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IMANI Alert: Government, Why Spend Millions on American Lobbyists?

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 17, 2014

The recent crisis of stranded Ghanaians in Libya has brought our country’s foreign policy into perspective.

In a routine monitoring of Ghana’s overseas diplomatic activities, IMANI picked up that the country has returned to the practice of engaging American lobby firms to represent its interests in the United States.

This was curious because the ruling party, when in Opposition, stridently criticised the practice, questioned the value, and lamented the amount of money spent on such exercises. They argued that the maintenance of a full diplomatic mission in the United States (in both New York and Washington DC, in fact) was sufficient to represent the full range of our interests in the United States, not least also because of the large diaspora of Ghanaian professionals, many of whom have deep connections across the political and economic landscape in that country.

Given that this matter of paid lobbyists has come up before one would have expected greater transparency on the part of the Administration in handling this matter. Yet, the Government did not so much as publish a single announcement. There was no international competitive bidding. Even if not by advertisement in the international press, a qualified bidding process could have been done by inviting several eligible lobby firms to submit expressions of interest. Read the rest of this entry »

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