…As ‘Aligned Consultancy & Partners’ Does Not Exist
Political hucksterism that the ruling New Patriotic Party is seen to have employed to win the 2016 elections appears to have been escalated abroad as UK-based Financial Times’ sudden infatuation with Ghana turns out to be paid advertisement.
In what is adding up to be propaganda by proxy, supposed PR firm, Aligned Consultancy & Partners, did the PR job of getting Financial Times, with its huge global cachet, to do a hype feature on Ghana.
A stench of suspicion has however been left in the air after the FT’s special report on Ghana, because the PR company has since not been traceable.
The Republic has been finding out that Aligned Consultancy & Partners, the PR firm, which got the Financial Times to do about 11 feature stories on Ghana may be a ghost company.
Four days ago, FT published a special report on Ghana under a heading that appeared to highlight President Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP government as shrewd managers who are ushering in a new era of economic growth in Ghana after taking over from the NDC.
”Investing in the New Ghana: Expectations are high for President Nana Akufo-Addo as his pro-business platform proposed to re-ignite growth and create jobs by bringing in new industries, as well as make government more inclusive and accountable,” FT’s heading on Ghana had read.
Giving FT’s huge global cachet, the sudden focus on Ghana gave the impression that the international daily’s attention had been arrested by the shrewdness of the new administration. FT crushing on Ghana in less than nine months into the administration of President Akufo-Addo was good for the image of the government.
However, as it would later turn out, some 11 features that FT had done on Ghana had been sponsored for through Aligned Consultancy & Partners – a seeming PR firm.
Background searches on Aligned Consultancy & Partners have so far yielded nothing, with the company having no presence on the internet. The closest that has been thrown up by the Google search engine is UK-based Aligned Consortium – a software and data engineering company.
As Aligned Consultancy & Partners appears to be a new company without track record; it also left a private gmail address (@gmail.com) rather than a corporate email address, as contact.
The revelations have left suspicion in the air that the Akufo-Addo government intentionally undertook to get the Financial Times to do the special report on Ghana to boost the image of the government.
An impression that Ghana has all of a sudden become eye candy for the international media would then be fed to media surrogates of the ruling party in Ghana to start a propaganda chorus.
Apparently however, in doing so, the NPP government had used a ghost company to front.
The development has since lent itself to suspicion that Aligned Consultancy & Partners is a rascal creation of the regime itself and that, in future, the same ghost company may be used to funnel huge sums of tax payer money to international media organizations to buy hype.
Quite suspiciously, the seeming paid job with the Financial Times is coming at a time that Ghana’s debt stock has hit GHc139billion, increasing by GHc17billion in less than a year after the NPP government had inherited a debt stock of GHc122billion in January, this year.
The galloping debt stock, which places the debt to GDP ratio at 67.5% is happening amidst massive depreciation of the cedi and rises in fuel prices.
The International Monetary Fund has already raised red flags, while Fitch, an international rating agency, has served notice of the likelihood of downgrading Ghana soon.
Given the current wave of pressure on the NPP government, which, when in opposition, had promised not to borrow a pesewa, as part of grandiloquent promises that it had made to voters; it appears that the procurement of hype from Financial Times was in attempt to divert attention from the economic mismanagement under review.
Apparently, in procuring the hype, a desperate NPP government had created a ghost company, Aligned Consultancy & Partners, and used it to front for the whole project.
Aligned is shown to have done the PR job of getting FT to do the special report on Ghana, even though nobody really knows where it is based.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Fiifi Samuels