Business in Ghana

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Posts Tagged ‘Kwame Nkrumah’

Words With Matter. Critical News, 31st May 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 31, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I am watching the sketch artist on the sidewalk of Osu. There is a semi-circled crowd, every one of us caught in his gift as the creation comes to life with every stroke of his pencil. He is doing a simple drawing on two separate easels, side by side of each other.

He mimics every stroke on each one, equally dividing his attention to both of them so they all tow to life in tandem. His drawing is Oxford Street of Osu. The right easel is the right side of the road and on his left he captures that side, each easel showing the shops and fine detail the ordinary eye misses.

We glance up from the easel each time he makes a tiny revision and retains small detail; we with regular eyes murmuring how we missed the obvious.

But my attention is flitting from easel to the gorgeous damsel to my left, pretty beyond reality. Large eyes and luscious lips captured in an egg-shape face, which lights up each time she inhales in awe of the creationist, chatting animatedly to friends, used to her beauty, un-awed by this enchantment.

She herself is a fascinating statuette of proportions, a leg-length loose gown clutched in her left hand, failing to hide the figure beneath the dress. She is not immediately conscious of her allure, or maybe she is; every man in the half moon stealing glances even as they pretend to admire the creation unfolding before our eyes.

He is gifted by nature and she, our gift from nature; the two blending to demonstrate the wonder only a coincidence of nature can intermingle in a particular place such as we find ourselves. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Critical Weekly News, Sydney Casely-Hayford | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

I 6th March Not. Critical News, 8th March 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 10, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

The American is a freedom fighter, a go-getter and a person of courage. Brits are known for their stiff back and upper lip and are pursuers of right and justice. The Germans are hard workers and great engineers. Swiss are precision oriented and private. You can just as well describe Chinese and Japanese in their own way and skin.

And the Ghanaian?

I so struggled with a description for my Ghana-self and others who are Ghanaian just like me, but I was clearly looking in the wrong zongo.

The whole of my 6th March was captured behind a dvd player, watching a series of memorable movies, looking for the substance of the Ghanaian. I reviewed my connection with Gandhi, took a long walk to freedom with Mandela and fought a great battle with Chaka “Zulu” kaSenzangakhona. And in the process I missed the great march at Independence Square.

I have no movies of the great nation Ghana and how it came to be.

But I hear there were military people, police band and fire service, prisons service people, armored tanks and cars, a platoon of Special Forces and a buffoonery of masqueraders. The school children came, marched in the sun, no headscarves and headkerchiefs and fainted as they always do.

Then Prezdo stood on the back of the open-air car, saluted everybody and finally gave a rousing speech to urge the people on to the new level of “dumsor” and how to use it to counter religious conflict.

I was not there and you too were not there, so I am only recounting what I have been told and I am no wiser. 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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IMANI Alert: Can the Tema Oil Refinery deliver today? A possible way out

Posted by Business in Ghana on September 7, 2014

The energy sector is undoubtedly the most essential sector if Ghana is to come out of its current economic atrophy.  President Mahama underscored this fact when he declared that the Atuabo Gas project in his view, is the game changer in Ghana’s energy mix and an attempt to resurrect the near moribund economy.  That the second Millennium Challenge Compact is dedicated to energy attests to the vision.

One essential player in the energy picture of this sector is the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).  TOR was established by Ghana’s first President, Kwame Nkrumah with financial and technical support from Italian investors. TOR’s mandate at the onset was refining crude oil for Ghana and her neighbouring countries. TOR’s core business has over the years been broadened to include procurement, storage, refinery and distribution of crude oil. However many observers have argued that the ambitions of TOR whilst in keeping with a growing economy such as Ghana’s was not strategically anchored in a future vision for running it as a serious profitable business, hence its current near defunct and financially broke natural order.

We have seen successive governments design strategies some of which have involved large financial investments and bailouts of the institution-the result of which is the current recovery levy which became a public debate with various analyses emerging on how the country could generate value from such an economic venture. Such debates and discussions that did not bring closure to the TOR debacle, have resulted in the establishment of institutions such as Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BOST), Bulk Distribution Companies and Oil Marketing Companies with various responsibilities and duties being assigned to each of these institutions to ensure that the procurement, refinery, storage and distribution of petroleum products within the supply chain are comprehensive to prevent frequent shortages. Recent developments have prompted further discussions of the revival of TOR and how to make it an efficient economic entity. However the following factors must be considered prior to undertaking such investment. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Franklin Cudjoe, Oil and Gas | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

Posted in Critical Weekly News, Sydney Casely-Hayford | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

In The Supreme Court, Governance Reloaded. Critical News, 30th December 2012

Posted by Business in Ghana on December 30, 2012

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

End of the year, the last Critical News of 2012 and next year starts off just as exciting if not more exciting.  We have traveled a very interesting path this year with economic success and political peace pipes, yet there is so much more needed.  Our oil discoveries are improving; we have $3billion of Chinese money to spend and looming judgment cases in court.  We have major legislation to enact for freedom of information, economic policies to change and another year fighting the banks for access to capital.  Industry has to grow and the Ghana Stock Exchange has finally announced that it will introduce a new Ghana Alternate Index (GAX) to encourage small and medium enterprises to list on the market.  All encouraging and exciting and we must show the will to change and implement.

So the New Patriotic party filed its challenge to the 2012 election results and Johnson Asiedu Nketia of the NDC said publicly that any idiot could go to the Supreme Court in Ghana.  Well, some idiots filed a petition to challenge, according to them, the idiocy of an attempt to manipulate the future of Ghana by his party. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Critical Weekly News, Sydney Casely-Hayford | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Street Lights and Potholes: Seek Ye First

Posted by Business in Ghana on July 4, 2011

By Sydney Casely-Hayford, Sydney@bizghana.com

Every year, we have a party of sorts.  The rains come down to stay for about two months and they invite their cousins, the potholes to join in the festivities.  This year is no different.

Everywhere in Accra there are roads with potholes of varying sizes, just waiting to destroy a shock absorber or two.  We run rivulets of precious water all around Accra.  Even the most visible parts, especially the most visible, like Nkrumah Circle are terrible spots of floods and debris floating around with no place to go except into choked gutters. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Politics, Sydney Casely-Hayford | Tagged: , , , , | 17 Comments »

Kwame Nkrumah: West Africa’s deluded Pan-Africanist

Posted by Business in Ghana on September 14, 2009

The behaviour must have been quite comical. An exiled former powerful president and hero of the African anti-colonial struggle cowering in his bedroom in fear, though nobody was really after him. Unbeknown to many, this was the other side of life Ghana’s founding father, Kwame Nkrumah, led in exile in Guinea-Conakry. This was despite holding the title of co-president bestowed upon him by his host, Ahmed Sekou Toure. In his home away from home, he spent most of his time hallucinating about his abduction and assassination by Western intelligence agents.

When his cook died in Conakry, he hoarded food in his bedroom fearing he would be poisoned. One of his waking nightmares was that someone was going through his mail.

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