a Director and Acting Director General in the Markets and Industry Services Branch of the Canadian Department of Agriculture.
He was appointed High Commissioner for Canada to the Republic of Ghana with concurrent accreditation as High Commissioner to Sierra Leone and Ambassador to the Togolese Republic. High Commissioner Thornley presented his credentials to the President, H.E. John Dramani Mahama on November 10, 2013.
Mr. Thornley is married to Catherine Thornley who is also a Canadian public servant. They have two sons.
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