Our History

The Ghanaian Association of Ottawa (GAO) is a community association open to and representing all people of Ghanaian descent and their families as well as friends of Ghana who are resident in the National Capital Region of Canada (the Ottawa-Gatineau area).

We are committed to building a viable and sustainable association where each individual’s contribution is highly valued. We strive to promote respect and friendship among individuals and families in the community through programs and activities.

The National Capital Region (NCR) is currently home to over 1000 Ghanaians and Ghanaian-Canadians, many of whom are employed in the public sector, high tech and healthcare industries. There also is a significant student population.

The GAO got its beginnings in the 1970s when a group of Ghanaian students and young professionals, resident in the NCR, came together for the purpose of forming an organization that will cater to their needs and interests. For one reason or another, there have been periods when the Association has been dormant.

The GAO operates a Language School that teaches Ghanaian languages and culture to children of Ghanaian parents. Currently only Twi is taught but there are plans to add Ewe and Ga.

The GAO has a Scholarship Scheme, established to encourage academic excellence and leadership among the youth in the NCR. The Scheme will each year give a number of scholarships to Ghanaian youths primarily resident or enrolled in a university or college in the NCR.

Today, the GAO is one of the most vibrant community associations in the NCR and, indeed, among Ghanaian associations in Canada.

Every summer, often in the month of August, the GAO organizes its premier outdoor event GhanaFest: a day of Sports, Games, Food, Art and crafts, Activities, and, of course, fun.