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Elder Christofferson meets with Ghana’s president

The reconnection comes at a time of great growth for the Church in Ghana

During a ministry visit in the Church’s Africa West Area, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited the president of Ghana at the Presidential Palace in Accra.

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was first elected Ghana’s president in 2017, and Elder Christofferson visited with him previously in 2019. He congratulated him on his election to a second term.

The reconnection comes at a time of great growth of the Church in Ghana, reported the Church’s Africa Newsroom. The first Ghanaian citizens began joining the Church in 1978, and today the Church has over 101,000 members in 353 congregations in the country.

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During the Feb. 21 visit, Elder Christofferson was joined by Elder Paul V. Johnson of the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, General Authority Seventy and president of the Africa West Area, and Elder Alfred Kyungu, General Authority Seventy and second counselor in the Africa West Area presidency. 

Leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meet with Ghana President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and other government officials in Accra, Ghana, Feb. 21, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Akufo-Addo said education has been one of his major priorities as president, and he shared his appreciation for the Church’s support for government programs focusing on education.

“Education is the key to developing society,” the president said. “I commend the Church for its initiatives to educate and empower individuals with sought after employable skills. With my government’s emphasis on technical and vocational education, I feel what your Church does in terms of education complements our effort.”

Elder Christofferson spoke about how education is a priority for the Church as well.

“As a Church, one of our key focus areas in Ghana and across West Africa is to strengthen families and help individuals become good citizens,” Elder Christofferson said. “We feel we can better achieve this through education. We’re grateful to find common ground to complement each other’s efforts.”

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and other Church leaders meet with Ghana government officials in Accra, Ghana, Feb. 21, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Johnson told Akufo-Addo about BYU-Pathway Worldwide, which allows students to gain certificates and college degrees online at affordable prices. The leaders also discussed gathering places, a program for young single adults to learn self-reliance and other skills.  

Elder Nielsen thanked Akufo-Addo for his efforts and shared his love for the people of Ghana. “In my seven months since arriving in Ghana, I have come to experience that Ghanaians are hard-working, very friendly, family-oriented, and deeply spiritual.”

He said the Church is grateful to be in Ghana, “and we are here to help and work together.”

The Church works with government leaders and charitable organizations to conduct humanitarian aid throughout Ghana. The Newsroom report outlined how between 2018 and 2022, the Church participated in over 231 humanitarian projects in the country and contributed over $35 million in financial support — including safe water projects, supplies for hospitals and self-reliance training.

Elder Christofferson and Akufo-Addo discussed the importance of a spirit of cooperation.  Elder Christofferson presented the president with a personalized copy of the Book of Mormon, and Elder Nielsen gave him a glass replica of the tree of life.

Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, General Authority Seventy and president of the Church’s Africa West Area, presents Ghana President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo with a glass replica of the tree of life in Accra, Ghana, Feb. 21, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“We value our relationship with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I hope that it will continue to grow,” the president said. “We will do all we can to make sure your Church succeeds in everything you do here in Ghana.”

Said Elder Christofferson: “We are grateful for the time we have spent and look forward to our continued joint efforts to bless the people of this wonderful country.”

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