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27.01.2006 General News

Kufuor Travelled Abroad 21 Times in 2005

By Palaver

After 89 foreign trips in his first term ... ... And has bagged 2 foreign trips already in 2006 Palaver -- President J.A. Kufuor's trip to Khartoum, Sudan, for the Summit of the AU as well as the APRM meeting makes it his second foreign trip in 2006, well on road to the average of 24 foreign trips a year or one foreign trip every two weeks that he has clocked since he became President of Ghana.

His first foreign trip in 2006 took him to Monrovia, Liberia, to witness the investiture of Mrs. Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson as President of Liberia.

Last year, President Kufuor undertook only 21 foreign trips, three short of his yearly average possibly beca! use 2005 was an election year and his domestic electioneering campaigning compelled him to cut down on his foreign trips. Last year's foreign trips took the President to the Vatican City to attend the burial of Pope John Paul I, to Djakarta, Indonesia, for the 50th Anniversary of the Bandung Conference, to Washington DC, USA and Gleneagles, Scotland to be on the fringes of the G8 meetings, to Kingston, Jamaica for a sight-seeing tour of Alcoa facilities, to New York, USA for the 60th Anniversary of the UN General Assembly, to Paris, France, for the 60th Annivesary of UNESCO, to the USA for the third time for a "bogus and fraudulent" investment tour during which he stayed at the US$ 3,400 a night Waldorf Hotel, and to Malta to attend the CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting).

Political observers note tha! t over 70 per cent of the President's travels are for anniversaries and sightseeing tours of one kind or another and are the kind of foreign trips that no serious President committed to solving the problems of his underdeveloped country undertakes.

In his first term in office (January 2001- January 2005), President Kufuor's 89 foreign trips included visits to more than half the countries in Africa and to the USA, Canada, Spain, Singapore, Australia, France, Sweden, Germany, Italy, UK, Malaysia, India, Japan, China and Switzerland.

All together, President Kufuor has undertaken 104 foreign trips since he came to power 5 years ago, a near "Guinness Book of Records" record.