After a second successful presidential bid in December 2020, Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo is hoping to leave behind a positive legacy with ... the help of a strong network of appointees and relations, most of whom have been given specific tasks to complete before he exits office in January 2025.
There are two main points of concern: the procurement of vaccines and the price of testing.
The Ghanaian Ministry of Health reportedly agreed to buy 300,000 vails of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine at $19 each from Sheik Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum (a member of the UAE’s ruling family). Buying these vaccines directly from the Russian government would have been at a much lower cost of $10 each.
“The Ministry in Accra issued a detailed rebuttal claiming it had exhausted all efforts to engage with the Russian government, and had no option but to pursue the Dubai route,” reports Africa Confidential.
Furthermore, Ghana charges $150 for a rapid Covid-19 test to all foreigners entering its borders. Ghanaians and ECOWAS nationals now pay $50 instead following backlash last year at the initial cost.
The opposition National Democratic Congress is opening up questions in parliament as to why the country has one of the highest prices in the world for testing for the coronavirus (especially as the testing kit only costs $10). To add fuel to the fire, local businesses, which have already endured a hard financial year, are not happy that the testing contract was not given to a Ghanaian company. Especially since the country has “several highly efficient medical services companies which could run the project” reports Africa Confidential.
The Ghanaian government needs to be accountable, and take responsibility by providing explanations for the financial decisions it made during the pandemic.
The full version of this article can be found on Africa Confidential.
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