Business in Ghana

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Archive for April, 2015

Truth and Honesty. Critical News, 26th April 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 26, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Last week the IMF released the program it has crafted between them and Ghana to bring policy credibility to Government’s Home Grown solutions. The only sound bite the media heard was the paragraph that spoke about job losses and freezing wages as a means to frontload the fiscal adjustments to achieve policy objectives.

I read it all with a huge smidgen of doubt.

Ghanaians know as we do, that this government is not going to do any of what it has signed to. The IMF knows that what it has written in the program notes to justify the figures to support our efforts is not true. And honestly, neither this government nor the IMF appreciates what problems we want solved in this economy.

If I may offer three steps, which if done will solve our issues immediately. First-first, fix the “dumsor”; find enough money to pay VRA, ECG, GRIDCO and other service providers what they are owed. No business runs on empty cash tanks. Second, fix the “dumsor”; find enough money to buy emergency power plants, because IT IS AN EMERGENCY! Then finally, fix the “dumsor”; provide enough incentives to make alternative energy solutions immediately attractive to domestic users. Then the “dumsor” will be gone and we will listen to other things.

This trinity points to one thing. Fix the “dumsor”. Read the rest of this entry »

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All Dead Have Died. Critical News, 19th April 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 20, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

NPP Presidential aspirant Nana Addo was on radio during the week. He chose Kwabena Duffuor’s Starr Fm, with Bola Ray as his significant other interviewing half to bare his soul a bit and also attempt some demystification of what happened in 2012, the election, the petition, and the eventual verdict, which some of us are still digesting.

I don’t believe the NDC won any election in 2012. Even with the bloated register and the padded numbers in the Volta Region, you can’t win an election on performance like we had. I stand firm that the Ghanaian voter has a bit more sophistication than what we see from the pink sheets and eventual results.

Until we do what Nigeria has done and go totally clean register and fully biometric, the results will never be acceptable. It is not impossible to mimic Nigeria; our politicians don’t want to do it in Ghana.

But if you missed the interview and write-ups in print, sorry. It carried in the Government media as well and I have to say I am beginning to see persons with spine reporting truth rather than propaganda. That public press seat cannot be easy, especially when your sector minister particularly skews stories to incredulity.

Nana Addo says he could have done more to explain “all die be die”. Well, with elections dearly departed, verdicts buried and goats now dead, it is a bit too late and Ghanaians are paying the price. Read the rest of this entry »

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Abongo Financial Management. Critical News, 12th April 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 12, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Don’t do as I did last Wednesday. Mad persons were greeting me on the sidewalk of Accra, because they identified me as a possible compatriot.

I am walking from one end of circle to the South Industrial area. Traffic is jammed and I am late to a meeting. Going in the opposite direction from Bus Stop heading towards New Times junction, I was in a taxi and were it not that the conversation was interesting because the driver saw himself an Occupier and recognized, my alter ego would have me on time at the meeting.

Basking in the glory of hearing an “ordinary” Ghanaian loading praises on Occupy Ghana, I had to make an emergency drop off to catch an Okada, because the supposed professionals manning the construction of the Nkrumah Circle overhead, had not allowed for the pedestrian overflow and we have ended up endangering the lives of the walking Ghanaian every time you use a footpath in the middle of the road.

So now I am on the back of an Okada, chasing time on a rainy day in Accra, heading to one of the worst roads in the city where fake repairers modify and doctor engine parts just to get facades of success. Of course the Okada is going against oncoming vehicles and I am as nervous as I could be since I stopped riding motorbikes forty something years ago.

As if to fibrillate my heart from the sedative of the taxi, my immediate lord of my few years of life – which I have dedicated to fixing some governance issues in Ghana – is taking risks my sixty-year-old heart is not finding easy to manage.

Now we are going through unfathomable trenches of water, mud laden and opaque to the point of fear of falling off the bike. I fake my destination and get off the Okada, only to hear the young rider ask if I am Sydney. But yes! How does he know me? His English is laden with good diction and I am impressed enough to ask how? Read the rest of this entry »

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Dead Goat Reload. Critical News, 5th April 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 5, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

It is always refreshing and invigorating to step back in history to remember some of the important things which shaped our future and might have made us totally different persons had we only be minded to think critically of what we set out to be.

During the Limann PNP administration in the run up to that stupid 31 December coup, we missed so many opportunities to correct significant aberrations in the constitution and what we could have prevented at the time.

Fogged with so many perils soon after it took up government and with severe economic downturn, inflation running at 70% and more, a result of military adventurism with no purposeful agenda than to maim persons out of personal vendettas within the armed forces, Hilla Limann and his team had so much chance to correct so much.

I remember a very good friend Ato Austin was expelled from the youth wing of the PNP at the time because he suggested on an open platform that Government should not, in the face of severe economic hardship, devalue the currency.

Accused of leaking party secrets without authorization and raising alarm in society on delicate matters pertaining to the economy, he rebelled and later made a name for himself for single mindedness and forthright talking.

My favorite “missed” opportunity though, was on the appointment of an Ombudsperson, which would be the CHRAJ job today, of Mr. S O. Gyandoh, at that time a lecturer at the Ghana Faculty of Law.

At his vetting, Mr. Gyandoh said he was not aligned to any political party and therefore would do his job impartially and without favor to anyone and on any party lines. He said he would do a professional job as befits the legal practice worldwide. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Neutrality Debate; Alleged OG’s Credibility Crisis

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 2, 2015

Owusu/ dnkowusu@gmail.com, Founding President New Era Africa 

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If the elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

Over the years, there have been some politicos who have masqueraded as credibly neutral entities to push a certain agenda. I am sure in our political history, several names may feature if a list is to be made.  Some journalists notably the “Coffee Shop mafias” were bastardized for not being “neutral” especially during the eight year rule of JAK. Last year, the fine Manasseh Azure Awuni suffered absurd criticisms from these “neutrals”. When the group Occupy Ghana (hereinafter referred to as OG) launched themselves through the unprecedented “Daddy Bees Demo on July 1, 2014”, the governing party pooh poohed the “genuine” effort of the demonstrators by painting them with the partisan brush. Since then, any objective observer can attest to the fact that they have acquitted themselves creditably as long as the push for responsible governance is concerned.

Once again, the credibility of OG has been under siege. It has become so because one of their leading members George Andah has put himself up for the Ewutu Senya West seat on the ticket of the Opposition NPP. Monitoring the social media, I gather that the arguments have shifted from the personality of George Andah and what he brings to the table as an individual to whether the OG is genuinely neutral or just a branch of the NPP. I join the bandwagon to also inquire; is OG neutral? Did they ever tell us they are neutral? Have they broken our trust?” Read the rest of this entry »

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