28.10.2005 General News

The Truth About The Presidential Visit To The U.S.A.

By Ghana Embassy, Washington DC
The Truth About The Presidential Visit To The U.S.A.
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Washington, Oct 28, Ghana Mission -- The Mission [in Washington DC] has learnt with profound regret and surprise as to how some Ghanaians, either through mischief or warped minds, can concoct stories just for the pleasure of bringing the name of Ghana and its President into disrepute. It is even worse if the publisher of the article “Kufuor, Ministers Blow Cash in USA?” that appeared on the Ghanaweb of 27th October, 2005 is a journalist. Instead of reporting facts and figures that can only be described as a figment of the writer's imagination, he/she could at least have reported on the good and positive pursuits of His Excellency the President and his delegation which, to all intents and purposes, are aimed at promoting economic growth and improving the quality of life of Ghanaians. The following facts should assure the good people of Ghana that the President and his delegation are not engaged in a pleasure trip or a spending spree in the United States in view of their own commitment to pursue result-oriented programmes that would redound to the greatest good of the greatest number of Ghanaians. Particular attention may be paid to the following in connection with this outstanding visit whose outcomes are really something to write home about: (i) The President's visit is principally in connection with the World Premiere of a TV documentary – “GHANA: The Presidential Tour” – in which he plays the humble role of a tour guide. In this documentary the President shows the world-renowned Television Anchor, Forrest Sawyer, places of tourist interest and positive images of Ghana. This Premiere promoted by the Africa Society and the Discovery Global Communications and financed by Honda Motors, is expected to portray Ghana with its inspirational leadership, deeply rooted democracy, spectacular sights and a most friendly people. It is programmed to feature on the Discovery Channel which will bring Ghana to over 200 million people around the world. The possible impact and the change of perception that the film will effect on viewers are inestimable. (ii) Apart from this event, several meetings have been arranged with Corporate and Institutional leaders in the United States to enable His Excellency the President and his delegation to market and promote trade, investment and tourism in order to improve the economy of Ghana. The meetings, among others, have been with the following: (a) The Presidents and CEOs of Discovery Channel, ALCOA, OPIC, CARGILL, the President of the World Bank, the Managing Director of the IMF and a Consortium on the re-vamping of the Ghana Railway system. All these meetings have taken place at His Excellency's Hotel of Residence. (b) The other events arranged by the Whitaker Group and Coca Cola Company have been done and financed by these institutions. These events are: Luncheon to promote tourism opportunities in Ghana which also took place at the President's Hotel of Residence – The Willard Intercontinental's Pierce Room; Africa's Golden Gateway Trade and Investment Promotion Round Table at the US Chamber of Commerce; Annual Recognition Dinner during which His Excellency the President received an Award from the Executive Leadership Council at the J.W. Marriot Wardman Hotel; Coca Cola has further sponsored and given first class tickets to 10 members of the delegation and contributed to their upkeep in Washington DC in connection with their participation in all the programmes enumerated above. Above all, His Excellency the President has been received in a rare audience by President Bush at the White House in order to engage in discussions that will lead to the further strengthening of Ghana-US bilateral relations. Room reservations for His Excellency the President and his entire delegation were made by the Embassy which, as a diplomatic Mission, is exempt from tax and also enjoys corporate rate discounts. It is clear, therefore, that the speculative figures that appeared on the Ghanaweb sourced from the Enquirer as they relate to room rates, cost of meals and taxes are purely imaginary. They have been exaggerated to satisfy the diabolical plans of the writer whose intention is obviously to devalue the stature of His Excellency the President and the entire positive gains of his trip.