UN General Assembly: Akufo-Addo’s speech and matters arising

A year ago, I succinctly opined that erstwhile President John Dramani Mahama’s (JDM) meddling of US-Cuban relationduring his 71st UN General Assembly speech was a needless diplomatic aggrandizement, albeit his terrific delivery.

President Akufo-Addo is equally a man of impressive erudition when it comes to public oratory.  Nonetheless, Mr. Akufo-Addo’s bloggable statement on uranium cannot escape public commentary and scrutiny.

“As part of its commitment to being a nuclear weapon free country, Ghana, has flown its last remaining stock of highly enriched Uranium to China, President Nana Akufo-Addo made this known when he addressed the 72nd United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York” (Source: myjoyonline.com, September 26, 2017).

Per available data on the benefits of uranium and my novice commonsensical analysis, the aforesaid statement attributed to Mr. Akufo-Addo is a far cry from diplomatic astuteness and a nation craving for self-reliance.

Without further ado, uranium is a necessary evil. The evil part is that UN frowns upon nuclear weapon made from uranium. The heightened friction between the United States of America and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is turbocharged by nuclear weapon. The necessary part is that uranium has several benefits.

I am curious to ascertain why China will readily accept uranium from Ghana if it has no economic value. How long will our leaders continue to sacrifice our natural resources on unholy altars of foreign convenience?

Ghana must continue to strengthen her relations with china but must be careful not to freely permit the latter to wobble across the former’s natural resources.Canada, for example, is benefiting substantially from uranium.

Data from the website of Canadian Nuclear Association reveal the contributions of uranium to Canada’s economy. Uranium which falls under the Canadian nuclear industry contributes to the economy by job creation, revenue mobilization, and energy security through power stabilization. The Canadian nuclear industry has raised revenues of approximately $ 6.6 billion and contributes $ 1.5 billion in federal and provincial taxes from uranium.

Canada produces about 21% of the world’s uranium and export about 90% of what it produces. This amounts to $500 million in uranium exports annually. Canada equally exports approximately 50% of the world’s radioactive isotopes used in nuclear medicine. The cost of electricity from nuclear energy is one of the cheapest and the least volatile compared to the other sources. Click here for more analysis.

Could Ghana-China uranium deal somewhat place Ghana on the international nuclear politics radar? Any international relation expert or international psychologist will be curious to know why China? The New York Times reported in a couple of months ago that major nuclear powers are rebuilding and upgrading their nuclear arsenal. In 2016, the US secretary of defense under President Bill Clinton, William Perry, cautioned that the World is on the verge of a new nuclear arms race: “will be at least as expensive as the arms race we had during the cold war.”

This means that Ghana-China uranium plan conspicuously articulated by President Akufo Addo violates the purpose of Josip Broz of Yugoslavia, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Gamel Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Indonesian leader, Sukanuo’s founded Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). NAM’s main purpose was “abstention from the use of arrangements of collective defense to serve the particular interest of any of the big powers.”  Certainly, China is one of the Super Powers in the world and Ghana announcing that uranium will be exported to China could covertly hurt other powers, thereby inadvertently placing Ghana on the radar of global nuclear politics. Good intention they say always has a wonderful beginning but a terrible end. Apparently, this was an honorable error from president Akufo-Addo! Apart from that, the overall speech was superb!

Moving forward, African leaders must consult international relations professionals, security experts, and international psychologists for global communication purposes. It is very heartbreaking to see African leaders mentioning needless topics at the UN General Assembly. For example, it was ridiculous and unnecessary for the late President Mills to tell the whole world on the same UN platform that he had removed schools under trees.JDM also told UN General Assembly that Africans do not need aid but fair trade without recourse to Ghana’s industrialization debacles and the fact that donor support constitutes about 40% of his own country’s annual budget. Singaporean and Malaysian leaders did not engage in needless rhetoric at UN General Assembly. They rather thought through pragmatic measures at home to enhance their respective global trade fortunes.  Almost all the 171 industries built by political prophet Nkrumah under GIHOC had been sold. How could JDM get a fair trade from the raw material based economy? President Akufo-Addo talking about a donation of uranium to China leaves much to be desired. Mr. President, we are curious to know the details of Uranium donation to China! Uranium in Ghana could be a buffer against energy crises.

Ghana is endowed with copper, phosphate, nickel, chromium, manganese, gold, diamond, bauxite and uranium. Technologically harnessing our own resources can enhance the developmental fortunes of Ghana.Ghana leaders’ lofty rhetoric at UN General Assembly risks isolating the country diplomatically in future. Some historians suspect that the fall of Nkrumah was partly orchestrated by a speech at an international platform. Therefore, the country needs content experts to evaluate Presidential speeches at the international forum.  President Kufuor’s UN speeches were very thought-provoking and he could be consulted. I know that I am intelligent because I know that I know nothing- Socrates.

Source: Nana Yaw Osei, Minnesota, USA. N_yawosei@hotmail.com

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