The reality of Osafo-Maafo's goof and its impact on our economic sovereignty

Osafo Maafo Talking Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo has come under a lot of fire for his comment

Thu, 25 Apr 2019 Source: Mensah Thompson

The irony of this whole Osafo-Maafo town hall goof is that recently when former President John Mahama met the Diplomatic Corps in Ghana and showed them images of what happened at Ayawaso West Wuogon, Osafo Marfo's voice was the loudest, bastardising the former President and accusing him of painting Ghana black to the Diplomatic Corps.

Well... if what the former President did paint Ghana black, then Osafo-Maafo's town hall comments has rained a thick cloud of black paint on the entire Country. You see the seriousness of Osafo-Maafo's comments resides in where he made those comments (outside the borders of this Country) in the full glare of the International Press.

Now what Osarfo Marfo has succeeded in telling the whole World is that..."Ghana is the cheapest Country on this planet, once you give us a small loan, your people can come in and engage in any criminality and we would be happy to deport them with pocket money". Now, this is very dangerous, this comment has exposed the vulnerabilities of this Country in such an incomparable and unprecedented way that is very difficult to overlook.

There are other issues of our Economic sovereignty as a Country which the statements seem to undermine in such a ridiculing manner that makes a serious mockery of the President's own Ghana Beyond Aid mantra. Then the recklessness of the overt endorsement of the criminalities of Aisha Huang also seriously insults the dignity of the ordinary Ghanaians who are in jail currently for far lesser offences of illegal mining.

In totality this would go into history books as one of the most reckless public statements from anybody occupying a high office in this country and calling for just an apology may not be enough to remedy the situation, the best thing is for Senior Minister to resign to bring some closure to the People.

But you see in interrogating these issues, let's not fail to ascertain the merits of Osafo Marfo's claims however reckless. This is something we all know and talk about but rather subtly… If you take your time to review a lot of the bilateral agreements that are signed on behalf of the Country, especially with non-African Countries, you would see a vivid position of weakness evident right from negotiations till the signing of the agreement.

One thing our leaders have failed to do is to hold in high esteem, the Ghanaian Identity, the Ghanaian Principle and the Ghanaian Cultural Values and make it reflects in all our international dealings so that when any Country is approaching Ghana for a deal, they know exactly what to expect before they even arrive at the negotiation table.

The U.S holds in high esteem it's identity as the superpower of the World whether accepted or not...That is not to say the U.S has no weaknesses but when the U.S is entering into any negotiations, you can be sure that they would never compromise on anything that undermines their national and international identity.

These are things that shield you from undue exploitations from powerful and highly resourced countries. Now, look at how a whole senior Minister, was glorifying the Chinese in another man's country. The annoying thing is that it's not as if this Synohydro thing is free money oo...this is a loan we are going to pay back with interest.

So if we can glorify people this way when they give us loans then what will we do to those who will bring us free money?? Look at the U.S Military base agreements and the shallow negotiations that were done on behalf of the country? So the reality of Osafo-Maafo's claim is that we have gradually become a weaker nation and very susceptible to undue exploitations by highly resourced countries like China, U.S, U.K and others but it is one thing alluding to the reality and another shamelessly endorsing the reality, the two are not the same.


This Yaw Osafo-Maafo townhall goof should bring our attention to certain critical issues of National interest and for the sake of his comments, I will limit the recommendations to the much-needed reforms in the mining sector. If you look at our constitution, the rights to mineral resources are put under the full purview of the State.

Every mineral found underneath the earth on the borders of this Country belongs to the State. That's the position of the law, and the law derives its powers from the people and government derives its powers from the people. So in legal effect and on the principle of "you can't give what you don't have", *the minerals belong to the people.*

So in terms of mining our natural resources, full priorities must be given to Ghanaians and no amount of excuses will be justifiable. I have been totally outraged by the influx of foreigners in our small and medium scale mining sector. It poses a serious economic threat to the people of Ghana.

What we need to do is to restructure the mining sector to suit the capacities of the local miners. If the capacities are not enough, government should engage them in rigorous capacity building. Recently we have seen government providing some support in terms of credit facilities to pharmaceutical companies.

Same can be applied to small scale miners to improve their mining potentials. The economic effect of your indigenous mining the resources are enormous. For example, when your indigenes make the money it stays in the economy when foreigners make the money, they take it out.

Repatriating those huge sums of money further puts pressure on your already volatile currency. The locals would create the wealth, it will stay in the Country, it will improve the local economy, create jobs, improve economic empowerment and above all stabilise your currency. It is time for our leaders to rethink and reverse the rights of Ghanaians that have been relinquished to foreigners for a few ‘nokofio’ loans...

...And this certainly cannot wait!!!

Columnist: Mensah Thompson
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