Business in Ghana

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Archive for April 7th, 2013

Political Will and The Future of Our Democracy

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 7, 2013

Prof. T. P. Manus Ulzen,

There is no lack of talent in Ghana for all manner of roles and functions but the country seems woefully unable to use the best brains it has at its disposal, both locally and globally, to achieve the level of functioning consistent with wealth of material and human resources it has. We seem highly gifted at describing problems after the fact and even when we do so accurately, we never remedy the situation by immediately holding responsible parties accountable.
We love to mess up and then appeal or beg the disappointed or sometimes legally aggrieved parties to give up their just right to a remedy or restitution.

Successive governments from both sides of the political divide have presided over a steady decline in the standard of living, quality of education, availability of reliable and safe means of public transportation and unacceptably high mortality rates in the population from easily preventable causes of death. The gap between the haves and the have-nots continues to widen with an attendant increase in crime and violence which is not prevented by anticipatory and proactive strategies but reacted to, after the fact. This is what happens when a government cares more about its officials than its people. As I listened to the most recent budget speech on the radio, I noted that the loudest applause was garnered by the announcement on improved conditions for parliamentarians. It was a disgraceful spectacle. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cancel The Budget, Who Used A Power Point?. Critical News, 7th April 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 7, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford,

This week, we started chucking out the Chinese Galamsey operators and President Mahama had to set time aside to reassure our Asian friends that we do appreciate them and we want them to stay and work with us.  He couldn’t be more wrong and this is where I have problems with my President.  He is a history graduate and I expect that he will at least remember some stuff that happened in our past.  I recall something about Chinese and Ashanti Goldfields and mining in Ghana from the history I read so I delved into it, and yes, we do have a history.  After the British expedition to Kumasi and the removal of Prempeh in 1896, the Government hoped to open up the new Ashanti territory for exploration (which was the reason the British wanted to conquer Ashanti in the first place anyway).  Several treaties were signed and legislation passed to encourage British companies to come in and “rape” the gold.  This led to the formation of Ashanti Goldfields in 1897 by EA Cade.  But it went further.  TE Bowdich had previously painted a tantalizing picture of mineral wealth in Ashanti when he gave vivid detail in his “Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee“ in 1819.  In 1897 there was an attempt at public enterprise when then Governor Sir William Maxwell was authorized to spend 1,000 on a scheme for alluvial gold mining, complete with imported Chinese miners and prospectors.  It was a very unpopular promotion.  The idea had been canvassed many times before by others on the grounds that it would “stimulate the lazy African to competition” (CO/96/218); by the District Commissioner at Axim, followed by the Colonial Office enquiries to Hong Kong in 1889.  Again, Maxwell in a memo on “Coolie Immigration to the Gold Coast”.  But in an Op-ed on 20 October 1897, The Gold Coast Express bucked this idea, and on behalf of its people, said “We do not want the “celestials” in West Africa on any account …. China is large enough surely for her own people”.  That is our mining history with the Chinese.  So if they (Chinese) are not feeling too comfortable in today’s Ghana, it is a deep-grained problem.  Now, we need their money so we accommodate their disregard of our laws.  But you have to go and try and live and work in China to experience how they treat African immigrants there.  Ghanaians have no special place in the hearts of the Chinese, our gold holds the attraction and our poverty holds back the legislation necessary for us to create win-win regulation to control reckless exploration and river pollution. Read the rest of this entry »

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