Business in Ghana

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Archive for March, 2013

Flight of The Asongtaba Akonfem. Critical News, 31st March 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 31, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford,

Sitting on the curb of our Family House in James Town, I am chilling with my cousins and uncles, formally ushering a new head of our family and enjoying the late hits from Wulomei and other King Bruce greats.  My cousin Kpakpo, a walking lexicon of the Ga language is at his best, keeping us all engaged in the kind of banter you exchange after you have boxed your drinks, no matter which, with a tot and two of Mandingo bitters.  I am a Guinness-Mandigo Akonfem weight and it is a thoroughly pleasant evening.  There is a gentle and comforting breeze blowing from south side, but for the occasional taxi and Trotro fumes we have no issues.  We are used to the agitation from the foot soldier types, and we are very comfortable with the stench from the Korle.  It has been like that since I can remember, and hey, we know our Government has no interest in fixing it, so we manage and shut it out.

The exodus of the Kwahu-Easter-loving migrants has calmed the streets and we muse on the way Accra used to be in the old days.  I played football in the alleyway of the house and on the streets, always drifting closer to the Palladium cinema house to sneak by the gate to watch “Seven Slaves Against Rome”, much to my mother’s mortification.  The Cinema House is now a church.  Signs of the times. Read the rest of this entry »

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Smockless JDM on Water Day. Critical News, 24th March 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 24, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford,

A case from my Grandfather’s archives caught my attention and set me on an aerial trip to Ho in the Volta Region.  It is not a very nice city when you look at it from the Google skies and I will make a trip there soon to see if Google have the right place located on Maps.

The story.  From the Daily Graphic of July 11, 1958, a person was said to have told the Assize Court that he was informed by a fortune teller at Atakpame in the Ho District, that one Bukari, his half brother, was bewitching him, and as he did not want Bukari to kill him first, he was influenced by the devil to kill him.  He acted on heresy and without any proof as to the truth of what he had been told by the Fortune Teller, who might have been paid by another, he killed his brother.  Notwithstanding Defense Council’s plea that his client acted under “insane delusion”, he was sentenced to death.  The Fortune Teller still lives after destroying two lives.  A Ghanaian bench adjudicated this case. Read the rest of this entry »

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Logorligi Pilgrimage to Jubilee Flagstaff. Critical News, 17th March 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 17, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford,

I found myself in Akosombo this weekend.  Not by design, I happened to be going elsewhere and ended up there.  So I decided to stay and find out whether what ECG is saying that VRA has no energy to supply is true.  Motorway drive is risky, you have to be very vigilant, the Trotros and rickety trucks stop all through the distance, you would think it was a rest stop to Tema.  At 11am when I got to the end of the motorway, there was a traffic jam.  For no reason.  All 4×4 Prados and Land Cruisers riding the side roads with as much impunity as Chris Brown smoking wee in the face of Ohene Djan.  By the time I hit the Afienya road, I had killed a full 45 minutes of my time.  Funny thing, I thought I could see the Flying School from the road, but there were so many kiosks lining the sides, I saw nothing.  Is it still there?  A relic of my youth, gone?  Anyway, the Afienya road was a pot-holed variety of asphalt corn roll where it merged with deep-pitted red dirt, as if someone had deliberately taken a giant barber’s razor to the ground and dug up portions.  Then right there in front of the police station, a taxi had broken down, creating a most awful jam.  Right there, in front of policemen, standing by nonchalantly, chatting away while we cursed each other idiotically jamming the road around the brick-jacked-up taxi with splayed front wheels.

This week, I wanted to say something nice about the police traffic unit, who I concluded were doing a splendid job controlling jams.  But after a constable took my ten cedis earlier in the week because he said I was talking on my cell phone, which I was not, I forked out a tenner, and he took.  Guilty with reason, police are still bumming petty cash where they can. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Pain Full Budget. Critical News, 10th March 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 10, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford,

Here is my pain.  First night of the week, Monday night.  I get back from a day in the field and lights have been out since morning.  Ok, we should have power back by 6.30pm, so I catch a quick bath and try and have supper with a simple beam of light.  I am eating plantain and palaver sauce with fish tonight, heavy recipe for bone-in disaster, and wary of swallowing a bone and accidentally choking, I give up and decide instead to catch a quick nap and get some rest for when the lights come back on.  I have a lot of work to deliver in the morning and I am determined not to call my client and say “sorry, oh, no light so I could not finish”.  By 10.30pm I still have no power, so I throw in the towel and go to bed.  It is hot, it is humid and in the dark I am dripping with sweat.  I toss and turn for hours and then it starts raining.  A gentle drizzle at first and then huge torrents of it.  What relief.  The lights come back on.  3.45am.  I jump out of bed, rush to the kitchen and make a cup of coffee.  I settle down to work.  A loud clap of thunder and a lightning strike; lights out.  I am fully awake with my coffee and lost for words.  My trusty internet router with battery power, mournfully blue-lights me, waiting for the signal to start a web search.  I am a guest on Citi Fm on the breakfast show and I might just vent.  Where did I go wrong? I sit in the dark, my temples pulsating with anger.  For the first time since I returned, I wonder if the decision to come back home was the right one.  Pain full. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ghana @ 56; What Happened to the Promise and the Dream?

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 10, 2013

B.K. Obeng-Diawuoh, Bardstown, Kentucky USA

It is disheartening to note that Ghana, once the beacon of hope in Africa, a country so blessed with many natural resources cannot meet the most basic of its needs after more than half a century of political independence. Ghanaians today have no electricity and water. Over 40% of its citizens survive on less than a dollar a day, have no access to clean drinking water, uninterrupted electricity, basic health services, and formal education. What went wrong? Where did the promise and the dream go?

Yet any pragmatic discussion on the country’s economic situation degenerates into bickering partisanship, name calling, insults, heated tribalistic arguments that fail to identify the problems let alone address them. No wonder we are stagnating in our development efforts and even going backwards in some respects. I would like to draw readers attention to a very well written and well analysed article written by my dear friend B.K. Obeng- Diawuo, titled: Ghana: The Burden of Underdevelopment” Which you might not have read. So I am reproducing the original article here. Credit is due him. Please read on. Read the rest of this entry »

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To Pin an Unconstitutional Tale. Critical News, 3rd March 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 3, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford,

A couple of police died in a river, trying to prevent illegal Galamsey miners from ruining the environment.  Reading the story, I wondered whether President Mahama’s visit to the Western Region and his subsequent visit to the families of the service men would get Government to sit up and resolve this menace.  But read this story from May 2012 in the Ghanaian Chronicle and ask yourself whether there is additional mystery to resolving this Galamsey.  We know how it works, we have a law in place and yet we still cannot find the will to fix the greed.  Now we are chasing Chinese people all through the villages, trying to out them with cudgels and knifes.

Even better, just to see how entrenched our traditional and cultural beliefs go, and how we are despite all our Christian values, striking workers of the Sofoline Interchange Project say they are not going back to work until their leaders reverse a curse invoked to bind them all to their demand for a salary increase by preventing them from returning to work prematurely.  The Union leaders apparently invoked the Antoa Nyamaa deity to deal with anybody who goes against the group’s decision to strike.  A day after China GEO-Construction, their employers, agreed to a 25 per cent salary increase, workers would not return to work until the curse is overturned.  So, Chairman of the Construction Workers Union Rudolph Asoala has started arrangements to get the curse overturned.  The Personnel Manager of the company, who is a chief, is leading the workers to the Asantehene’s chief priest to have the curse reversed.  Last time I heard, we are a Christian country. Read the rest of this entry »

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