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Opinions of Friday, 29 April 2005

Columnist: Appiah-Yeboah, Kwame

RE: World Bank Has Not Advanced Any Money To Asanteman

Come Again Mr. Johnson Osei-Hwedie
RESPONSE TO MR. OSEI-HWEDIE?s ASSERTION THAT WORLD BANK HAS NOT ADVANCED ANY MONEY TO ASANTEMAN

I want to by this feature ask Mr. Osei-Hwedie to clarify his statement that the World Bank has not advanced any money to Asanteman. First let me pause to comment on the erroneous and most times misguided impressions that persist in the mind set of politicians, chiefs, leaders and people in authority in Ghana that any question or inquiries into their activities are done for ?mischievous purposes? or by ?against people? or ?opposition people?. That is very wrong. That kind of mindset is a pre-colonial mentally that did not lead Ghana anywhere.

Anyone who dares to ask questions should be seen as a patriot who cares about mother Ghana. If our leaders and folks in authority are transparent in their dealings and make information freely available, the general public would be able to respect and applaud their efforts instead of questioning them. I want to applaud ?Kojo Poku? for caring enough to ask questions about the World Bank project.

Sorry about the digression.

Mr. Osei-Hwedie, a visit to the World Bank website (link provided below) indicates among other things that:

A contract was signed in April 2004 for the construction of 39 boreholes at a cost of $210,000. Further, a $20,000 contract was signed for the operation and management of water and sanitation facilities for 40 beneficiary communities in Ashanti. Also, listed on the website are a number of contracts awarded for reconstruction and rehabilitation of 1st cycle facilities and a number of contracts awarded for consultancy services. Internet link: HERE

Now my question to you is, is the above part of the World Bank project? Mr. Osei-Hwedie, can you clarify the above vis-?-vis your assertion that no money has been advanced for the project.

I also want to state that the borrower for this project is the government of Ghana (Project ID: P071399 Borrower: Government of Ghana) and that any Ghanaian (mischievous, well meaning, educated, illiterate, Ga, Ewe, Brong, Dagomba, etc) have an absolute right to ask questions.

As a Ghanaian, I have a big problem with the mode of selection of the Asanteman and Abuakwa traditional councils for this project. Well intentioned as the project may be, it exposes the World Bank to allegation of supporting tribal tension in Ghana. Other traditional councils have the right to ask, why did they not get a piece of the money. After all it is the Government of Ghana that is the borrower of the loan. If it was a matter of most deprived, we have northern and upper regions with their numerous needs.

Kwame Appiah-Yeboah
Concerned Ghanaian


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