High Commissioner Christopher Thornley

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.

I look forward to working together to enhance bilateral trade and investment, and by extension, to create jobs and growth in both our countries. Ghana is on the road towards extraordinary economic progress. 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 thirty two Canadian companies are active in Ghana;  forty-five of these companies have offices here and ten are used as regional offices. 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 candidates having received training. Canada has contributed over $3 million, 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.  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 the development assistance we have provided since the country’s independence. Ghana is a country of focus for Canadian development assistance and one of our top five recipients of Canadian bilateral assistance worldwide.

Canada will continue to support Ghana in the areas of food security, through investments in agriculture and basic nutrition, and on securing the future of children and youth through improved access to clean water and basic sanitation. We have also been partners in the water sector for many years, with a focus in Ghana’s northern regions.

Last, but not least, our visa office provides services for ten countries.  In 2013, the Visa Section in Accra will take decisions on approximately 12,000 cases.  We have recently opened a Visa Application Centre (VAC) to assist our clients in submitting temporary resident visa applications in Accra.

I encourage you to explore the links on this website for detailed information on the range of services we provide. You will also find updated information on Canada’s ongoing activities in Ghana and initiatives of interest to Canadians and Ghanaians alike in our Highlights section.

Biography - Ambassador Christopher Thornley

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.