Business in Ghana

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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.

But this week I want to focus on the IMF and its possible program with Ghana. Before we go there, a little diversion.

Ablakwabish at his best, towed two other “ish’s”, “Kpessa Whyt-ish” and “Kwakye Ofosu-ish” with him on some Campus Connect diatribe, ended up being hooted and “pure-watered” off Wesley College. Students protesting against the withdrawal of allowances pelted them with water and hoots for garnishing.

Well, they can keep trying but I think the students have the bit in their teeth and will flex legally. Not well publicized, their victory against Kpessa Whyte in the courts last week. OccupyGhana backed the student Occupiers with legal representation, and you know our cause is right on issues such as this. But I would advise Ablakwabish to tread carefully if he wants to avoid major embarrassment.

South Africa occupied the media all week. The savagery of their xenophobia is a hatchery of what happens when poverty, ignorance and bad leadership cocktail into a tumbler of anger and desperation.

We had ours against Nigerians and other Lebanese and Indians when we also felt that those indigenes were bastardizing our economy and preventing Ghanaians from rightful jobs. Together with other issues, it led to the downfall of Abrefa Busia and created an opportunity for a Kutu Acheampong to start the roll back of the Black Star of Africa.

But killing, maiming and burning people is not the answer. If Jacob Zuma could see beyond his face, he could take a cue from the USA and Europe, where immigrant issues time bomb elections. The law there punishes the employee, and the employer for recruiting illegal immigrants.

It is not a simple business, but in a country like SA, violence is more the norm, and South Africa is yet to purge itself off the violence that canvassed the Apartheid putsch and come to terms with the reality that their wealth is a façade for blacks and a fountain of abundance for the whites they replaced with help from the rest of Africa.

Why isn’t anyone calling on Winnie Mandela, whose noblest black husband disengaged with her for violence among other reasons? And a Zulu chief who still thinks he is fighting the battle of Isandlwana, when Zulus defeated the British near the Tugela River.

These xenophobes are asking for TB Joshua, who did not see it coming. Nigerians and Ghanaians were murdered and TB was sleeping on the job.

Ok. You must not have heard by now, but Ghana will harvest lesser cocoa than last year. Here is a detailed report from an ECOBANK Research team.

“Production is set to fall significantly in the 2014/15 (October-September) season, which could drive the world market into deficit after several years of surpluses.

Ghanaian bean purchases reached 541,000 MT by April 9th, 22% down on the same period last season. This has led Cocobod to revise its target for the main crop (October to June) to 720,000 MT, down from an initial 780,000 MT earlier in the season.

The sharp drop in output is believed to have been the result of an outbreak of black pod disease that swept the country, following heavy rainfall in the months leading up to the main crop. Losses were high as farmers did not have access to fungicides to treat cocoa trees, while fertiliser usage was low, with few farmers receiving sufficient quantities in time for the 2014/15 harvest.

The drop in use of inputs reflects the difficulty farmers continue to have with raising financing, along with the winding down of Cocobod’s subsidised fertiliser scheme, which is being revamped under the World Bank-led ten-year sector strategy.

The smuggling of beans to Côte d’Ivoire may also have been a factor in the lower outturn, given that fixed farm gate prices in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana – which were heavily in Ghana’s favour at the start of the season – have reached parity in US dollar terms. High consumer inflation is also eating into Ghanaian farmer incomes, increasing the incentive for smuggling beans to neighbouring countries. The volume of smuggling should soon become apparent as Côte d’Ivoire’s mid-crop in the east is expected to be poor, so any surge in arrivals will largely result from smuggled beans from Ghana”.

You notice the hand of finance in the story, the lack of money to purchase fertilizer and the economics of border control between Cote D’Ivoire and us? Same old story.

Note the IMF, who don’t understand how our economy works and who are not getting any good advice from this government, would have given money to buy off “dumsor”, not to plug the cash strain by the Bank of Ghana lending to their bad client, the Government of Ghana.

Here’s IMF again. Ms Sayeh.

“On the program that the Fund and Ghana have agreed to, it clearly will have a catalytic effect.

This outlook is subject to a number of downside risks. Let me elaborate here on the three most important ones we see for the region. First, on the external front, global financial conditions facing the region have tightened somewhat and could tighten further still in the period ahead as monetary policy normalization proceeds in the United States. In that context the large fiscal and current account deficits that prevail in some countries, especially frontier market economies could leave them vulnerable to a rapid reversal in market sentiment and a reduction in external financing.

The drop in oil prices also provides a unique opportunity to advance politically difficult energy subsidy reforms across the region. And from a more medium term perspective, the current commodity shock is also a powerful reminder of the need to make more rapid progress towards economic diversification and structural transformation to ensure strong and durable growth. This will in turn require striking the appropriate balance between scaling up outlays on human capital and infrastructure development and avoiding an unsustainable debt buildup”.

In a question and answer session with IMF’s Ms. Sayeh, ranging from electricity to ghosts on payroll, you get the same kind of gobbledygook from the IMF. Who in Ghana does not know that our one main problem now is Dumsor?

But I am not particularly perturbed, just mildly disturbed, that Nana Addo admits to Bola Ray on Starr Fm, that he was swerved and the NPP campaign machinery could not find a way around the NDC’s “all be die” counter and even to the extent that the NDC can shamelessly steal the opposition free education idea and run with it as if it was original thought.

Financing free education is not complicated and impossible. I have suggested it many times before in different places. Call me, I will provide the blueprint.

You see we are learning, even at seventy, there is a lot of stuff you have to reconsider. So why does a fifty-six year old who admits that he suffers from “dead goat syndrome” think he has all the solutions, which clearly he does not; think he can ignore everything we say and go dancing with one of the most significant chiefs in the country because his government has put streetlights on an airport runway?

And he won’t listen to all that is being said. Let’s not forget what will be six years of pain and economic mismanagement when 2016 rolls around. Many things have died and gone, let’s look ahead.

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

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