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16.10.2004 General News

Osafo Maafo Africa’s Best Finance Minister ?

By GHANA PALAVER

GHANA PALAVER WRITES TO IMF, WORLD BANK

The Ghana Palaver last Friday wrote to the Resident Representatives of the IMF and the World Bank in Ghana to confirm the front-page story in the 'Daily Graphic' of Wednesday October 6, 2004 to the effect that the two Bretton-Woods Institutions had voted Ghana's Finance Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo as the Best African Finance Minister and that the Finance Minister “received the covetous award —at a World Bank/IMF sponsored reception in Washington, USA.

Additionally, we requested confirmation of the following specific matters to assist us in a story we are doing on the Finance Minister's purported award:

That Minister of Finance Yaw Osafo-Maafo has received the covetous award of the Best African Finance Minister of the Year;

That he received the covetous award at a World Bank/IMF sponsored reception in Washington, USA;

(iii) If the said reception did take place, the date and venue when and where the reception was held;

(iv) Which personality announced the award or conferred the award on him;

(v) That the 'Emerging Market' newspaper published what is attributed to it in the 'Daily Graphic' of the said date;

(vi) That the award was organised by 'Euromoney', a leading magazine on international business and capital markets.

The letter, which was signed by the Editor, Jojo Bruce Quansah, requested responses to the questions by the close of work yesterday, Monday, October 11, 2004.

OSAFO-MAAFO AFRICA'S BEST FINANCE MINISTER

... Is this the source?

Elsewhere in this issue, we reproduce a photocopy of page 20 of the small and obscure 'Emerging Markets' newspaper in unfortunately regrettably small print, of a story about Ghana's economic performance with the headline, “African Finance Minister of Finance Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Ghana”.

It looks more like a newspaper headline to a story than the conferment of an award on Yaw Osafo-Maafo, even though the story appears on the “Awards” page of the newspaper.

This publication appears to be the source of the un-attributed Daily Graphic story of Wednesday, October 6, 2004, to the effect that Yaw Osafo-Maafo had been adjudged the Best Finance Minister in Africa.

The 'Emerging Markets' story itself says nothing about the conferment of any award. It is a straightforward narration about Ghana's economic performance. It does not mention the IMF. It does not mention the World Bank. It does not mention any reception in Washington. USA sponsored by the IMF/World Bank at which the “covetous award” was conferred on Yaw Osafo-Maafo. It does not mention all those juicy details in the 'Daily Graphic' story in support of Yaw Osafo-Maafo having been adjudged Africa's Best Finance Minister.

Yet all these “sexed up” details were in the un-attributed 'Daily Graphic' story that first broke the news of the so-called award.

So we are tempted to repeat the question we asked last Friday of lawyer Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo, Editor of the 'Daily Graphic', “Where did he get the story from?” But now that we appear to have found the source of the story, our further question is, “Who sexed up the story?”

Once again, we ask for further and better particulars.

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