Business in Ghana

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Archive for March, 2015

It started with a speech…then the hammer fell….

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 30, 2015

Contributed by an Anti-Corruption Crusader

It was on Thursday last week that President Uhuru Kenyatta made his second State of the Nation address.

Most of it was fairly ordinary, but he saved the action for the end when he announced to a standing ovation that he was attaching a confidential dossier compiled by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).  The document contained the names of almost 170 individuals in all tiers of government from cabinet ministers, governors, principal secretaries, secretary to the cabinet, senators, MP’s and heads of parastatals (state businesses), that are under investigation for corruption.

The case files are to be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Read the rest of this entry »

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Outsourced Lying. Critical News, 29th March 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 29, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Thirty-seven years to the day Monday 30th, Ike Kutu Acheampong declared the results of his Union Government concept, which he claimed had been endorsed by the majority of Ghanaians in a general referendum, administered by then Electoral Commissioner Justice Abban, who “disappeared” for a few hours only to resurface amidst rumours he had abandoned his position.

In that giddy period, cowered Ghanaians hung on desperately for a few honest men, and in this instance, a political future hinged to the People’s Movement For Freedom and Justice, Dr. Bilson’s Third Force and the Front for Prevention of Dictatorship.

Justice Abban sought refuge with the Catholic and Methodist priests, Kojo Amissah, Hilary Senoo and Awotwe. Our democracy had been bullied into submission by the Military dictatorship of Kutu and but for the likes of the Association of Recognised Professional Bodies and some determined politicians, the nightmare of a misguided dictator, might have turned Ghana’s history a different direction.

Now we reflect on how excessive opportunity opened to another and even more vile dictator, whose self-fulfilling leadership left us with a looping history, shrouded truths in the cloaks of a revolution.

Kutu’s sole purpose was to win the Union Government idea, where no party will exist in Ghana, all politicking except his, would be banned and government would be in the hands of some so-called high council.

Well, it never happened because of a few stalwarts, but our world was taken over by the lies of Jerry Rawlings and his band of merry brigands, seeking revenge wherever. In the end they shot people without trial, abducted and murdered high court judges and “disappeared” many families with extra-judicial killings, paving the way for an annual ritual of meaningless rhetoric in an equally meaningless revolution. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nigeria 2015: The No Choice Election

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 29, 2015

By Adewale Maja-Pearce

I won’t be voting in this year’s election in Nigeria, the fifth since the return of civilian rule in 1999 following many years of the military. It’s partly my fault; partly the fault of the misnamed Independent National Electoral Commission (misnamed because the chair is appointed directly by the president, as he has repeatedly reminded us), which couldn’t find evidence of my 2011 registration despite the obscene amount spent on laptops.

But no matter; I wouldn’t vote if I could. Neither candidate – still less the parties they represent – will lead this country of embarrassing abundance to the Promised Land. Take the incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), a Christian from the oil-producing Niger Delta in the south. To say that his performance has been abysmal is acknowledged even by his unsavoury handlers who ceaselessly attempt to counter the widespread notion that their boss is clueless – the adjective most used to describe him – thereby confirming the fact.

It is four years since Boko Haram launched its deadly campaign and yet it is only now that he has seen fit to address it, but only with the assistance of soldiers from neighbouring Chad and Cameroon (along with South African mercenaries), a humiliation for a country whose armed forces were once lauded by the UN for bringing peace to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Read the rest of this entry »

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Rich Men in London Still Deciding Africa’s Future

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 29, 2015

By Colin Todhunter, Global Research

Some £600 million in UK aid money courtesy of the taxpayer is helping big business increase its profits in Africa via the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. In return for receiving aid money and corporate investment, African countries have to change their laws, making it easier for corporations to acquire farmland, control seed supplies and export produce.

Last year, Director of the Global Justice Now Nick Dearden said:

“It’s scandalous that UK aid money is being used to carve up Africa in the interests of big business. This is the exact opposite of what is needed, which is support to small-scale farmers and fairer distribution of land and resources to give African countries more control over their food systems. Africa can produce enough food to feed its people. The problem is that our food system is geared to the luxury tastes of the richest, not the needs of ordinary people. Here the British government is using aid money to make the problem even worse.”

Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Nigeria, Benin, Malawi and Senegal are all involved in the New Alliance. Read the rest of this entry »

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In A Bad Mood-y. Critical News, 22nd March 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 22, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I was a reluctant walker up McCarthy Hill this morning. Very tired from a late night blitz, after one bottle of Guinness and some “rice and plasas”, I traipsed home to the now inevitable “dumsor” and lived with the gloom of a life I did not ask for but choose to be in.

Tired legs and an aging body, both conspirators in the endless dedication to keep me unhealthy, that I get sick so I might die young, but not till my work on this planet is completed and I move to Mars.

I have great hopes that Mars will be habitable by the time I am too old. It takes 150 days and 55,757,930km to reach, which means I am out even before I start the journey. I can only hope they find me a burial spot there, and since we Africans are not capable of creating an Awudome on that planet, I will have to contend with Arlington cemetery without US Citizenship.

So international rating agency Moody’s has been creating havoc for this government for quite some time. This past week, we have been downgraded from B2 to B3 and classified negative. To the non-financial person on the street, what this means is it will cost us more in interest rates and with tighter conditions if we attempt once again, which we are determined to do in May this year, to borrow another $1billion.

We have bonds falling due. The first is in October this year for $531million and the next two, in 2023 and 2024 for $1billion each. Finance Minister has put forward a refinancing plan to Parliament for approval and a cursory look at the document confirms much of what we say every time. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dumsor With Goat Light Soup. Critical News, 15th March 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 15, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

You cannot of course, eat a live goat, how much more make a soup with it to go with your fufu. The goat must be dead, and to be on the safe side you must have some light to see the goat head in the soup if you are not to choke on splintered bones.

This is not an adage, just plain commonsense, which spice has been in short supply in Ghana these past few years, making the goat soup much lighter than usual.

President Mahama’s attempt at a joke in Gabarone must be mixed with a lot of regret at this time, in the aftermath of the way the press here latched onto his wisecrack and made serious matter out of what he said, which clearly amused his audience as they clapped his humor. You can cut and paste this URL into a browser and listen for yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkXULF7gHPs.

It was clearly an intended joke, but I think it backfired big time. Firstly, the “communications expert” as we like to acknowledge should definitely have known better. On the back of his now infamous “yen tie obiaa” and other digs at his country folk, I think he deserves every sound bite against him. He is only lucky that the opposition NPP have not made more of the gaff than they could.

To say you are no longer pervious to the protests of the people of the country, to indirectly admit that you have pandered to the election pressure and have consciously thrown national budgets out of gear in order to ensure continued stay in office, is clearly a gross dereliction of duty and a betrayal of the mandate we gave him under the constitution to manage the economy of this country efficiently and to the benefit of Ghanaians. Read the rest of this entry »

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I 6th March Not. Critical News, 8th March 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 10, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

The American is a freedom fighter, a go-getter and a person of courage. Brits are known for their stiff back and upper lip and are pursuers of right and justice. The Germans are hard workers and great engineers. Swiss are precision oriented and private. You can just as well describe Chinese and Japanese in their own way and skin.

And the Ghanaian?

I so struggled with a description for my Ghana-self and others who are Ghanaian just like me, but I was clearly looking in the wrong zongo.

The whole of my 6th March was captured behind a dvd player, watching a series of memorable movies, looking for the substance of the Ghanaian. I reviewed my connection with Gandhi, took a long walk to freedom with Mandela and fought a great battle with Chaka “Zulu” kaSenzangakhona. And in the process I missed the great march at Independence Square.

I have no movies of the great nation Ghana and how it came to be.

But I hear there were military people, police band and fire service, prisons service people, armored tanks and cars, a platoon of Special Forces and a buffoonery of masqueraders. The school children came, marched in the sun, no headscarves and headkerchiefs and fainted as they always do.

Then Prezdo stood on the back of the open-air car, saluted everybody and finally gave a rousing speech to urge the people on to the new level of “dumsor” and how to use it to counter religious conflict.

I was not there and you too were not there, so I am only recounting what I have been told and I am no wiser. Read the rest of this entry »

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The State of My Nation. Critical News, 1st March 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 1, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I get rather melancholy every March. It is Heritage Month and I seek for many answers to the myriad thoughts and consults I have pondered since the beginning of the year. Following on the heels of a New Year resolution and many problems of financing Xmas and New Year, I kind of get an upbeat feeling just thinking about how much I can achieve before the year comes to an end.

But already February has ended and I am wondering what I did these past two months?

So I play my two most inspirational heritage songs and plan for the best. Painful that my friend and bosom creative confidant, Amandzeba Nat Brew has detached somewhat and left a vacuum in my artistic offering, I still search for some inspiration from his wonderfully crafted “Wogbe”, a song that has inspired many a historical moment.

Then I latch on to Osibisa’s “Woyaya” and remember how we gave Kutu Acheampong such a hard time as students, belting out the chorus with thrilling meaning, confident that one day “we will get there; heaven knows how we will get there; we know we will”.

Now we have a “Yam” and we are deprived of basic light and water, not to mention the environmental filth we have to live with and a dithering, directionless government whose president says to be cynical is a bad show of allegiance.

Well, for another year in so many, I am looking at the state of my nation and I see it rather differently from what I heard on Thursday from the President. Read the rest of this entry »

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