Business in Ghana

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The Ultimate U Turn. Critical News, 22nd September 2012

Posted by Business in Ghana on September 23, 2012

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Accra seems subdued.  It is quiet all over.  Election fever is yet to catch and we are all fed up with at-variance politicians.  There is nothing said by one side that is not countered by the other side as wrong or evil, and I am pointing at the NPP and the NDC parties, whose perennial promises and disagreements just seem to weigh heavily on the daily toil.  No consistent water, on-today-off-tomorrow electricity, poor communication services, call drop out, no internet access and definitely no access to finance. You struggle to keep an everyday domestic front only to get to the office and fight even harder to get a rhythm in business.  Ghanaians are not struggling; we are taking a bashing.  My business involves helping clients to find financial solutions to their business needs and currently Ghana is the worst place for providing such solutions.

The entertainment sector is doing ok.  The young ones have found a place for the old guard and a lot of collaboration is happening.  We had a Legends Ball to celebrate Amakye Dede and last weekend we went “Back in the Day”.  Even Sonny Achiba was on the bill.  I admire what we are doing in this sector.  I wonder sometimes if they re making money, but seeing the BMWs, Mercedes and Hummers they ride, I assume things are going well.  I don’t have any singer or actor friends yet, but I am aiming to meet Becca one day soon.  I heard her interview on Joy Fm the other morning and what a well-spoken person with genuine laughter.  Hopefully one day our paths will cross.  I like her music too, but I like Lord Kenya just as well.  I just hope their payday comes soon.

While all this was going down, some idiots from Nima decided to start a gang fight.  It so overwhelmed the police that they had to call in reinforcements from all over Accra.  The reason for the “war” is yet to reach the public, but this is a growing problem.  I wrote a few weeks go how I ran into some motorcycle hooligans at the NPP rally and found relief in a bystander who urged me away.  I couldn’t help but think that if we had arrested and jailed the murderers in the similar Agbogloshie fighting in 2010, it could have served as a deterrent.  We are facing a problem with these gangs who have very little regard for law and order.  Every burial becomes an excuse to hold up traffic, every wedding is reason to drive in the middle of the road and every Sallafest becomes a reckless parade of all combinations of Italian, German, American and Chino-Japanese bike display.  If the bikes were made in Ghana, who knows, we might be more tolerant.  I am sure the Police are aware and very eager to arrest the problem, but why wait till the streets become un-motorable before we act?

In the Supreme Court, the interlocutory injunction by Ransford France against Parliament for “District Four Five” was heard and thrown back.  Justice Ansah did not see reason to stop Parliament from carrying through the 21-day sitting rule for C.I.78.  The actual detail of the case will be heard on 4th October, before which there might be several other challenges to the creation of the Districts.  That legal procedure is clear and the best interpretation of the law will win the day.  Former Attorney General Joe Ghartey argued for the plaintiff and current A-G Benjamin Kunbuor argued for the State.

We have about 75 days to Election Day, the voters’ register is yet to be ushered into play, hopefully all will go well and the Politicians will make sure we have no violence pre and post elections.  I have been asking myself who is ahead in the race?  My small circle of friends who are all biased in their own ways are also very conflicted.

Here is my list as at today for issues and events that I think might influence voters.

Corruption scandals of the NDC, Cost of Living, Free School program, Failure of STX deal, Cedi depreciation, Bawumia impact on the economy, John Mahama youthfulness, some sympathy for the Mills administration, all die be die mantra by Nana Addo.

John Mahama has tied his campign to the late President’s vision of a Better Ghana, managing a thank you tour as part of his campaign.  Well, some persons might have been fooled into thinking he was going round to really say thank you.  I do not think trying to deify the late President is a good idea.  The new President made a statement that President Mills made the “ultimate sacrifice”, and I take exception to this.  An ultimate sacrifice in my world is where you give up your freedom in order to save another; or an act of defiance against tyranny such as to speak a truth. A sacrifice has more value if it is something dear. Also, if the one giving the sacrifice is willing, it tends to make it stronger. So, one willingly giving their life, being that which allows one to enjoy anything else, would be the “ultimate” sacrifice. Finally, to hold the material thing you wanted most in your hands and being able to give it to someone who needs it would be the ultimate.  Death is also a great sacrifice but I think the greater one is freedom, because each day you renew that sacrifice, whereas in death you give it only once.  To live with the sacrifice everyday is a reminder of how great the passed-on “gift”.   The President’s statement means to me that President Mills knew he was on his last legs and yet trundled on knowing very well that his death would offer Mahama and the NDC a gift they could never hope to accomplish without his demise.  Wouldn’t that mean therefore that they were all in a conspiracy against the people of Ghana when they denied consistently with Mills that he was unhealthy and not strong enough?   I am having a problem with the honesty of this issue and wondering everyday whether it was proper for all executive and NDC party apaches who knew how bad things were to engineer his end.  Isn’t sincerity a concern in Ghana Politics?

The most insincere JJ Rawlings’ turncoat appearance was this week.  Still unclear whether JJ and Konadu will be the NDP party, we are also still not clear if JJ endorsed Mahama or whether it was just media sensationalism or maybe the NDC hopefuls believe JJ will add value to their campaign?  From what I have been able to learn of JJ, he neither forgives nor forgets.  Berating the Volta Chiefs this week, he reminded them of the peaceful demonstrations where many innocent Ghanaians were shot and killed for civilized protesting.  He simply omitted to tell them that it was his government who interrupted with gunfire.  The danger with Rawlings is he likes to distort truth.  The danger for him, he thinks nobody remembers the history.

The NDC have yet again opened a gateway for JJ to get into forefront politics.  It is not their fault.  Desperation has signed many torture pacts and future leaders will continue to repeat the mistake.  This week has seen a classic JJ “U” turn, exploiting that small gap in the tunnel left open for him.  In front of the people, manufacturing chaos, re-inventing history, and justifying his return to the fold where he has been insulted and castigated by the same core; just with a new turban.

Ghana, Aha a ye de papa.  Alius valde week advenio. Another great week to come!

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8 Responses to “The Ultimate U Turn. Critical News, 22nd September 2012”

  1. Arlo said

    Pretty much sums present Ghana up. Accurate capture of the prevailing climate, industry, entertainment, through to politics, and how the parking brake is still on, with no engine running. One of the best pieces to date.

  2. Good day, Sir!

    Each time I read an article of yours, I feel very encouraged to contact you, and to occasionally benefit from the fruits of an evidently informed and fair-minded Ghanaian, as we navigate our way into and through what promises to be a high voltage political campaign.

    It is such a pity that our democracy is becoming more and more irrelevant to the needs of Ghanaians. The debates on national policy have been thin and far between. What we see are intrigues from the Rawlingses, or “all die be die” etc. I just read your article and I enjoyed reading it.

    One issue that ought to influence the current debate but which is hardly mentioned is the issue of the “Modernization” of Ghana’s agriculture, as proposed in the NPP Manifesto 2012. I am writing to you to specifically draw your attention to it because I believe it is worth the effort.

    The issue relates to the menace of Genetically Modified Organisms, which unfortunately is least talked about, even though it remains a real and present danger. Only two days ago, on the 21st of September, 2012, the European Commission asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in Parma, Italy, to look into a study which found that corn from Monsanto’s improved seeds causes tumors, organ damage, and premature death.

    This is going on at a time the NPP is busily telling Ghanaians to embrace the so-called “improved seeds” from the Frankestein food industry. Only yesterday, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced that the High Council for Biotechnology (HCB) and the Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety have been asked to look into the study, headed by Gilles-Eric Séralini of the University of Caen and published by Food and Chemical Toxicology this week. If the results are confirmed, Ayrault said at a meeting in Dijon, agriculture minister Stéphane Le Foll would defend France’s right within the European Union to ban GM crops. Three committees in France’s National Assembly will invite Séralini for hearings, Le Figaro reported yesterday.

    The article below, and attached, serves as an introduction to a series in the pipeline. Our aim is to promote a public discussion on the merits and demerits of GMOs for Ghanaians to make informed choices before it is clandestinely imposed on us. Hence the following opening paragraph:

    “The NPP needs to clarify the nature of the agricultural mandate they plan to execute, if voted into power, as stated in their Manifesto for Election 2012, Chapter Three: Section 7. Modernizing Our Agriculture and Ensuring Food Security. Those of us who have been monitoring the NPP’s not-so-clever fund-raising tactics, particularly, their dubious and clandestine relations with international corporations, were not in the least surprised to see what the NPP claims in its 2012 Manifesto, as their plans for Ghana’s agriculture. It is nothing short of criminal. Is the NPP asking for the mandate of Ghanaians to introduce Genetically Modified seeds into our food chain? That is the question!”

    Thank you very much for your kind attention and consideration. I would be pleased to know what you think of this.

    Live and thrive!

    Ali-Masmadi Jehu-Appiah,

  3. This is a very well written piece. It clearly, but also poetically captures the true picture of Ghana’s socio-political scene. I hope this will be read by all and some lesson learnt. I hope that all well meaning Ghanaians will endeavour to make options for peace and safeguarding of the common good. God bless Ghana.

    Paa Nii

  4. This is balderdash !

    Kofi Kofi

    • Kofi Kofi, a lecturer of mine one day stood in front of the students and said this ” Haaba, ebon d3e 3nye koraa” To wit, “to be dumb and not bright is the worse thing that can happen to anyone”. Readng this article by you and finding it “balderdash” makes me wonder who your English or Literature instructor was (is)? Iam ashamed and scandalized for this tomfoolery in Ghana where INTELLIGENT ISSUES AND TOPICS ARE EXLAINED OFF BY NITWIT NINCOMPOOPS LIKE KOFI KOFI. TO TRY DIAGNOSING A DISEASE WHILE NOT BEIN A DOCTOR IS SSUICIDAL IN ITSELF. DADDY LUMBA SANG A SONG AND ONE OF THE LINES GOES LIKE THIS …..” ENYASAFO) NA ETE ENYASANFO) AS3M ASE” To wit…” It takes a wise man to understand another wise saying” God save Ghana!!

      Samevoh Akpetsi

  5. Kudos Mr Hayford. I like reading your articles. More and more please

    Samevoh Akpetsi

  6. Sydney, you do write good articles but your problem is just like that of JJ Rawlings. You are unable to hide your preference for the NPP. So just like JJ, any small window of opportunity you get you push it in by criticising only the NDC and its so-called founder. I am sure the NDC leadership is not fooled by JJ’s u-turn. Hopefully JJ himself should realise by now that he no longer has a stronghold over the NDC as it used to be. The party has outgrown his family. Our people say: “One easily notices it when his dog deserts him but it is more difficult to notice it when your followers desert you”. I find it difficult to appreciate in which capacity Rawlings addressed the Volta Regional House of Chiefs. Maybe the Volta chiefs are playing a game with him or they cannot appreciate the politics of the NDC in 2012.

    Kwesi

  7. Sydney i will like to make it short i do like your articles but always criticising NDC and not the NPP shows how baias you are please be fair and blunt in your articles

    Nii Ansah, Germany

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