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There Was Once A Country Called Ghana

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 19, 2014

By T. P. Manus Ulzen

Let’s call it like we see it. Ghana is a totally dysfunctional state. Once we stop denying the reality with thin – skinned defensiveness, we will come to an accurate diagnosis and have a decent chance of repairing the damage we have done to our country. We should do this because our youth will have no future and the country will implode if we don’t. We owe it to so many before us, who toiled honestly and endlessly for the success of this human development enterprise called Ghana. We have squandered so many proverbial goal chances, the latest being oil, our newest resource. We have also failed to progress beyond simply being an exporter of raw materials.

Who are the captains of industry in Ghana today? They are the people the government should be consulting with while they contemplate another tango with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF, will recommend what we know we should have done long ago but have not had the political will to do. We must slash the public sector significantly but not as a singular act. This must be accompanied by a real change in fiscal attitude untainted by political imperatives. The application of controls to minimize losses to corruption coupled with comprehensive and long-term support for entrepreneurially based options for workers in the agricultural, service, IT and other sectors is critical. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ghana’s Black Stars: When football imitates life.

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 28, 2014

By Dr. T. P. Manus Ulzen, tulzen@yahoo.com

Our three matches have been renamed “should have,” could have” and “would have.” How could such a young, talented and the most admired team in all of Brazil have fallen so short of its goal?
We had barely finished bantering with the American fans close by, after our rendition of their national anthem. Before we could figure out which side was up or adjust to our seats, it was the debacle of Feyenoord Stadium all over again, only this time, in 34 seconds not 4 minutes.
Did the team and technical staff learn anything from the friendly with the Netherlands leading up to the battle of Natal? This is the World Cup but more importantly, this is Ghana v USA. This World Cup rivalry was a tournament all on its own and all of Brazil and the whole wide world was waiting with great anticipation for David of Ghana to fire his slingshot to fell the Goliath that was the US of A. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Black Stars Of Africa Set To Shine In Brazil

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 4, 2014

By TP Magnus Ulzen

Ghana is the land of over 20 million unpaid football coaches and I confess, periodically I am one of them.

I have followed the Black Stars through the highs and lows of our football history since I was old enough to read the Daily Graphic and long before we had the benefit of television. Like many, I followed our team on radio, guided by the late Festus Addae and later, Joe Lartey.
What I can say of the Black Stars of old, who own our four continental titles, is that they had a winning attitude. They represented a republic that was unapologetically confident at that time in its history. They had a healthy respect for their opponents but entered every tournament to win.
Unfortunately, the first time Ghana qualified to play for the Jules Remit trophy in 1966 the Black Stars of old did not field a team because of the boycott of FIFA by Africa. This was because all of Africa played for 1 berth and then would have to play the highest ranked European loser. Today we have 5 spots against Europe’s 13, which still makes no sense.

The soccer dreams of three generations of Ghanaians have been rekindled steadily since our re-entry into the World Cup in 2006. (http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/SportsArchive/artikel.php?ID=105899) Read the rest of this entry »

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The General’s message was “Don’t ask “What is in it for me?”

Posted by Business in Ghana on November 18, 2013

By T Manus Ulzen

We were both looking out as the plane slowly descended into Accra’s humid midday and the American businessman sitting next to me was telling me of his recent encounter with an official if the Minerals Commission. In his 5 years of working in the mining sector in Ghana, he had witnessed how the poor handling of mercury was ravaging the environment. Deformed life forms were appearing everywhere as mercury was being dumped into water and over plant life.
He was aware of simple machine no larger than a microwave oven which could be used by small scale miners to recycle and reuse mercury so that the environment would be protected, so he went to the Minerals Commission to discuss ways in which this technology could be introduced to the mining sector to protect the environment. Read the rest of this entry »

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Football Is Not Our National Sport: Try “Financial Leakages” And Revenue Diversion

Posted by Business in Ghana on July 28, 2013

Prof. T. P. Ulzen, tulzen@yahoo.com

A middle aged man is driving to Cape Coast from Accra. Around Awutu, he overtakes the car ahead and round the bend, he is flagged down by the police. He is told that he has exceeded the speed limit. He does not dispute this and is told he will “be processed” for court in Winneba at 10:00am the next morning, to which he agrees.
The policeman is seemingly perplexed. The driver reiterates that he will present himself at court the next morning and asks for the officer’s name. This upsets the officer but the driver says “it’s on your shirt anyway.” but the officer gets increasingly upset, asking “why do you need my name?” The driver says “you are a public official doing your job. I just need your name and number for reference for the court hearing. You have taken my licence so I must be sure of who you are. Read the rest of this entry »

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Political Will and The Future of Our Democracy

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 7, 2013

Prof. T. P. Manus Ulzen, tulzen@yahoo.com

There is no lack of talent in Ghana for all manner of roles and functions but the country seems woefully unable to use the best brains it has at its disposal, both locally and globally, to achieve the level of functioning consistent with wealth of material and human resources it has. We seem highly gifted at describing problems after the fact and even when we do so accurately, we never remedy the situation by immediately holding responsible parties accountable.
We love to mess up and then appeal or beg the disappointed or sometimes legally aggrieved parties to give up their just right to a remedy or restitution.

Successive governments from both sides of the political divide have presided over a steady decline in the standard of living, quality of education, availability of reliable and safe means of public transportation and unacceptably high mortality rates in the population from easily preventable causes of death. The gap between the haves and the have-nots continues to widen with an attendant increase in crime and violence which is not prevented by anticipatory and proactive strategies but reacted to, after the fact. This is what happens when a government cares more about its officials than its people. As I listened to the most recent budget speech on the radio, I noted that the loudest applause was garnered by the announcement on improved conditions for parliamentarians. It was a disgraceful spectacle. Read the rest of this entry »

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January 2011: Half – time for the Professor’s Presidency

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 6, 2011

By Prof. T. P. Manus Ulzen, tulzen@yahoo.com

The Mills administration is at about the half –way mark of its mandate. Yes, mandate is the word. With a margin that sent the Bush – Gore election to the Supreme Court in Florida, Ghana showed the world that we at least understood democratic elections. However, the nuances of democratic governance seem to have escaped us over the last two years. Read the rest of this entry »

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