18.04.2005 Feature Article

Open letter to Paul Wolfowitz: Investigate Asanteman Grant

Open letter to Paul Wolfowitz: Investigate Asanteman  Grant
18.04.2005 LISTEN

Dear Mr. Wolfowitz
I am writing you because I am convinced that a grant to Ghana by the World Bank meant for development has gone into the wrong pockets. Some time in July 2004, the World Bank provided $30 million grant (about 270 Billion Cedis) to Asanteman Council headed by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. Over 500,000 people in 1,000 communities in Asanteman and other parts of Ghana were to benefit from the grant for the provision of potable water under the “Asanteman Council's Promoting Partnership” with Traditional Authorities Programme sponsored by the World Bank. The Asantehene already announced that an initial five million dollars provided under the programme was used for the provision of 42 schools, head teacher's bungalows and clinics in deprived communities. My community was one of those mentioned, but "true to God" (as our Sierra Leonean brothers say), I am yet to see a single development. Mr. Wolfowitz, I have reason to believe the money has been squandered and thus I imploy you to investigate how the money was used. If you discover any misappropriation, please name and shame the culprits. You may be wondering why I'm not sending this letter to the president of Ghana. The reason is simple. Any government led investigation will simply be a whitewash because the president is a subject of the Asantehene. Secondly, we have a government that is so corrupt; it might even embezzle the money allocated for the investigation. I must admit, I was against your nomination due to your lack of experience in finance and development, your grave miscalculations of the results of Iraq war, and for fear that you would make the World Bank an instrument to implement US foreign policy. However, I see an opportunity for you to prove you're a friend of the suffering and oppressed masses in Ghana. The World Bank Group states its mission is to fight poverty and improve the living standards of people in the developing world. I believe and hope that you'll help achieve this mission. Congratulations on your appointment as President of the World Bank. Sincerly yours Kojo Poku