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09.03.2007 General News

Prez Kufuor To Honour Queen’s Invitation

The President, Mr John Agyekum Kufuor, leaves Accra on Monday for the United Kingdom for a three-day State Visit.

The visit, which is at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth 11, is the first to be undertaken by any Ghanaian head of state or president at the request of the British monarchy since 1957.

Since the President and his wife, Theresa, will be the guests of the British monarchy, they would lodge at the Buckingham Palace during the visit.

Briefing journalists at the Castle, Osu, yesterday, Mr Andrew A. Awuni, the Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman, mentioned that the highlights of the visit would include bilateral talks between President Kufuor and the British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, at Number 10 Downing Street in London.

The British opposition leader and other British politicians will pay courtesy calls on the President at the Buckingham Palace.

He is also expected to hold a Breakfast Meeting with African Heads of Missions in London and deliver a major policy statement at the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

President Kufuor will also be honoured by the Liverpool John Moores University.

Later, he is scheduled to address a rally of the Ghanaian community in London as part of activities marking the Golden Jubilee celebration.

He is expected to return home on March 19, 2007.

Meanwhile, Rev Jesse Jackson, American civil rights activist, has paid a courtesy call on the President at the Castle, Osu.

The meeting was held behind close doors.

In a related development, Nana Sifa Twum reports from London that Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the British Monarch, is set to receive President John Agyekum Kufuor of Ghana for a State Visit to the United Kingdom (UK). The historic visit, at the invitation of Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II, will be from March 13 to 15, 2007.

During the visit, the President and Mrs Theresa Kufuor will stay at Buckingham Palace with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. The palace is perhaps one of the biggest residences in the world, with 775 rooms, 19 State Rooms, 52 Royal and Guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms.

The visit, among other things, will offer Ghana the opportunity to market itself to the investor community in the UK. The Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) is, for instance, organising a special roundtable conference at Buckingham Palace on March 14 to facilitate opportunities for profitable investment in Ghana. 

The forum will set out the economic advances made by the country in recent years and highlight the opportunities available for investment in Ghana.

The Director-General of the council, Dr Mohan Kaul, in an interview, said, "We are proud to be participating in President Kufuor's State Visit and to have been invited to work with Ghana's leading business institutions. The tide of opinion on Africa is changing rapidly as government's like President Kufuor's reform old structures, take determined action against corruption and embrace good business practice and governance."

Story By Nehemia Owusu Achiaw