Business in Ghana

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An Ebola Prayer. Critical News, 19th October 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on October 19, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford,

And true to prediction, the past week was crazier than the week before. Before we could even get to grips with all the unraveling from the Brazil 2014 Commission of enquiry, whether the players have revolted or just simply see no reason to break off their talented occupations to attend lame-duck sessions after the money has been divvied and chopped off their backs, the incompetent triple inventors of dumsor (VRA, GRIDCO and ECG) hit us with a new load shedding program. One day off, one day on.

The energy problems are far from over. We can’t privatise Akosombo, but we can do something about ECG and GRIDCO. Yet this Government continues to deliberate on what it knows is the best solution for solving the crisis.

Instead of focusing on the proper solutions, we hear preposterous ideas such as a solar farm to generate 2,000MW of energy, offshore energy barges made in Turkey and this last one the construction of a 1,000 MW sea wave power production project in Ada in the Greater Accra Region.

We are considering sea wave technology, said to have been produced in Sweden and for the first time such technology will be deployed in Ghana.

The Rance Tidal Power Station located in Brittany, France (where the technical partners for the Ghana project are from) is just 240 MW in capacity and it is the first in the world.

South Korea’s Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station with an installed capacity of 254MW is currently the single biggest tidal energy installation in the world.

A professional friend in the sector wonders how and what special factors will give Ghana a 1,000 MW of tidal energy and thereby become a quadruple of the largest in the world.

Armah Kofi Buah, Minister of Energy believes this story and has gone ahead to cut the sod to build this by 2020.

Well, the Black Stars beat Guinea 3-1 and brought some cheer to Tamale, but on a pitch that looked like sprinkled grass between stones and rubble. Wouldn’t the GFA be better off spending some money fixing the pitches in the stadiums rather than paying tens of thousands of dollars to white people?

I am not for using foreign coaches. I believe we must home-grow our own teams and coaches and give Ghanaian professionals a chance to mature into the dynamics of international football. If it is only about winning matches, why not buy a Messi or two and give them Ghanaian nationality? You know then that you will get goals.

We have talent in the players, and coaches tactically fit in as we go. Our problem is incompetent management, but with football so much in the fore, we don’t see the ineptitude in managers, which has gone on for too long.

The GFA’s job is to develop football, not just manage the Black Stars.

The IMF reported they had a good discussion with the Ghana team led by Dr. Kwesi Botchway. “We had a productive dialogue and made further progress on identifying economic and policy reforms that could form the basis of a possible Fund-supported program.  We are also working in close collaboration with other multilateral partners, including the World Bank and the African Development Bank. Discussions will continue in the coming weeks and an IMF mission is expected to visit Accra in November.” (10 October)

There are many questions why Former Finance Minister Kwesi B. is leading the team and not Minister Terkper. I hear someone has to present the 2015 budget by the middle of next month? None better than Seth himself, since he made all the unfulfilled promises last year?

At #OccupyGhana we fired a protest salvo in public regarding the idiocy of hosting AFCON2015. My effusions on Citifm’s The Big Issue notwithstanding, I retain that if Sports Minister Mahama Ayariga and fellow Government partners do not rescind this indication that Ghana is ready to host AFCON2015, we march.

It doesn’t make any sense. We are broke, walking 1818 H street Washington, D.C. asking for money in the guise of policy credibility.

We are investigating the former sports minister and his band of crying brigands who patriotically stole money from fans and vendors at the World Cup.

We are yet to prosecute the proper culprits from the same ministry where the Youth Employment program, intended to create jobs and provide a haven for unemployed youth, was turned into a loot and share game, restricted only by the lack of creativity by politically protected service providers.

We are pretending to be capable of handling the fallout from an unforgiving disease, lacking logistics and training, not forgetting funds, and ignoring the advice of the Ghana Medical Association, the institution that knows best how prepared we are.

Ghana has a less developed health care system than Morocco and South Africa. Both countries are running from hosting AFCON2015. But because the Mahama Government conjures all kinds of remedies and promises at will, it believes it can create a consortium of prayerfuls to welcome Ebola to spread from our stadiums.

Between Duncan Williams and the dedicated AGLOW community they probably believe they can shout the disease away. If the Arch Bishop believes that Ebola is demonic and can be contained with days of fasting and prayer, he should head out to Freetown and confront the demon there. He can lead his gang of prayer warriors out and leave money for PPE suits as they board the flight.

This Government holds the record in the largest deficit ever chalked up in our history at ghc10billion and we continue to widen the fiscal gap every quarter. Where is the unbudgeted for expenditure going to come from to handle this tournament? Only for money to be dished out with gusto and no receipts? A specialty of the Sports Ministry.

Is this Government not embarrassed in any way by what it has created? If it is not ashamed of the economic mess, isn’t there at least a shred of remorse for what Ghanaians are going through at this point, that we should come skin to touch with an unforgiving disease like Ebola?

Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, gave Alan Kyeremanten a lesson in how to win a delegates election. It was not the first time Nana has made Alan eat dust in his wake, this time it was even more severe. An emphatic 94% win over the competition should buoy up the old bones against a younger candidate whose inexperience and dithering has made us take to prayer to ward off Ebola.

I have no intention of exposing myself to early demise from some person’s idiocy and need to pocket more cash by opening the floodgates to a potentially death-thirsty disease.

I retain a view that the only reason why anyone would look on the horizon and not see what is coming is because they believe they will escape it’s venom even as they line their pockets from vendors.

We should set up a greeting center where the President, Vice and Ministers assemble everyday and shake hands with all teams and supporters from various countries through 21 days.

What Mahama Ayariga is suggesting is akin to looking out to shore, seeing a tsunami heading your way and jumping into a boat to welcome the wind and hail.

If Ebola hits Ghana, it will provide a perfect cover for the incompetence of this government and umbrella them with the excuse of “catastrophe” while people die out of expediency, while they hope for another term in authority. It cannot get more evil than this.

Blood on their hands if this goes through, but I think Ghanaians are not going to sit back; not this time.

Londoners have launched #OccupyLondon. They have pitched tents in Parliament Square protesting change in key aspects of their social life. England, our colonial masters are protesting.

This week I have changed my closing tagline. Until we fix it, ….

Ghana, Aha a ye din papa. Alius atrox week advenio. Another terrible week to come!

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