Business in Ghana

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Posts Tagged ‘ECOWAS’

The Rains Came Down, and. Critical News, 11th October 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on October 11, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

This week, it rained. Two days of not what you would call relentless downpour, but it rained. I say for a country that is in the tropical zone, it was normal rain for two days.

But as if to test the drains and the waterways that E&P has fixed, and as if to give us a chance to expose more corruption, the rains came down and the floods went up; the rains came down and the floods went up, and the storm drains came tumbling down.

If you remember that well-aged nursery rhyme you can hum the words and understand how much these little childhood songs were meant to shape our world and remind us every time of the simple things we must do in life. A stitch in time saves nine? Rain rain go away? They are worded for a reason; reasons we have washed under waterways because we don’t see the wisdom in them any more.

Many advisory dance tunes, relevant in today’s Ghana, will be made political in a few months as we skate unwillingly to another euphoric December, when we should be lamenting our popularity contest through an electoral register with registrants from the ECOWAS fraternity.

Nkrumah Circle as usual, was flooded to the hilt together with all the flood prone areas, and this wasn’t a major storm. I was caught in it for an hour between The Times junction and Nkrumah circle. When I arrived at the small bridge over the Odaw River, it was rising and starting to rapid. Even as I longed for a dinghy to float to the confluence of the Korle Lagoon, the stench that told me “cholera” reined in my adventurism and stopped me numb in my car seat. Read the rest of this entry »

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Outsourced Lying. Critical News, 29th March 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 29, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Thirty-seven years to the day Monday 30th, Ike Kutu Acheampong declared the results of his Union Government concept, which he claimed had been endorsed by the majority of Ghanaians in a general referendum, administered by then Electoral Commissioner Justice Abban, who “disappeared” for a few hours only to resurface amidst rumours he had abandoned his position.

In that giddy period, cowered Ghanaians hung on desperately for a few honest men, and in this instance, a political future hinged to the People’s Movement For Freedom and Justice, Dr. Bilson’s Third Force and the Front for Prevention of Dictatorship.

Justice Abban sought refuge with the Catholic and Methodist priests, Kojo Amissah, Hilary Senoo and Awotwe. Our democracy had been bullied into submission by the Military dictatorship of Kutu and but for the likes of the Association of Recognised Professional Bodies and some determined politicians, the nightmare of a misguided dictator, might have turned Ghana’s history a different direction.

Now we reflect on how excessive opportunity opened to another and even more vile dictator, whose self-fulfilling leadership left us with a looping history, shrouded truths in the cloaks of a revolution.

Kutu’s sole purpose was to win the Union Government idea, where no party will exist in Ghana, all politicking except his, would be banned and government would be in the hands of some so-called high council.

Well, it never happened because of a few stalwarts, but our world was taken over by the lies of Jerry Rawlings and his band of merry brigands, seeking revenge wherever. In the end they shot people without trial, abducted and murdered high court judges and “disappeared” many families with extra-judicial killings, paving the way for an annual ritual of meaningless rhetoric in an equally meaningless revolution. Read the rest of this entry »

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The State of My Nation. Critical News, 1st March 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 1, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I get rather melancholy every March. It is Heritage Month and I seek for many answers to the myriad thoughts and consults I have pondered since the beginning of the year. Following on the heels of a New Year resolution and many problems of financing Xmas and New Year, I kind of get an upbeat feeling just thinking about how much I can achieve before the year comes to an end.

But already February has ended and I am wondering what I did these past two months?

So I play my two most inspirational heritage songs and plan for the best. Painful that my friend and bosom creative confidant, Amandzeba Nat Brew has detached somewhat and left a vacuum in my artistic offering, I still search for some inspiration from his wonderfully crafted “Wogbe”, a song that has inspired many a historical moment.

Then I latch on to Osibisa’s “Woyaya” and remember how we gave Kutu Acheampong such a hard time as students, belting out the chorus with thrilling meaning, confident that one day “we will get there; heaven knows how we will get there; we know we will”.

Now we have a “Yam” and we are deprived of basic light and water, not to mention the environmental filth we have to live with and a dithering, directionless government whose president says to be cynical is a bad show of allegiance.

Well, for another year in so many, I am looking at the state of my nation and I see it rather differently from what I heard on Thursday from the President. Read the rest of this entry »

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Because I Want To Believe. Critical News, 14th December 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on December 14, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

The Auditor General Peter Quartey finally gave OccupyGhana his reply to our questions regarding his authority to disallow and/or surcharge public expenditure in the country as and when he detects it. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we disagree with his minimalist interpretation of his authority and we intend a formal response to clarify our understanding of his duties to Ghanaians.

In the likely event that we do not find common ground, we will see him before the Supreme Court Justices.

But this week our President announced at the National Anti Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) meeting, all the great things we will be doing to dribble out the corruption bug. He also mentioned specifically some 300 people he had on remand on various corruption and related matters.

You see all that he has achieved? So we all jumped into the sortie. Who are these seasoned criminals amongst us? Can they be seen? Please publish the list so we make sure our names are not included. But alas, it has not happened. I would have thought if there was a list, getting it to the media would be a matter of “halt the press, the Criminal names are coming oooo!!”

Same way we have no clue about all the super contracts Government is undertaking despite calls for all the projects to be identified (as a matter of transparency) with amounts allocated and stages of completion, so also this list will NEVER be seen until Green Book time in 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

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Return Trip, Kaneshie to Movenpick. Critical News, 1st June 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 1, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I think I hold the Guinness/ECG record in dumsor.  If you totally do not have any electricity where you are, you cannot enter the draw.  A picture amused me on my Whatsup page showing an ECG office with a small generator powering the office.  I thought, how apt.

But this was after I had gone through two continuous days with not a kilowatt drip and power had been interrupted off and on sixteen times during the week.  Is there anyone out there to match this?  We should compile a chart to compare.  Winner gets a Gen-set.  “ECG your darkness is their happiness”.

And in a city where street hawking is illegal, Adinkra Pastries staff donned green trousers, green scarves, a green apron tied perfectly below a white T-shirt, and sporting a new brand of charley wote, invaded the streets in Oko Vanderpuye’s face where he has abandoned traffic control to the hawker.

Defiantly vending meat pie and rolls, they crowd the streets, setting a new standard for others to follow as we do “kioskenomically”.  There is no AMA task officer in their face until they become part of the poverty tapestry, too underprivileged to be “social-democratically” abandoned.

I wondered for a minute whether this was another GYEEDA module, “Pastries in Street Hawking”? Read the rest of this entry »

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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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Exclusive: Nigeria favors local firms in $40 billion oil contract awards

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 23, 2014

By Emma Farge and Tim Cocks, Reuters

DAKAR/LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigeria has awarded most of its long-term oil contracts worth an estimated $40 billion a year to local companies, according to a confidential list seen by Reuters, meaning global traders need to partner with them to access crude from Africa’s top producer.

Global commodity traders, refiners and Nigerian dealers jockey at an annual tender for access to the OPEC member’s prized crude oil, which is easy to refine and produces more high-value fuels.

The contracts cover around 340 million barrels of oil, worth close to $40 billion annually based on current Brent prices, and run for a year, though they can be renewed. They were allocated to just 28 companies, versus around 50 in 2012, the last time they were awarded.

In a break with tradition, no contracts were given directly to global trading houses Glencore Xstrata (GLEN.L: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz), Vitol VITOLV.UL, Trafigura TRAFGF.UL or Gunvor, with only Switzerland’s Mercuria winning a contract, according to a list that four industry sources verified as accurate. Read the rest of this entry »

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Epa Banku and Okro Soup. Critical News, 20th April 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 20, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

This week has been about Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) and how some Civil Service Organisations (CSO) are determined to “protect” Ghana by blocking the Government’s intention, if they can do so, to sign the EPA with the European Union.

We left the International Conference Center, Thursday after a somewhat rowdy interruption against the presence of Claude Maerten of the EU delegation when he requested to make a few points.  In the end, we did not quite get to question time and wrap up, the Minister was late for a flight and we all left with the blankness of wasted time.

I certainly felt so and headed for my favorite Banku and Okro soup joint, comfort food, preceded by a small bottle of Club beer.  I also like the place (can’t mention the name for good reasons) because the two sisters who run the joint are exceptionally favored by nature, with hips and style you leave extra tips with very little effort, if for nothing else than to entice a smile from either of these Madonna.

Negotiations on this EPA have been going on for fourteen years since the Cotonou Agreement.  I don’t think we should continue dragging it any longer.  What are we protecting?  Banku and Okro soup?  Import trade in the EU region in 2010 was over 3trillion dollars.  That is the equivalent of ninety-six times our GDP. Read the rest of this entry »

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Waking Up from the Pipe Dream Part 2

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 30, 2014

By Charles Wereko-Brobby (Dr), Chief Policy Analyst, Ghana Institute for Public Policy Options (GIPPO),  tarzan@eyetarzan.org

The Government of Nigeria and NGas have made it clear that it does not respect the sanctity of the Gas Supply Agreement that underpins the supply of natural gas to Ghana, Benin & Togo. So much for ECOWAS Economic cooperation and integration!

Add this to Nigeria’s continuing bar of our industrial products and we might as well bury ECOWAS and stop the waste of half-yearly summits that have failed to deliver a single tangible outcome of regional integration for almost 40 years of the Lagos Plan of Action.

Instead of begging Nigeria to get some “soppy” supply, let us absorb the reality and wake up from the West African Pipe dream and take bold and decisive steps that ensure a reliable and ample supply of our own gas resources to fuel our power plants

The key to getting it right lies with our full understanding of the key implications of the betrayal that has been visited on Ghana, and to respond appropriately and fulsomely! Read the rest of this entry »

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Adopting A Common External Tariff, Ecowas States Move Closer To Customs Union

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 4, 2013

By Joe Lamport

Once a month or so, an employee of Mamma Mia’s pizzeria in Accra, Ghana, drives three hours to Lomé in neighboring Togo to stock up on supplies for the popular restaurant. The reason is simple, and one that almost every business owner (and most consumers) understands: lower prices.

“The prices are usually much lower in Lomé than Accra,” the employee said, “so we go there to stock up on cheese and other ingredients.”

Stories of wide price variations across the region are common, according to Lori Brock, an international trade expert who has studied the region’s economy.

“I was amazed that you could buy batteries in, say, Nigeria or Senegal for about 50 cents and the same batteries in Accra would cost two or three dollars,” she said. Likewise bicycle tires in Ghana cost about 4 GHS ($2), while in Senegal they cost about 7,000 CFA ($14) and in Nigeria cost about 5,000 Naira ($31). Read the rest of this entry »

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