Gitmo duo: A threat to investor community - Experts warn

Fri, 5 Feb 2016 Source: The Finder

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Ghana's investment prospects could wane considerably in the next two to five years as foreigners decide to look for safer destinations for their investments following the admission of two ex-detainees originally from Yemen, some investment analysts have warned.

Lecturer in Finance at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Legon, Dr Lord Mensahpoints out that investors are keen to putting their monies in safe havens and so where there is no guarantee of stability, they become conscious of losing their capital and begin to look elsewhere.

“The presence of the two ex-detainees here in the country gives a signal to investors that they need to be cautious; there are several shopping malls springing up in Ghana and per the modus operandi of these extremists, they strike where there is leisure,” Dr Mensah explains.

According to some security experts, the granting of temporary asylum to Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, both from Yemen, could put the country on the radar of extremists.

Apart from the public outcry, government’s decision to accept to resettle the Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo Bay prison has been met with criticism from a number of Christian and religious groups.

Public sentiments have further been heightened by demands from four US Senators for Ghana to be denied aid should the two ex-detainees escape from the country.

The senators in their statements doubted the capability of Ghana to adequately guarantee the confinement of the two ex-detainees. Fears of insecurity in Ghana were heightened when Al Qaeda-linked gunmen raided a luxury hotel in neighbouring Burkina Faso resulting in the death of 29 people, half of them Western diplomats.

Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, Mr Edward Doe Ajaho has twice called for special prayers for the country, warning “the terrorists are not very far from us.”

Analysts maintain that warnings such as this spell insecurity for investments in the country especially when Ghana is already hosting the Gitmo ex-detainees on its soil.

According to them, the lack of clarity and transparency over the agreement do not help matters.

Investment research firm, Afrinvest points out that “Clearly there is a political economy issue around the residence of the Guantanamo detainees in this country; the extent and reach of these nuances will depend largely on credible information from the quarters of the US Government, Ghanaian Government, and other stakeholders. Sadly majority of what is available is hearsay and conjectured information.”

A former Foreign Affairs Minister Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, has also called on the United States of America to fully disclose details of the latest threat assessment of the two ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees currently in Ghana.

Ghana’s tourism industry which is far from developed is bound to suffer woefully as tourists may not feel safe when in Ghana. There will be losses in tourist revenue if tourists begin to perceive Ghana as not too safe for vacation.

Source: The Finder
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