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22.03.2007 Feature Article


First, it was that he was going to wear a tail coat. Then it shifted that he was going to be knighted and that if such is done, it is going to signify our continuous and perpetual admission to submit to others. In the long run, they settled for “oh, it's historic and an honour but let's be careful for it can be a smart move geared towards neo-colonialism.

The above are some of the defeatist and populist spectacles with which sceptics and envious people are trying to make nonsense of this honour that has befell our country by the kind courtesy of the current government under President Kufuor. If the argument had been that the state visit was being accorded the President simply because it happened to be a mere coincidence that he is the President as at the time of our Jubilee, it has backfired. This is because speeches delivered by almost everyone at almost every place the President visited proved the contrary. In fact, specific mentions were made of his good governance records in Portugal, UK, Scotland, etc.

Despite all attempts to downplay the essence of the visit, signals of positive and enormous dividends have already began drooping in, and in torrents, even before the President touches down from his trip. The dividends, Sheikh I.C. Quaye will say “Ibi big ooo!”

A ten year UK-Ghana partnership development plan is to be unveiled next year, although the details are sketchy. Note that according to Prime Minister Blair, this is in recognition of the country's good democratic governance and prudent economic policies and not just a mere 50th birthday gift.

The President also used the occasion to witness the joint signing of a landmark deal for a 150 million dollar credit facility with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) aimed at enhancing efficiency and boosting Ghana's cocoa production.

The commanding heights at which this visit has placed Ghana's name and image cannot be overlooked. Ghanaian flags flying high and everywhere in the UK, including Buckingham Palace and No.10 Downing Street will make any tourist pause and ask of where this unique country called Ghana is. Tourism will definitely receive a big boost by this visit. It is therefore by no coincidence that the Portuguese President, Mr Anibal Vacaco Silva, invited the President for a two day visit to firm up bilateral relations between the two countries. I would say Don Diego D'azambuja has seen, from his grave, the good works of our President

It is my considered opinion that this visit, among other recent landmarks including, but not limited to, his receipt of a European Union Environmental Foundation Award of one million euros and a trophy in recognition of the efforts of the President towards sustainable development, forest conservation, eco-tourism and reforestation, makes him one of the living legends of Ghanaian and African history.

Remember also that it is under his able stewardship that Ghana, for the first time after Dr Nkrumah, is chairing the AU?

My only humble appeal is that these numerous and resounding accomplishments or feats will not make him and his government rest on their oars. I urge them to continue their good works because Ghanaians are banking their hope on them for a tremendous turnaround in their fortunes. The good people of Ghana see your government as the best omen to have befallen them in recent years.


This author has authored 22 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KOBLANUVIADENU

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