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Opinions of Friday, 24 July 2015

Columnist: Giovanni di Mario

Ghana Ambassador to Germany shows racial bias

Opinion Opinion

By Giovanni di Mario, Freelance Journalist, Berlin

On 13th July 2015, an unpleasant episode happened in Berlin right on the boundaries of the historical American Sector popularly known as “Check Point Charlie”, a symbol of freedom, equality and respect for individual liberty.
The episode in question involved Akua Senaa Dansua, Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana to Federal Republic of Germany, who stormed the offices of the German-Africa Business Association to trample on the integrity of a dark-skinned member of the media, a Ghanaian. To most Europeans, nothing good comes from Africa and by her actions; the Ambassador has joined the ranks of those who see Africa and Africans as the embodiment of evil. In Berlin, the journalist in question, Mr Musah Ibrahim Musah, is the personification of the African Personality that Ghana’s first President Dr Kwame Nkrumah spoke about. It was therefore unfortunate that this form of vindictive discrimination should come, of all people, from the Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana.

This is what the Ambassador of Ghana did: She picked on Mr. Musah, the only African among a group of reporters assembled at the offices of the German-Africa Association, that he should declare his credentials – even though she met him on a number of different conference venues in Berlin since her arrival here a year ago. What she subjected the African journalist to would be a delight in the eyes of the German neo-Nazis whose aim is to kick all black people out of Germany. We journalists were gathered there to cover a meeting to be addressed by visiting Hon. Mahama Ayariga, Ghana’s Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.

Reporters were accredited by the organizers to cover the event. Amongst them, Mr. Musah of WapsMedia, an independent film and content producers for a number of media outlets in Germany and abroad. Of all the reporters present, why did the Ghanaian Ambassador single him out for verification of his credentials? The other reporters, mostly white Europeans, including myself, were not asked by the Ambassador to establish our credentials even though we were all milling around the venue of the meeting. So, having succeeded in driving Musah away from that meeting, we the white reporters could have stayed behind to cover the meeting. Alas, Ambassador Akua Senaa Dansua rather managed, by her attitude, to drive all of us away. For, we decided that if our black colleague, Musah is not wanted at the meeting by the Ambassador of Ghana, why should we stay? The Ambassador erred in the method she adopted for verification of journalists covering the event. In any case it is not her responsibility to do that; it is rather the responsibility of the organizers, the German-Africa Business Association who invited us to cover the event.

We were all wondering why she decided to pick on the only black person amongst us for this vindictive confrontation in public. She started screaming that Musah “cannot just jump on an event without invitation” adding that “I am also a journalist and I know how journalists work”. Assuming that she is right that Musah, being a black person, “cannot just jump on an event without invitation”, how about us, the white European journalists present? Could we “jump on an event without invitation” because we are white? Why didn’t she ask any one of us for our credentials? She asked Musah for his business card to use it to call round and verify his credentials. She did not ask any of us the whites for our business cards. What form of discrimination is this? Is it racism? Is it tribalism because Musah Ibrahim Musah sounds like a name from northern Ghana? If the Ghanaian Ambassador is pursuing a policy of tribal vendetta, then I think Musah is the wrong person to visit such policy on. I invite the Ambassador to take the John out and write Dramani Mahama – does that sound northern in your ears, Madam Ambassador? If that was your policy of tribal vendetta, then be reminded that it is a northerner, President John Dramani Mahama who nominated and had you appointed as Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana to Federal Republic of Germany.

We were duly invited and accredited to cover the meeting. Journalists, don’t “gate crash” in Germany because that would amount to a breach of peace on private property.

I arrived in Germany from Italy at the age of 28, I am now 72 and I have never experienced what I witnessed on that day. All I can say is that, I understand Ambassador Akua Senaa Dansua is from the Ewe-speaking Volta Region of Ghana. For all I know, Musah has a vast army of friends from that region as well. The Ghana Ambassador’s behaviour was in bad taste and for us, the white Europeans present on that day, including some members of the Business Executives, it only goes to show her attitude towards her own people, I mean black people in the Federal Republic of Germany.

What is that rubbish (her tantrums against our black colleague) good for?

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