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Fresh documents available to The Insight indicate that former President J.A Kufuor single handedly negotiated Ghana Telecoms price tag of $900 million with officials of Vodafone.

The former President did this at a series of meetings in London and Accra with Vodafone Chief Executive Arun Sarin.

A document on the meetings between the Government of Ghana and Vodafone Group reveals that President Kufuor met with Vodafone chiefs on 9th November 2007 and 9th march 2008, before then Communication Minister Benjamin Aggrey-Ntim was brought in.

Another document which is a report of a preliminary meeting with Vodafone on 3rd June, 2008 also confirms that the price of Ghana Telecom had long been decided.

Then Minister of Communications Dr Aggrey Ntim said at the meeting that:
The meeting was continuing from earlier negotiations held with higher authority and therefore the meeting was to provide information reflecting the views of the constituting institutions in the privatization exercise.

The work of the meeting was therefore not to engage in negotiations but to draw the Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) and also consider what measures would be required to transfer the national optic fibre backbone.

According to the document, the Ministry of Communications was coordinating the exercise and that Government had agreed for Vodafone to purchase 70 per cent of Ghana Telecom including the transfer of Telecom including the transfer of the Optical Fibre backbone.

On 9th November 2007 when President Kufuor met with Vodafone in Accra, one Menna Rawlings, Deputy High Commissioner was present with the Vodafone side comprising Arun Sarin, Gavin Darby and Herbert Osei-Baidoo.

On 13th to 14th November 2007 in Accra, Gavin Darby and Herbert Osei-Baidoo met with the Government of Ghana but here is no record to show those who actually represented Ghana.

Former President Kufuor also met alone with Arun Sarin, Gavin Darby, Herbert Osei-Baidoo and Matthew Kirk, all of Vodafone on 9th March 2008 in London.

For all the seven meetings held with Vodafone, Mr. J.A. Kufuor participated in a record seven.The import of Mr. Kufuor single-handedly negotiating the sale of Ghana Telecom was that no other price could be accepted by his government.

This probably could explain why the government did not accept the price of over $1 billion offered by South African Telecom.
The sale of Ghana Telecom to Vodafone went through Parliament with a lot of public outcry.

In Parliament, the agreement laid before the house indicated that Ghana Telecom was being sold to Vodafone International BV of Holland.
After the deal was approved, the buyers are now going with the name Vodafone Plc of UK.

A ministerial Review Committee investigating the deal has heard startling revelations including allegations that each member on the then NPP majority side in Parliament was paid US$5,000 for voting in favour of the agreement to sell Ghana Telecom.
Source: The Insight

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