The African Investment Forum which was held in Westminster, Central London on the 1st-3rd December, 2015, will last long in the memory of its participants for the very wrong reasons. The epic gathering and global event involving various African leaders including the continents’ Heads of States, Ministers, investors and Private equity firms, is an annual summit where opportunities for investment and development of the African economies are sought and discussed.
This year’s event was no different but the highlight of the event was the heated and bitter exchange between the President of Ghana, John Mahama and former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo. This was a disappointing and very unpleasant sight which almost degenerated into physical exchange of blows between the two African leaders. As the two lashed out all kinds of verbal abuses on each other, the Ghanaian president openly called the former Nigerian leader “an idiot” and a “stupid buffoon”.
The reason for this public show of shame is said to be because of the accusation leveled on Mahama by the Obasanjo who had openly accused the Ghanaian President and his government of blackmailing, collecting bribes from Nigerian businessmen in Ghana, contributing $12m to Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign and buying numerous properties in Nigeria and South Africa.
The allegation made the Ghanaian leader so furious that he started pointing his fingers at Obasanjo while moving towards him. It took the swift intervention of Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, who moved President Mahama to another room, to avert what would have been an international embarrassment to the black continent.
Participants in the conference included: Nigerian ex-president, Olusegun Obasanjo, Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf , Republic of Benin President, Thomas Boni Yayi, Malawian president, Matata Ponyo Mapon, Ugandan President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, DR Congo Prime Minister, Augustin Matata Ponyo, Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius, Xavier Luc Duval, Ghanaian President, John Mahama, among others.