In April 2018, the president of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said that Ghana has “not offered a military base, and will not offer a military base to the United States of America.” His comments came after Ghana’s parliament had ratified a new defense cooperation agreement with the United States on March 28, 2018, which was finally signed in May 2018. During a televised discussion, soon after the agreement was formalized in March 2018, Ghana’s Minister of Defense Dominic Nitiwul told Kwesi Pratt Jr., a journalist and leader of the Socialist Movement of Ghana, that Ghana had not entered into a military agreement with the United States. Pratt, however, said that the military agreement was a “source of worry” and was “a surrender of our [Ghanaian] sovereignty.”
In 2021, the research institute of Pratt’s Socialist Movement produced—along with the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research—a dossier on the French and US military presence in Africa. That dossier—“Defending Our Sovereignty: US Military Bases in Africa and the Future of African Unity”—noted that the United States has now established the West Africa Logistics Network (WALN) at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, the capital of Ghana. In 2019, then-US Brigadier General Leonard Kosinski said that a weekly US flight from Germany to Accra was “basically a bus route.” The WALN is a cooperative security location, which is another name for a US military base.
Now, four years later after the signing of the defense cooperation agreement, I spoke with Kwesi Pratt and asked him about the state of this deal and the consequences of the presence of the US base on Ghanaian soil. The WALN, Pratt told me, has now taken over one of the three terminals at the airport in Accra, and at this terminal, “hundreds of US soldiers have been seen arriving and leaving. It is suspected that they may be involved in some operational activities in other West African countries and generally across the Sahel.”
*The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.