Ghana government shamefully sold all its shares in AngloGold Ashanti – Sam Jonah

Business magnate and former Chief Executive Officer of Ashanti Goldfields, Sir Sam Jonah, has bemoaned how Ghana sold all its shares in the mining company, AngloGold Ashanti.

Sam Jonah

According to him, Ghana Government first sold 30% of its shares in the company in 1994, followed by another 25% after the company was listed on the New York stock exchange.

Speaking on GTV’s BBUM show on September 25, 2022, the respected businessman describe the turnout of events regarding Ghana’s stake in AngloGold Ashanti as shameful.

He also raised concern over the low level of ownership the country has in major companies and businesses that are run locally.

Sir Jonah said no Ghanaian has any shares in any of the mines in the country.

Ghana’s government has 10 percent interest in all the mines but beyond the government, there is no Ghanaian who has [even] 2 percent shares in the mines. Ghana’s government has 55%, and they sold their interest from 55% to 25% in 1994.

So, the Ghana government sold and took 400million dollars out and so Ghana government became 25% and not a 55% shareholder and later on we merged and became AngloGold Ashanti.

And currently, as we speak, it has zero equity interest in AngloGold Ashanti. The Ghana government had 10 percent in the mines, like Obuasi etc, but as the company that merged, the Ghana government has zero percent of AngloGold Ashanti, which is a shame because we sold,” he said.

Sam Jonah also stated that in South Africa, all the mines are owned by South Africans which meant that profit was not expatriated and that accounted for Johannesburg’s recognition as a gold mining city.

Knighthood Award

Touching on other issues in the interview, Sir Sam Jonah explained why he was awarded a knighthood by the British Royal family.

To dispel rumours about the award he received in 2003, the former Ashanti Gold CEO disclosed that he received the award for leadership within the Commonwealth group of nations.

He said that reason was contrary to the popular notion that he was knighted because he handed over Ghana’s gold to the late Queen Elizabeth II.

First of all, I was not awarded the knighthood because I gave Ghana’s gold to the queen. I have heard all of that before.”

In fact, at the time when I became Chief Executive of Ashanti, Ghana had 55% of the company and I am not sure Ghana government will allow you to take 55% to the Queen,” he said on the BBUM show.

The British won’t tell you [are being knighted], but officially, they said it was for leadership and business in the Commonwealth… that is what the official statement said. And to an extent that I had a couple of lifetime achievement awards unrelated to royalty, there must have been something that they saw,” he stressed.

In June 2003, Jonah became the first Ghanaian to be knighted in the 21st century when he was presented with an honorary knighthood (KBE) by the then Prince of Wales, in recognition of his achievements as an African businessman, a leading business executive from the Commonwealth, and an international public figure.

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