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IMANI Alert: Can the Tema Oil Refinery deliver today? A possible way out

Posted by Business in Ghana on September 7, 2014

The energy sector is undoubtedly the most essential sector if Ghana is to come out of its current economic atrophy.  President Mahama underscored this fact when he declared that the Atuabo Gas project in his view, is the game changer in Ghana’s energy mix and an attempt to resurrect the near moribund economy.  That the second Millennium Challenge Compact is dedicated to energy attests to the vision.

One essential player in the energy picture of this sector is the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).  TOR was established by Ghana’s first President, Kwame Nkrumah with financial and technical support from Italian investors. TOR’s mandate at the onset was refining crude oil for Ghana and her neighbouring countries. TOR’s core business has over the years been broadened to include procurement, storage, refinery and distribution of crude oil. However many observers have argued that the ambitions of TOR whilst in keeping with a growing economy such as Ghana’s was not strategically anchored in a future vision for running it as a serious profitable business, hence its current near defunct and financially broke natural order.

We have seen successive governments design strategies some of which have involved large financial investments and bailouts of the institution-the result of which is the current recovery levy which became a public debate with various analyses emerging on how the country could generate value from such an economic venture. Such debates and discussions that did not bring closure to the TOR debacle, have resulted in the establishment of institutions such as Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BOST), Bulk Distribution Companies and Oil Marketing Companies with various responsibilities and duties being assigned to each of these institutions to ensure that the procurement, refinery, storage and distribution of petroleum products within the supply chain are comprehensive to prevent frequent shortages. Recent developments have prompted further discussions of the revival of TOR and how to make it an efficient economic entity. However the following factors must be considered prior to undertaking such investment. Read the rest of this entry »

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IMANI Alert: Government, Why Spend Millions on American Lobbyists?

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 17, 2014

The recent crisis of stranded Ghanaians in Libya has brought our country’s foreign policy into perspective.

In a routine monitoring of Ghana’s overseas diplomatic activities, IMANI picked up that the country has returned to the practice of engaging American lobby firms to represent its interests in the United States.

This was curious because the ruling party, when in Opposition, stridently criticised the practice, questioned the value, and lamented the amount of money spent on such exercises. They argued that the maintenance of a full diplomatic mission in the United States (in both New York and Washington DC, in fact) was sufficient to represent the full range of our interests in the United States, not least also because of the large diaspora of Ghanaian professionals, many of whom have deep connections across the political and economic landscape in that country.

Given that this matter of paid lobbyists has come up before one would have expected greater transparency on the part of the Administration in handling this matter. Yet, the Government did not so much as publish a single announcement. There was no international competitive bidding. Even if not by advertisement in the international press, a qualified bidding process could have been done by inviting several eligible lobby firms to submit expressions of interest. Read the rest of this entry »

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IMANI Report:  Electricity Privatization Conundrum- ECG is NOT for sale

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 4, 2014

Ghana has concluded agreements with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCA) for a $500m investment in Ghana’s energy sector. Specifically in the electricity sector, intense private participation is a requirement for drawing down the funds. Unfortunately given Ghana’s history of badly managed privatization deals, some rightly, are speculating the deal is an outright sale of ECG. This report is a complete evaluation of the agreement and the entire process which when aptly executed will revamp the electricity sector and help alleviate the challenges confronting the country in its energy sector. It provides in brevity the conditions in the MCA in relation to the second phase of the compact agreement and the expectations for disbursement of funds. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Energy, Franklin Cudjoe | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The EPA Is In Alignment With The Development Agenda Of Ghana

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 10, 2014

Franklin Codjoe, IMANI Ghana

As many Ghanaians await the follow up meeting to the meeting with the ECOWAS Heads of State on the subject of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with the European Union (EU), the position of Ghana and the entire ECOWAS region remains unclear. As was highlighted in the previous IMANI report (http://www.imanighana.com/2014/04/imani-report-evidence-based-support-for-ghana-to-ratify-the-epa/), the decision of whether to ratify the Regional EPA or not, impacts mostly Ghana, Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire. Of these three, Nigeria has categorically opposed signing the EPA ‘as is’, and Cote D’Ivoire’s has signed the EPA with a strong indication that it will ratify before the deadline of October 1, 2014.

President Mahama’s Views on the EPA

Ghana’s position on the EPA is clouded with ambiguity, even at the level of the Presidency with vague assurances, such as ‘Ghana will continue to play a facilitating role in the signing of the EPA…’[i], ‘[Ghana] will not hasten to append the country’s signature to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU)…any decision that we eventually take, which I [the President] assure you, will be in the best interest of Ghana’[ii], and ‘it will be disastrous if we implement the EPA unilaterally as individual countries…Ghana is in favour of the negotiation of a sub-regional EPA’[iii]. Unfortunately, the President has only managed to convey that, Ghana will dance to the tune of the ECOWAS region, whatever the decision may be. Read the rest of this entry »

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Franklin Cudjoe’s Last Words for a Violence-Free Election

Posted by Business in Ghana on December 2, 2012

As has become the tradition with elections in mostly less predictable developing countries, prayer is not just the key to assuage our fears, it has become a nationally sanctioned profession of our faith even if we are not deserving of the mercies that flow from it since most of the time the prayers are not backed by God-intent.   However, we need it now even if for the sake of it.

So, Christians and Muslims must pray for peaceful elections. Elections are about making choices for progress. Simply cast your vote for the party or individual you believe shares your vision for respect, civility, progress and a predictable future. There is no need to perform this sacred function with violence. You must under no circumstance sell your vote for pittance, be it a car, a house, a bag of salt, cassava farrine, rice, because your life and choice are worth more than these.

Please demand from the buyer of your conscience what measures he will put in place to ensure a constant flow of these freebies to the critically disabled and more crucially how his activities can put money in your pocket to buy the very goods, health, insurance, your future and those of your relatives. Never sell yourself for a pot of gold. Be the gold from which all the glittering must light the path of darkness, despondency, poverty and disease. Ghana will be fine. God bless you all.

Franklin Cudjoe is founding President of IMANI

Posted in Franklin Cudjoe, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Ghana’s New Pension Scheme hangs dangerously on one man’s shoulder and his regulatory office

Posted by Business in Ghana on October 3, 2012

On Monday, October 1, 2012, the Graphic Business reported, that the new Pensions Scheme is under threat, not because of a viral attack, but purely due to administrative inertia.  Perhaps, it was coincidental that on the same day Graphic Business Published its story and editorial, Pensioners across the country were lamenting the dwindling power their miserly monthly payments could muster in the face of prevailing economic conditions and called on politicians to speak to the issue of Pensions, at least in this electoral. Read the rest of this entry »

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IMANI Alert: Worrying Developments in Ghana’s Oil Sector

Posted by Business in Ghana on July 7, 2012

From IMANI Center for Policy & Education  www.imanighana.org

Many observers would have noticed a recent brief from Bloomberg about the investment prospects for Ghana’s offshore oil sector.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-05/ghana-oil-partners-to-invest-20-billion-in-oil-fields.html

From the very start IMANI has been somewhat less sanguine about developments in the nascent industry (see previous commentary on our website).  Despite the highly optimistic forecasts now and in the past, it is important to note the following facts: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Franklin Cudjoe, Oil and Gas | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

The Dangers of Military Commercialisation in Ghana

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 7, 2011

Credit: IMANI Ghana (syndicated through www.Africanliberty.org)

After our initial “alert”, we had resolved at IMANI not to comment again on the decision by the Ghana Armed Forces to set up a holding company as a mechanism for owning and running commercial enterprises.

It is clear that there has emerged a certain elite consensus about the matter, and till now no one has pointed us to an explicit law or regulation that prohibits the military from engaging in business with profit as the focus (let us not split hairs over the matter, commercial enterprises have profit and monetary reward to shareholders as their cardinal objectives). Read the rest of this entry »

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IMANI in top 25 most innovative policy think tanks in the world

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 25, 2011

Out of a total 6,480 think tanks from 169 countries, IMANI was the only African think tank ranked among the top 25 think tanks with the most innovative policy ideas around the world.  Again IMANI is one of only four African think tanks named in the top 75 global leading think tanks, and for the third time running, IMANI was ranked one of top 25 think tanks in sub-Saharan Africa.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Franklin Cudjoe, Social Services | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

What Can Previous Booms Tell Us About the New Oil Boom?

Posted by Business in Ghana on December 25, 2010

Courtesy of IMANI-Ghana (www.imanighana.org) & www.AfricanLiberty.org

Ghana’s turnaround after nearly two decades of military misrule began with the reforms of the late 80s.

Though, today, many consider these reforms – driven mainly by the so-called Bretton Woods institutions – to have achieved next to nothing in terms of socio-economic transformation, even their worst critics agree that at the time they were an essential element in the process of arresting Ghana’s terminal decline. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Financial Services, Franklin Cudjoe | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »