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General News | Dec 20, 2004

Technocrats Angry Over $30,000 Consultancy Contract

Lens

Accra, Dec 20, Lens --A Washington DC based company development consulting group known as Chemonics, has been given a $30,000 dollar contract to advice Ghanaian officials on how to develop Ghana's trade exports.

Many an eyebrow has been raised over this contract, not least because Ghana has a plethora of bodies whose responsibilities include developing Ghana's trade exports. These bodies include the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Private Sector Development, as well as bodies like the Ghana Export Promotion Council.

Analysts believe that the consultation contract given to Chemonics to advise on how to develop the country's trade export is a clear indication that these Ministries and bodies have failed in their primary duties.

However top technocrats at those Ministries disagree that they have failed. One such technocrat who spoke to The Lens on condition of anonymity said the problem was not one of lack of ideas on how to develop our trade exports, the problem is that everything in Ghana these days are seen through political lenses, such that wholly workable ideas have been neglected because someone or other would claim credit for it.

“Look, these consultants would come here and tell us things we already know. In most cases they depend on us to tell them the things they would recommend to government. Yet those same things, coming from us local boys and girls are ignored. What is our use then? Are we being told that we have not been able to come up with ideas on how to develop our trade exports and that we don't have the capacity to do thata? This is ridiculous. It is an insult to our professional capabilities,” the outraged technocrat fumed.

According to a Washington Journal report on 12th December 2004, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) hired Chemonics to advise Ghana on regulatory reform and help industries as well as individual business become more competitive in international markets.

Chemonic's senior vice president for Africa, John Strattner, was quoted by the Washington Journal as having said, "It's a very nice piece of business for us."

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