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Opinions of Sunday, 15 February 2004

Columnist: Kufuor, Appiah Danquah

Ghanaweb & negative propaganda

The issues raised by Mr J H Mensah on negative reporting and scurrilous articles appearing on the web disguised as "free speech" is extremely worrying.
I will be the first to admit that the current administration under President Kufuor has made avoidable mistakes and errors which has created an image of an uncaring government in the minds of some Ghanaians. For example, the rise in petroleum/kerosene prices; the perceived high cost of education and health bills and the outright foolishness and inappropriate activities of some of its parliamentarians.
However, our country is a better place with the arrival of JAK. First, Ghanaians are agreed on one thing - our society is much more democratic, peaceful and tolerant. The security forces despite their occasional misdemeanours (relic of the past) are not used as an instrument of oppression or debt collectors.
For example, JAK's commitment to the creation of a first class modern police force is bearing fruits. At the end of this month 2 senior police officers will be the guest of Merseyside Police Force Forensic Science Department to acquaint themselves with the workings of a modern police forensic team. The aim is to build a modern Forensic Police department in Ghana and build a team that we can all be proud of.
Second, JAK is absolutely and totally committed to the rule of law and the democratic principle of rule by the ballot box and I can categorical assure Ghanaians that he will leave the scene after 8 years to spend time with his family and loved ones.
Third, there is no widespread corruption and blatant abuse of power as witnessed in the past. There may be the odd abuse of power but it is not sanctioned by the top and as long as JAK is in power every peace loving Ghanaian can sleep in peace.
Why am I concerned by some of the untrue negative reporting? Simply - it scares away potential investors, tourists and undermine all the good "voluntary work" that some of us are doing in promoting our country as a beacon of hope in Africa. For the past 3 years I have hosted, organised and attended major conferences in my efforts to promote Ghana to European investors. In recent weeks and months colleagues of mine who are dedicated and committed to the prosperity of our country have been asking me awkward questions after reading "articles posted on to the web".
By all means let us criticise, debate and argue in the good old Ghanaian tradition. We are all Ghanaians, we want investors to create jobs; we want our country to be a model of peace and prosperity; we want our children and grandchildren to grow up in a country where education will be available for all not just the few; a country where our mothers do not die at childbirth; a country where clean and good drinking water is available for all. It is high time we all contribute a "bit" to our country. By all means criticise but be fair.
God Bless our Country


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