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Wikileaks: Making Sense Of The Numbers   
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Over all, there are about 700 cables on Ghana in the latest bulk of confidential diplomatic correspondents released by Wikileaks. On the average, there are about 45 cables per "web page." In all there are approximately 18 "web pages."

The released cables cover the years 1997 to 2010. The very first cable is on the US annual terrorism assessment on Ghana. It had nothing significant to report. The Last cable is an internal US Embassy meeting's "minutes" on security threats in West Africa countries.

There are only 4 cables on the PNDC Chairman's administration, from 1997 to 2000 and exactly 162 cables on Mills' government. The rest deals with the Kufour Era, that is from 2000 to 2008.

Majority of the cables, about 70% , are what one might call standard diplomatic reports and observations. They deal with foreign policy, that is Ghana's views and positions vis a vis US interests on international affairs such as the AU,UN, IAEA, conflicts etc; and with economic and trade policies such as US business interests in Ghana and internal economic policies affecting American businesses. Scattered here and there are cables on humanitarian issues such as child trafficking, HIV. Very so often, one comes across "Political", "Economic" and "Election Updates" and "Round up" - in fact quite a lot of them.

Many of the cables are meetings between foreign officials such as Ambassadors and President Kufour - and or his officials - on variety of topics and issues, all of them relevant to the State. There are some cables on the PNDC Chairman even under the Kufour era. By the virtue of his being a former president, it is befitting that foreign dignitaries would want to call on the Chairman. President Kufour handles himself with the dignity of a President in all the cables. The PNDC Chairman, on the other hand, many times, gets unsavory assessments - some of them petty.

There are one or two cables on meetings with candidates Mills and Nana Addo. Both Gentlemen sounds presidential. All these meetings are "Standard Diplomatic Procedures" which helps to foster and maintain good relations among nations. Almost all of the officials in Kufour's government in the cables dealt with State affairs and seldom digressed into personal issues. And they comported themselves very well.

It is when one gets to the cables during the latter years of Kufour's administration, from 2007 leading to the 2008 election, that one comes across the gossips and the unofficial and clandestine stuff. This is when one comes across the "Konkonsa" party activists turned ministers like the Jamals, the Fifi Kweteys, the Ludwigs, the Ayarigas.

This is where one reads cables on "sour grapes" politicians like Dan Botwe; easy to please policy makers like Dr. Aning and "campaign fund" beggars like Dr. Mahama. The "snitch/s", like Pratt, Ephson, Archer, are also to be found in these latter day cables. None of these names talks about issues significantly relevant to the affairs of State. Their cables read like the National Enquirer or P & P or News One ( I'm not being judgemental. It just that all of them could have politely refused to offer comments on many of the questions asked)

In post Kufour cables, the only correspondents that stand are those that deals with the internal power struggles within the newly elected government, concerns about Kosmos and the oil and President Mills' confession about the VIP drug dealers in his administration The rest deals with Mills newly appointed ministers and the usual foreign and economic stuff.

In the final analysis, there is nothing in the Wikileaks that is not already known by Ghanaians. There are no nation wrecking secrets nor do Ghanaians have, hither to, unknown diabolical thoughts towards each other -or towards neighboring countries. Our government officials behaved like all state officials the world over caught in the wikileaks. They did nothing wrong -except the "snitch/s and the "Konkonsafo." In fact compared to many countries, our cables read like Cinderella stories -harmless. Nonetheless we have to count ourselves lucky that these "harmless leaks" have come about in the days that our Democracy is still young. We will have time to heal and learn.

Since the beginning of human society, people from different communities, nations and countries have talked to each other, both in official and unofficial capacities. The wikileaks cables will not stop countries from talking to each other now or in the future. Our State officials and citizens will continue to interact with foreign dignitaries and their associates. But in post wikileaks Ghana...well, at this stage I don't think it is necessary to remind them of what they should or shouldn't discuss, do l?
Source: akwasi afrifa - [email protected]

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