Business in Ghana

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Posts Tagged ‘Martin Amidu’

In A Bad Mood-y. Critical News, 22nd March 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 22, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I was a reluctant walker up McCarthy Hill this morning. Very tired from a late night blitz, after one bottle of Guinness and some “rice and plasas”, I traipsed home to the now inevitable “dumsor” and lived with the gloom of a life I did not ask for but choose to be in.

Tired legs and an aging body, both conspirators in the endless dedication to keep me unhealthy, that I get sick so I might die young, but not till my work on this planet is completed and I move to Mars.

I have great hopes that Mars will be habitable by the time I am too old. It takes 150 days and 55,757,930km to reach, which means I am out even before I start the journey. I can only hope they find me a burial spot there, and since we Africans are not capable of creating an Awudome on that planet, I will have to contend with Arlington cemetery without US Citizenship.

So international rating agency Moody’s has been creating havoc for this government for quite some time. This past week, we have been downgraded from B2 to B3 and classified negative. To the non-financial person on the street, what this means is it will cost us more in interest rates and with tighter conditions if we attempt once again, which we are determined to do in May this year, to borrow another $1billion.

We have bonds falling due. The first is in October this year for $531million and the next two, in 2023 and 2024 for $1billion each. Finance Minister has put forward a refinancing plan to Parliament for approval and a cursory look at the document confirms much of what we say every time. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ashaiman Rising, Heroes Faltering and KPMG Confused. Critical News, 30th June 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 30, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Monday 24th, I set out to a day’s work in Ashaiman.  This weekly ritual since October last year has made me a virtual resident in the Municipality.  But just at the Accra side of the motorway, I answered a friendly call from a cautionary voice.  “Best not to come all the way to the end of motorway; turn off at Abattoir and come round Adjei-Kojo”.  Moments later, “change the plan, stay away from Ashaiman today, lets meet tomorrow instead, Ashaiman is on fire!”

The week before, I arrived at the Ashaiman spur just at the end of the motorway and circled round as usual into the straight entry into Ashaiman.  Unlike other days, the traffic was light and free.  The usual trotros and long haul vehicles were parked on the sides and there was a gathering to the left of the approach, where an open space with fitter shops (the traditional flooding ground in the rainy season) was hosting the Ashaimanese (I like this label, sounds very Burma primeval-forest-tribe-like, don’t you think?) driving community.  I moved on quickly, conscious of the meeting time and grateful that for once I would not have to make excuses for the traffic and Goro boys who come close, yet never fender-bend, deftly turning, confidence carved from experience. Read the rest of this entry »

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Plenty Men Shall Fall That Day. Critical News, 23rd June 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 23, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

My sincerest apologies to Tony Lithur.  Some awkward sentence construction from last week, prompted my old buddy to drop me a complaint email.  I admit my sentence made it read as if he was part of the team of lawyers referred to the General Legal Council, which was not the case.  So, apologies in order.

This week, I should say what I have been planning for ages.  Praise to the Ghana Police MTTU unit.  If you have not noticed, they are doing a really splendid job these days.  Even on Sundays.  It is what we need to make the city worth living in and traveling round.  If you have some sway over Department of Urban Roads, it might be worthwhile to point out to them (DUR) that parking control, pedestrian walkways, removing rubbish dumps and hawkers from the streets will go a long way to making your work much easier and more fulfilling.  Don’t ask the Mayor.

Somehow Mayor Oko Vanderpuye, despite failing to properly manage the capital city in all ways, pulled a fast one on the Ga Chiefs and Assemblymen who suddenly think he makes the best fufu and light soup ever.  What I saw on TV, they were up in arms, baying for his neck.  Next thing he was waving a drawing of their new offices and palace, then, news flash; all complaints of disrespect, dictatorship, incompetence and heaped ailments disappeared and turned calamity to a praise and worship session.  Reminded me of the Church of Pentecost service I graced mid-week. Read the rest of this entry »

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Before Election Results Are, Pink Sheets Is. Critical News, 16th June 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 16, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Citizen Vigilante had his day in court, Citizen Vigilante won his day in court.  Martin Amidu took his case against Waterville and Woyome and in no uncertain terms, the Supreme Court gave its ruling and clawed back $47million.  Even though they deferred to the lower courts to decide on Woyome, they fired a critical salvo against lawyers in the cases, Peasah Boadu for Waterville, Osafo Buabeng for Woyome, Tony Lithur for Austro Invest and maybe Ekow Awoonor who acted as sole mediator between parties with then AG Betty Mould Iddrissu.  They referred matters to the Legal Council and we expect some action.  I am thrilled that perhaps this is a signal to Ghanaians that our Supreme Court has found wings to cleanse the timidity stigma, asserting their self-ruling judgment in contrast to lugging government wishes.  Two things.  The Supreme Court restoring confidence in its independence and Martin persevering to the end and securing the verdict that all were skeptical the Supreme Court would scupper.  So after I heard this, I wondered if President Mahama talking to his NDC family, which is no big deal, could upset the Judges, making them think he was trying to influence their decision.  Might they rather tow a hard line, slighted by his presumptiveness and belittling their intelligence? Read the rest of this entry »

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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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The Blinkards in Flagstaff House. Critical News, 24th February 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on February 24, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Friday night 8pm, I am looking for a taxi to get into Accra.  I live on McCarthy Hill and sometimes I don’t not feel like driving into the city.  Standing by the side, a trotro curb-stops and a young woman, maybe 28, gets down with a child on her back and another in tow.  She makes sure to mention to the “aplanke” that she has luggage in the back.  With the child balanced securely, she takes out two bunches of plantain, a sack full of cassava, and a basket of other food items.  She then hauls all these and a carry bag to the side with the help of her six-year-old and starts the hassle for another trotro to take her to Lapaz.  She carefully counts the agreed fare and I shudder with guilt.  Her fare from Kasoa is one cedi eighty pesewas, protected in her white “religious” handkerchief. She can’t afford to lose a pesewa of this money.  The taxis are asking for twenty cedis to go to Accra, a fare that used to be ten.  I abandon my two-hundred-cedi expenditure program, uncomfortable with the disparity in our spending priorities, and turn back home.  This defined the State of my Nation. Read the rest of this entry »

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The NDC Cannot Win The Election: Why?. Critical News, 2nd December 2012

Posted by Business in Ghana on December 2, 2012

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

At this same time next week, each one of us will know whether our prediction for the election is correct.  We are voting on Friday 7th December and despite all the noise and fear of violence and war, we are forging ahead with our own checks and balances and traditional peace pipes that have smoked in Ghana for long.  By next Sunday when I sit down to write another Critical piece, Ghana will either have a new President, elected an incumbent or deferred the decision for another 21 days to the end of December.  I have no intention of sitting on the analyst’s fence this last week.  If the election goes a second round, and I believe it will, the NDC will not win another term.

Here are my reasons, you can judge whether I have seen it coming accurately or not. Read the rest of this entry »

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Shadows and Roosters on an Umbrella. Critical News, 24th November 2012

Posted by Business in Ghana on November 25, 2012

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I am not going to comment on Hassan Ayariga.  I take umbrage with those in the People’s National Party (PNC) who made him a presidential candidate.  Comic relief aside, I think it is high time we shifted the blame to the king makers.  They should be ashamed for asking Ghanaians to consider a candidate of such patchiness for president.  He won the Tornoo of the week again on Joy fm’s Weekend City show.

But Joy did poorly on Newsfile, not allowing an extra five minutes on Saturday to establish real truths on pertinent issues of Nana Addo’s qualifications amid mischief making by Felix Ofosu Kwakye, who I have concluded is simply a semi-educated NDC foot soldier.  Closer to Election day we are degenerating into an abyss of hollow thought, which I find rather distasteful.  There are levels of political discourse at mezzanine points you expect decorum and civility to guide discussions and combative deliberation.  It could be desperation driving us to silliness and I hope the issues drive us more into creativity than this stupidity of whether one left out an item in their CV.  In my world, when you submit a CV, you highlight your achievements and record of success, not your failures.  Not sure if Kwabena Agyepong held his cool after the program, he sounded livid during a hot exchange with Mr. Ofosu Kwakye.  And then of course, this week Ablakwabish raised his right to be heard, making fodder of a discourse between Nana Addo and debate moderator Kojo Oppong Nkrumah after the presidential debate. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mrs Junior Jesus, now Senior Satan, Disqualified?. Critical News, 21st October 2012

Posted by Business in Ghana on October 20, 2012

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

You cannot take your eye off the ball for a minute and you cannot shut your ears to the debates.  Every week I like to remind Ghanaians that we are no longer trying at democracy, we are practicing democracy.

Free SHS is kicking some NDC butt.  President Mahama had an opening at his IEA Presidential Address, when 8-year old Angela Mensah, daughter of a taxi driver threw the schools issue into the mix with a question on peaceful elections. Read the rest of this entry »

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Return of The PAC. Critical News, 26th August 2012

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 26, 2012

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I had a big surprise this week and it was a good one.  I buy my top-ups from the car on the way to work.  I know it is illegal to do so, but Mayor Vanderpuye is still mourning his wife and president and I feel at liberty to do a little wrong.  Anyway, this young man who usually sells me Expresso top up, came to the window Friday morning and with a very broad smile announced to me that he had been offered a place with the University of Development Studies to do a degree in Integrated Management Science.  It was such a delight to hear.  I never thought of him as a SHS student in the first place, but for him to be Uni material, I was chuffed.  My view of these hawking young men and women has changed, there might yet be hope around the corner.  I never figured there were potential university students selling stuff and cleaning windshields to survive.  Such a failure in employment policy. Read the rest of this entry »

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