You are here: HomeNews2016 01 25Article 409430

Opinions of Monday, 25 January 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Kwabena Donkor’s Resignation Letter Was Clearly Coerced

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Jan. 15, 2016

I don’t know what motivated the decision by the operators of to publish the resignation letter of Dr. Kwabena Donkor, the former so-called Power Minister a little over two weeks after the fact (See “What Ex-Power Minister Said in His Resignation Letter” 1/16/16). Very likely, the former Power Minister wanted to opportunistically paper over the widely known fact that he had become unpopular by the end of December when he reportedly tendered his resignation to Mr. Julius Debrah, the Chief-of-Staff of President John Dramani Mahama.

We are quite well aware of this fact because for weeks, rumors were making the rounds that some highly placed officials in the Mahama cabinet, including the President himself, to be certain, had been pressuring Dr. Donkor to vacate the portfolio that was specially created for him, after he had publicly bragged that he could end “Dumsor,” or the perennially erratic power-supply crisis in the country within the temporal span of exactly 12 months if he was afforded the chance and the privilege of doing so by the President.

I vividly recall wondering at the time about his expertise and laughing off his rather oversized promise as that of an exuberant man who was too sure of his own self-importance to be taken seriously. I knew this because Dr. Donkor clearly seemed to be making all the wrong judgment calls. For instance, instead of turning to such technologically advanced countries as the United States, Canada, Britain, France and Germany, among a remarkable number of others, which had globally distinguished themselves as net producers of energy, Dr. Donkor had decided to flirt with Turkey, a NATO-allied country that was, nevertheless, much closer in level of development to Third World economies like Ghana than most of the leading Western-European nations.

Then also, revelations that the AMERI Group deal, in which a firm located in Dubai, UAE, had been contracted to play the parasitic role of middleman in the supply of some 10 thermal power-generating turbines, had been badly brokered did not reflect creditably on the caliber and/or competence of the Power Minister. For example, some two investigative reporters from a Norwegian newspaper called VG had been widely reported to have published an exposé indicating that introducing the AMERI Group into a contract that could have been directly brokered with General Electric (GE), the manufacturers of the turbines, could have cost Ghana only about half of the $ 510 million that the contract was widely alleged to have been worth at the prevailing market price.

Well, in his resignation letter, at least the version that was published by and, Dr. Donkor clearly seemed to be bragging about the scandalous AMERI Group racket as one of his major achievements as Power Minister. It is also significant to highlight the fact that it was only about a couple of months to the end of his patently lackluster tenure that Dr. Donkor appeared to have seen the proverbial light, when he announced his intention of attending a meeting in Washington, DC, with some of America’s foremost energy producers in order to find a definitive solution to Dumsor. The meeting was supposed to take place sometime between the end of January 2016 and February of the same year. As matters stand presently, it clearly appears that Dr. Donkor’s Washington confab is highly unlikely to materialize.

It is also not clear why it took him so long to arrive at this elementarily commonsensical decision vis-à-vis the possibility of initialing a contract with the best of experts and producers in the field. What may well have hastened Dr. Donkor’s departure from the Power Ministry, in all likelihood, had to do with his contradictory back-and-forth with Dr. Edward Omane-Boamah, the Communications Minister, over precisely when the so-called load-shedding regime of Dumsor would be effectively ended. Well, I don’t begrudge Dr. Donkor his earnest appeal for President Mahama to appoint him to another cabinet portfolio in order to enable “serve His Excellency and the people of Ghana.”

I just personally do not think that Dr. Donkor creditably acquitted himself well enough to be looking forward to another cabinet portfolio anytime soon.

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs