EDITOR’S NOTE: Priority was put into ensuring the transcript of the interview was produced in the words of Dr. Kwame Fordjour. Hence, the grammatical errors and incoherence are a direct reproduction of his words because of the allegations being levelled.
Interviewer: Good afternoon
Guest: Good afternoon
Interviewer: So there is a story we are working on and we wanted to get your reaction
Guest: Who sent the story to you?
Guest: You said you’re working on a story
Interviewer: Yes we are working on a story about the award that you ran- the award scheme
Interviewer: Yes, you recently awarded Chairman Wontumi, and a host of other dignitaries including the UG vice chancellor.
Guest: The UG vice chancellor is two years- three years ago
Interviewer: Yes, it is the same scheme that we (are talking about)
Guest: What has it done?
Interviewer: Okay, so what we have found is that the UN which you lay claim is false and the United Nations Blueprint organization has no record of working with the UN.
Guest: Make your statement clear, I don’t get it, you said the UN?
Interviewer: Okay, so our investigations have revealed that your claim to the UN is false
Guest: Do (Did) I mention any claim to you on the news? You are telling me. Whoever we award, have you found out what the institution is about?
Interviewer: What is the institution about sir?
Guest: You don’t know? So you people you are writing about me, you are sadly embarking on a heated battle in the future. The institution is the Kofi Annan institution. It was founded by Mr. Kofi Annan. Let me help you with some clarification. When people, you award them, they go ahead with their own interpretation of the award. I have not read Wontumi’s story, I think its last month, and I’ve never seen it. They have their own choices of words and explain it anyhow anywhere. Whoever we award, we go through the global scheme, and we call something the International Protocols Sphere. Are you listening? [Interviewer: Yes sir] which is beyond Ghana’s jurisdiction when we award. The UN resolution 2030 is the measure to award any individual with respect to the Global Public Excellence that’s the institution we are dealing with now, if you say you are writing about me. The Global Public Excellence is the one that gives the award, it goes all round, national criteria through global to select people to be awarded. It has international board, committees that work. The institution itself is a collection of diplomats that come together to form it. And these diplomats are all within the UN, European Union, African Union and some Heads of States. Ghanaians go too low to some extent that I read some of the stories that come out and I’m like okay that’s how you want the confirming to be but the script I gave you does not mention this and that. UN is the big base umbrella and you do not use the UN name for something that is not UN. The United Nations has given us a measure, a criteria, a requirement for selection and awarding. This institution Mr. Kofi Annan wanted to make it like a Nobel Prize institution that is how come he founded it. And I have worked with him, I was the Millennium Development Goals ambassador in Africa. So I really launched the Millennium Project in Ghana here at Manso Nkwanta and you should go there to see it. That’s how come he established some institutions in Africa that are manned by Ghanaian intellectuals like myself. He charged me at Harvard University to handle it. I worked around him, I worked within the UN for him as in special initiatives. And the things we are doing, we say something “You can kill the man but you can’t take the UN out of the man”. So when we make these statements of Kofi Annan at the UN, some editors go as low as write their own things like as if the Secretary General have come to Ghana to confer award on them. Nobody in Ghana here has succeeded in extraordinary service that merits a Secretary General’s endorsement as an award. What you don’t understand, it’s a global award, but the measure of the scheme you are mentioning is taken from the Resolution 2030, a General Assembly’s resolution, of which I am part. Any stakeholder that attends the summit every year or that represents his or her institution around the world is a stakeholder. So I think some things must be clear, if you don’t clear such things. There are some things Ghanaians must cleanse in their system. Whenever we award, Legon vice chancellor, Kofi Annan was the Chancellor of University of Ghana. Until I met Prof. Oduro, that we discussed about Kofi Annan being a chancellor and he establishing this Global Public Excellence and the mission and other things. We should come together to do some initiatives for Ghanaians and the youth in Africa. I am doing this for Kofi Annan in this country, others are doing theirs in South Africa. I always tell people that they don’t know who Kofi Annan was. We met him time and again, he discussed things with us, we know who he is and we know who he was and is. I think we should come to terms with more of globalization than nationalistic agenda. So Kofi Annan is founder of Global Public Excellence, it’s a subsidiary, let me say, it’s registered under the UN, if you mean we are talking about registration. And I am invited everywhere to speak by the Secretary General in programs, we also invite him in our summits and programs across the world. We organized the Madiba, the celebration of Mandela 100 years with the South African Ambassador and South Africa and Ghana and I was part of it. I was part of the Millennium Development Goals, I was part of the architects, the 8 goals – Sustainable Development goals, and we were the first people with Kofi Annan’s personal assistant. We were the first people to launch it at the University of Ghana. So we said that this is a good avenue to launch Ghanaian initiatives and I think they sent letters to president of Ghana, the then president, John Dramani Mahama. They endorsed, we even did a budget for him that every year [Kofi Annan had not died] we have to celebrate this global legacy. He gave us a budget within their budget that every year we should do it, when this president (Nana Akufo Addo) came, we went to him in his office, we have been sending letters. I have met Dr. Eugene, those that are in charge of global activities, the minister of Foreign Affairs and everything we do here. The same people who are trying to politicize things that we don’t want to care about at all because Wontumi is a big-time achiever when it comes to SDGs. Take away the politics or who he is as a Chairman, he’s a big-time farmer and when we are awarding, we look at the venture initiative and agenda in line with the person’s achievements. He’s people’s mobilizer for development they are all in our criteria of selecting recipients and awardees. He deserves more than any other person so if I should clear the air for you and you’re recording, this should help you better. Like you texted me, you should have called me to find more information about me and then I know much about the UN because I did International Relations and Law.
Ghana we are so unique in leadership, democracy and everything we do in our country here. So we have special people, you know a lot of Ghanaians who are lecturers and professors at Harvard. I’ve been calling Wontumi and his people, they don’t want to respond to me. I went to their office, the lady told me that she will walk me out of the office because I wanted to correct them on something I read. Because I awarded you, I am a diplomat and I awarded you on a good scheme that even when the UN sees it, it is (going to) bring in promotion and all that because I am working with the global agenda more than you. Fine, you can’t ask UN, but what I gave you, does it bear the title of UN? NO. Does it bear the essential theme UN? NO. So I wonder why some editors will get up and be so sensational about things and then forget about professionalism.
Interviewer: What should have been the right way of capturing it?
Guest: Legon Vice chancellor read their editorial, Radio Universe wrote it, and they captured my story and wrote it, the Global Public Excellence instituted by the 7th Secretary General. Kofi Annan alone is bigger than the UN. When we are to be proud of our own people and country, why do you want to make the UN the one that confers the award on you? What will become (of) me: my work I did, my sweat. You understand it [Interviewer: Yeah]. I sent a letter to Commercial Bank’s CEO and then when he saw our letterhead, he said “wow, do you operate around the UN?” he didn’t say Within the UN? Around the UN? Because the UN is an umbrella but UNDC is not UN, it’s a Development Program Department for United Nations Secretariat in New York, of which I’ve worked there before. So you can’t claim UNDC to be UN. Never can you say that, because everybody knows that the Social Structure of the United Nations [if you did Global Studies] or even if you have gone there to do attachment before. You understand it? [Interviewer: Yeah]. So the UN itself is the mother umbrella that have departments and agencies- agents. Kofi Annan became the second term UN Secretary General because he had turned more NGOs into UN agencies by the Global compass. They were all NGOs and he changed them to be wider and open, visionary and he made them UN branches. So we the Global Public Excellence, we operate even wider than the UN when it comes to award schemes. So Kofi Annan told us, this is a legacy for our own people, a legacy for Africans. I said that (if) you check last year April, (during) Kofi Annan’s birthday, somebody who is not a Ghanaian, made it a big ceremony for the whole world and Kofi Annan’s son was the main speaker. Why is that when we are bringing such a good thing home, because I have all those links, I have everybody in UN that can help them than him and they are all watch dogs, they watch what you do, if it is wrong or you lie one bit, they will cancel everything you do because when we have problems, we refer to them. Sometimes even in spending. So why would you go and choose a different name for an Award that you will not even get any price for it. [Interviewer: Okay. Yes, I’m listening] Kofi Annan was known (as) the UN gold star, the gold star of UN. So as part of his accolades [it’s those that don’t know] I mean anyone who has worked on the International Interventions, know that Kofi Annan has so many titles and Otumfuor gave him Busumuru. We all know him to be the UN gold star, a whole lot, the Nobel Laurel and so in our world, if it’s about Kofi Annan, we can use any of Kofi Annan’s title to honor somebody hence go that measure. A lot of people die and they don’t bring them home like they brought Kofi Annan’s body with the flag on it that the family will benefit a whole lot long term. So when we have gotten this rich character, Otumfuor, has endorsed such a great thing for us, because he did the funeral of Kofi Annan for us, the President of Ghana is aware of (it). We have written letters to (the) President several times. At a good time, with initiatives, we will award him. We have written letters to him, at a good time, yet the initiatives we are seeing in nation building and governance, we will award him.
Interviewer: So we are told that you are the Executive Director of the United Nations’ Blueprint Missions. Is that the case?
Guest: I am (an) Ambassador, the blueprint mission is for Kofi Annan. The blueprint mission is someone who achieves the final rankings of global excellence because the sky is the limit, it’s in blue colors and the UN has that blue colors. The blueprint is the final award a person of global agenda receives. It’s still the same thing, so I am an ambassador, an ambassador for Kofi Annan himself, ambassador for activities that he has done and even the current Secretary General because the blueprint works around global leadership. Whether you like it or not, I can turn a few heads on you and work on you and bring it home. That is the blueprint, what its about. So it’s something the Secretary General is going to run, it’s the Covid that has interjected and it has ambassadors in every country.
Interviewer: So the United Nations Blueprint Missions, is it under the United Nations?
Guest: Like I said, it’s an initiative that is [it is like “woob3to akoraa din, wonnya ntooe3”] going to be born. So it is something undercover about to be launched to boom so after the Covid. Right now anybody working with the United Nations in New York is working from home to the UN, nobody is at the office. So communications is somewhere now, but then Ghana ambassador to the United Nations, they have all received documents about this, that we are going to launch this thing in New York and then it will come to our countries. But remember it was started by Kofi Annan and it was one or three people that were following him to document things so it is going to be launched officially for everybody to know.
Interviewer: So I was asking that because we realized that the report could not be corroborated and that there are no such traces of the mission under UN. That’s how come I am asking.
Guest: You see how you are a good journalist? Good. You find out as early as possible, until we land and you don’t even know where they are going. Normally with me my knowledge, you can only be placed under the Secretary General’s own initiatives. Not as a statutory department, you get it? [Interviewer: Yeah] Like President’s planting for Food and Jobs, it falls under the Ministry of Agriculture and as an initiative not even catered for by the minister but by the president himself as the monitoring eye. So when we have any proposal for a global agenda, the UN welcomes that. That will bring a mass development creating wealth for a chunk of people, we submit it to the office of the Secretary General, even this when we submitted it, we were about 20 countries that we built the proposal together. When we submitted it to the Secretary General, they were not responding to us but even by email. Me I am somebody who goes deeper into things when I want to do it and so kept calling and calling and calling and used all protocols and I saw that our letter has been kept there waiting for a day to revise all our country members, if the country members were not like 30 and 40 above, you’ll not be called an envoy to work for the UN. So we are what you’ll call envoy, and we have a team of now about 150 (from) different countries. So the Covid has just interjected and we are waiting for the right time to launch it. As they left thing with the Americans and co (since) 2010, people were like “ah, waba mu mbu, waba mu mbu” but then because I know articulating, how to write to the media, diplomatic writing, when you take it all our people that’ll endorse it, quickly they endorse it. But you know the UN does things like emergency issues can’t be tampered with like Covid and co. So even as I am here now, we have closed down our office, we are more than working as UN staff because what we do, the Secretary General is presumed as Chairperson and we have documents to that (effect). So we follow all UN resolutions and articulations and lo and behold, whoever we send letters to they say your things are like UN (‘s), are you UN? I say no. Most of the things that UN brings out, I am part of the idea behind it. A whole lot because they poached me from my school Harvard and they always say that you always have to advance ideas for a mass people to be won an award, either than that stop doing what you are doing. So we keep saying that the right time will come for people to know that it is for our development. Happiness for our people, including you because I have journalists that are awarded at the end of the year that these people are the fourth estate realm of Ghana and they are not catered for. We are going to award some selected journalists this year and give them grants, money for them to represent Africa in the UN because other countries do it. I propose documents and America steal it and they use it for their own country men but here when we submit letters and co to these people, they don’t help. Ever since Kofi Annan died, if you like check the website, Kofi Annan’s this thing, I was standing behind the body. I was with the wife and family, because I know him, because I’ve been with him, because I know what he can do, what even as he is dead, we can mature Ghana to become. So we are waiting for the right time to launch this in our country. Mr. President alone can’t do it, ministers alone can’t do it. And so if some of us are ready to build our country, we are not supposed to do that anyway but with international conventions, everybody, even if you register an NGO, you can register and add your budget to it, you’re part of UN. You attend summits, of you want funding you join it and so how much more the one established by the UN Secretary General, the 7th one?
Interviewer: There are two other things I’ll appreciate if you could respond to. So in September, 2017, Modern Ghana reported that officials of the Association of Rural Banks, APEC bank limited, Accra arrested an alleged fraudster. The name according to the story is one Kwame Owusu Fodjour for attempting to defraud rural and community banks under the pretense of awarding them millennium achiever’s gold award and the story also indicated that a letter by Mr. Fordjour bore the logo with a striking resemblance to that of the United Nations. Additionally, according to the letter, referenced by modernghana.com, the event was supposed to be chaired by Mr. Kofi Annan who was the Former Secretary General of the UN with former president JJ Rawlings and former president Kuffour all in attendance but upon further check, the bank officials found the entire scheme to be fraudulent. Is this in any way related to you? [for the purpose of clarity]
Guest: Yes. Let me first clear the air that it was Ghanaian times who published it [Interviewer: Okay]. And you know what? When we don’t investigate something before you write, and because I don’t have time and I’m not stable in Ghana and all that, I have not responded to them but my wife showed me that I’ve not told her and all that and I said don’t mind them (because) they are hungry journalists. The way they write the thing, if you don’t take care, you might even go and tear your PhD papers because how will you use double PhD in diplomacy to go and do fraudulence. The whole story is, we started this award scheme like from the rural perspective where we tell rural banks in relation to communities that are poor, those rural banks that are making impacts in [that time it was called Millennium Development Goals] remember I told you that I was the Millennium Development Goals Ambassador to Africa, so we just go by the UN postulate to do what we do, that’s our constitution. So we saw that some major rural banks are making impacts on communities that governments are not even responding to. So we wrote letters to these institutions, the rural banks that are making impact. That time APEC was their mother (institution) not today that everyone is on their own, and APEC does not have full control over them. I must say that it became like if you like then you join the association for them to even deliver your letter to you. The rural banks, after what I did became free, no more under slavery because the APEC was giving them instructions upon instructions. Like I was going to give an award to Atwima Kwanwoma rural bank and they said unless the APEC CEO endorses that they deserve the award. This is what brought the whole issue and I said I do not understand this. Atwima Kwanwoma rural bank or there is one at Central region, a big rural bank, they are making some developmental initiatives on their own not under the pretext of apec so we want their numbers so I went there that I want their contacts to reach them and under the millennium development goals, eight goals that they have done well with poverty alleviation. Their director then, he was very stubborn and highly principled without (partisanship). So I went there and they were like so it’s you? And I was like what have I done? He said you have been sending them letters that they should release us, and you don’t channel it through us and you’re making them disrespect us so you are collecting their monies, we have arrested you. I said all I have to say, this man said no and that time my uncle was the police commissioner in Ghana George Asiamah, he was the national police commissioner and he knows that he put me through school Sussex in London, Harvard, US. He knows that I will not do such things, so what happened was the man immediately calls journalists that they should come and cover me. So when we explained and this and this, they didn’t even go through everything we have written to them, nobody read it. That’s why I said, (in) this country, you have to be a lion to breakthrough, yes because these elders of such institutions know about the ancient things, they will not apply little technology or little modern education to know that even the youth, we need what we are saying (and) they should help us breakthrough because NGOs so to speak, they go to rural areas and they drill boreholes and co through initiatives that we are doing. And our award always come with a big scholarship and initiatives for communities. So, I said all these things, this man said no, he will not understand. So the journalists came, the police came, we went to the police station and then I wrote my statement and they said then it’s false, then I am right. None of the APEC people came there, none of them came to the police station. They just wrote their irrelevant information to the CID in their own office and never came there for us to battle it ourselves. So we went to court, and the court cleared me. Nkrabea Effah Darteh was my lawyer then and the court said this case they are talking about and co, is a mistake so I should leave the rural banks and they said that what I’m doing is a good initiative and its true Mr. Kofi Annan and co are the people who do these things. So they were only wondering why I’m a young person leading that. That’s what the court said, that’s the only thing they said that normally it is the leadership that do this but with my age and co, I am not the one to do it. And at that time our office was at Trasaco, the person that gave us this institution to lead and co was at Trasaco so he gave his house for that place to be an office. So when they went to check all these things, they said I should go my way. So we also wrote reports to our UN agencies that we fall under that we have to restructure things (because) when I came back to Ghana, this is what I’ve fallen into and the leaders don’t care at all. The little little things, even if you haven’t made a mistake, they put it on you and the person works in US so our colleagues who are spearheading presidential fellows in white house, they sent it from campus, they are now in white house. They do research for every president that comes to the white house and I even wrote the same proposal to our presidency here, up to date, mobilizing (and) joining people to do research on our own communities and making it a government agenda that we solve it ourselves, that Mr. President, your name and signature should just be there and up to date, nobody touches on such things, initiatives. So when the court acquitted me, I had to go back and we structured things. So we have known our system, I’m a typical Ghanaian, I’ve know them when we fault and when we don’t fault. So that’s how come that issue, I told Ghanaian Times that because we did the program two years ago, the one you mentioned the Legon Vice Chancellor, Ghanaian Times they came to me and they came to ask for money .I saw them, I know them very well, I gave the money to them, I gave the envelope to them. If we have not called, we have not called them. So I mean they have to change their style of writing to follow the truth only because me I am not payed by a Ghanaian, I am payed by the International system, so I will not get anything from awarding or doing something that I will not get anything from it [Interviewer: Okay]. We don’t award somebody to take money, but if we have to do a dinner or refreshment and there is no sponsor, we have an entity that funds our own selves or request from UN or European Union and other (places). Even when we organize the program and we have to call ambassadors of UN and co to come, it’s because of Mr. Kofi Annan before they come. So we have a reputation to protect as well.
Interviewer: Yes. You mentioned that you studied International Development [Guest: Yes], at Harvard Kennedy School. So a part of this whole subject is that you have stated that you graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2011 [Guest: Yeah] with a distinction in Global Studies and International Development [Guest: Yeah]. But what we are getting or the report we are getting is that there is no such program .
Guest: I had to go through what the Dean or we call something ESL, an African or somebody coming from a third world, they give you a pre requisite course to study to match what you are looking for as your certification. So before you study in US or any graduate institution, you will pass through International Development before you even major in any program. International Development means that, you are not part of their system, everything they are doing, you did not attend their college, so they will build you fresh before they measure you in. So you can call it your title and add it to your qualification or certificate. But at the end of the day, they know that this is what we have to let you go through.
Interviewer: Okay. Alright. Thank you, sir, for speaking to us [Guest: okay]. If anything, I’m sure we will get back to you.
Guest: Okay, so if anything let me hear from you, we will invite you to programs to come [Interviewer: okay] so that you’ll witness and I’ll give you the history around what we are doing very well and why we have to do that. Sometimes we will even be needing your assistance the more, to do all our publications for us.
Interviewer: Okay, alright. Thank you.
Guest: Thank you very much
Interviewer: You are welcome.
- Dr. Kwame Fordjour is not a graduate of Harvard and has never attended Harvard.
- There is no record of his two names, i.e. Dr. Kwame Fordjour and Wayne Winston in the database of Sussex University where he claimed to have had his masters.
- On the contrary, he has two associations with KNUST.
- He completed KNUST Senior High in 1998
- He is a wanted criminal for having scammed prospective applicants of their monies paid with the promise of granting admissions.
- The Kofi Annan foundation denies any knowledge of dealings with him and the use of the Kofi Annan brand.
- There is no record of working with the United Nations and all videos and pictures of him at the United Nations were taken in Ghana or carefully photo shopped to produce effect.
- His only confirmed academic qualification remains his SSSCE.