Business in Ghana

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Posts Tagged ‘Occupy Ghana’

My Useless Vote. Critical News, 4th October 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on October 4, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

We have to vote because it is the only way we can remove a government in Ghana. The other methods; votes of no confidence, impeachment, and if you want to follow JJ’s example or even maybe Antwi’s way, we won’t hail you. So we are stuck. Somewhere between Kulungugu and Half Assini, we have no say in how we remove a non-performing government.

That is where we are and that is what makes the voting matter so very important, we cannot even start jesting and being opaque with anything voting related.

I would like to hear the new Electoral Commissioner come out and tell me what she believes in. A few people have told me I am rushing the issue and she is demonstrating her capacity. But what I am saying is, no!, we must hear straight from her mouth what she believes in.

When she was offered the position and before she accepted, didn’t she know the register was the most contentious issue in our voting? I am not on the cards to be given any appointment by this government, but I will sure as hell not take any position or job offered by anyone, especially if it is for reward, if I am not clear that my vision dovetails into the offer and the philosophy of the employer.

So I think she should come out boldly and say whether she believes that the register is her critical task at this time and she will do everything to make sure we have a register that is not contentious in the after-vote event. I would like to hear her mind. Read the rest of this entry »

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I Accuse You. Critical News, 27th September 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on September 28, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Turmoil! A country struggling to find its feet and claim back its nobility, turns to its Coat of Arms and philosophically wonders, “where did we take the wrong turn”? Somewhere after the fight for independence and our fanaticism for dumping accolades of meaningless praise on leaders, we ignored the fair principles of equity and fairness in our lives.

Freedom and Justice. How many times haven’t we as a people taken pride of place in our lead as the Black Star and how many times haven’t we failed to follow through on justice and claim our right to fairness as should be in a modern democratic society.

I rail against any who say this country is not ready for a democracy and flail those who claim that we would be better off asking for white rule and a return to the colonial empire.

The mistake we have made all these years, is to allow the political class to keep repeating the “seek ye first the political kingdom and all else shall be added” mantra. Never was a more misguided clause echoed in a plethora of deliveries, to make it sound and mean right.

Look where it has gotten us? A forthcoming crusade from one the even more corrupt churches, should be held and called “Judgment Day Goats Miracle Crusade”. It will be fitting in today’s Ghana.

Where and how does it all start? Read the rest of this entry »

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Judge Mend Day. Critical News, 13th September 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on September 14, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I don’t want to write this week and I am sure I will not be ready next week, so I am putting pieces together for a sequel. I have made some contribution to this piece, but most of it is by my friends on social media and it is their informed and challenging minds that keep us going on matters that seem to go above the heads of the political class, or maybe they are way smarter than you and me, who think there is a need to correct the way we have shaped Ghana.

I am not sad. I am way beyond sad. I know I am in a mild depression. Everything we have premised our future on, especially in OccupyGhana has been on the back of a strong Judiciary. I am not heartbroken, because I fell out of love with Ghana after the election petition, totally convinced that justice was not served. So this is a wake up call. Until the Judiciary restores the fair balance in its favor, we are doomed. Call it as you may, this, if not corrected is the end of the Coat of Arms.

It started, as it always does, with a splatter of feeling from one of us and then harmataned into a whole different weather front.

Because fellow OccupyGhana founder, Ace Ankomah put his name to this piece and triggered all the sentiment you are about to read, I can mention his name. His piece is already on the Web. I don’t have permission from others to use their names, so I will leave you guessing who my friends are in this conversation.

This is what engages us and pushes us to traction our thoughts into some constructive energy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Political Crass. Critical News, 6th September 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on September 7, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Once you substitute the “L” with an “R” you turn the word on its head. But ahead of the conversation about whether my peeps in the Ashanti Region will ever be able to restore value to their alphabet challenge, let’s accept how easily you can be misquoted for thinking about a peculiar trait or habit in a different light.

I had the distinct honor and duty to sit on the same panel with two gentlemen from both sides of the political divide. KT Hammond and Kojo Adu Asare.

You know I have a particular distaste for giving people accolades they have not earned. A beauty queen is selected for her beauty. A first class degree is given to those who show excellence in academia and a lawyer earns the title “learned” out of respect for making his mark at the Bar. A scholar is not called that for nothing.

I am prejudiced against Ghana’s politicians. I have asked them all and separately to tell us what they have achieved for us as political groups, mandated to run the affairs of this country and am still waiting for answers. When I look at how Singapore, Malaysia, India, China and Brazil have created so much pride, I ask our servants in the House, how far with all their strategies and deliberations?

Should I still be waiting for ROPAA to be initiated, despite the fact that it is law? Should I still be hanging on for Parliament to remove the taxes such as TOR levies and others to make fuel more affordable? Am I still waiting for the Freedom of Information Bill to become law and for the Private Members bill to be tabled and voted, so some persons other than handpicked cabinet ministers can initiate law?

Seth Terkper came to hint at bad times to come. He was on radio to tell us how the world economy is going to depress and how our three key sources of foreign income are drying up because of stifling international prices. Read the rest of this entry »

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Truth and Honesty. Critical News, 26th April 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 26, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Last week the IMF released the program it has crafted between them and Ghana to bring policy credibility to Government’s Home Grown solutions. The only sound bite the media heard was the paragraph that spoke about job losses and freezing wages as a means to frontload the fiscal adjustments to achieve policy objectives.

I read it all with a huge smidgen of doubt.

Ghanaians know as we do, that this government is not going to do any of what it has signed to. The IMF knows that what it has written in the program notes to justify the figures to support our efforts is not true. And honestly, neither this government nor the IMF appreciates what problems we want solved in this economy.

If I may offer three steps, which if done will solve our issues immediately. First-first, fix the “dumsor”; find enough money to pay VRA, ECG, GRIDCO and other service providers what they are owed. No business runs on empty cash tanks. Second, fix the “dumsor”; find enough money to buy emergency power plants, because IT IS AN EMERGENCY! Then finally, fix the “dumsor”; provide enough incentives to make alternative energy solutions immediately attractive to domestic users. Then the “dumsor” will be gone and we will listen to other things.

This trinity points to one thing. Fix the “dumsor”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dead Goat Reload. Critical News, 5th April 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 5, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

It is always refreshing and invigorating to step back in history to remember some of the important things which shaped our future and might have made us totally different persons had we only be minded to think critically of what we set out to be.

During the Limann PNP administration in the run up to that stupid 31 December coup, we missed so many opportunities to correct significant aberrations in the constitution and what we could have prevented at the time.

Fogged with so many perils soon after it took up government and with severe economic downturn, inflation running at 70% and more, a result of military adventurism with no purposeful agenda than to maim persons out of personal vendettas within the armed forces, Hilla Limann and his team had so much chance to correct so much.

I remember a very good friend Ato Austin was expelled from the youth wing of the PNP at the time because he suggested on an open platform that Government should not, in the face of severe economic hardship, devalue the currency.

Accused of leaking party secrets without authorization and raising alarm in society on delicate matters pertaining to the economy, he rebelled and later made a name for himself for single mindedness and forthright talking.

My favorite “missed” opportunity though, was on the appointment of an Ombudsperson, which would be the CHRAJ job today, of Mr. S O. Gyandoh, at that time a lecturer at the Ghana Faculty of Law.

At his vetting, Mr. Gyandoh said he was not aligned to any political party and therefore would do his job impartially and without favor to anyone and on any party lines. He said he would do a professional job as befits the legal practice worldwide. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Neutrality Debate; Alleged OG’s Credibility Crisis

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 2, 2015

Owusu/ dnkowusu@gmail.com, Founding President New Era Africa 

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If the elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

Over the years, there have been some politicos who have masqueraded as credibly neutral entities to push a certain agenda. I am sure in our political history, several names may feature if a list is to be made.  Some journalists notably the “Coffee Shop mafias” were bastardized for not being “neutral” especially during the eight year rule of JAK. Last year, the fine Manasseh Azure Awuni suffered absurd criticisms from these “neutrals”. When the group Occupy Ghana (hereinafter referred to as OG) launched themselves through the unprecedented “Daddy Bees Demo on July 1, 2014”, the governing party pooh poohed the “genuine” effort of the demonstrators by painting them with the partisan brush. Since then, any objective observer can attest to the fact that they have acquitted themselves creditably as long as the push for responsible governance is concerned.

Once again, the credibility of OG has been under siege. It has become so because one of their leading members George Andah has put himself up for the Ewutu Senya West seat on the ticket of the Opposition NPP. Monitoring the social media, I gather that the arguments have shifted from the personality of George Andah and what he brings to the table as an individual to whether the OG is genuinely neutral or just a branch of the NPP. I join the bandwagon to also inquire; is OG neutral? Did they ever tell us they are neutral? Have they broken our trust?” Read the rest of this entry »

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Pardon My stupid. Critical News, 22nd February 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on February 22, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Death creeps in your heart, engulfs your mind and with heartrending signals, captures your senses, numbing them confusedly. In its jolting way, first news of a dead loved one, dulls the realism of life, leaving a sense of non-purpose, a linger on the mind, warding off other reality in such a way that questions of why and no reasons to why, drift to and forward through your mind even as you hear reassuring words from engaged humans, perfecting the ploy of held down grief, a forever attachment to sadness; death.

Floating memories of time together, casual, vivid images of time spent with love smiles, gestures of peace and together ideas for mutual existence, all play games.

You try to be brave, try hard to shake off the pitted sadness in your mind and in your heart, clearly losing the battle that only time can heal.

To all those who have lost close ones in recent times, I understand. I am feeling it just as much at this time and were I a praying man, I would be on my knees asking a God to take away the yoke and free me from misery. But alas. Read the rest of this entry »

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Castaways of Flagstaff House. Critical News, 8th February 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on February 8, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Our lives are a miserable choice from what we used to have a decade ago. We are forced to cook at least three times a week in order that we can eat everything and not have food deteriorate in the fridge. The fridge and freezer are in a complicated fight about who can raise the more stink; and my nostrils have become the more sensitive and discerning judge, trying to decipher the line between borderline spoilt and definitely off.

I will not afford a generator. At least my statements of environmental principle tell me I should not afford one. Why on this god-given earth should I, out of poverty and someone’s poor choices, burden the world with more pollutants and dissipate energy just to enjoy home comforts to, as the conspiracy theorists say, encourage more “policrats” to import an inexhaustible number of machines, only to boost noise levels in our ravaged communities?

This morning I woke to the distorted sounds of, once again a group of Christian worshippers who believe they are above the byelaws of this country as far as their right to create discordant music.

I fought a four-year battle with a previous group of five congregants until finally the executives at Ga South Municipal Assembly found it fit to ban the church over the wall beyond me. Now someone else is back and I am not sure I have the energy to write fifty-seven letters like I did the last time.

But it looks like it will be a long wait before we get round to fixing what we should have done decades ago. With Social Democrats turned capitalist crooks, it has become a race for how much can be stowed away before 2016 gets here and maybe another group captures the imagination of the voter and takes matters up another notch. Read the rest of this entry »

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2½ Years and A Scorecard. Critical News, 18th January 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 19, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

This past week, a frenzied activity from the NDC Communications team to counter what, I have no clue. Because their secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia went public to admonish their own for criticizing Occupy Ghana and labeling us hypocrites, because in Fiifi Kwetey’s mind we are closet NPP supporters, because we are determined that good governance must be the norm and not the aberration in Ghana. Because we are a group of Ghanaians with a clear path to eliminating corruption.

And we have had a lot of social media commentary advising that we ignore idiots and carry on with what citizens have come to wish for; good governance.

Neither the NDC nor the NPP have really asserted themselves on the corruption issue to correct the simple constrictions in the way we handle public theft and procurement.

Our poke at the Auditor General to use his powers of disallowance and surcharge has ruffled many feathers and the sleepers at the helm of the country have suddenly woken up to their usual platitudes and promises of a better Ghana despite the inertia to implement what could have been achieved decades back.

But instead of acknowledging that yes, they have not done and could have done better and improved matters so that we as a people see the benefits of good governance, they resorted to personal attacks and insults, yet calling for meetings in the background to discuss a way forward if we can hold fire for a moment. Read the rest of this entry »

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