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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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It started with a speech…then the hammer fell….

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 30, 2015

Contributed by an Anti-Corruption Crusader

It was on Thursday last week that President Uhuru Kenyatta made his second State of the Nation address.

Most of it was fairly ordinary, but he saved the action for the end when he announced to a standing ovation that he was attaching a confidential dossier compiled by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).  The document contained the names of almost 170 individuals in all tiers of government from cabinet ministers, governors, principal secretaries, secretary to the cabinet, senators, MP’s and heads of parastatals (state businesses), that are under investigation for corruption.

The case files are to be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Read the rest of this entry »

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Nigeria 2015: The No Choice Election

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 29, 2015

By Adewale Maja-Pearce

I won’t be voting in this year’s election in Nigeria, the fifth since the return of civilian rule in 1999 following many years of the military. It’s partly my fault; partly the fault of the misnamed Independent National Electoral Commission (misnamed because the chair is appointed directly by the president, as he has repeatedly reminded us), which couldn’t find evidence of my 2011 registration despite the obscene amount spent on laptops.

But no matter; I wouldn’t vote if I could. Neither candidate – still less the parties they represent – will lead this country of embarrassing abundance to the Promised Land. Take the incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), a Christian from the oil-producing Niger Delta in the south. To say that his performance has been abysmal is acknowledged even by his unsavoury handlers who ceaselessly attempt to counter the widespread notion that their boss is clueless – the adjective most used to describe him – thereby confirming the fact.

It is four years since Boko Haram launched its deadly campaign and yet it is only now that he has seen fit to address it, but only with the assistance of soldiers from neighbouring Chad and Cameroon (along with South African mercenaries), a humiliation for a country whose armed forces were once lauded by the UN for bringing peace to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Read the rest of this entry »

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FEEDBACK: NIGERIA Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Posted by Business in Ghana on September 6, 2014

Interactive discussion with the Nigerian Diaspora – September 2nd 2014

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Honorable Minister of Finance of Nigeria spent 2 hours interacting with approx. 150 senior members of Nigeria’s Diaspora in NY on the evening of 2nd September. This was followed by similar events across the USA over the week.

As many of you will know, the Minister of Finance is a very energetic, passionate, and candid advocate for a better and less corrupt Nigeria. Her book “Reforming the Unreformable” provides a frank insight to the turnaround that she has been able to administer over the past decade  – http://www.amazon.com/Ngozi-Okonjo-Iweala/e/B008BK3314

A presentation was followed by one hour of Q & A (which could have easily extended to 2 hours). We have requested the [powerpoint] presentation, which we would be happy to share at your request.

A few of the key takeways/ discussion points; (apologies if any errors with specific data-points) 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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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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Nigeria Abducted Schoolgirls: RAF Plane Sets Off

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 19, 2014

Taken from the BBC website, this story is too important for Ghana to look askence, hence I am breaching copyright

An RAF spy plane has left the UK to help search for 223 schoolgirls abducted by extremists in Nigeria.

The Sentinel R1 plane, which has a crew of five, took off from RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, at 09:25 BST on Sunday, the Ministry of Defence said.

Boko Haram Islamic militants took the schoolgirls, who include Christians and Muslims, on 14 April in north-eastern Nigeria, where the group is based.

African leaders meeting in Paris have declared “war” on the group. 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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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How Africa Can Transform Land Tenure, Revolutionize Agriculture, and End Poverty

Posted by Business in Ghana on July 22, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC, July 22, 2013 Sub-Saharan Africa is home to nearly half of the worlds usable, uncultivated land but so far the continent has not been able to develop these unused tracts, estimated at more than 202 million hectares, to dramatically reduce poverty and boost growth, jobs, and shared prosperity.

According to a new World Bank report, Securing Africas Land for Shared Prosperity, released today, African countries and their communities could effectively end land grabs, grow significantly more food across the region, and transform their development prospects if they can modernize the complex governance procedures that govern land ownership and management over the next decade. Africa has the highest poverty rate in the world with 47.5 percent of the population living below US $1.25 a day.

Despite abundant land and mineral wealth, Africa remains poor, says Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa. Improving land governance is vital for achieving rapid economic growth and translating it into significantly less poverty and more opportunity for Africans, including women who make up 70 percent of Africas farmers yet are locked out of land ownership due to customary laws. The status quo is unacceptable and must change so that all Africans can benefit from their land. Read the rest of this entry »

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Press Release On The Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer Report

Posted by Business in Ghana on July 9, 2013

By GHANA INTEGRITY INITIATIVE, Accra, 9 July 2013 

Introduction

This morning, Transparency International will release its Global Corruption Barometer, 2013 simultaneously in all the countries covered by the survey and where it has country/local chapters. The GCB 2013 reveals that “More than one person in two thinks corruption has worsened in the last two years although survey participants also firmly believe that they can make a difference in the fight against corruption and have the will to take action against graft.

The Global Corruption Barometer 2013 is a survey of the public’s perceptions and experiences of corruption in 107 countries covering 114,000 people in all. In Ghana, a total number of 2000 people were surveyed, comprising respondents from two MMDAs in each of the ten administrative regions. Read the rest of this entry »

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