CSOs were too hasty making comments about Agyapa, says DI director

The Danquah Institute boss tells Asaase Radio that groups which took up the fight against the Agyapa Royalties agreement were ill informed

Richard Ahiagbah, executive director of the Danquah Institute (DI), says that representatives and spokesmen of civil society organisations who oppose the government’s plan to monetise Ghana’s earnings from gold royalties through the Agyapa Royalties deal moved to make their objections too quickly.

The director of DI, a leading think tank and CSO in Ghana in its own right, made this argument when he took part in Asaase Radio’s current affairs debate programme Think Tank, hosted by Karen Dodoo, on Wednesday (2 September 2020).

He said the 15 CSOs failed to acquaint themselves with the full facts of the proposal before going public with their reservations.

Full disclosure

Ahiagbah, a weekly panellist on Think Tank together with the president of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, argued that the CSOs should have been more cautious, given that questions of investment, stocks and international trade are technical and tricky.

“This process started in Parliament – all the documents were going to come. It is full disclosure when you are dealing with Parliament, because it is the people’s house …

“All people needed to do was just to take their time. The 15 CSOs could have organised and said, ‘Let’s go to the Finance Minister and ask him to explain what is going on in Parliament,’ and then they would have the information. They didn’t do that. They were definite in their communication up and down.

“The CSOs put the cart before the horse and they were accusing without information, and they have created this problem,” Ahiagbah said.

Inadequate information

Franklin Cudjoe, the president of IMANI Africa, one of the original group of 15 organisations that called for the scrapping of the Agyapa agreement, contributed to the same show. He said: “IMANI Africa does not think the deal is bad. However, it is the position of IMANI and the other [groups in the] coalition of CSOs that there wasn’t adequate information about the entire Agyapa Royalties deal forthcoming from government.

“Let’s not let it look like we had every information and everyone is going against this deal. There was very little information out there,” Cudjoe said.

Wilberforce Asare

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online.
Follow us on Twitter: @asaaseradio995

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