Business in Ghana

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Archive for August, 2015

A Lumumba Dumsor. Critical News, 30th August 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 30, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

If you haven’t heard it all from us in Ghana and if it has not sunk in yet that we are in pain from lying leaders and directionless followers, then hear it now.

The Paul Ansah Foundation in memory of one of our best ever writers PAV Ansah, whose crusade against JJ Rawlings and his misdirected Marxist PNDC followers was legendary in our time, invited Professor P.L.O. Lumumba from Kenya to come talk some sense into the leaders in Africa and make it plain to both them and us that we have failed woefully in our quest to deliver Africa to its people and the world.

That Africa by itself has failed to look in the mirror and see a face so distorted it is only recognizable for its failure of its policies and people.

Obama came and said his piece to the African Union and all we heard was a foreign President talking down to the people of Africa. This was the politician’s spin on his advice to treat all as equal and not castigate people on account of sexual preference. I might be homosexual, but I still make the human race.

But that message distorted the views of an Africa that has so underperformed it is still a concern for the rest of the world that the poor will starve, child mortality will keep rising and women discrimination will still continue in our Trokosis and our witchcraft camps.

Someone hung a dead chicken and tied some green cloth to the dead necks in the premises of the Electoral Commission and they all run for safety, in fear of surreal trauma.

Somewhere up in the mountains of Tutu, past Aburi at the apex of a hill, Lighthouse Chapel International have built a fortress with ten foot metal pylons and walls, as a sanctuary, temple or hermitage, to house servants of God to come pray, that without lifting a finger to do any meaningful work, they will be blessed and rewarded for their faith and be given that which they do not deserve. Read the rest of this entry »

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King Rat. Critical News, 23rd August 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 23, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Let me spin you a story, from a long time ago in my life. Many decades ago as a young lad just entered Accra Academy in 1966, I was courted by an old friend, now deceased, to become a Boy Scout. Berko is long gone, but he made an impact on my life, especially because my recruitment into Accra Academy Boy Scouts was premised on the possibility that I might be good gay fodder for the leader.

I was very young and I dare say, a very sweet chap at the time, but very clear on my sexuality. Anyway, I was recruited into the scouts and rose to be it’s eventual leader and I dare say a very good scout in the end.

But this story is not about Berko, it is about Percival (his real name, also deceased), which story is sad, but very relevant in my today.

We were at camp in Aburi, camping and training for the upcoming inter-scout marching and activity competition and the stakes were high, we the incumbent champions the past three years wanting to stamp our authority on the event. Little did we know after we had pitched tents in the evening that this was to be marred with a major calamity.

Percival and me were the quartermasters for the weekend, and we had responsibility to keep the campsite clean and the scouts happily fed.

We had just finished the night meal and wrapped up with cleaning and storing and Percy was going to throw the discarded food into a hole and tidy up. I headed for my tent.

I didn’t get there. From behind, screaming and yelling, a person in extreme agony and distress. I grabbed a stick and cutlass and started running back towards the quartermaster tent, from whence the shouting. In my wake, Berko and a few others all scared but boldly racing to assist. Read the rest of this entry »

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Same Shame, Again. Critical News, 16th August 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 17, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I am so disappointed in where we are as a country, my mind has switched to far out places where the oceans are more tranquil, the breeze more soothing and the food divine and enticing. Where lobster over a grill is served with a glass of medium sweet white wine and music tinkles in the background without jarring your senses and disturbing the taste buds. The women are classily clad showing off parts that guarantee a night of near perfect ecstasy, because it is the right ambience to a tasty end.

Where the night is lit all the time, the air conditioning runs twenty-four hours and the water is clean, fresh and flowing all the time; the pool shimmers with cool water and a gentle breeze invites you to ever so elegantly dip yourself into the water, energizing your body for another tomorrow.

Because this is what they have in Singapore. Why can’t I have it in Ghana? Why should my life remain so miserable and fraught with so many blunders and blanks, that I am constantly thinking back to the good times rather than looking beyond my horizons and dreaming of a more improved Ghana?

But my mood moved down gear, a mild depression engulfing my thoughts and preventing me from adding more vim to my everyday increasing commitments. I am tired and I am struggling to keep a pace commensurate with my abilities.

The system is beating me down. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Certain Standard. Critical News, 9th August 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 8, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

The Senchi ferry will close at 6pm. The Senchi Report has already been shuttered and obscured with more than the required razzmatazz and fanfare we could muster.

I remember very distinctly, the Vice President confidently disclosing to us at the Royal Senchi Resort that there would be a follow through and the one hundred and forty guests to that National Planning event would be invited back after the report was released to come talk and craft an implementation plan in order to give meaning to the effort we put in.

Unfortunately, we lost PV Obeng in the aftermath and the report has since been interred with his body. We are about to do the same with Dr. Nii Moi Thompson’s forty-year plan, unless someone unravels the contortions of our democracy.

But we are heading for the Senchi pontoon or the Kpong dam crossing and it is close to 5.30pm. So we are making good time and confident that we will get there with no hassle from any security men.

Somewhere just before Fintey, close to the turning to the ferry, a dark-trousered and most undesirable specter you least want at a time like this, pops up from the side of the road, hand held aloft with radar gun in hand. We are hailed to the side, and the driver’s first instinct is to barge past and head for the ferry.

Not my style and not my way, he knows well enough that I will not accept that. So we are pulled up and we side-park.

The two police men who gleefully approach, can’t wait to show us we are traveling at 94Km an hour. He wants the driver’s license and Id and with concentration on the driver, he is focused on the culprit.

I am in the back, slumped behind tinted windows, making no move to show my face in case I up the ante because of my “obroni” nature and maybe something else.

Clock is ticking away and I can picture a long drive back to sleep in Vakpo, now my adopted town/village/citadel/rural castle and reluctantly, I lower the window and stick my face out. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mad Bench Assassin. Critical News, 2nd August 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 8, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Na waaa oh, to be Assassin, mama oh! Sing to it if know the melody because it was ringing through my ears all last week and well into the weekend, I couldn’t believe that we can pass justice so swiftly in Ghana.

Say what you like, the world is flat. I was listening to the debate, enthralled by the persuasive arguments of thirteen and fourteen year-olds trying their word and logic skills, with a huge dollop of science in their arsenal, at confusing the normal order.

It has always been true that we who question the orthodoxy are never prophets in our homeland. Many have been burnt at the stake and others hanged and shot at firing squads.

But these kids were impressive. Took me back to the time when I used to have a vocabulary that only I knew how vast and where its boundaries lay, totally incoherent and bamboozling.

But isn’t it impressive that Judge Francis Obiri was able to arraign an untried person with no representing counsel and jail him for ten years in a morning? Woyome is still walking the streets after more that three years and we don’t even know if he has offered a payment plan till when.

But this clearly “mad” man according to his mother and friends intended to kill the President and be hailed the successor. It can’t be any simpler than that.

Before I get too deep into that side of things though, the week has been dark with dumsor. The Electricity Company of Ghana are clear in their understanding that they do not and cannot provide a timetable for load shedding in what is now becoming an acceptable process in our lives. Read the rest of this entry »

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