The Wall Street Journal�s Bad Testimonial (1)

The Wall Street Journal�s editorial on the Ghanaian investment situation vis-�-vis the country�s poverty constant, as mathematicians would put it, made disturbing reading. Poverty appears to be a constant feature of the country and the publication�s analysis of the situation, which cuts across other countries in the bowl-in-hand class, is not only revealing but mind-boggling, given the now incessant and by and large useless interventions the affected nations attract from the fatigued donor community and Bretton Woods institutions. Poor countries, according to the publication, are investment-unfriendly as in the case of Ghana evidenced by government�s mismanagement of her relationship with Vodafone and Kosmos. The two conglomerates are going through vexed times in their relationships with the incumbent government, a situation which is anything but encouraging to prospective investors. We appear to be creating an impression that Parliament�s approvals of investment deals with international conglomerates are not immune from the capriciousness and vindictiveness of new governments. The highly-reputed publication, whose analysis is definitely resonating across boardrooms of conglomerates worldwide, is definitely not an exhilarating testimonial for a country which is yelling itself hoarse about its investment-friendliness. As a country, we must bow our heads in shame and quickly rush to the drawing board so we can alter our bad ways, lest we are irredeemably doomed. Such testimonials in the complex world of the internet is very serious and the earlier we took another step, the better it would be for us all. The adverse situation is surprising, given that the President has been in government before and should understand better the nuances of investment. His Finance Minister is no stranger in Jerusalem either, given the wealth of experience he garnered over the years during his tenure as governor of Bank of Ghana. The duo has not convinced us about their readiness to change ways even as we continue to become increasingly uncompetitive by the kind of environment we are recklessly putting in place. The Wall Street Journal�s position on Ghana government�s treatment of the Vodafone and lately Kosmos subjects, is something we have had cause to editorialize on before. Those who, out of petty political considerations, don�t see anything beyond their flat and short noses and therefore take on Vodafone and Kosmos for no good reason, are doing great harm to the fortunes of this country and above all setting a very bad precedent. Ghana, by these developments and resonating Wall Street Journal�s editorial, falls short of being an investment-friendly destination. Certainly not. We shall return.