Business in Ghana

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Archive for January, 2009

Is Rawlings Really Ghana’s Unlikely Democrat?

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 19, 2009

You see, the New York Times is a global newspaper of record that can almost as easily make or break the fortunes of many a significant personality as well as his/her image. And this largely explains why on June 17, 2008, when the New York Times quoted me in an article on the managerial efficiency, or lack thereof, of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, I couldn’t help but feel very important and even significant (See “Bloomberg’s Popularity Survives Darkening Mood of City Poll Finds”). I had been asked to answer a “Yes/No” type of oral questionnaire about how I personally felt New York City’s quite popular and likable Mayor was running the world’s number one city. And as was to be expected, I had said quite a lot in the twenty minutes, or so, that the interview lasted. My opinion, naturally, was neatly, even if somewhat incoherently and sketchily, distilled into two column inches of newsprint. Needless to say, anybody who knows anything about the landmark status and stature of this 19th-century pioneering paper would readily own that even a mere passing mention of one’s name in The Times, as it is affectionately called, is definitely worth all the euphoria and excitement that the subject of such mention may feel.

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr.

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The Dawn of Déjà Vu

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 13, 2009

The new presidential spokesman for Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills looks to be a quite interesting character, though I am not holding my breath in anticipation of the dawn of a democratic dispensation, as he enthusiastically claims. There is a saying among the rural folks of the southern United States which runs as follows: “You may gussy up a pig with a lipstick; but it is still a pig.” In sum, the Atta-Mills administration is not likely to be any remarkably different from that of Massa Boss Rawlings’.  Already, the former tax guru has begun talking about forging a government of national unity, even while also vigorously pursuing the rule of law and order. I bet that we shall soon know what exactly the latter means, and it is almost certain not to be a very pleasant and a pretty sight. For one cannot expect professional and congenital arm-twisters morphing into olive-branch wielders and advocates overnight. But then, if the initial propagandistic fooling pleases the majority of the Ghanaian electorate, then, by all means, it is their ball, let them play it!

By Kwmae Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr.

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Forget About January 7, Mr. Kufuor; Reschedule Your Handover!

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 7, 2009

We are deeply amazed, but hardly surprised, that President J. A. Kufuor would issue a statement seeking to flagrantly interfere with justice and the rule of law under Ghana’s fledgling democratic culture. The lame-duck president is, indeed, quite right that many of us Ghanaians, resident both at home and abroad, had our Yuletide and New Year festivities effectively marred by the raging presidential run-off impasse.  It is quite obvious to Ghanaian citizens who have studiously followed Mr. Kufuor’s un-statesmanlike activities and wrong-headed and outright sophomoric policies, deliberately directed against the political fortunes of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) that put him in the seat of power for two electoral terms, that the outgoing premier is, so far, very pleased with the political crisis that he has almost single-handedly created.  Make no mistake, Ghanaians are in no way, whatsoever, fooled by the President’s rather cavalier and dubious attempt to hurriedly slink himself out the fetid and lurid mess that he has willfully created, largely out of his quite well-known and personal antipathy towards Nana Akufo-Addo, presidential candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party.

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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Tsatsu Tsikata as Minister of Justice and Fair Play

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 7, 2009

In the lead-up to the 2008 presidential run-off, when then-NDC flagbearer Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills promised to make a drastic reduction in fuel prices the topmost priority of his first 100 days in office, we promptly knew, intuitively, that such campaign promise, like coital sweet-nothings, had to be taken with the proverbial pinch of salt.  Now, true to our suspicions, Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia – alias General Mosquito – the NDC general secretary, is telling the Ghanaian electorate that, in fact, the topmost priority of the Atta-Mills presidency, or administration, will be to speedily bump Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata out of the Nsawam Medium-Security Prison, where the former CEO of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has been serving a 5-year prison term for unduly using his official and public position to benefit himself, his cronies and private business associates (See “NDC Dedicates Electoral Victory to Tsatsu” Ghanaweb.com 1/3/09).

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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Akufo-Addo Highlights the ‘Volta Virus’ in Concession Speech

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 4, 2009

The concession of electoral defeat by the presidential candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to the presidential candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), and now President-Elect Atta-Mills, has been widely reported in the global media. And this is all well and good for the democratic development of our country, at least in theory.

What needs to also be highlighted is the apparent complicity, or at least tacit condoning, of the Electoral Commission (EC) in alleged electoral fraud verging on downright criminality. Inevitably, therefore, Nana Akufo-Addo’s concession speech had to also impugn the integrity of Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, chairman of the EC, and his staff and associates. To this end, the former Ghanaian Justice and Foreign minister poignantly observed as follows: “By stating that there is criminal conduct in some constituencies of the Volta Region and yet announcing the results, the Electoral Commission has given the unfortunate impression that it does not matter how votes are being obtained[,] as long as they are duly recorded” (Ghana News Agency 1/3/09).

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr.

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Don’t push your luck Mr. Rawlings

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 2, 2009

In the wake of massive election-related demonstrations by disgruntled New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters and sympathizers in the Asante regional capital of Kumasi, in which two television journalists were reportedly injured, the founding-proprietor of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) issued a thinly veiled warning to President John Agyekum-Kufuor and NPP presidential candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, vowing to harshly retaliate against any perceived acts of provocation and/or violence perpetrated against members and sympathizers of the power-hungry NDC.

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr.

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