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Archive for the ‘Ben Ofosu-Appiah’ Category

Pragmatic and Effective Market Oriented Reforms, Key to China’s Economic Growth: Prof Bala Ramasamy

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 22, 2014

From Ben Ofosu Appiah, Japan

Through pragmatic and effective market oriented reforms, China has been able to lift over 300 million of its people out of poverty in the last 30 years, an economic achievement no other country has accomplished in the past. This was disclosed by Professor Bala Ramasamy, professor of Economics at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in an evening of Strategic Conversation on the topic: Enter the Dragon: Policies to Attract Chinese Investment, at the CEIBS Africa Auditorium in Accra, Ghana on Monday 19th May, 2014.

On how China was able to do this, Prof Bala referred to the famous saying of the former Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping, the architect of Chinese economic reforms, “crossing the river by feeling the stones” to describe the gradual , experimental way reforms were implemented. These reforms according to the professor were aimed at balancing growth  with social  and economic stability. A mix of fiscal, administrative and employment creation policies were introduced  and local government officials were rewarded for delivering on key reform goals: growth, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), employment and social stability. Read the rest of this entry »

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“I Command The Falling Cedi To Rise In Jesus’ Name” Is This A Bad Joke, Duncan-Williams?

Posted by Business in Ghana on February 2, 2014

Ben Ofosu-Appiah, Tokyo, JAPAN.

Only last week I wrote an article here on how we black folks sometimes allow our critical faculties, our ability to rationalize and think critically and have a pragmatic and scientific evaluation of facts and the evidence to be drown out by blind and unquestionable acceptance of things that defy reason and logic and are packaged and sold to us in the name of religion.

Everybody knows that the Ghana cedi has been in a free fall and the government has proven incapable so far in dealing with the situation. Investor confidence in the economy is low and business confidence in the country is reported to be at an all time low according to a recent report in the Daily Graphic.

The cedi has already depreciated by three per cent against the major international currencies this month. The US dollar, which sold at Ghc2.20 on the local foreign exchange market before Christmas last year, now sells at Ghc2.60. The British pound, which sold at Ghc3 now sells at Ghc4.20. The euro and CFA are also selling at Ghc3.50 and Ghc4.80 respectively. In 2013, the local currency suffered 17-per cent depreciation. The year-on-year depreciation shows a 21.96 per cent depreciation of the cedi against the dollar; 28.88 per cent against the pound sterling; 23.98 per cent against the euro and 25.54 per cent against the Swiss franc.

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State Institutions Are Not Deserving Of Our Blind Faith And Trust

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 9, 2013

Ben Ofosu–Appiah, TOKYO, JAPAN.

There is palpably a lack of faith and trust in state institutions in Ghana today because majority of Ghanaians think they are not working. Instead of these institutions doing the job they were set up to do, at worst they operate mostly against the tenets for which they were established, and at best they exist to protect the interest and needs of only a few, the powerful and the rich in the society.

Obama in a 2009 address to Ghana’s Parliament exhorted Ghanaians and Africans in general to build stronger institutions because they are the foundations upon which democratic governance depends. There is no doubt that strong, accountable, effective, independent, fair and impartial institutions that do the job they were set up to do without fear or favour are the pillars upon which democratic governance is anchored. However, if these state institutions are weak, lethargic, incompetent, and palpably corrupt, we the people lose faith in them and with it the entire democratic governance process. Read the rest of this entry »

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Restore Faith and Trust in our Democracy

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 26, 2013

Ben Ofosu –Appiah,  Tokyo JAPAN.

Ghana Fails Governance and Accountability Test

Ghana is a relatively stable democracy but one with a bad governance record. Democracy does not just mean paper guarantee of abstract liberties and rights, and the holding of general elections once every 4 years. Democracy is supposed to improve the living standards of the people and the rulers must be held accountable by the ruled. One of the biggest abuses of human rights in the country is the government’s lack of allocation of resources to improve the lives of the poor in our society. We have become so insensitive to the plight of the poorest of the poor, the unemployed, the rural folks, the sick and the handicapped in society, we just do not care. The government is committing a huge human right abuse by ignoring the weak, the sick and the poor while grabbing everything in sight for themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stop, Look and Listen Ghanaians: Otumfuo Speaks, “Don’t Commit National Suicide”.

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 19, 2013

Ben Ofosu–AppiahTokyo, JAPAN.

We have had some wise counseling coming from Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at the just ended National commission for Civic Education’s Annual Democratic lectures. The increased, excessive, and obsessive politicization of national issues by Ghanaians is driving us to the political abyss. The development and the national interest of Ghana should be our number one priority not the well being of the political party one belongs to. He said there was the need for a national consensus on fundamental issues in the country, suggesting the enactment of a legislation that would forbid governments from abandoning projects initiated by their predecessor. Words of wisdom. If only we will pay attention and listen.

The Otumfuo mentioned that the polarized political atmosphere has given rise to a new profession of serial callers, Say it Loud (Ghanaweb) resident praise singers and attack dogs, propagandists and communicators, and foot soldiers to whom good is bad if it is about the other party, and bad is good it it’s about their own party. If this culture is allowed to fester (I am afraid it is festering), it will stifle honest intellectual and political discourse and it will be dangerous and threatening to the survival of our democracy. He said these serial callers are foisting on the nation a new culture of insult and abuse in the name of free speech and accountability. This must be a twisted form of accountability. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ghana @ 56; What Happened to the Promise and the Dream?

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 10, 2013

B.K. Obeng-Diawuoh, Bardstown, Kentucky USA

It is disheartening to note that Ghana, once the beacon of hope in Africa, a country so blessed with many natural resources cannot meet the most basic of its needs after more than half a century of political independence. Ghanaians today have no electricity and water. Over 40% of its citizens survive on less than a dollar a day, have no access to clean drinking water, uninterrupted electricity, basic health services, and formal education. What went wrong? Where did the promise and the dream go?

Yet any pragmatic discussion on the country’s economic situation degenerates into bickering partisanship, name calling, insults, heated tribalistic arguments that fail to identify the problems let alone address them. No wonder we are stagnating in our development efforts and even going backwards in some respects. I would like to draw readers attention to a very well written and well analysed article written by my dear friend B.K. Obeng- Diawuo, titled: Ghana: The Burden of Underdevelopment” Which you might not have read. So I am reproducing the original article here. Credit is due him. Please read on. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Threat Of Electoral Violence And To Peace Is Real !!!

Posted by Business in Ghana on December 2, 2012

Ben Ofosu-Appiah,  Tokyo, JAPAN.

As Ghanaians prepare to go to the polls next week to elect the 6th Parliament of the 4th Republic and a new President, the threat to peace and Ghana’s image as a budding democracy on the African continent is real. There is a heightened level of tension in the country that must be diffused.

In the last week alone several very disturbing news items indicating pockets of violence in certain parts of the country during political campaigns have been reported in the media. The first was a report on ghanaweb.com alleging that the President’s motorcade was prevented from entering Kyebi the hometown of Nana Akuffo-Addo to campaign by the youth of the town. As usual there was different versions of what actually took place but one thing was clear such lawless activities by uncontrolled and lawless bunch of individuals is what starts the sparks of violence. If care, caution and restraint are not exercised, the potential of real violence breaking out cannot be contained. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ghanaian Political Elites Have No Sympathy For The Poor

Posted by Business in Ghana on November 10, 2012

Ben Ofosu Appiah, Tokyo, Japan

There was a justifiably public outcry against the over 150% increase in salaries for the Executive, Legislative and the Judicial branches of government as published in the Ghanaian media. Coincidentally, just at the same time this outrageous salaries increase were announced, there was report in the news (which was later denied) that employees of Ghana Education Service have had their salaries cut. Read the rest of this entry »

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Waking Up To The Price Of Corruption

Posted by Business in Ghana on September 23, 2012

Ben Ofosu-Appiah, Tokyo, Japan.

South Korea went from a poor country devastated by war to an OECD member in 50 years. In the same period of time Ghana went from a country with a high potential for take off to one that stagnated at best and standards of living declined or backwardness.

About $500m of public funds are embezzled or misappropriated every year even when over 40% of the people live below the poverty line ($1.25/day). Majority of people do not have electricity, clean drinking water, and access to primary health care. Public Accounts Committee (PAC) inquiries since 2000 have seen billions of dollars of state money misappropriated but very few prosecutions and negligible success in retrieving these stolen cash. Corruption destroys development and we all, I believe want our country to develop to become an advanced society with just opportunities for all. Dissipation of national revenues through corruption has left little legacy of development. Read the rest of this entry »

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Can A Vampire State Achieve A Great Leap Forward? Analyzing the Political Economy of Ghana

Posted by Business in Ghana on September 23, 2012

Ben Ofosu-Appiah, Tokyo, Japan.

South Korea went from a poor country devastated by war to an OECD member in 50 years. In the same period of time Ghana went from a country with a high potential for take off to one that stagnated at best and standards of living declined or backwardness.

In many parts of the country, hundreds of kilometers of colonial roads have disappeared, schools and clinics are in dilapidated state and social infrastructure have been allowed to collapse. In 55 years not even a single kilometer of railway line has been constructed and the one the colonial rulers left have been allowed to deteriorate and collapsed. Something is definitely wrong and needs to be put right now. Leadership failures and an incurable greed have been our bane. Our motherland is under enormous strain today due to the unbridled quest for material gains using the state machinery. Cronyism, nepotism, favouritism, political patronage are turning the democratic governance on its head. When will political leaders ever roll up their sleeves and get to work for mother Ghana rather than seeking to fill their pockets first acquiring material gains? Read the rest of this entry »

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