Your Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana;

Honourable Frema Osei-Opare, Chief of Staff, Office of the President;

Honourable Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration;

Honourable Ministers of State;

Honourable Members of Parliament;

Admiral Seth Amoama, Chief of Defense Staff and Members of the Military High Command;

Honourable Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and Members of the Judiciary;

Other Senior Government Officials;

Your Excellency, Ambassador Claudia Turbay Quintero, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps;

Regional Deans and other fellow diplomats;

Members of the Clergy;

Distinguished Friends;

All Protocols respectfully observed:

I’m deeply humbled to stand before you today and receive this great honour of Ghana’s Grand Medal, which I accept on behalf of my outstanding team. I remember the fanfare when presenting my credentials more than three years ago, and could not have imagined then that I would return to Jubilee House today for such a meaningful sendoff.

I’m enormously proud of the many accomplishments we have achieved together during my service as Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of Ghana.

Thank you, Excellency, for recalling some of the highlights of my tenure. There are so many cherished memories among them, which represent the longstanding partnership between the United States and Ghana and how we have continued to advance our shared values and common interests.

Our well-rooted partnership will endure long after my departure, thanks to the generations of diplomats, diasporans, partners, and friends who have contributed to our shared history and our interwoven ties. Indeed, we all stand on the shoulders of our ancestors.

Just as I reaped the harvest of what Ambassador Rob Jackson sowed, I am confident that Ambassador Virginia Palmer will continue to water the seedlings we planted in my time, as well as plant new crops.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy will be in the very capable hands of my Deputy Nicole Chulick, soon to be Charge d’Affaires ad interim.

When I reflect on the past three-plus years, I’m proud:

  • Of how we invested in people,

making a major difference in the lives of thousands of Ghanaians, in public health, literacy, clean water, agribusiness, and peace and security;

  • Of our substantial improvements

to Ghana’s energy infrastructure, providing more reliable electricity to millions of Ghanaians;

  • Of having built stronger economic and commercial ties,

and helping bring American companies to Ghana, creating new jobs on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean; and

  • Of our support for Ghana’s COVID-19 response

with supplies, equipment such as ventilators and oxygen plants, training, and more than 9.6 million life-saving vaccines.

Our relationship has grown, just as Ghana’s regional and global leadership continues to grow from strength to strength. We worked side-by-side to promote regional peace and security and supported Ghana’s positive role in West Africa under your sterling leadership, Excellency, as ECOWAS Chair for the past two years.

I look forward to seeing how the Strategy for Preventing Conflict and Promoting Stability that President Joe Biden announced just last week is implemented in Ghana, as one of the five coastal West African nations included in this ten-year regional program.

Let me also voice the United States’ deep appreciation for Ghana’s leadership at the United Nations Security Council, and throughout the UN system, defending the cause of freedom and of rights.

We have deepened both official and people-to-people ties, with reciprocal visits by U.S. and Ghanaian officials, including the White House meeting last September between your Excellency, President Akufo-Addo, and Vice President Kamala Harris, that I was privileged to attend.

The Year of Return attracted many of my fellow Americans to connect with Ghana in person, notably Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and 13 Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including the late, great Civil Rights icon, Representative John Lewis.

We offered professional, educational, and cultural exchange programs to young Ghanaian leaders on the less official front. We empowered hundreds of women to flourish in Ghana’s economy through entrepreneurship training and other professional development opportunities.

We trust you will continue, Excellency, to steward the economy in the face of global challenges, through enhancing the enabling environment and continuing to improve the investment climate to bring more jobs.

I’m thankful for the support the Embassy has received from people throughout the length and breadth of this beautiful country, which has made our success possible, and which lays the foundation for our future successes.

I’m profoundly grateful to count you all among the many wonderful people my husband John and I have met, and among the old and new friends, we have made here. This group includes you, Mr President, whom I left as Attorney General in 2001, and later saw from afar become Foreign Minister and then President of the Republic.

When we returned to Ghana in December 2018, our own Year of Return, was truly a diplomatic Sankofa, coming home to a country where we had enjoyed Ghana’s legendary hospitality for four years and had the honour to be accredited by your good self!

I have come to cherish the wisdom conveyed through the many proverbs and symbols that offer guiding principles, reflect values, and highlight our common humanity. I’m reminded of another adinkra symbol, Nkosonkonson, the chain link, which depicts how we are all connected.

I know I will continue to feel that connection long after I depart Ghana’s shores. John and I will hold Ghana in our hearts when we leave in a few days’ time. Thank you again for conferring on me this State honour, which is emblematic of the effective and growing partnership between Ghana and the United States.

May the United States and Ghana continue to prosper and deepen our partnership forevermore!

And before I leave the podium, allow me to thank my husband John Sullivan, who has been with me throughout, as a pillar of support.

Thank you for this great honour, and for your kind attention.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.