Business in Ghana

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Archive for March, 2014

Purchasing Joshua Pre-Ordained. Critical News, 30th March 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 30, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Poverty makes you fight over petty matters that have no consequence on the end result and future of your being.  You fight over scraps that in reality are not worth the time, except for the loss in value of your place in a queue, the loss of a piece of petty real estate and the pent up aggression from unpredictable electric supply and water which has to be head-panned for meters, half of which is lost before you get home.

My peeps around the corner of the block got into a mega fight at 6.30am on a Sunday morning when instead of planning how much to tithe from meager wages, they tore each others hair out because one had placed a table in front of the others kiosk.

I refused to break them up and destroy my morning rhythm, just as confused as them, thinking thoughts of a looming economic crisis, a Government in denial and Presidential advisors seemingly incapable of figuring out the problem.  As far as I am concerned.

I started an acceptance standard last week.  I suggested we all lower our bars of expectation in order that we live less stressful lives and accommodate the inefficiencies of our Governments and their struggle to sort out “challenges” as they are wont to label them, just so we can all get along painlessly. Read the rest of this entry »

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Waking Up from the Pipe Dream Part 2

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 30, 2014

By Charles Wereko-Brobby (Dr), Chief Policy Analyst, Ghana Institute for Public Policy Options (GIPPO),  tarzan@eyetarzan.org

The Government of Nigeria and NGas have made it clear that it does not respect the sanctity of the Gas Supply Agreement that underpins the supply of natural gas to Ghana, Benin & Togo. So much for ECOWAS Economic cooperation and integration!

Add this to Nigeria’s continuing bar of our industrial products and we might as well bury ECOWAS and stop the waste of half-yearly summits that have failed to deliver a single tangible outcome of regional integration for almost 40 years of the Lagos Plan of Action.

Instead of begging Nigeria to get some “soppy” supply, let us absorb the reality and wake up from the West African Pipe dream and take bold and decisive steps that ensure a reliable and ample supply of our own gas resources to fuel our power plants

The key to getting it right lies with our full understanding of the key implications of the betrayal that has been visited on Ghana, and to respond appropriately and fulsomely! Read the rest of this entry »

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Waking Up from the Pipe Dream

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 23, 2014

By Charles Wereko-Brobby (Dr), Chief Policy Analyst, Ghana Institute for Public Policy Options (GIPPO),  tarzan@eyetarzan.org

“It is not worth the paper it is written on” is one of the most used sentences in everyday dialogue. It’s most famous manifestation is the 1938 speech of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain describing the Munich Agreement with Hitler as bringing “Peace in our Time”.  Within one year, World War 2 broke out and the rest is history.

The Government of Nigeria, acting in concert with its Nigerian national Petroleum Company (NNPC), and its joint venture partners, Chevron Nigeria and Shell Nigeria, have finally come off the vacillating wall and told the Government and people of Ghana, that the agreement  to supply 123 million cu ft gas per day is not worth the paper it was written on .

This is the full import and meaning of the outcome of the Minister of Energy’s mercy mission to Nigeria which yielded the pathetic capitulation that no more than 50 million cu ft of our contracted supply can be guaranteed. Call me a war monger if you like, but as with 1938, Ghana must take this Nigerian slap in the face as having bloodied our nose, sabotaged our economy, and tantamount to a declaration of war. Read the rest of this entry »

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Gas From Nigeria At Your Own Peril. Critical News, 23rd March 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 23, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

NPP presidential aspirant Nana Akuffo Addo back in the fray.  NDC Secretary General Asiedu Nketia starts plotting his demise even before the NPP followers have decided who will lead them.  Very presumptive on his part, but a good booster for Nana, I assume.

Announcing his intentions last Thursday, the seventy-year old Nana Addo says he will give this presidency thing another go.  NPP followers certainly think he packs one more thump at least, NDC probably hope not.

If it is a matter of age and experience against youth and what we are witnessing in Ghana at this time, I suppose the electorate will decide.  Certainly, the NPP will let us know very soon after they hold national elections whether their most suitable candidate is Nana.

Yet I wonder if Alan Kyeremanten will come any closer this time?  Whether the likes of Joe Ghartey will compete?  And if any new faces or some of the eighteen who jockeyed for the slot to succeed Kuffuor will come up again.

I suppose this time round the NPP feel confident they have identified and will close all gaps at the polling booths and maybe for the first time since we started voting in this country we will get a true and accurate vote. Read the rest of this entry »

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Decade after debt relief, Africa’s rush to borrow stirs concern

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 22, 2014

BY TOSIN SULAIMAN, JOHANNESBURG

(Reuters) – Nearly a decade after Nelson Mandela and anti-poverty activists Bono and Bob Geldof persuaded the rich world to forgive Africa’s crushing debts, many countries’ debt levels are creeping up again, which could undermine the region’s growth boom.  As African states line up to join the growing club of dollar bond issuers, economists and analysts warn of a slide back into indebtedness that could undo recent economic gains and create a “Eurobond curse” to match the distorting “resource curse”.  “Eurobonds have become like stock exchanges, private jets and presidential palaces.  Every African leader wants to have one,” said one investor, asking not to be named.

In 2007, Ghana became the first African beneficiary of debt relief to tap international capital markets, issuing a $750 million 10-year Eurobond.  Since then, previously debt-burdened countries, such as Senegal, Nigeria, Zambia and Rwanda, have also put their names on the list of bond issuers.  Governments seeking to replace declining foreign aid and pay for infrastructure are also taking concessional funds from multilateral institutions, more expensive commercial bank loans and bilateral financing from lenders like China and Brazil. Read the rest of this entry »

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Some Things Not Etiquette. Critical News, 16th March 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 16, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Twice this past week I straddled between upgrading my cultural and eating ways, to bridge the divide between “under the tree” village style eating and serving fufu in finely decorated ceramic china bowls.

Recessed just a few feet from the roadside at Ayimensa on the way to Aburi, I was engrossed in spitting out chicken and akrantie bones, you know how we turn just slightly to the side of the bench and “phh, phh phh phh” to the dirt floor because there is no side plate for the bones?  How we lick the last bits of soup from our fingers, flex with a loud burp after sucking the second pure water sachet empty and announce proudly that we have done justice to the food?

Well, that was the vision I carried with me to the British Council Hall, met and dined next to Bice Osei Kuffuor; Obuor who I admire so much for filling Ghana with wonderful music during his time.  Konkontibaa is always a favorite, Julianna, Baby You Fine and many more.  These days our music has become so dominated by groin action, we don’t remember the great Hiplife era, which provided a rich tapestry of creativity for our artistes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sweating The Big Things in Life. Critical News, 9th March 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 11, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Mid-market Kasoa, I was sitting in a chop bar with a few local friends.  Well, I met them there when I stopped on my way to Winneba, hungry and thirsty, hoping for some decent fufu and goat light soup, garnished with okro, twisted intestines and wholesome kpakpo shito.  I also had very little cash on me and that was a major motivator for the diversion, rather than the palatial hotel a few kilometers earlier, where the price of a plate of Chinese rice and sliced beef cost more than five servings of the local chops.

I was on my way to give a motivational talk to students in Winneba, whom I understood were very down after they realized the state of unemployment after graduation.

It was my second trip into the bar.  My first was a quick U turn when I saw the little girl washing the bowls and blowing snot with her bare fingers at the same time.  A hasty retreat to the local plastic bowl kiosk, I picked out a decent sized eating one, light cream, and headed back. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dumso Dumso Go Away, Big Johnny Wants To Play. Critical News, 2nd March 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 2, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

All last night I tossed and turned, many problems on my mind, top of the list my failing water supply, to buy another tanker load this week and the now permanent Tuesday light out between 6.30 and 11pm added to the unpredictable shut-offs every so often.  I have work pressure as well, many deadlines crowding my computer top and I stayed up most of the night wondering how to come up with schemes to motivate staff without paying more cash.

So I tackled the Sunday morning walk up McCarthy Hill with gusto, intent on burning off stress, depressing memories of the State of the Nation address still fore in my mind.

But thank God for the people who “ga mashie’d” up the hill on Sunday.  I just made the turning up the Jayee University pike, where the religious types were already delivering some poor soul from evil at 6.10am.  Shaking my head, caught up in the tenacity of neo-Christian dedication, I just but avoided a collision with foot-stamping Bukom Banku joggers rhythmically “azonto-ing” their way on up.  I fell in line and matched them foot-to-foot as we merrily put music to the stamina build up.

It was a good stomping and stepping to a miniaturized MP3 player hooked to the belt of leader Nii, well titivated in a yellow and black striped t-shirt, matching baggy pants and shoes as only an Accra man can. Read the rest of this entry »

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