Summary and comments based on the docu about the visit.
Okay, we start after the initial sequence and begin with the arrival right after sunset. Which was still pretty festive, albeit more low key than an official welcome.
This is QMII's 53rd state visit, and her first the Ghana.
There has been a considerable interest for this visit in Ghana. Because this visit also marks a transition for Ghana. From a country receiving aid, from Denmark among other countries, to a country that has now been elevated to a trading partner.
So apart from the business deals and investments this also marks Ghana's entry into the developed world so to speak. With stamp and seal and fanfare.
03:00 The official welcome by the President of Ghana.
QMII and PH visited all the other five Nordic nations the year she became Queen. We can well expect M&F to do something similar - plus Australia.
1986 in Egypt.
1988 in Morocco.
1996 in South Africa.
2008 in Tanzania. (Do enjoy QMII at 04:48!)
QMII finds it exciting to be in Ghana, especially as she has never been to West Africa before.
Danish merchants ships began sailing to West Africa in the mid 1600's. There is actually quite a lot of gold in this part of Africa.
Around 1680 we also begin buying slaves for use in the Americas. At this time some tribes in Ghana are already trading (also slaves) with other European countries. It is estimated that around 110.000 slaves were transported across the Atlantic aboard Danish ships. A slave in West Africa cost around the value of a bottle of liquor.
DK prohibits slave trade in 1803 (as the first nation actually, but not having slaves
. Even though slaves are forbidden in Denmark itself. The Danish colonies in the Caribbeans are still very much run by slaves until 1848).
In 1850 the Danish outposts in Africa are sold to the British. Until Ghana gains its independence in 1957.
08:15 QMII visits the fort Christiansborg, which was and to some extent still is used by the Ghanese government. The fort is from 1661.
QMII is asked about the slave-trade and replies that the past is the past and we should be careful not to view the past with present eyes. It was a different time.
10:30 A number of local kings or chiefs have shown up. Today they act as local mayors or magistrates. - Notice the huge amount of colorful cloth they are wearing, as well as gold. Colorful cloth was and is a status symbol and the locals profited very much from the trade as is evident from the amount of gold they possessed.
Unsurprisingly QMII was delighted by the colorful outfits.
11:30 QMII pays a courtesy visit to the king responsible for area where Fort Christiansborg is located.
A kind of priest pour schnapps on the ground in order to please the spirits of the ancestors. QMII was fascinated by the way he executed it. Pouring out (Danish) schanpps in that effortless way is not that easy!
There are still of lot of traces from the Danish past, which after all lasted for 200 years until 1850.
That includes a number of the houses, some of which are still lived in by people who lived there "under the Danes".
The 77 year old gentleman here is invited for an event at Christiansborg Fort, because he is a direct ancestor of a Danish merchant.
A pretty hot TV-host, eh?
There will be no official Danish apology for the slave trade. That is in the past. Instead that chapter of Danish-Ghanese history is acknowledged openly. The Danish Foreign Minister (good grief!) is here giving an official unofficial apology for the past, which is welcomed in Ghana.
16.30 - But this is also about money. Ghana is the world's largest producer of cocoa beans and soon the largest container port in West Africa, will be located in Ghana, as well as insulin production/distribution.
For Denmark Ghana is a bridgehead into Africa, for Ghana Denmark means investments, improved infrastructure, jobs and export.
The port is the largest investment in the Ghanese infrastructure ever, and since Danish Mærks owns 35 % of the port, the res carpet is rolled out for QMII!
17:30 QMII's interest in art is well known and as such she visits a design center for art, where young talents develop themselves. - African art south of Sahara, is special. Art has traditionally not been made in order to be preserved for posterity. It is enjoyed or serves a function in the present and is either discarded or decays. (I learned that from PH).
19:00 Despite Ghana being a stable democracy, with freedom of speech, free from terrorism and with economic growth, there is still poverty in Ghana.
On the third day QMII and the delegation travels inland.
The last state visit by the Regent Couple was a couple of years ago to Indonesia. Here PH once again did what he is good at, creating a light and relaxed mood.
QMII admits it's a little odd going on a state visit on her own.
QMII visits a market far away from the capital, having a great time looking at all the colorful things, and doing some shopping, while creating quite a commotion among the locals.
She's in fine form! And the commentator believe this is a clear sign that she has no intention whatsoever to abdicate.
The last item on the agenda takes up the Volta River to a King, whose people 300 years ago managed to capture Fort Christiansborg and then prudently sold the place back to the Danes. They are pretty proud of that achievement!
They kept the keys to the fort though. And that key is today a relic and the press was not allowed to film the keys, which was shown to QMII. - There is a lot of superstition in Ghana, but then some people in the West believe in crystals and pyramids, so what's the difference?
The keys has huge symbolic meaning and is only presented on very special occasions.
At the end a member of the press wish QMII a nice trip up the river.
The King of the Akvama-people. Who today dominate Ghana, and with whom Denmark had profitable trade-relations.