Business in Ghana

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Posts Tagged ‘JJ Rawlings’

Because I Need To Believe. Critical News, 21st December 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on December 21, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Turning left coming out of TV Africa studios where I had just finished recording a show, I was appalled at the spectacle of a group of people pounding mercilessly on a helpless victim curled knees to chest on the floor, hopelessly covering his head with his bare hands, trying to avoid the next blow.

I made a decision to drive by and “di mi fie asem” when I spotted a youthful macho approaching with what looked like a six-inch concrete block heading for the helpless victim. I changed my mind, careened to the side road in a screeching halt, pounding my horn at the same time.

Taking advantage of the distraction, I came out of the car yelling in twi for all of them to step aside and stop the beating. I managed a quick run, adrenalin pumping through the old body and confronted those I thought were the ringleaders.

The next exchange took place local language as I tried to understand the purpose of this attempted murder.

Back and forth for another thirty minutes, I finally made some sense and with a cell phone in hand taking pictures as fast as I could, I finally quelled the mob and they started drifting away, back-yelling insults and challenging my authority as they moved ways from the crime scene.

They had intended to kill the poor guy on “suspicion” that he was a known pickpocket in the area and was snooping around the parked cars in the vicinity looking for something to steal.

He had stolen nothing; not yet, but they were going to kill him. Read the rest of this entry »

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Letter To My Father. Critical News, 3rd August 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 3, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Hi Dad. Twenty-five years and 1989 seem like such a long time ago. Yet it feels so close. Losing you was a big blow and I speak for my brothers and our mother, but I think we have adjusted well. We miss you and talk about you all the time, so we kind of have you close, closer and really surreal.

But Victor’s death. You remember, Chocolate Kid’s son? We buried him over the weekend, surrounded by family, cousins, uncles, and now I have nephews and nieces and a namesake for me, Sydney spelt exactly as mine, brought tear ducts into play and I shed a few. Death rocked the foundations this weekend.

The service was too long, the Charismatics grabbed a license and yelled at all sinners, berated them for not being holy. I thanked my stars that I veered away from Christianity a while back.

I never became a Bahai either, despite all your efforts and wishes, and after I foraged into Buddhism, I am still left with the practical life of a Buddhist but without religious overtures. I am content as a free thinker and well anchored in my desire to achieve a better life wherever I find myself.

But there is good news wherever there is bad. Isn’t that what you always said about silver linings? Leo’s Natasha got married in Connecticut. She is all grown up and settled and such a beautiful person. Hmm, she is also a dancer. Seems like the women in the family all have that bent. My Ayesha is also into stage and theater, and very good too. And she is still practicing law. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dwarf Economics and Allied Services. Critical News, 16th February 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on February 16, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Whoever said we are a very religious country forgot to tack on that we are also a very superstitious country. Somebody’s cow floated its way into Nii Kukurudu’s Chorkor fishermen’s net, deceiving my Accra peeps that they were onto a bumper harvest.  When the net came up with a bull, the news spread faster than the renouncement of an imminent cabinet shuffle, which is on its way because JJ Rawlings has asked for one.

Digressing for a minute, JJ publicly suggested to the President that he might do well to appoint some new ministers, maybe replace the school boys and girls the NDC Government currently employ; those making high level ministerial decisions when they are yet to be certified by a university that they are capable of higher education.  It is well known that some key ministers are still being tutored for higher degrees, so technically we have some ministries in this country being run by recent graduates.

On this basis, for commonsense direction it sounds right to suggest a change of sorts, especially when the economy is under such scrutiny.  But when it kind of leaked that there might be a shuffle, the Government rushed to the media, shouting “gossipers” and gave up their common sense fix; because things are not going very well, the people can see it, they read about the corruption and smell the garbage on the streets at Kaneshie.  But this one was too “Rawlings” for them to take on board and too “Daily Guide” led to make a common sense decision, so they made a political one.  Deny! Read the rest of this entry »

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To Coach A Middle Class. Critical News, 12th January 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 12, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

And he looked down and thought, I have done a good job.  I flogged the market women, burnt down their “kalabule” stalls, inspected and showed their genitalia to the world.  I asked my soldiers to take away all bank accounts above fifty cedis and none know where I kept the excess.  I ensured that any private enterprise that looked profitable collapsed so they cannot work against me by favoring the enemy.  I eliminated Nii Kwei, used him as a tool to kill judges who opposed me and I generated fear in the judiciary.  My world is clean from Lebanese and Indians, profiting from business over the years.  Even my town folk have been quieted down, they have not escaped my wrath, as I showed them a fast exit from this scorched earth.

All who challenged me have been silenced and the Amadeks are safely tucked away in a secret place only me and my 64 blues can tell.  My peace is guaranteed since I sent the thirteen back to their ancestors and my work has been rewarded with a peaceful nation whose cowardice guarantees my bravado. Read the rest of this entry »

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Reset. Dog-Ctrl, Fitch-Alt, ECG-Delete. Critical News, 20th October 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on October 20, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I am not the only person complaining.  All week I have been talking to friends, asking what we can do to move some action in Governance.

“Massa asem a to yen”, and this from the taxi driver who bullied me into listening to him all the ride from McCarthy Hill to Kanda Estates.  He had a beef and soon as he recognized me from a TV talk show, he was sure I could influence Government to do something about his struggling efforts to eke out a living from “dropping” fares.

Kwame Karikari now owns his taxi.  It has taken him seven years.  When I did the math with him, he had agreed to a repayment plan, which cost him three times more than what he could have borrowed.  What I gathered, and together with his comments, much regrets.  We the “panyin fuo” should have the answers so them “nkodaa” can tow our lines.

Not anywhere near the collective responsibility being seamed to us by Government, forcing a guilt trap because something went horribly wrong between July and December 2012.  Some uncontrolled hand skewed our prior-to-then economic success trumpeted in Parliament and to the world.

It is important to remind this NDC Government that on Wednesday 18th July 2012, they went to Parliament to report that the economy was so robust they requested supplementary spending for the rest of the year.

Let me quote then Finance Minister Dr. Kwabena Duffuor from paragraph 36 of his presentation on the Supplementary Budget to Parliament.  Bear in mind this is July 2012, a week before President Mills died. Read the rest of this entry »

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Burning Fires in Our Backyard. Critical News, 13th October 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on October 13, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Tuesday evening, I am sitting on the porch overlooking the Panbros salt pans from the hilltops of McCarthy Hill.  There is a man across the opposite fence.  I can see him from my lofty perch, dressed in a pair of baggy shorts, no shirt and carrying what looks like a kerosene lantern.  He is walking across from my left to the edge of the open land space he inhabits and I decide to retire, not an interesting scene to keep my attention.

Half hour later, just as I am nodding off, I hear the spat-spatting of what sounds like rainfall and I wonder when I missed the gathering clouds during the day and why is it still raining at this time of year?  Thinking I could use the pattering rainfall to lull myself to sleep, I ignore the event and doze off.

But later, a persistent crackling wakes me up and I sleep-stumble to the balcony to check things out.  The smoke filled balcony and the raging fire beneath me, shocks me out of sleep and I reel from the gathering heat below. Read the rest of this entry »

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M’Luds We Are Not Tired, Just Challenged. Critical News, 14th July 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on July 14, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I am a sore loser in football.  The French or what we were expected to accept as a French side eventually won the Under 20 FIFA tourney on Saturday.  Watching their black players stop all our brilliant moves from the flanks and especially Pogba holding Assifuah and Acheampong to the berth, only made it worse for me when I got to know that Pogba is of Ghanaian origin.  For long we have struggled to control the age thing in the Under 20 and Under 17 games, but I think it is now time to look at ethnicity as another feature to control.  French people are not colored black, so to field a team with 9 black players and a mixed race goalkeeper, who was the key reason we could not get the ball into the net, increased my pain considerably.  These “Senegalovarians” (young men from Senegal, Togo, Mali, C’ote D’Ivoire) they sported were bigger, tougher, faster and seemed to be under some kind of spell to win this competition.  Even our prayers right there in the middle of the pitch could not blind their keeper; divine shots from the Golden Boot, coming at him from all sides.  Look, Americans are a mixed race, British are one third black, Chinese are never black and French people are predominantly white.  We should not change the order of nature just to win a FIFA cup.  I am a sore loser in football. Read the rest of this entry »

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Fire and Witchcraft Tactics For Over-Voters. Critical News, 9th June 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 9, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

My reckless adventure into selling street side top-ups, taught me a valuable lesson this week.  I usually buy credit from Kojo Mbrah (his real name), been doing so for at least a year and we have become good buddies.  I get the occasional credit, same as I get from my newspaper boy Kwesi at the foothills of McCarthy Hill.  They are always surprised that sometimes their Obroni does not have five cedis to make the essential purchase.  Anyway, in a dare with Kojo I challenged that I could sell more credit with less effort than he does in a day.  He took me on, Tuesday morning and I parked opposite Abrantie Spot at La Paz and hit the streets with a stack of top up cards trusted to me by Mr. Mbrah.  I spent planning time and placed the cards in separate pockets to ease delivery, and with a list of all my stock, I trumped east side, close enough to the traffic lights as I see them do every time.  Fifteen minutes later I had sold two cedis and the race for the cars was hot, not counting the rising sun and no adjustable air conditioning.  I am pushing harder and harder, profiling my competitors and gauging their positioning strategy on the curbs.  In an hour, my sales tally was still two cedis.  Nobody is buying from me, customers are taken and loyalty to sellers is key.  I have become an enigma rather than a novelty item, which I was counting on.  My bet was I pay Kojo his fifteen cedis profit he makes in a day if I could not sell as many in half the time, and as I am running up and down the road breaking the law, a Trotro labeled “agoro anso a, egu”  (if a game does not prosper, it finishes) made it an easy choice, when it nearly mashed my toes.  I am standing on the curb, fishing invective from my decadent childhood, thinking, Kojo makes four hundred and fifty cedis in a good month.  I could earn that kind of money in a day if I lectured at Ashesi University or as an advisor to Government.  I pay Kojo his fifteen cedis and head for the cool comfort of the car.  This street hawking is tough, dangerous, illegal and perilous.  The barriers to entry are sealed with consumer loyalty and you don’t stand a chance as a new entrant.  They are a poverty cartel of friends, linked through a common survival purpose.  Don’t do as I did.  Life is very different at Informal sector level. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lest We Forget – 1983 – Thirty Years Ago

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 11, 2013

By Kwasi Gyan Appenteng

The year 1983 perhaps was the harshest year in Ghana’s modern history. In some countries there would be retrospectives, symposia and other kinds of public reflections on this most devastating year in our collective memory. When I say “collective”, I am referring to those who have not forgotten because they were there and those who have chosen not to forget because they remember. There cannot be many of the latter because general amnesia is another Ghanaian strategy for enduring the pain of the recent past, especially those for whom remembering the past is inconvenient.

The year 1983 did not start well. One of the harshest droughts was in progress. There had been little meaningful rain since 1981; that is it has either rained little or the rain had come at the wrong place and time. The drought could not have come at the worst possible moment. Read the rest of this entry »

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PACmen Down, Kunbour Reigns. Critical News, 28th October 2012

Posted by Business in Ghana on October 28, 2012

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

We have 40 days left to election day and Prophet Daniel Nkansah has chosen this time, not to interpret God’s message of peace and peaceful elections to Ghanaians like all pastors are doing, but rather to implicate simple God-fearing election officers in ghc1,600 bribe money.  This appalling accusation is yet to get to court, but reports in the media say Daniel was arrested on Thursday and we have heard no more since.  The police have also interrogated the officials from the EC.  The genesis of his case is that he was asked to pay the bribe money to ensure his registration to contest as President of Ghana.  So he paid a deposit with a promise to pay the balance on due date, which he could not fulfill, thus the case made public ears.  The man who wants to be President does not know that he has a right to be registered once his papers are properly completed?  Well, this case is not before God, but Man and he will have no advantage because of his biblical standing.  Imagine if he were to become President! Read the rest of this entry »

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