Resources in foreign hands is a colonial baggage we are phasing out – Kufuor reacts to Sam Jonah

JAK John Agyekum Kufuor .png Former President John Agyekum Kufuor

Tue, 27 Apr 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has spoken about how and why to date significant economic resources of the country remain in foreign hands.

According to the elder statesman, the phenomenon as worrying as it is needed to be looked at within the lenses of a country working hard to phase out that state of affairs.

He was reacting to portions of a speech delivered by former president of AngloGold Ashanti, Sir Sam Jonah, who bemoaned how major economic drivers of the country remained in the hands of non-Ghanaians.

“Unless we look at this situation on the basis of phasing, we may miss the point. Like Sir Jonah was (serving) as Chief Executive of Ashanti Goldfields, became Chairman of AngloGold [Ashanti].

“Have you looked at the history of that company, starting somewhere at the end of the 19th century or so? That time, we were in the depths of colonialism. But along the way, that company, it started as Ashanti came to Monroe or some company came in,” he told Citi TV’s Bernard Avle in an interview aired on ‘The Point of View' program on Monday, April 26.

GhanaWeb monitored the interview in which Kufuor further stressed that in the case of Ashanti Gold, the government took drastic steps to ensure that the country benefited more by nationalizing the mines at a point.

“A Ghanaian government by virtual decree said that Ghana will take 54% or so, and it happened. Then along the way, AngloGold came in… with the state carrying a mandatory interest, carried interest.

“When it was Ashanti Goldfields, did we have any shares at all in that company? I don’t think we had. The company only paid royalties and I am sure the royalties were quite meagre,” he added.

He buttressed his point by stating: “What I am trying to tell you is that because of the phasing, we are moving into times where, by a well-considered legislation, state acts; we may adjust the equity holdings so that the local content will increase. “

What Sir Sam Jonah said on Ghana’s economic structure

Second, we must re-evaluate the structure of our economy. No country has attained the height of development unless the major drivers of the economy are owned and controlled largely by the citizenry.

Take a look at the major drivers of the Ghanaian economy in the financial sector, the mining sector, construction of major projects, telecommunications, oil and gas, insurance, etc. These are often predominantly foreign-owned, and Ghanaians own little in these sectors.

For example, according to PwC, as of June 2019, only nine (9) out of 23 Class 1 licensed banks had majority local ownership with the rest being majority foreign-owned. In the mining sector, Ghana has more than 20 mining companies at various stages of operations in the country.

As far as I am aware, no Ghanaian business man or woman has 5% of the ownership in any of these companies.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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