Government is demanding explanation and apology from a Ghanaian artist who plagiarised a photo of a high-rise building in Kenya for use as the cover of the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ strategy document.
Richmond Bansah was commissioned to produce an original artwork that reflects the vision of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda and the highlights of the strategy document.
Instead, he allegedly plagiarised a photo of Dawit Insurance Limited headquarters in Nairobi, triggering criticism against the government, with some persons describing the act as embarrassing.
Critics were shocked by how government officials led President Nana Addo Dankwa AKufo-Addo to show off the document with the plagiarised photo at a national event televised live.
Government officials initially downplayed the issue and asked people rather focus attention on the content, but the Committee in charge of the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda issued a statement Friday to apologise for the gaffe.
“The Committee apologises unreservedly to the President and the nation for this error,” the statement signed by Secretary to the Committee, Dr Eric Yeboah said.
It said the Committee “takes full responsibility for it” and are currently “ensuring that the cover page of the document is replaced before bulk copies are printed for widespread circulation.
Apologise for the embarrassment
In a separate letter to the artist, Richmond Bansah, the Committee said it needs explanation as to why he plagiarised someone’s work as against producing an original artwork.
For the Committee, what happened was “singular act of indiscretion and lack of professionalism” on the part of Bansah.
His action, the Committee noted, brought embarrassment to the President, the Ghana Beyond Aid Committee and its chairman for which reason he ought to explain and apologise.
“You are therefore required to provide explanation and formal apology to the Ghana Beyond Aid Committee,” the letter to Mr. Bansah dated May 31 demanded.
The Committee however, did not whether it will apply any sanction against the artist.
Critics have been demanding to know how much the artist was paid and whether on the face of the plagiarised work, government would seek a refund of all monies that may have been paid to Bansah, but the Committee did not touch on that.