News Release

Elder S. Gifford Nielsen Joins United States Ambassador to Ghana in Visit to Ga King Palace in Accra

Ambassador Virginia Palmer meets His Majesty King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II

On 28 June 2024, Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, a General Authority Seventy and President of the Africa West Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Her Excellency Virginia Palmer, United States Ambassador to Ghana, were received by His Majesty King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II, the King of the Ga State, at his palace at the Ga Traditional Council in North Kaneshie, Accra, Ghana.

The Ga King, called Ga Mantse by his people, is highly revered in the Ga lands, the Greater Accra Region, and other parts of Ghana.  The Ga Mantse is one of the prominent rulers and traditional leaders in Ghana.

The visit occurred two days after the commissioning of the King Tackie Tariah I cluster of schools, a major new building and renovation project funded by the Church of Jesus Christ.  During the donation ceremony the Ga King invited Elder Nielsen to receive Ambassador Palmer to Ghana at his Palace.

Elder Nielsen was joined by Jeff Adams, the head of the Africa West Area Office of General Counsel, and James Owusu Ansah, Director of Communication for the Africa West Area. 

Receiving Elder Nielsen and Ambassador Palmer were the Paramount Chiefs of the Ga State and the Leaders of the Ga Mantse Foundation.  The Honorable Elizabeth Sackey, the Mayor of Accra, Ghana, was also in attendance.

Ambassador Palmer reiterated the commitment of the United States to building a positive relation with the traditional leaders and the people of the Ga State. She emphasized her personal priority of girl-child education and promised to ensure the embassy’s resources are judiciously used to support girls and their education.

Her Excellency Palmer appealed to Ga Mantse to use his expertise and wisdom to assist in resolving the numerous chieftaincy disputes in the northeastern part of Ghana.

Elder Nielsen thanked the Ambassador for the tremendous work the United States leaders were doing in Ghana, and specifically in Accra.  He reiterated the Church’s commitment to the people of West Africa. “We seek opportunities to work together with like-minded leaders to improve the lives of children and prepare them for a better future. We have shown this through our collaborative efforts with His Majesty and the Ga Mantse foundation,” said Elder Nielsen.

His Majesty King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II recounted the genesis of his friendship with leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and how that has resulted in many humanitarian projects, including the renovation and construction of school facilities.  He encouraged Ambassador Palmer to do more to support education, especially girl-child education.  He urged her to seriously consider supporting skills training programs for girls who drop out of regular school.  He also appealed passionately for support from the United States to assist the Ga State with the resources and expertise necessary to deal with the issue of waste management.

Ambassador Virginia Palmer arrived in Accra to assume her responsibilities as United States Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana in April 2022. She had previously served as the Ambassador to the Republic of Malawi from 2015-2019 and as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in South Africa from 2011 to 2014.

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