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Canada-Ghana relations

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Bilateral relations

In 1906, Quebec missionaries established a church in Navrongo in northern Ghana, marking the arrival of a Canadian presence in the country. Bilateral relations between Canada and Ghana are strong and based on more than 60 years of global cooperation, particularly in the United Nations and the Commonwealth. Ghana has established strong democratic credentials. Freedom of expression, a dynamic press and an active civil society are part of the Ghanaian political landscape.

Canada is represented by the High Commission of Canada in Ghana in Accra. Ghana has maintained a diplomatic presence in Canada through its high commission in Ottawa. Ghana is also represented by consulates in Vancouver, Toronto and Montréal.

Trade relations

In 2021, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Ghana reached over $475 million. Canadian exports totalled more than $372.8 million while imports from Ghana reached $102.6 million. The main Canadian exports included cereals, vehicles and parts, machinery, textiles and beverages. The main imports from Ghana included cocoa, rubber, mineral ores and wood.

Export Development Canada has designated Ghana as one of its key markets in Africa. Other organizations of interest with a presence in the country are the Canadian Commercial Corporation and the Canada Ghana Chamber of Commerce.

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Development assistance

Canada was among the first countries to recognize Ghana’s independence in 1957 and established our first Africa bilateral development program in Ghana shortly thereafter. Since that time, Canada has provided more than $2.5 billion in development assistance in support of shared Ghanaian and Canadian priorities. Our focus over several decades on improving agricultural systems, livelihoods, and food security, particularly for impoverished rural communities in the north, resulted in 147,000 farmers, including 97,000 women farmers, increasing their agricultural production and more than doubling their incomes; while our support for the water and sanitation sector has resulted in 865,000 Ghanaians gaining access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure.

Building on this long-standing partnership, Canada continues to provide significant development assistance in support of evolving priorities in line with the Ghana Beyond Aid strategy and Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, which totaled $94.09 million in fiscal year 2020 to 2021. Through local, Canadian and multilateral partners, Canada is helping to build the skills of young Ghanaian women and men in productive sectors of the economy such as agriculture and trades, and to grow business ideas into successful enterprises, particularly in key areas of the green economy. As part of this support, Canada’s partners actively address barriers to growth such as socio-cultural norms which constrain women’s full participation and economic empowerment, or lack of access to technical know-how, finance, and market linkages necessary for small business development. Canada is also a key contributor to improving the health and well-being of adolescent girls and women through sexual and reproductive health and rights and nutrition programming.

In Ghana's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada has supported COVID-19 awareness through radio campaigns, installation of public hand-washing stations, improving diagnostic capacity, and distribution of personal protective equipment to those on the front-line working with vulnerable populations. Going forward, Canada will continue to support country-led efforts to enhance vaccine delivery and distribution, increase vaccine confidence and generate demand through Canada’s Global Initiative for Vaccine Equity (CanGIVE).

In addition, through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, support is provided to local Ghanaian organizations and initiatives to promote inclusive governance including diversity, democracy and human rights, as well as women’s participation in peace and security efforts.

Peace and security

Canada provides training to the Ghana Armed Forces through the Department of National Defence’s Military Training & Cooperation Program, which aims to enhance the interoperability of peace support operations among Canada’s partners, and expand and reinforce bilateral defence relations.

In 2018, Canada and the Ghana Armed Forces announced the establishment of a bilateral training and technical assistance partnership through the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations in order to increase the Ghana Armed Forces’ deployment of women to UN peace operations. Ghana is also a member of the Elsie Initiative Contact Group.

Partnerships and organizations

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Ghana work closely in multilateral fora, such as:

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