Business in Ghana

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Archive for August, 2014

Unfaithful in Democracy and Politics. Critical News, 31st August 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 31, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Little known events shape your life in diverse ways and I discovered some deeply centered emotional nemesis within me I never knew I harbored. All the way from the seventies.

For five years in my life I worked as a laboratory assistant at the Veterinary Services in Labadi. Formative years when I was on the path to becoming a doctor; a profession I later abandoned as I bogged down with teenage matters and sports, my attention drawn from loftier existentialist matters to simple animal behavior.

I remember distinctly the day my half-Alsatian puppy was run over and I had the first test to put it down and alleviate the pain of suffering from two broken front legs and a partially crushed head.

For hours I struggled with the decision, not realizing I was prolonging the pain because I was vacillating and did not have the courage to let a faithful and dedicated pet pass on peacefully.

I had watched many movies of similar situations and never thought I would not have the courage.

Lady had been with me since she was a puppy and followed me dedicatedly everywhere, at some point constantly outside my bedroom door waiting for morning treats and a new exciting catapult day, when she would run around with me in Kanda Estates picking up birds, agama lizards, anything but toads, which she found out one day were a bitter taste and unworthy of such single-minded devastation from my catapult. Read the rest of this entry »

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Unfaithful in Democracy and Politics. Critical News, 31st August 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 31, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Little known events shape your life in diverse ways and I discovered some deeply centered emotional nemesis within me I never knew I harbored. All the way from the seventies.

For five years in my life I worked as a laboratory assistant at the Veterinary Services in Labadi. Formative years when I was on the path to becoming a doctor; a profession I later abandoned as I bogged down with teenage matters and sports, my attention drawn from loftier existentialist matters to simple animal behavior.

I remember distinctly the day my half-Alsatian puppy was run over and I had the first test to put it down and alleviate the pain of suffering from two broken front legs and a partially crushed head.

For hours I struggled with the decision, not realizing I was prolonging the pain because I was vacillating and did not have the courage to let a faithful and dedicated pet pass on peacefully.

I had watched many movies of similar situations and never thought I would not have the courage.

Lady had been with me since she was a puppy and followed me dedicatedly everywhere, at some point constantly outside my bedroom door waiting for morning treats and a new exciting catapult day, when she would run around with me in Kanda Estates picking up birds, agama lizards, anything but toads, which she found out one day were a bitter taste and unworthy of such single-minded devastation from my catapult. Read the rest of this entry »

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And You Want To Govern Us? Critical News, 24th August 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 24, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I lost another good friend, Saturday. Dan Kermah, brilliant movie and documentary maker and director passed away at the Korle Bu hospital from a myriad of complications. It bears a sadness, difficult to detach and so wound-fresh it affects everything around you and yours.

He fought his last days buoyed by faith of family and the care of dedicated medical staff, whose only fall back was that Dan himself would find the strength to hold back the tow to the next world and stay to dedicate himself to what was left of his life’s work, which clearly was a few more years yet. But he could not hold on, Dan, rest in peace.

In life, we trust doctors who take the trouble to ask and answer questions with care, and show that they understand what the problem is and that they can explain the limits of available treatments.

We trust journalists who take trouble to provide evidence and sources for their claims, and who publish prompt corrections if they get things wrong.

We trust Kenkey sellers who make claims about quality and accept that they have prepared the favorite “ga komi” with minimum aflatoxin, which with the black shito and shrimp is cholera free and ebola sterilized.

We trust teachers who explain what they are doing, listen to comments from parents and pupils, and provide intelligible feedback to them.

We don’t trust politicians who speak with forked tongue, promise what they can’t deliver, explain their policies and difficulties with abandoned caution, and visibly try to hide what they have not delivered and promised. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Critical Weekly News, Sydney Casely-Hayford | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Feces-Clogged Shore Shows Africa Infrastructure Failings

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 19, 2014

By Pauline Bax

A garbage collection bicycle sits with the slogan “Keep Ghana clean” by an open sewer river. The World Bank will give Ghana $150 million in grants to improve access to potable water and basic toilets for the poorest residents of Accra, where most roads are lined with open drains and gutters that overflow during heavy rains.

Fredrik Sunesson had high hopes when the first tanker truck unloaded feces from some of Accra’s 4 million residents at his recycling plant in Ghana’s capital. Seventeen months later, those expectations have been dashed.

A combination of red tape and disputes over payments mean Sunesson’s Slamson Ghana Ltd. is running far below capacity, he says. Most of the 140 tankers dump the contents of Accra’s toilets each day into the Gulf of Guinea at a foul-smelling dune known as Lavender Hill. The lagoon nearby is so polluted that scientists says most life-forms can’t survive. The slum nearby has earned the nickname Sodom and Gomorrah.

“It’s a shame for everybody, most of all for the environment and the people of Accra,” Sunesson said. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Social Services, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

There Was Once A Country Called Ghana

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 19, 2014

By T. P. Manus Ulzen

Let’s call it like we see it. Ghana is a totally dysfunctional state. Once we stop denying the reality with thin – skinned defensiveness, we will come to an accurate diagnosis and have a decent chance of repairing the damage we have done to our country. We should do this because our youth will have no future and the country will implode if we don’t. We owe it to so many before us, who toiled honestly and endlessly for the success of this human development enterprise called Ghana. We have squandered so many proverbial goal chances, the latest being oil, our newest resource. We have also failed to progress beyond simply being an exporter of raw materials.

Who are the captains of industry in Ghana today? They are the people the government should be consulting with while they contemplate another tango with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF, will recommend what we know we should have done long ago but have not had the political will to do. We must slash the public sector significantly but not as a singular act. This must be accompanied by a real change in fiscal attitude untainted by political imperatives. The application of controls to minimize losses to corruption coupled with comprehensive and long-term support for entrepreneurially based options for workers in the agricultural, service, IT and other sectors is critical. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Social Services, Thad Ulzen | Leave a Comment »

How To Reclaim a Dream Deferred

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 18, 2014

Of course the title of this article borrows without shame from the famous poem by the great African-American poet, Langston Hughes. The poem is titled “Harlem” although it is known to most people by its opening line: What happens to a dream deferred? Here is the poem in full:

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore—

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over—

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

 

In this short poem Langston Hughes asked a question about the dreams of Harlem, the famous Black neighbourhood in New York City borough of Manhattan often regarded as the African-American capital of the USA. In the 1920 and 30s there was a cultural and artistic reawakening of the Black people in American which had its epicenter in Harlem. It was known as the Harlem Renaissance. By the end of the Second World War, the promise of the Harlem Renaissance was beginning to wane, which led Langston Hughes to ask his famous question, “What happens to a dream differed?” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Education, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

IMANI Alert: Government, Why Spend Millions on American Lobbyists?

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 17, 2014

The recent crisis of stranded Ghanaians in Libya has brought our country’s foreign policy into perspective.

In a routine monitoring of Ghana’s overseas diplomatic activities, IMANI picked up that the country has returned to the practice of engaging American lobby firms to represent its interests in the United States.

This was curious because the ruling party, when in Opposition, stridently criticised the practice, questioned the value, and lamented the amount of money spent on such exercises. They argued that the maintenance of a full diplomatic mission in the United States (in both New York and Washington DC, in fact) was sufficient to represent the full range of our interests in the United States, not least also because of the large diaspora of Ghanaian professionals, many of whom have deep connections across the political and economic landscape in that country.

Given that this matter of paid lobbyists has come up before one would have expected greater transparency on the part of the Administration in handling this matter. Yet, the Government did not so much as publish a single announcement. There was no international competitive bidding. Even if not by advertisement in the international press, a qualified bidding process could have been done by inviting several eligible lobby firms to submit expressions of interest. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Franklin Cudjoe, Politics | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Iliad of Homowo. Critical News, 17th August 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 17, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I am musing behind a bottle of Guinness downtown Palladium, where this year’s Homowo festival is “cholera-ing” enthusiasm. The giddy euphoria of previous years is all but drained by the prospects of an “ebola” gathering; many have made excuses of other commitments, but those of us who have braved the fuel hikes and high cost of a carton of beer, know the real reasons are not too far from the dipping economy.

Bored, yet waiting for the traditional kpokpoi and palm nut soup, for which we have tried to select enough fattened fish to give the festivities some respect, my mind goes to myths and stories and for some reason I wonder what is the real story of Homowo.

I think of the Greek Homer’s Iliad, in which Paris’ love for Helen of Troy (nee Sparta) sparked a ten-year war between the Greeks and Troy and the Trojan horse became an entrenched figure of speech.

Achilles’ heel and eventual rout of Troy is a captivating story of love, avarice, megalomania, allegiance, pride and honor of the Gods, converging into sensitive and touching lessons of mind and brawn, tinged with shiploads of cunning. Read the rest of this entry »

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Getting The Numbers Right. Omane Boamah’s Bad Arithmetic

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 14, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford 

Government issued a statement this week, asserting its position on the Fitch calculations of the depreciation of the cedi since the beginning of the year.

In order that we have the correct facts and calculations, it is important to identify the source of the data we use for the calculations and accept that the source is credible and should be accepted as such.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) website, www.bog.gov.gh has all the historic data on cedi rates and would be the most common purpose source for the calculation of the slide of the cedi.

At the close of December 31, 2013 the quoted rate by the Bank was 2.1628=$1. This is the correct figure to use as the opening rate on January 1, 2014. As at 11th August 2014 the BoG quoted rate was 3.035=$1.

The formula to calculate the extent of depreciation is ((2.1628-3.035)/2.1628).

This calculation makes the rate of depreciation -40.3%.

There is no reason to get this wrong, except for political gimmickry.

Just Saying.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

In an Economic Wilderness. Critical News, 10th August 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 10, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I finished form five at Accra Academy forty-three years ago. Forty-three years. We did the calculation this weekend when we came home to the Alma Mater on Saturday, boasting freely of stupid pranks, feeling comfortable with friends you forged early learning experiences, and listing colleagues now departed, fondly and regrettably.

We are old men now, sixty plus and balding, most of us in glasses, trying hard to get in and out of chairs without wincing, but determined to hold on to old drinking capacities and boasting empty Guinness and Club bottles, the whiskey bottle still a friend even with arthritic hands and extended belly guts.

We ate, laughed, let our hair down and yelled and sang profanities as if it was still yesterday and we had lofted ourselves into the school bus on the way to an inter-co competition, confident that Accra Aca would triumph again.

The old school changeth not; we saw and admired trees we had planted and nursed, punished to weed courtyards and football fields still in use and the grand entrance to the old school still welcoming as on the first day when you registered to spend the next five years with strangers who would become life-long bosom pals in the half decade.

There were enough of us to let the 2014-year group know that we are still a force and now an accolade and beacon for them to live to the expectations of a great school founded in 1931. Read the rest of this entry »

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