THE LATE PRESIDENT OF GHANA J.A.E. MILLS: R.I.P.

Posted on July 31, 2012

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One week ago today, the President of Ghana died. Today, as tradition demands here in Ghana, the one week funeral celebrations are taking place around the country. I understand the blogging community/social networkers in Ghana are going to observe a silence at 2:15 pm this afternoon, the time of his death. I’ll finish and post this before then.

Over the past week, the internet has been abuzz with commentary on the President’s life and his legacy. A frequent topic has been where people were when they first heard of the death or where they were at 2:15 pm when President Mills passed on at 37 Military Hospital, Accra.

Madinghana knows exactly where he was all that afternoon. He was in the security waiting room at the gate of Archer, Daniel Midland (ADM), the cocoa processing plant in Kumasi built by the Americans a couple of years ago and actually opened by the President himself. Madinghana was watching garbage men enter, cleared through security to proceed into the plant area.

Madinghana never made it past security. My only request had been to talk with somebody in the Public Relations Department about recent production numbers. On July 20, I had sent an inquiry by email to ADM COCOA AFRICA with the same request. I received an automated reply saying an agent would be in touch presently. There had been no reply up to the 24th; and, incidentally, none to date.

Over that afternoon of July, 24th, over the phone in the security hut I talked with someone named Alice who I complimented as “a very effective gatekeeper”. After lengthly debate,-madinghana can be persistent-Alice said that I would not be admitted to the offices and that I would have to go, write a proposal and then return to present it. That has been done….

This morning I heard a radio program on Late President Mill’s tenure as President. Included was a clip featuring recorded comments by ex US President Jimmy Carter. He was talking about the access to information act introduced in the Ghanaian parliament, yet to be passed after years of debate. Carter mentioned that South Africa was the only country on the African continent to have an access to information law and how Ghana would be a real leader if the act was past.

While we pray for the soul of our dearly departed President, let us not forget to pray that this legislation crucial to the success of the struggling democracy that Ghana represents, that was tabled during his tenure, is passed in his name and memory.

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