Business in Ghana

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Posts Tagged ‘Seth Terkper’

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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Going, Going, Mo-Go-On? Critical News, 7th December 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on December 7, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Just a few more days to the end of the year. It has been a tragic year for me and I would like to see the back of it with some renewed vigor into 2015. Unfortunately the budget forecast into 2015 is so “de bii kɛkɛ”, I can’t see my way to a glorious transformation in the medium to long term.

I have lost many close friends and family this year from accidents and illness, I keep my fingers crossed that the coming year will be a bit more lenient.

I can’t help but observe though, that Bishop Duncan Williams must revisit his prophesies and ask his maker whether he correctly interpreted the arrival of Ebola in Ghana by the end of November. I am sure he prayed hard for it not to come true and communed with the Lord to stay this plague away from Ghana, but for his sake, I wish he could have deflected the engine failure of the Presidential jet to compensate.

President Mahama had to, above all days arrive three hours late to the greatest farmers day event on the calendar of the year, when some principalities tampered with the engine. He had just come out of a prayer gathering with the Bishop and some associates when this happened. Principalities seem to have a thing against jets in the air, because TB Joshua’s temple also collapsed from revolving jets not too long ago.

Yet all this did not prevent Chief Justice Georgina Wood from determining a prima facie case for the start of investigations into the removal of CHRAJ boss Lauretta Lamptey. Read the rest of this entry »

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Precious Democracy. Critical News, 27th July 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on July 27, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

My Saturday turned leisurely after we made interesting protest to Government, especially regarding the ballooning cost of living and with Organised Labor’s huge march on Thursday, we drilled the point home.

So I took time out and watched a couple of great movies and ruined my vegetating mind with “The Constant Gardener” and “12 Years a Slave”.

If you have not had the pleasure of either, I won’t ruin the story for you. But I got to thinking how important freedom and how critical a fight for justice against corruption.

So here is the Wikepedia opening definition of wisdom. See if you can fault it as a guide to a better human.

“Wisdom is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. Wisdom has been regarded as one of four cardinal virtues; and as a virtue, it is a habit or disposition to perform the action with the highest degree of adequacy under any given circumstance. This implies a possession of knowledge or the seeking thereof in order to apply it to the given circumstance. This involves an understanding of people, things, events, situations, and the willingness as well as the ability to apply perception, judgment, and action in keeping with the understanding of what is the optimal course of action. It often requires control of one’s emotional reactions (the “passions“) so that the universal principle of reason prevails to determine one’s action. In short, wisdom is a disposition to find the truth coupled with an optimum judgment as to what actions should be taken in order to deliver the correct outcome.”

We are asking for sincere and responsible governance. Governance where we do not just sit with the written words of a constitution, but do what is right because it is judgmentally correct to do. Read the rest of this entry »

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If Tomorrow Never Comes. Critical News, 20th July 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on July 20, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Readers bear with me a few lines while I share a personal tragedy.

Twenty-five years ago next month, I lost my father.  I was living and working in the UK, a long sojourn abused, while I tried to make life out of a Margaret Thatcher deteriorating economy.  Interest rates were soaring way above realistic levels, the British economy was tottering and there was very little solution as Thatcher clung on to bad economic advice, her principle, “no turning back” despite the obvious signs of collapse.

Suggestions came from Labour but the political adversity was such that bashing Unions and weakening the Union front was more important to the Tories.

I wasn’t in the UK-political fray at the time, struggling to keep my household finances together albeit unsuccessfully.  I learnt many lessons in that time, came close to filing for bankruptcy.

I had been talking to my father frequently that year, there was glimmer of easing, talk of Thatcher stepping down and I made a commitment to be home in July, all things equal.

June came, and I was offered a decent three-month contract, which would give a significant boost to my fortunes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Confusing The Big Man On High. Critical News, 6th April 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 6, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

What does a man who owns A Rolls Royce in Ghana look like?  I wondered as I wandered through the Golden Tulip Hotel in Accra, surreptitiously ogling any man I thought would fit my owner-description for the sleek black Rolls parked half up the curb outside the Tulip.

As I entered the lobby, I Ghana-friendly extracted who owned the topmost car status symbol from the door guards whether the person was Ghanaian.  And he sure was.

Elated and suddenly proud to be Ghanaian I puffed my chest and dared any of the expats crowded at the counter to even dare suggest that we wallow in poverty in Ghana.  If the Golden Tulip was good enough for visitors to queue for a room in this four star hotel, the status symbol of wealth parked outside was good enough to push us into a middle income economy.

So I cased the lobby and trundled through all the rooms and the restaurant, looking for my quintessential Rolls owner, determined to befriend and congratulate, just to get a flavor of the daring that says a Ghanaian just like me can flash wealth in an ailing economy classified as “heading for crisis” and be free to do so.

I knew he was male, such as I had gathered from the entrance, but I did not see anyone I could say for a fact fit my description of a Rolls Royce owning Ghanaian.  And why was it my concern? Read the rest of this entry »

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“I Command The Falling Cedi To Rise In Jesus’ Name” Is This A Bad Joke, Duncan-Williams?

Posted by Business in Ghana on February 2, 2014

Ben Ofosu-Appiah, Tokyo, JAPAN.

Only last week I wrote an article here on how we black folks sometimes allow our critical faculties, our ability to rationalize and think critically and have a pragmatic and scientific evaluation of facts and the evidence to be drown out by blind and unquestionable acceptance of things that defy reason and logic and are packaged and sold to us in the name of religion.

Everybody knows that the Ghana cedi has been in a free fall and the government has proven incapable so far in dealing with the situation. Investor confidence in the economy is low and business confidence in the country is reported to be at an all time low according to a recent report in the Daily Graphic.

The cedi has already depreciated by three per cent against the major international currencies this month. The US dollar, which sold at Ghc2.20 on the local foreign exchange market before Christmas last year, now sells at Ghc2.60. The British pound, which sold at Ghc3 now sells at Ghc4.20. The euro and CFA are also selling at Ghc3.50 and Ghc4.80 respectively. In 2013, the local currency suffered 17-per cent depreciation. The year-on-year depreciation shows a 21.96 per cent depreciation of the cedi against the dollar; 28.88 per cent against the pound sterling; 23.98 per cent against the euro and 25.54 per cent against the Swiss franc.

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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Calabash Full Of Holy GYEEDA Water. Critical News, 26th May 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 26, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Sure as can be, we are back with the bad old days on all fronts.  Rains came down this morning; lights went out, making the already four-week drought of water from Ghana Water a more miserable existence.  My Chinese meter is still running double time despite a visit from some chief wigs of the ECG and I have to express my disappointment at Finance Minister Seth Terkper’s new moves to shore up his cash flow problems.

This is a collective resignation from protest.  Most Ghanaians I talk to are simply tired, worn out from our incapacity to move up another gear and drive an uphill agenda to tackle the myriad problems bedeviling us.  I had to buy a tanker-full of water, because I cannot live without it.  All week, we have had a pilgrimage of yellow gallons balanced on dainty eight to thirteen year old heads, miserably traipsing to the nearest oasis to fetch water before school starts.  Others choose “klempe tsinsin” as the Ga people call it, half the water spilling on the bumpy uphill pathways back before they start their day.

Yet my President is on a podium on Africa Union day, spouting about the African Renaissance.  His speechwriter forgot to tell him that you must at least have water and power for industry and even critically, citizens MUST have all the basic human necessities and then they can think, plan and live.  They will not pitch into any mirage-renaissance until they can wake up in the morning, look outside and not see their flooded gardens with gutters carrying the worst kind of non-degradable material, floating amidst black plastic bags of human excrement and step intrepidly into the day’s activities. Read the rest of this entry »

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Restore Faith and Trust in our Democracy

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 26, 2013

Ben Ofosu –Appiah,  Tokyo JAPAN.

Ghana Fails Governance and Accountability Test

Ghana is a relatively stable democracy but one with a bad governance record. Democracy does not just mean paper guarantee of abstract liberties and rights, and the holding of general elections once every 4 years. Democracy is supposed to improve the living standards of the people and the rulers must be held accountable by the ruled. One of the biggest abuses of human rights in the country is the government’s lack of allocation of resources to improve the lives of the poor in our society. We have become so insensitive to the plight of the poorest of the poor, the unemployed, the rural folks, the sick and the handicapped in society, we just do not care. The government is committing a huge human right abuse by ignoring the weak, the sick and the poor while grabbing everything in sight for themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Pain Full Budget. Critical News, 10th March 2013

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 10, 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Here is my pain.  First night of the week, Monday night.  I get back from a day in the field and lights have been out since morning.  Ok, we should have power back by 6.30pm, so I catch a quick bath and try and have supper with a simple beam of light.  I am eating plantain and palaver sauce with fish tonight, heavy recipe for bone-in disaster, and wary of swallowing a bone and accidentally choking, I give up and decide instead to catch a quick nap and get some rest for when the lights come back on.  I have a lot of work to deliver in the morning and I am determined not to call my client and say “sorry, oh, no light so I could not finish”.  By 10.30pm I still have no power, so I throw in the towel and go to bed.  It is hot, it is humid and in the dark I am dripping with sweat.  I toss and turn for hours and then it starts raining.  A gentle drizzle at first and then huge torrents of it.  What relief.  The lights come back on.  3.45am.  I jump out of bed, rush to the kitchen and make a cup of coffee.  I settle down to work.  A loud clap of thunder and a lightning strike; lights out.  I am fully awake with my coffee and lost for words.  My trusty internet router with battery power, mournfully blue-lights me, waiting for the signal to start a web search.  I am a guest on Citi Fm on the breakfast show and I might just vent.  Where did I go wrong? I sit in the dark, my temples pulsating with anger.  For the first time since I returned, I wonder if the decision to come back home was the right one.  Pain full. Read the rest of this entry »

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