The Minister of Justice and Attorney General (AG), Ms Gloria Afua Akuffo, has been given an Honorary Award for her astute role that led Ghana to win the maritime dispute over La Cote d’Ivoire.
The Ghana Energy Awards (GEA) of the Energy Media Group who organised the event presented the Award to the Minister who led a team of Ghanaian lawyers over the case ruled by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOs).
This was issued in a statement by the Energy Media Group and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
The award package, sponsored by the Ghana Gas Company, comprised of a plaque, a citation and a certificate of recognition.
Ms Akuffo was expected to have received the award at the maiden edition of the Energy Awards in November 2017 in Accra, but had been unavoidably absent.
The awards were to be jointly received by both the current and the immediate past Attorney Generals, Ms Akuffo and Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong.
Mrs Appiah-Oppong, however, was presented with her award on the event day.
Presenting the award last to Ms Akuffo at her office, Dr Kwame Ampofo, the Chairman of the Awards Panel, and former Chairman of the Energy Commission, said the AG had faced the arbitration with a formidable team, who exerted invaluable efforts to achieve the victory for Ghana.
He described the ruling as a phenomenal event and commended the AG’s collaboration with her predecessor, Mrs Appiah-Oppong, adding that the synergy between the two was a demonstration of comradeship.
“You fought for economic emancipation. We thought that was wonderful. So we're here to give you an award well-deserved,” Dr Ampofo said.
Ms Gloria, receiving the award on behalf of the AG’s Department, expressed profound appreciation for the recognition of what she described as “the feat of my life,” and lauded the organisers for the thought behind the event.
She noted that her contribution was occasionally overstated, and that the work done by the former AG who had begun the processes, deserved no less commendation.
The arbitration of the maritime dispute, which she labelled as an inheritance from her predecessor, was for her, a learning curve as it was the first of such magnitude.
She said when she took reins of the case her uppermost thoughts were the sovereign rights and sovereignty of Ghana.
Thus, she gave an assurance to the former AG of her resolute commitment to the arbitration that nothing on their part would be done to undermine the success of the case and consequently laboured to that effect.
Though formally considered a litigation between Ghana and Ivory Coast, she viewed the arbitration as reinforcing the peaceful relationship that had existed between the two sister Anglophone and Francophone countries.
She said what was seen to be divisive, was really not, and that it had “bound us together.”
She recalled that those who earlier worked on the dispute had been struggling with amicable settlement over a decade. That at last, it became necessary that the matter be resolved by a neutral body.
“So I see it as a multifaceted victory, and that the victory is not only for Ghana, the victory is indeed for Ivory Coast as well,” she added.
The AG reiterated that the victory was not ‘a winner-takes-all’, as the judgment, though rendered, still has to be put into effect.
This, she said, would require not only the efforts of the team from AG’s Department and Ghana, but also cooperation with Cote d’Ivoire, to realise a lasting effect to the decision.
Re-echoing her appreciation for the award presentation, she wished the GEA much success in subsequent events and appreciated Ghana Gas for its sponsorship.
Mrs Augustina Asare Osei, Senior Manager in charge of Government Relations at Ghana Gas, on her part, said her outfit is one of the main forces in the oil and gas industry, and the energy sector.
As such, anything to promote the energy sector is something that they were passionate about doing.
“And this Energy Awards was indeed the first one and a test case for all of us, especially for the organisers and for us the sponsors,” and added that they were looking forward to more collaborations with the Ghana Energy Awards.
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