Business in Ghana

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Posts Tagged ‘Galamsey’

My Better Petition Through Asamankese. Critical News, 14th April 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 14, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

To really see how much of a task we have on our hands you must travel through Ghana.  I met Adobea in the early hours of Wednesday morning. On my way back from the now imperative “old man early morning walk”, I stopped to buy Hausa Koko.  On the corner just opposite First Stop Hotel on Asamankese main street, sandwiched between two JHS and Primary schools, she has chosen the ideal spot to inveigle the children’s fifty pesewa pieces as they saunter past to early morning class. Her icon is a set of worn-out car tires, vertically stacked just next to the vulcanizer’s air pressure machine.  Every small town has one of these, a block-making stall, a carpenter making outrageously in-elegant sofa seats, the small central market and the eventually-accepted village dread-locks Rastaman constantly wandering out of the forest enclave; you dare not suggest that he is not spiritual.  Hausa Koko costs twenty pesewas for a generous calabash full unlike Accra where you pay fifty pesewas for a mean potion and the tea bread is again half the price.

I slow down from my brisk pace ready to purchase, then I get this stench. A powerful mixture of rotting produce and human excrement.  A Trotro honks loudly from behind and I all but stop in a hail of dust just near Adobea’s plastic covered koko container.  I turn my head away from the dust and just there, I had not noticed it before, are two young ones poised squatting on heir heels, early morning business, right there on a pile of spreading plastic waste creeping closely to the koko stand.  A few meters away from them a group of sheep is foraging for tasty lumps. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cancel The Budget, Who Used A Power Point?. Critical News, 7th April 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 7, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

This week, we started chucking out the Chinese Galamsey operators and President Mahama had to set time aside to reassure our Asian friends that we do appreciate them and we want them to stay and work with us.  He couldn’t be more wrong and this is where I have problems with my President.  He is a history graduate and I expect that he will at least remember some stuff that happened in our past.  I recall something about Chinese and Ashanti Goldfields and mining in Ghana from the history I read so I delved into it, and yes, we do have a history.  After the British expedition to Kumasi and the removal of Prempeh in 1896, the Government hoped to open up the new Ashanti territory for exploration (which was the reason the British wanted to conquer Ashanti in the first place anyway).  Several treaties were signed and legislation passed to encourage British companies to come in and “rape” the gold.  This led to the formation of Ashanti Goldfields in 1897 by EA Cade.  But it went further.  TE Bowdich had previously painted a tantalizing picture of mineral wealth in Ashanti when he gave vivid detail in his “Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee“ in 1819.  In 1897 there was an attempt at public enterprise when then Governor Sir William Maxwell was authorized to spend 1,000 on a scheme for alluvial gold mining, complete with imported Chinese miners and prospectors.  It was a very unpopular promotion.  The idea had been canvassed many times before by others on the grounds that it would “stimulate the lazy African to competition” (CO/96/218); by the District Commissioner at Axim, followed by the Colonial Office enquiries to Hong Kong in 1889.  Again, Maxwell in a memo on “Coolie Immigration to the Gold Coast”.  But in an Op-ed on 20 October 1897, The Gold Coast Express bucked this idea, and on behalf of its people, said “We do not want the “celestials” in West Africa on any account …. China is large enough surely for her own people”.  That is our mining history with the Chinese.  So if they (Chinese) are not feeling too comfortable in today’s Ghana, it is a deep-grained problem.  Now, we need their money so we accommodate their disregard of our laws.  But you have to go and try and live and work in China to experience how they treat African immigrants there.  Ghanaians have no special place in the hearts of the Chinese, our gold holds the attraction and our poverty holds back the legislation necessary for us to create win-win regulation to control reckless exploration and river pollution. Read the rest of this entry »

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To Pin an Unconstitutional Tale. Critical News, 3rd March 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 3, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

A couple of police died in a river, trying to prevent illegal Galamsey miners from ruining the environment.  Reading the story, I wondered whether President Mahama’s visit to the Western Region and his subsequent visit to the families of the service men would get Government to sit up and resolve this menace.  But read this story from May 2012 in the Ghanaian Chronicle and ask yourself whether there is additional mystery to resolving this Galamsey.  We know how it works, we have a law in place and yet we still cannot find the will to fix the greed.  Now we are chasing Chinese people all through the villages, trying to out them with cudgels and knifes.

Even better, just to see how entrenched our traditional and cultural beliefs go, and how we are despite all our Christian values, striking workers of the Sofoline Interchange Project say they are not going back to work until their leaders reverse a curse invoked to bind them all to their demand for a salary increase by preventing them from returning to work prematurely.  The Union leaders apparently invoked the Antoa Nyamaa deity to deal with anybody who goes against the group’s decision to strike.  A day after China GEO-Construction, their employers, agreed to a 25 per cent salary increase, workers would not return to work until the curse is overturned.  So, Chairman of the Construction Workers Union Rudolph Asoala has started arrangements to get the curse overturned.  The Personnel Manager of the company, who is a chief, is leading the workers to the Asantehene’s chief priest to have the curse reversed.  Last time I heard, we are a Christian country. Read the rest of this entry »

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9 Graves and Two Veeps. Critical News, 5th August 2012

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 5, 2012

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Ghana could not get any more exciting before the funeral of our late president so I went to see a play at the National Theatre on Friday.  A Slave’s Story.  It was only when the stage credits were mentioned that I realized the cast was mainly from the Asiamah family from the UK.  I was not impressed with the play and it added nothing to my knowledge about the souls of our ancestors.  There was some music talent and some acting talent, but overall, it was a less than mediocre performance for me and I relegated it to the annals of an end of term performance by some high school students.

So I went to the Home Coming of my alma mater, Bleoo!, Saturday.  A refreshing encounter with old class mates, letting your hair down with friends you spent seven years of intense rivalry and competition, observing the young ones who just cannot believe that I left Accra Academy before they were born.  So superior!  My year group is now the true “Old Boys”.  I can recount amusing and interesting stuff and in those days totally revolting.  But that was then and here is now.

Sunday, I was privileged to be at the Ghana Association of Writers presentation in honor of President Mills.  I heard some wonderful talent and music and I came back charged with new hope that Ghana at least can manage its creative talent and develop beyond Azonto.

Now, me and Martin Amidu, we are still waiting for the Supreme Court to announce when they will hear the case he filed against Woyome, Vamed and Waterville, to establish the legality of the financial engineering that probably never was.  This week, Mr. Amidu filed another case against Isofoton and others including the Attorney General, again in a judgment case previously determined and a second payment from the people’s purse.  I am yet to meet Mr. Amidu, who is fast becoming my favorite Ghanaian and I hope he at least reads some of what I write.  If Martin can do this, where are the other Ghanaians who are privy to the corruption pockets and have access to information that will help unravel some of the detail?  We have a Whistle Blowers Act in place and surely, there must one or two public servants spirited enough to spill some beans? Read the rest of this entry »

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Campaign Waiver. Critical News, 22nd July 2012

Posted by Business in Ghana on July 23, 2012

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I am weary this week.  The Woyome case is not moving at an adequate pace, and because I am hoping that some big names will be dropped so we can move the democracy process ahead, I am weary with the slowly developing case.  The Supreme Court is also yet to fix a date to hear Martin Amidu’s challenge on the illegality of the case (Woyome) and it looks like we are heading for a limp Parliamentary recess.  Parliament rises next week, due back in October, and we do not have too many calendar days to voting day.  I love it when Parliament recesses with mega issues to close the year so when the Minority in Parliament created a big palaver this week to do with a Constitutional Instrument regarding the creation of 45 new districts, I kind of perked up a bit.  But I am weary.  Water issues, electricity dom so, dom so, judgment debt here today, challenged tomorrow?  I am feeling the grind of non-deliverables. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Government of Ghana Must Implement New Taxes in 2012

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 5, 2012

By Alhassan Atta-Quayson, TWN-Africa, Source: NCOM Newsletter Volume 2.1

In October, 2011, the government of Ghana made a promise that it will increase profit tax paid by mining companies, collect _windfall profit_ tax, and implement a uniform regime for capital allowance of 20% for five years. The government deemed these as some of the steps required to obtain a fair share from the benefits of the country_s non-renewable mineral resources. Given the government_s own concession that _the economic and social benefits that the sector provides are not commensurate with our expectations_, the anticipation has been that those initiatives were going to be implemented fully and in a timely manner. While the budget was approved a few weeks after its presentation, regulations to back these mining sector initiatives are yet to be tabled in Parliament for discussion and approval. It is even reported in the media (such as Ghana_s TV3 Network) that the government has, altogether, shelved the initiatives, at least for the year 2012 when they are most needed. Read the rest of this entry »

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