World Bank apologizes for pictures depicting Ghana as country full of hungry people

08:10, October 21, 2010      

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The Ghana office of the World Bank Group apologized on Wednesday for pictures depicting Ghana as a country full of hungry and miserable people.

It said in a statement that Ghana has made tremendous progress over the last couple of decades and it has had a marked growth and progress in improving the lives of its citizens.

Reacting to a publication under the title "World Bank Paints Ghana Black" in Monday edition of the Daily Guide, a local newspaper, the bank said "these images are not the way the World Bank sees Ghana".

The paper published a story by its business editor Felix Dela Klutse, covering the bank's recently held 2010 annual meeting in Washington, during which the World Bank had "stabbed Ghana in the back".

"This time round, the pictures displayed by the Breton Woods institutions portrayed Ghana as a country full of hungry and miserable people," according to the paper.

However, the World Bank office said that "the images were not part of any bank-supported exhibit and have now been removed from the archives. We regret their use and publication, and any offense they so understandably caused".

It added that the bank has been working on new guidelines to govern all images owned by the World Bank and would undertake a review of "our collections accordingly".

Earlier, speaking on Joy fm, a local radio, World Bank Country Director Ishac Diwan apologized for the display of such pictures, described them as old as 20 and 30 years.

"I want to offer our apologies to Ghanaians and we very much regret any harm that has been done to Ghana's image," Mr Diwan said.

He admitted that the pictures were offensive and also perpetuated the type of stereotypes that were really far from current realities and very much at odds with the image of Ghana the bank would like to project.

Source: Xinhua


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