CNN Blasted For False Portrayal Of African Country, Ghana

Sunday AlambaAP Photo

Most have been privy to the late night infomercials and charitable requests to help starving families in Africa. But today, Breitbart reports that Ghana’s residents are fighting back on the poor portrayals of their conditions. The hashtag, #CNNGetItRight has bombarded the Twitterverse encouraging the popular news source to correct those inaccurate representations of the country. Ghana’s First Lady, Lordina Mahama, even took part in the Twitter battle.

Just days after the network celebrated the country for #CNNGhanaWeek, a story broke on December 9 regarding the presidential election of opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo, that got many residents heated. The CNN article falsely reported that Ghanaians were starving and also provided incorrect dates for Akufo-Addo’s previous runs. Even more outlandish to the citizens was the idea that CNN misspelled “Ghanaians”.

Taking offense to the assumptions by CNN writers, several Ghanaian residents took to Twitter to call out the United States on its shortcomings in comparison to their own country.

The article was originally written to report the country’s election of Akufo-Addo after President John Mahama conceded his defeat. Representing the New Patriotic Party, Akufo-Addo won the election by nearly one million votes. Representatives of the EC national Coalition Centre confirmed that Akufo-Addo gained nearly 55 percent of the votes, equating to 5,180,389 in comparison to Mahama’s 4,193,861.

CNN editors quickly corrected the report, admitting their errors in the earlier version of the article. Yet still, Ghanaians claim more mistakes exist.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the status of the retail economy in Ghana. Stores are generally well stocked, and food shortages are rare. The earlier version also erroneously said Nana Akufo-Addo ran for president in 1998. Ghana did not have presidential elections in 1998.

President-elect Akufo-Addo, who is a lawyer and former Attorney General, has strong roots in Ghanaian politics with familial ties to half of the key figures considered to be founding fathers. Their contributions significantly impacted the country’s transition from the Gold Coast to modern-day Ghana. His grand uncle J.B. Danquah, a dean of Ghanaian nationalist politicians, and uncle William Ofori-Atta, played a large role in helping Ghana pursue independence from Britain. His father Edward Akufo-Addo served as the third Chief Justice of Ghana before becoming the ceremonial President of the Republic from 1969 to 1972. Following in the steps of his ancestors, Akufo-Addo ran for presidency twice before, with no success. After a loss to Mahama in 2012, he alleged voter fraud. According an older CNN report, the Supreme Court declared Mahama the President by a narrow margin after deliberating for over a month.

The Wall Street Journal reports the victory as only one of three times a Ghanaian government has been voted out. Recent polls suggest that over 70 percent of Ghanaians were not supportive of the direction their country was headed. This was the premise of Akufo-Addo’s campaign platform, as his web page strongly states, “We want a new direction for our nation. John Dramani Mahama is the biggest threat to the future of our nation, and we have to work hard between now and December to kick him out of office.”

Many came out in tribute of the election. President Mahama made a statement to address supporters shortly after his concession, “As president, I have done my bit. I have made a contribution to the political, social and economic development of our country. I would have cherished an opportunity to do even more, but I respect the will of the Ghanaian people.”

Although discrepancies in CNN‘s report may have placed a damper on the events, Ghana’s peaceful presidential election proves the country is still on a good path to take its place as a leading regional economy.

[Featured Image by Sunday Alamba/AP Images]