President Akufo-Addo should have used ExxonMobil GNPC deal to let Trump know Africa is not a “shithole”

The Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa has lamented government’s inability to use a recent petroleum signing agreement between multinational oil company ExxonMobil and the government of Ghana to highlight the fact that Africa is not a “shithole”.

The Government of Ghana, led by the Minister for Energy, Mr Boakye Agyarko recently signed a petroleum agreement with ExxonMobil granting the company license to explore and produce hydro carbons in the country to improve energy production.

In an interview with Dr Etse Sikanku, host of “World Affairs” on Class 91.3 fm, Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Ranking member on Foreign Affairs and MP for North Tongu constituency, says instead of simply hailing the agreement, President Akufo-Addo could have capitalized on the opportunity to send a strong signal to President Trump that Africa has a lot to offer.

“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.”

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Hon. Ablakwa added that we live in a globalized and interconnected world 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.”

President Trump had earlier in a meeting with a bi-partisan group of Senators discussing an immigration deal described Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as “shithole countries” suggesting the US wasn’t interested in immigrants from those countries. The comments have generated widespread backlash and commentary worldwide with sharp reactions worldwide including the African Union and the UN human rights office.

“Other African presidents would have really taken advantage of this to let the world there is so much in Africa that these Americans are coming for and continue to come for.” Hon. Ablakwa said.

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