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‘Dr UN’ And Purported Affiliations with Harvard, UN and Kofi Annan: Here’s What We Know

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‘Dr. Fordjour’, aka ‘Dr UN’ who presented Global Excellence awards to influential personalities and organised conferences claims he is a UN-Kofi Annan ambassador

Both the Kofi Annan Foundation and the United Nations have confirmed with Dubawa that they have no associations with ‘Dr UN’, his organisation and his award schemes as he claims.

Full text

One of the top trends that have surfaced on Ghanaian Twitter timeline over the week is ‘Dr UN’- a nickname by the Ghanaian Twitter community given to a man who refers to himself as Dr Kwame Owusu Fordjour. Fordjour is reported to be presenting purported United Nations (UN) global awards of excellence to some high-profile Ghanaian personalities detailed in this article by Dubawa

Amidst the Twitter banter and ridicule of personalities who have fallen prey to the alleged scam, the Ghanaian Twitter community identified that Dr Kwame Owusu Fordjour is not who he claims to be, especially as he is reported to have had allegations of fraud made against him ten years ago.

The UN BluePrint Mission website (which has since been taken down) dedicated to introducing Dr Kwame Owusu Fordjour and his ‘UN-Kofi Annan ambassadorial mission’ indicates that Fordjour, who also attributes the title ‘His Excellency’ to his name, is also known as Wayne Winston.

On the website, Fordjour claims that he has been assigned by the 7th UN General-Secretary Kofi Annan as a millennium ambassador to monitor and assess the state of governments and to make them accountable to the citizens. 

The website also alleges that Fordjour has worked with the UN over a number of years, after having completed Harvard Kennedy School, and has devoted his attention to projecting African countries’ achievements.  

In view of this supposed responsibility, Fordjour holds a ‘Service to Humanity Awards’ ceremony where recognised Ghanaian personalities have received awards from him. 

The awards are purportedly meant to honour personalities whose works and activities have been deemed to be of excellence in leadership, in accordance with the vision of Fordjour and his ‘UN Kofi Annan BluePrint mission.’ 

Verification

Dubawa contacted the National Information Officer for the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Ghana, Cynthia Prah, to confirm Fordjour’s association with their organisation.

Subsequently, in a detailed email Prah sent to Dubawa as a model of a public disclaimer, the United Nations in Ghana stated that they have no affiliation with Fordjour’s BluePrint Global Challenge Awards nor with his BluePrint Mission organisation.

“We advise the general public to access genuine information by visiting the relevant UN agencies’ websites or the UN Ghana website on https://ghana.un.org/en,” the disclaimer reads. 

Source: UN in Ghana

Dubawa further contacted the Kofi Annan Foundation in Geneva to confirm Fordjour’s alleged association with the foundation. 

The Programme Manager for the Kofi Annan Foundation, Natalie McDonnelle, responded that Fordjour was using the name of Kofi Annan in an unauthorised way for his works, despite prior warnings from the foundation for him to stop. 

“Dr Fordjour has used the name of Kofi Annan, as well as his photograph and signature, without permission on a number of occasions and indeed has ignored a cease and desist letter sent to him regarding this matter. I can also indicate that he is not a representative of the UN, as they wrote to us recently asking if we knew anything about him,” McDonnelle said.

Dubawa interviewed Abdul-Karim Ibrahim, a researcher and journalist, who spearheaded investigations into Fordjour’s identity and awards. 

Ibrahim explained to Dubawa that when he started investigations in July, it was difficult to get Fordjour to respond to the drafted story for publication. Consequently, he reached out to a former colleague at Ghanaweb, Benefo Buabeng Abrantepa, who was able to hold an interview with Fordjour.

In the 41-minute audio interview sent to Dubawa, transcribed by PoliticoGh, Fordjour is heard insisting on his claim of holding an ambassadorial mission from Kofi Annan and the UN even after it was revealed to him by the interviewer that such awards are not indicated as a programme or project under the UN.

When questioned about the alleged arrest for fraudulent activities on the Association of Rural Banks and Apex Bank Limited, he confirmed the arrest by stating in the interview that:

“…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.”

Ibrahim also told Dubawa that in his initial investigations, he contacted Harvard Kennedy School about Fordjour’s claim of attending the institution. They denied having records of him. 

Source: Abdul Karim Ibrahim

Conclusion

The facts known about ‘Dr UN’ is that he is not a Kofi Annan-UN ambassador associated with the Kofi Annan Foundation nor with the United Nations as he claims. Also, his arrest based on fraudulent allegations on Rural Banks and Apex Bank Limited is true, albeit the veracity of the allegations remains unknown till now. Further, he did not attend the Harvard Kennedy School as he claims. 

Maxine Gloria Danso is a Senior Researcher with Dubawa Ghana. Maxine has previously worked as a Research Assistant engaging in some notable communication research projects in Ghana, having completed a Master of Philosophy programme in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, with specialisation in journalism, public relations and advertising. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and French from the University of Ghana, with a University Diploma in French Studies from Université Rennes 2 in France. Maxine contributes to the team by drawing from her knowledge and research experience in media studies.

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