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Opinions of Monday, 10 November 2003

Columnist: Asibey, Akwasi

Selling Ghana Cheap: A Rejoinder

Calus Von Brazi's article, “Selling Ghana Short”, which appeared on Ghana web page on Friday, 7th November 2003, is based on naive assumptions. He argues his points well but they are misleading.

The example he chose, Turkey is a poor one. In terms of strategic considerations, Ghana and Turkey are not in the same league. Secondly, the political leadership in Turkey has to be careful not to appear to be too dependent on USA for fear of annoying the Moslem fundamentalists in their country. They are walking a tight rope so Calus has misread the domestic political consideration in Turkey.

Significantly, what Calus should have done was to have looked at the list of 20 black African countries that have signed the Non Surrender Agreement with the United States of America just like Ghana in order to determine if they received a better treatment than our country.

Note that Nigeria with her US$10 billion annual revenue from oil has also signed the Non Surrender Agreement with the USA. And possibly, Nigeria might be given more money than Ghana for obvious reasons. Should we then say Ghana has sold out?

We should stop being pretentious. In the realm of global geopolitical considerations, Ghana is in the small league. Ghana does not command any significant strategic, political and economic clout that we can leverage for increased resources from the USA.

Turkey does for being a moderate Moslem country, for being a member of NATO, for sharing a common border with Iraq, Iran and Syria. These countries are considered the hotbed of international terrorism fueled by Moslem fundamentalists. Calus Von Brazi may want to read Robert Baer’s “See No Evil: The True Story of A Ground Soldier in the CIA’s War on Terrorism”. Baer’s book gives important clues as to why the USA would give more resources to Turkey than to Ghana.

Nigeria could command more resources for her sweet oil! Calus ought to know that Ghana cannot punch above her wait. That is our reality.

Finally as Calus rightly mentioned but did not give it significant emphasis, Ghana needs the support of USA in the Breton Wood institutions. Such support commands a premium, which could be far more important than the US$4million that accompanied the signing of the Non Surrender Agreement.

Our major consideration now is to stabilise our economy in order to position the country to compete effectively in the global economy. And a friendly voice from the most powerful country the world in the IMF and the World Bank boards cannot be sneered at.

We should move away from naive nationalism and be calculating in our dealings with world powers.

Thumping our nose to a sole super power might win us a few brownie points in graduate seminars but it will not advance our national interests one iota!