Business in Ghana

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Archive for August 17th, 2014

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 »

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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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