Minority spokesperson on foreign affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has decried government’s inability to use a recent petroleum signing agreement between multinational oil company ExxonMobil and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), to highlight the fact that Africa is not a “shithole” continent.
Mr Ablakwa made the comment in an interview with Dr Etse Sikanku, host of World Affairs on Class 91.3FM.
The deal grants the American company licence to explore and produce hydrocarbons in the West African country to improve energy production.
However, Mr Ablakwa, who is also the Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, believes that instead of hailing the agreement, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo could have capitalised on the opportunity to send a strong signal to President Trump that Africa has a lot to offer.
He said: “The US oil giant ExxonMobil are here signing an agreement. This is a time that ExxonMobil are after our oil. We should engage in some economic diplomacy. We should use this to show that Africa is not the shithole that President Trump is talking about. We have so much that they need. And that really we all need each other in this world.”
Mr Ablakwa added that the world is a global village and interconnected, a situation which requires respect and cooperation by all countries.
“Nobody can live in isolation. No matter how powerful you are, no matter how strong or indispensable that you think you are, you still will need others. The ExxonMobil case really highlight that. And here we are today, everybody is hailing the ExxonMobil-GNPC deal but failed to use this opportunity to really let President Trump know [that Ghana is not a shithole country].”
Mr Trump tagged Africa, Haiti and El Salvador with the curse word during a discussion on immigration with a bi-partisan group of senators at the White House.
The comments have generated widespread backlash and commentary worldwide.
In Mr Ablakwa’s view, “Other African presidents would have really taken advantage of this to let the world know there is so much in Africa that these Americans are coming for and continue to come for.”