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Opinions of Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Columnist: Asimenu-Forson, Kwaku

The new invasion of West Africa.

The stability of Ghana and her sisters in West Africa is under threat, not from foreign armies but our own, misdirected against us like a virus-controlled computer program by multinational corporations. At the head of the invasion machine is France’s Total, the company that discovered oil with an Ivorian license in the area that Ghana claims to have existing jurisdiction and oil production activity-the C100 maritime region. Total is also in the center of another offshore oil rift between Somalia and Kenya.
In June 2013, Bloomberg reported Tullow (Cote D’Ivoire) as having found oil in the C-100 area whilst Tullow(Ghana) is operating as a jubilee partner in the same area. From Sudan to Liberia, Sierra Leone to Botswana, anytime Black Africans set knives to each other’s throats, you can be sure that foreign companies are in the stands, cheering each side on. The companies care never about the lives lost. After all, what brought Don Diogo De Azambuja to Elmina? Profiteering. Even if it means trading in slaves; setting them into inter-tribal wars or in the modern era, engineering intra or inter –state wars, its all about balancing their accounts, this rift about Ghana and Cote Divoire is all about the stock exchange in a foreign land.
As usual, we have not been proactive. When the Bloomberg announcement came earlier, what did the Ghana Boundary Commission and the Ivorian government do even though it had been set up since 2010? What follow ups were done on the application to the International Seabed Authority under Mike Hammah as Minister for Lands and Natural Resources? As Ghanaians, are we waiting for this international dispute to turn disgraceful like the case of the Argentine warship – the Ara Libertard? When Gbagbo allegedly redrew the boundary of the area in 2011, what did we do? Did the Dzi wo fie asem Foreing Policy inure to our benefit? Now Ouattara and his ousted Former agree at least on one thing; taking over the offshore oil fields in question to add to their already 32000 per day crude oil production.
Lawyer Abosti of GIMPA has suggetsted a crack team of Lawyers , oceanographers, diplomats ect. He did not mention names. I wish to suggest some names to President Mahama : 1. Ambassador Kbral Blay Amihere( as a former ambassador to Cote D’Ivoire, he has proven competence regarding negotiations involving that country. As an Nzema with cultural ties to our neighbours he will be able to gauge and represent the interests and sentiments of the local communities on both sides of the border nerarets the maritime area in question) 2. Prof Ebenezer Laing ( Deep Knowledge of water based natural resource management) 3. His excellency Kofi Anan as leader of the delegation etc.
If we fail to invest in a team like this, all the oil money will go into purchasing arms to protect the area. That might prove in the long term to be more expensive; not considering the non-quantifiable human lives. International arms racketeers are just wacting Ghana and Cote Divoire keenly, like a vulture waiting for a wounded prey to die. Let it not be said, let it not be heard that post- independence west Africa has allowed multinational companies to set us one against the other like our forebears who smoothened the path for colonialism.

Kwaku Forson Asimenu