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October 3, 2023
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Agyapa deal: Sensibilities of Ghanaians should not be taken for granted – Benjamin Quashie

South African NDC Council of Elders Chairman, Mr. Benjamin Kofi Quashie
Mr. Benjamin Kofi Quashie

Government has been cautioned against toiling with the sensibilities of Ghanaians. It has also been advised to halt any plans to go ahead with the controversial Agyapa deal in the wake of the latest ruling at the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice (CCJ).

The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice on last Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed against the Government of Ghana challenging the legality of the Agyapa deal, which is a Gold Royalties Monetisation Transaction arrangement.

Whilst awaiting the detailed reasons by the court to throw out the suit, Mr. Benjamin Kofi Quashie, Group Chairman of South Africa-based Allied Consortiums, averred, “I feel that the sensibilities of the Ghanaian should not be taken for granted.”

He was speaking as a co-host during the newspaper review segment on Joy News’ AM Show on Thursday, July 13, 2013.

Mr. Quashie commended the three organisations that took the matter to court for their ability to “convince” Ghanaians about the “many challenges that the deal exposes itself to”.

“We should be cognizant of the fact that the Ghanaian people have spoken against the Agyapa deal, and their reasoning should be upheld in any day or on any other issues,” Benjamin Quashie admonished.

It would be recalled that three anti-corruption groups — Transparency International, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) — dragged the government to the CCJ in December 2020, seeking an order to halt the Agyapa deal.

It was the case of the applicants that the Agyapa deal was dominated by “politically exposed persons” and also violated the rights of Ghanaians to have permanent sovereignty over the country’s natural resources as provided under the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

The government countered the allegations, stating that the Agyapa deal was not intended to cede sovereignty over the country’s resources to foreigners.

The court — sitting in Abuja, Nigeria — upheld the defence of the government, and dismissed the case of the three civil society organisations.

Meanwhile, the fundraising manager of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, Michael Boadi, has maintained that the case is far from over, insisting that the Agyapa deal will have adverse effects on Ghanaians rather than bring relief.

“We will not abandon this matter. The full ruling has not been released yet, so we are awaiting the court’s reasoning before taking further steps,” Boadi stated, urging Ghanaians not to give up, as the consequences would be detrimental for everyone.


Applicants case

The applicants had argued that the Agyapa deal violated many international conventions against corruption, and, if allowed to go ahead, would allow Ghana’s gold resources to be controlled by foreigners.

Apart from asking the CCJ to restrain the government from going ahead with the deal, the applicants also wanted the court to order Ghana to investigate all alleged acts of corruption associated with the deal, “and ensure that any alleged perpetrators are brought to justice”.


The government, in its defence, however, refuted the case of the applicants and argued that the Agyapa deal was not meant to cede the sovereignty of the country’s resources to foreigners.

“The proposed Agyapa transaction is intended as a means by which only a portion of the proceeds from the exploitation of natural resources of Ghana is invested to ensure that the people of Ghana obtain the benefit therefrom,” the Attorney-General (A-G), Godfred Yeboah Dame, submitted.

It was also the case of the government that the first applicant, Transparency International, had no capacity to be part of the action because it was a German organisation and, therefore, not a member of the ECOWAS Community.

Also, the government was of the contention that the argument by the applicants that the Agyapa deal was an interference on the right of Ghanaians to have sovereignty over natural resources was “not based on sound legal reasoning and meritless”.

The government also made a case that the applicants failed to provide any evidence to back their allegations that the deal was dominated by “politically exposed persons” who “intend to misappropriate Ghana’s resources”.


Parliament passed the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act, 2018 (MIIF Act 978) with the key objective of maximising the county’s mineral wealth for the benefit of Ghanaians, while ensuring that receiving royalties from gold mining companies was sustainable.

The law was amended to enable it to incorporate subsidiaries and to use it as a special purpose vehicle to do business across the world.

The main subsidiary of the MIIF and holding company, Agyapa Royalties Investment Ltd, will be listed on the London Stock Exchange, while its subsidiary, ARG Royalties Ltd, will be quoted on the Ghana Stock Exchange, both through initial public offerings.

The company will be responsible for managing 75.6 per cent of the country’s royalty inflow from the 12 gold mining companies that currently operate in Ghana, with four more expected to come on stream.

That will enable the country to raise about $1 billion to finance mining concessions in Ghana and across Africa.

In November 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo instructed the Minister of Finance to re-submit the agreements supporting the Agyapa deal to Parliament for the approval process to start all over again.

That followed the corruption risk assessment submitted by a former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, to the President.

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