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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Queen of England calls for transparency in Ghana's Oil


Danso Boafo Queen

The Queen of England, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has urged Ghana to benefit from the mistakes of other nations in the management of its oil revenue by putting in place enduring and transparent systems.

She said misunderstandings and riots that have characterised the social fabric of some nations as a result of injudicious and inequitable distribution of oil resources is of much concern to her.

Queen Elizabeth made these observations when she received Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo at the Buckingham Palace in London.

The High Commissioner was the guest of the Monarch when he presented to her his letters of credence.

Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo arrived in London in September 2009 to assume office as Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Ireland.

For the second time in his life he was serving as an envoy to his country. Prof. Danso-Boafo from the academia took leave from his academic duties to serve as Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana to Cuba with concurrent accreditation to Jamaica, Trinidad and, Nicaragua and Panama.

In 1886 there were only six Ambassadors in London, with 37 other countries represented by Ministers. Today, there are 172 Foreign missions who are accredited to the Court of St James's in London, because St. James's Palace is still the senior palace and official residence of the sovereign.

And as the tradition soon after arriving in London, a foreign Ambassador or in this case a high commissioner has an audience with The Queen.

This is a formal ceremony in which a newly-appointed foreign Ambassador or High Commissioner presents his or her Letters of Credence or Letters of High Commission to Her Majesty. So on Tuesday the 9th of February 2010, Professor Danso-Boafo was the guest of the Monarch when he presented his letters of credentials to the Queen.

Clad in a colourful kente cloth Professor Danso-Boafo in the company of his wife and some senior officials from the mission were escorted by the Marshall of the Diplomatic Corp, Mr. David Gray from Belgrave Square to the Buckingham Palace in a procession of 1864 built carriages.

Her Majesty expressed confidence in the Ghanaian government and hoped that Ghana will continue to be a lodestar on the African continent especially in terms of its democratic governance and economic success.

She praised Professor John Evans Atta Mills for his exemplary leadership and congratulated Ghanaians for their unflinching adherence of democracy. Her Majesty was encouraged by the formidable strides the country has made in its democracy by how often the citizenry have successfully exercised their democratic right without recourse to violence.

On Ghanaians residing in the UK, the Queen singled out their law abiding nature for praise and was grateful for their contribution to the development of the UK.

She emphasised that unlike other nationals in the UK, Ghanaians have not given the authorities any cause for concern, “and that is a very good sign”.

The Head of the Commonwealth praised the High Commissioner for his effort in helping to mobilise Ghanaians around the United Kingdom for welfare and consular activities, adding that “not many missions have worked outside London”

On his part Professor Danso-Boafo, expressed the optimism that the oil revenue will be judiciously used to benefit the citizenry.

He told the Queen that a special committee to be supervised by the President will be in place to manage the oil revenue and that “prudent strategies have been put in place to help avoid the mistakes of other countries in terms of the managing and channelling of oil revenues.”

He recounted the lasting relationship between the two countries and pledged his commitment to work hard to further strengthen the bonds of cooperation.

The Queen’s delight was visible when Professor Danso-Boafo humorously said “with this vast knowledge about Ghana, I hope you will be there again soon.”

An impressive reception to congratulate the High Commissioner was later held for the Ghanaian community, some Heads of Commonwealth missions in the UK and staff of the Mission.

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