The IMANI-Ghana think tank began the celebration of its 10th anniversary in grand style, marked by the landmark signing of a discursive agreement between this most dynamic of Ghanaian intellectual and cultural brain-trust and the Embassy of Morocco. This historic compact aims to publicize business opportunities for entrepreneurs of the North African kingdom and the fast-rising economic giant of West Africa (See “IMANI Signs Partnership Agreement With Moroccan Embassy” Graphic Online.com / Ghanaweb.com 12/24/14).
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe
At first I was gobsmacked by the newsstory, and wondered whether Mr. Franklin Cudjoe was not overstepping his bounds, as the very notion of diplomatic missions, institutionally represented by the establishment of embassies, is routinely associated with nations and governments rather than urban-based think tanks. Refreshingly, Mr. Cudjoe intends to use this prime and seminal diplomatic opportunity to globalize its entrepreneurial dialogue with the great Kingdom of Morocco. And this is all well and good. For me, personally, though, this compact also meaningfully both exposes and undermines the adamant refusal of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government to offer creative and innovative leadership to the country.
Just a couple of weeks ago, for example, the Ghanaian leader was in Kenya scandalously celebrating the regrettable decision by The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) to drop all human-rights violations charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta, for wanton acts of atrocities allegedly perpetrated by the latter against at least 1,200 Kenyan civilians brutally massacred in the wake of the 2007 local elections in that East African nation of some 40 million people.
What made President Mahama’s visit patently absurd was the fact that it also coincided with the independence anniversary festivities of that country. It was also widely reported by the media then that the Ghanaian leader had initialled some seven compacts with his Kenyan counterpart. I hope the morally depraved and heinous act of murdering legions of Ghanaian citizens, for political gain, and suavely getting away with the same was not one of the agreements. Indeed, as I watched cyber-photographs of the two men at the compact table, I could not hold off thoughts of the old maxim that “Birds of same feathers flock together.”
I also have no way of knowing his long-term intentions, since I only very occasionally communicate via e-mail with the main, but I couldn’t help thinking that Mr. Cudjoe may well be effectively positioning himself to lead our country in the not-too-distant future. And should the latter event come to pass, it definitely would be in the best interest of Ghana’s destiny, for Mr. Cudjoe and his associates at the IMANI-Ghana institute have clearly paid their dues, even as Mrs. Nezha Alaoui M’Hammdi, Morocco’s Ambassador to Ghana, glowingly acknowledged in a tribute.
The agreement also clearly appeared to be a blistering indictment on the failure of the National Democratic Congress to offer Ghanaians the requisite progressive leadership. Then also, Mr. Cudjoe appeared to diplomatically underscore the preceding fact by poignantly observing that “From the financial sector to energy, Moroccan commercial interests [or opportunities for the same] abounds in Ghana, even though many Ghanaians are oblivious of this.”
Instead of purveying this kind of progressive leadership, President Mahama well appears to be inordinately fixated on having Gulf States’ entrepreneurs invest in the country, when North African neighbors like Morocco clearly seem to offer far better alternatives. Mr. Cudjoe also seems to have scored a massive public relations coup detat against President Mahama and his so-called National Democratic Congress government.
On the latter score, this is what Morocco’s Mrs. M’Hammdi had to say: “Today, we celebrate the birth of a hopeful collaboration full of projects between the Embassy of Morocco and IMANI. I want to emphasize that this collaboration aims to be a tool to consolidate and strengthen the bilateral relations between Morocco and Ghana.”
The senior Moroccan diplomat was also reported to have heartily observed that IMANI-Ghana was “a vibrant voice among Ghanaian think tanks with a very clear mission, steadfast board and committed staff.” Congratulations, Mr. Cudjoe and associates. The future leadership of our beloved nation belongs to you. And may God bless our homeland Ghana and all its people!”
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Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.:- Department of English, Nassau Community College of SUNY ,Garden City, New York — Board Member, The Nassau Review.