Emphasis on peacekeeping efforts
On the last day of their official visit to Ghana, Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess focused on projects involving conflict prevention and on peacekeeping efforts.
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess also visited the research vessel Dr. Fridtjof Nansen and the cement factory Ghacem Limited – a joint Norwegian-Ghanaian company established in 1967.
Driving training for women police officers
The Norwegian police force runs a joint project in cooperation with the Ghanaian police in which driving training is provided for women police officers. The women involved are due to take part in UN operations and good driving skills are essential if they are to be able to work out in the field, not just in the offices. This will be crucial for establishing contact with women and children in the areas where they will be serving.
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess were given a presentation about the training course by one of the policewomen. They also observed the driving training itself, which was taking place on the beach. In Ghana the beach is much more than a place for sunbathing and swimming; it is a place of work for many different occupational groups and a part of the everyday life of the town. The reason the driving training is conducted on the beach is that the sand is very similar to the sand the police officers will encounter in Darfur, Sudan, where most of those taking part in the training course will be posted.
Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim took time to speak with some of the 50 police officers about the UN operations and the importance of the training they receive.
Training for Peace
The Training for Peace (TfP) programme is an important component of Norways efforts to address peace and security issues in Africa, and is funded by the Norwegian authorities. During the visit on Thursday Minister Solheim signed a new five-year TfP agreement.
The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) has been a partner in the TfP programme since 2005. The work of the centre is based on experience gained by the Ghanaian forces from their participation in peacekeeping operations over the past 50 years. The centre provides training for both military and civilian personnel involved in peacekeeping operations, and conducts research on conflict resolution and prevention.
Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit were given an overview of the centres most important tasks as well as a guided tour of the centre. They also visited one of the classrooms where the training was taking place.
Research Vessel Dr. Fridtjof Nansen
The Norwegian research vessel Dr. Fridtjof Nansen is moored at Tema harbour. The ship is part of the Nansen Programme, which collects data and information on marine resources in developing countries. The Nansen Programme was established by Norway, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and the United Nations Development Programme in 1971. Implementation of the programme began in 1975 following the construction by Norway of the research vessel Dr. Fridtjof Nansen.
The current research vessel was built in 1993. The ship is owned by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and is staffed and run by the Institute of Marine Research. The vessel operates primarily along the west coast of Africa, supporting a number of UN research projects in the area. Since 2009 the vessel has played an important role in collaborative environmental efforts under the Oil for Development initiative aimed at developing an environmental monitoring plan for the Ghanaian continental shelf. The research vessel maps the effects of offshore drilling on marine life.
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess were shown round the ship by the ships master Karl Robert Røttingen.
Ghacem cement factory
The final visit on the Crown Prince and Crown Princesss trip to Ghana was made to Ghacem – a cement factory founded in 1967 by the Ghanaian authorities in cooperation with the Norwegian company Norcem AS (now Scancem). The Crown Prince and Crown Princess were given a tour of the premises and production processes and were able to meet some of employees.
Facts about Ghana
Capital city: Accra
Largest cities: Accra and Kumasi
Total area: 238 537 km²
Population (2011): approximately 23.5 million
Official language: English
Form of government: Republic
Head of State (2011): President John Evans Atta Mills
Political and diplomatic ties between Norway and Ghana are excellent and are currently being strengthened by the establishment of a Norwegian embassy in Accra. The embassy is expected to open in the course of 2011.
The ties between Norway and Ghana are strengthening, particularly as Ghana is emerging as an oil and gas nation. Norwegian bilateral assistance to Ghana is channelled mainly through the Norwegian Oil for Development (OfD) initiative, in which a number of Norwegian petroleum and development cooperation institutions are involved. The Ghanaian authorities have also expressed an interest in establishing cooperation in the fields of climate and clean energy.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Science and culture
Research, sports, beekeeping and music. Norway and Slovenia share a wide array of interests, and today the King and Queen and the Slovenian President, Borut Pahor, gained insight into several of them.
State visit from Slovenia
Today Their Majesties The King and Queen welcomed the President of the Republic of Slovenia, His Excellency Mr Borut Pahor, to Norway. This is the first State Visit to Norway of a Slovenian President and King Harald and Queen Sonja are his hosts.