President Nana Akufo-Addo, yesterday, Thursday, December 9, 2021, officially received the Forbes Magazine’s “African of the Year Award” at a ceremony inside the Jubilee House.
While, the President is very excited by the Award, social media platforms, have been crammed with claims that it was cooked for him by persons linked to some members of his family who are domiciled in South Africa.
Ahead of yesterday’s event attended by the former head of Danquah Institute (DI), now the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwadaso, Dr Kingsley Nyarko, it emerged that Forbes, the US-based magazine globally respected for its wealth ratings, does not know, let alone be the source of the supposed award given to Akufo-Addo by a so-called Forbes Africa.
Rather, the award had been packaged by a relative of the President domiciled in South Africa called Martin Asare-Amankwa.
To many, the choreographed award is to prepare the way for President Akufo-Addo, whose rating has gone down drastically, but wishes to take a stake at African Union Chairmanship sometime next year.
Asare-Amankwa who edits Forbes Africa, a South African magazine, is an Akyem kin of the President and reportedly a paternal cousin of Gabby Otchere Darko- the notorious cousin to the President widely regarded as the de facto “Prime Minister” of the NPP government.
And so it came to pass that Martin Asare-Amankwa, a relative of the President editing Forbes Africa decided, in the name of his magazine, to garland his own kinsman with an award as the African of the year.
Matters became clear, when the US-based Forbes Magazine, owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family, denied knowledge of any such award when it was contacted.
According to Forbes, it does not also know anything about Akufo-Addo being named the African of whatever year.
The magazine is said to have since been banging its phone on people who call and enquire about the award to Akufo-Addo.
A social media commentator with a media background, Chris Gyamfi Boateng, claims he had called Forbes USA on their telephone line 1-800-295-0893 and they denied knowledge of any such award to the Ghanaian President.
“I also called Forbes USA on 1-800-295-0893; they have no knowledge of an award for any African leader,” Mr. Boateng wrote.
The revelations would come as a grand epiphany for many who had been stunned by the awards amidst the violence, corruption and extreme public debt that the Akufo Addo administration had saddled Ghana with.
In 2018, Tour de guet” (Watchtower) an Anti-Corruption group released a report in which Akufo-Addo was named as one of the ten most corrupt leaders in Africa.
In Ghana he is widely regarded as a shadow of the democrat he projected himself to be while in opposition. Unfolding events during his tenure has raised worries that he may have destroyed one of West Africa’s most stable democracies.
According to the social media publication WhatsApp News, the familial connection between Gabby Asare Otchere Darko and Asare-Amankwa is reminiscent of a controversy in 2008, when Gabby Otchere Darko, reportedly bribed pollster, Ben Ephson to skew election polls in favor of Akufo-Addo.
Later, Ben Ephson, would reveal that Gabby offered him US$20,000 to lie that Akufo-Addo would win the 2008 elections, but he refused.
Ghana’s President, has repositioned the country in the global marketplace as one reliant on its own resources and strengths. Get your copy of FORBES AFRICA and read an exclusive interview with #Nana Akufo Addo,” Forbes Africa tweeted.
Reacting to this announcement, President Akufo-Addo, told CNBC Africa, he was grateful for the recognition.
He said. “Thanks very much for recognizing the work that we are doing here in Ghana. For the African version of the magazine to pick me, I’m very grateful for me.”
Dignitaries, including President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, congratulated Mr. Akufo-Addo on this achievement.
At a meeting with Mr. Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House in Accra on Saturday December 4, he said “Allow me to be personal, and congratulate you for being chosen as ‘African of the Year’ by Forbes Magazine. The recognition by this magazine is about your vision not only for Ghana, but also for the people of our continent as well.
“We are proud of this recognition, Your Excellency, because it speaks of your commitment, it speaks of your creativity, and it speaks of your clear, strategic vision of what should happen in your own country, as well as in our beloved continent” he said.
President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi A. Adesina, alsosaid “I would like to warmly congratulate HE Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, on being named Forbes Africa’s ‘African of the Year.’
“This is an excellent and very well-deserved honour and recognition.
“As a leader, you continue to push the boundaries of what is possible for Ghana and the people of Africa. You are an embodiment of a remarkable ‘can-do’ African spirit … a spirit of focused determination that seeks to make a difference in the lives of your people and unleash Africa’s true potential.”
Meanwhile, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Free Zones Board, Kwadwo Twum Boafo, has downplayed the significance of the African of the Year Award recently handed to President Akufo-Addo by Forbes Magazine.
Whereas, Forbes touted President Akufo-Addo, as having repositioned Ghana in the global marketplace as one reliant on its resources and strengths, some Ghanaian personalities have disagreed with the international media brand owing to the prevailing economic conditions in the country.
Speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana show, Kwadwo Twum Boafo, who is a member of the opposition NDC, maintained that despite some renowned personalities receiving the Forbes award in the past, the likes of alleged Nigerian fraudster Ramon Abass (Hushpuppi) winning same, makes the nobility of the award questionable.
“Hushpuppi has also won African of the Year. Hushpuppi, has also won African of the Year so let’s make the correct..” he was interrupted by the host, Dr Randy Abbey, who pointed out that “Hushpuppi is a fraudster.”
Mr Twum Boafo then retorted, “exactly! Hushpuppi has been named as the entrepreneur of the year by the same magazine.”
His point was in reaction to the MP for Kwadaso, Dr Kingsley Nyarko, who was on the show and sought to commend President Akufo-Addo for winning the award.
Hushpuppi, is a Nigerian social media influencer facing criminal charges in the United States for fraud and other scams.
He is said to have defrauded a US law firm of about $40 million, illegally transferred $14.7 million from a foreign financial institution, and targeted to steal $124 million from an English football club until his arrest by the Dubai Police in June 2020 and his extradition to the United States.