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General News of Saturday, 19 February 2022


Look and learn - Ablakwa points Akufo-Addo to 'rich' SA Prez flying commercial

Ablakwa has been monitoring presidential travels on chartered jets since 2021

South Africa president flies commercial to attend summit in Brussels

Ablakwa tasks Akufo-Addo to look and learn

African leaders assembled in Brussels for the AU-EU summit

Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa wants President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to look and learn from the manner in which his South African counterpart opted to travel overseas recently.

Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa earlier this week boarded a commercial flight on his way to Brussels, Belgium where the African Union – European Union, AU-EU, summit took place.

According to Ablakwa, President Akufo-Addo attending the same summit and other engagements in Europe hired a private jet that allegedly costs the state US$14,000 per hour.

In a tweet pointing out the irony between Akufo-Addo and Ramaphosa's choices, the Ranking Member on Foreign Affairs stated:

"South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa who presides over an economy 5-times bigger than Ghana is happy to show the world that he travelled commercial to the AU-EU Summit in Brussels. He didn’t charter a US$14,000 an hour ultra-luxury jet as his Ghanaian counterpart, Akufo-Addo."

The post is accompanied by a video clip from the South African presidency which showed Ramaphosa and his team walking down a long hallway at the airport to board the flight instead of the usual stairs and onto the presidential jet.

Ablakwa has over the past year been piling pressure on government to disclose the cost implication of the president's private jet travels at a time Ghana has a fully functional presidential jet in pristine condition.


His requests through motions on the floor of Parliament have yielded very little by way of numbers except that the information has been designated as classified. Government has also announced plans to buy a new jet.

About the AU-EU summit

As Ramaphosa approaches the plane, he stops to elbow-shake all of the airport staff and exchange some light moments with them in the local language.

At the gate, airline officials pulls out his passport and that of five other members of his delegation before ushering then on board.

It is understood that this is the president’s team alone given that an advanced party was in Brussels for preparatory meetings.

He joined fellow African presidents and European leaders to participate in the 6th AU-EU summit that spanned from February 17 to 18.

A similar incident - of a president opting to fly commercial - happened last year with the Zambian president Hakainde Hichelima boarded a commercial flight on his way to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Find the video shared by the presidency below: