Business in Ghana

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Posts Tagged ‘World Cup’

An Ebola Prayer. Critical News, 19th October 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on October 19, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

And true to prediction, the past week was crazier than the week before. Before we could even get to grips with all the unraveling from the Brazil 2014 Commission of enquiry, whether the players have revolted or just simply see no reason to break off their talented occupations to attend lame-duck sessions after the money has been divvied and chopped off their backs, the incompetent triple inventors of dumsor (VRA, GRIDCO and ECG) hit us with a new load shedding program. One day off, one day on.

The energy problems are far from over. We can’t privatise Akosombo, but we can do something about ECG and GRIDCO. Yet this Government continues to deliberate on what it knows is the best solution for solving the crisis.

Instead of focusing on the proper solutions, we hear preposterous ideas such as a solar farm to generate 2,000MW of energy, offshore energy barges made in Turkey and this last one the construction of a 1,000 MW sea wave power production project in Ada in the Greater Accra Region.

We are considering sea wave technology, said to have been produced in Sweden and for the first time such technology will be deployed in Ghana.

The Rance Tidal Power Station located in Brittany, France (where the technical partners for the Ghana project are from) is just 240 MW in capacity and it is the first in the world.

South Korea’s Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station with an installed capacity of 254MW is currently the single biggest tidal energy installation in the world.

A professional friend in the sector wonders how and what special factors will give Ghana a 1,000 MW of tidal energy and thereby become a quadruple of the largest in the world. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stealing Our Kra. Critical News, 5th July 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on July 6, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I am on a morning run to Korle Bu hospital, my sixth run so far to give a basket of fruit to Arnold, a bosom buddy recuperating from minor surgery.  I have come to understand why everything is so underserved in this hospital, stories of horror float in the car park making the trip to the surgical ward one tentative step tripping after the next.

But that is not the story.  Wednesday, I decided to make a detour to avoid the early mortuary road traffic and bypassed through the suburbs of Chorkor.  It has been a while since I went that way and I was intrigued by the change.

I slowed down at “Naa Dede Best Tillapia” to buy credit and Kwei Fio (I only got to know his name later) was hollering, slaps to his backside, his teenage mother bent on marking his butt for life with a leather belt.  It was a bit too much and I stepped out of the car to reprieve (now) my boy and urge Ashikai to hold up a bit.

Well, Kwei Fio was on a “no one cedi, no school” protest and “authority mum” was damned if she would accept this challenge to her parenthood.  She had offered Kwei Fio fifty pesewas but he said the reduced “wage” would dent his toffee-acquiring image at school.

I pleaded, I succeeded and we came to a compromise.  Things were tough, sales were very slow and Ashikai needed her son to give her more time to resolve this.

So I offered to give Kwei Fio’s one cedi a day allowance a bump and help with the regular payments as long as he went to school everyday.  We agreed that I would send the money by mobile money and Kwei would go the MTN office just across the road with his mother’s phone every week and collect his allowance, which Ashikai would dish out by the day. Read the rest of this entry »

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This Is Not Funny. Critical News, 29th June 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 29, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

We finally made it into the abyss.  All week I was inundated with calls from, especially, the USA, where I set up my boast box four years ago, shouting through The New Ghanaian newspaper about how I was coming back home, urging all who were finding life in the US of A a bit tough, to ride, ride, ride with me back to the Motherland.

Let’s go add our voices, yell from Afadjato; Ghana is our only country and we are home to bring talent and open thought to the politics and business, plant some great footprints and challenge the youth to follow in our wake and make Ghana the place to be this 21st century.

So this week I ate humble pie.  After I zigzagged the streets of Adabraka for two hours looking for petrol, I bought forty cedis credit and apologized (dropping calls for more time than I spoke, cursing MTN in between) that I was not engaged in the inefficiency of this Government; but I cannot accept that it was as bad as the Kutu Acheampong and Rawlings PNDC early eighties time.

It was my only come back.

It was not funny.  I had to defend the NDC Government to save my own face and voice, and I am a firm critic of this economy. Read the rest of this entry »

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World Cup Diary 8

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 29, 2014

From Kwasi Gyan Appenteng

The Mega-shambles in Brazil

As it was in the beginning, so it ended. There was a bit of brilliant football in between but who will remember that? Ghana in Brazil 2014 was a total shambles which we probably would wish to forget quickly. Unfortunately, and for completely wrong reasons not only will this mess stay long in our memory, it will cast a shadow on our sporting performances past and present. Let us look at the evidence.

In Ghana, we quickly find scapegoats for our failings and the culprit this time is our age old friend and enemy, money, described as the root of all evil. Mr. Kwasi Nyantakyi, the man who in any other country would have fallen on his sword has fingered money as the enemy within. It is not the last time money would get a bad press but on this occasion, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, may I plead that planning and not money should be in the dock.

Ghana qualified brilliantly doling out a magnificent victory over Egypt in Kumasi before finishing the job in Cairo. Between the qualification and the start of the tournament was sufficient time for planning. Not Ghana; we were not sure about anything including the final squad, friendly matches, money and of course officials and spectators. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ghana’s Black Stars: When football imitates life.

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 28, 2014

By Dr. T. P. Manus Ulzen, tulzen@yahoo.com

Our three matches have been renamed “should have,” could have” and “would have.” How could such a young, talented and the most admired team in all of Brazil have fallen so short of its goal?
We had barely finished bantering with the American fans close by, after our rendition of their national anthem. Before we could figure out which side was up or adjust to our seats, it was the debacle of Feyenoord Stadium all over again, only this time, in 34 seconds not 4 minutes.
Did the team and technical staff learn anything from the friendly with the Netherlands leading up to the battle of Natal? This is the World Cup but more importantly, this is Ghana v USA. This World Cup rivalry was a tournament all on its own and all of Brazil and the whole wide world was waiting with great anticipation for David of Ghana to fire his slingshot to fell the Goliath that was the US of A. Read the rest of this entry »

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World Cup Diary 7

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 26, 2014

From Kwasi Gyan Appenteng

Faith versus realism in a high stakes game

I have been warned by my friends Akos and Yaa not to be pessimistic, or as they put it, “realistic”. Akos is insistent that this is not the time for realism. She even went as far as accuse me of mocking faith. What is my crime? It is like this: I believe that the Black Stars will probably play their final World Cup match today because …I do not believe that one point from two matches, and eventually four from three at the World Cup is good enough to take us into the knockout phase. I know it has been done before, but facing Portugal in this kind of situation must be sufficient grounds for dog-faced pessimism.

Let me explain this before I am sent to some kind of national inquisition that I don’t want the Black Stars to win. I want our team to win. There are many reasons for this. After rushing three million cedis by special arrangement to the players it would be such an anti-climax if they returned home by the same plane that flew in the money. I want to believe that the money would act as the spur to fire them to glory. But my main reason for wanting a Black Star win is to bring joy to the land.  Read the rest of this entry »

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World Cup Diary 6

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 24, 2014

From Kwasi Gyan Appenteng

Clutching at mathematical straws

One of the most widespread phobias suffered in Ghana is arithmophobia – the fear of numbers and arithmetic. There are some people who like me have been terrorized by maths since their primary school days when each school day started with “mental”, a quick-fire round of questions in arithmetic. In our case, our primary Class Six teacher, a tall gangly man used the “mental” as the pretext to beat us every morning. His trick was not to allow you time to think before bringing his long cane down on the poor pupil. Instead of producing a class full of enlightened kids the effect of this brutality was a class full of wailing children, many gnashing their teeth as well.

I mention this because suddenly even my arithmophobic friends, and there are a few, have all become ardent mathematicians. At the drop of a coin, or scoring of a goal, they can do the math and tell you how many points Ghana needs at every step in order to escape from the hermetic embrace of the Group of Death into the open spaces of World Cup football. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Recantation. Critical News, 22nd June 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 22, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

It was a good idea to trip to the Accra Mall on Saturday.  Same day we expected to beat Germany to stay in contention to win the World Cup, and I was not surprised at the numbers I saw shopping and de-tensioning before the match later that night.

Nature blessed us, we have not had much rain lately, and the power supply has been more consistent.  I am not confident enough to lay the success of this temporary “dumsor” fully on the floor mats of VRA, GRIDCO, BUI and ECG; the gang of four who can’t seem to calculate how much supply we have unless they talk to the politicians.

So the timely intervention by almighty nature is a boon to all praying religions and their dedication to Brazillia.

My own prediction last week that the Black Stars would win 3-1 against the USA did not happen, and I was reminded by friends, family and readers, that I need to be more prayerful.

I am not egoistic enough to think that my added prayers alone would ensure world cup success.  If that were possible, I would mount a podium next to Duncan Williams and charge muchos dollars.

But I have been wondering.  Is there a thriving private economy from Government?  Analytically, isn’t the private sector functioning without Government?  It appears so, since all that Government does is make payroll and even that.  It seems to me that we are getting on with life despite Government being broke. Read the rest of this entry »

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World Cup Diary 4

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 21, 2014

From Kwasi Gyan Appenteng

LET US WAVE THE FLAG FOR VICTORY

………as Spain’s exit gives us hope

Spare a thought for Spain. The European and World champions are the first reigning kings of world football to go out of the tournament so ignominiously. They lost both their opening matches with a collection of seven balls from their own net. In some ways their two nil defeat to Chile which effectively sealed their exit warrant must be more painful than the earlier five goals to one drubbing at the hands of the Dutch. At least, there was light at the end of the tunnel after the first match; Wednesday’s defeat meant lights out for Spain whose King Juan Carlos signed his own abdication warrant earlier that day in the national Parliament in Madrid.

One almost feels Spain’s pain; almost, but not quite because by some strange logic, Spain’s loss gives Ghana a glimmer of hope. This is how the roundabout logic works: this World Cup has been full of surprises. Apart from the fall of Spain, Brazil’s lucky draw against Mexico and Australia’s valiant loss by 2-3 to the Netherlands are part of the narrative of surprise which is becoming a dominant motif of the tournament. Read the rest of this entry »

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World Cup Diary 3

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 18, 2014

From Kwasi Gyan Appenteng

25 million coaches go to work

This is the morning after the night before, my friend Yaa wrote on her Facebook wall; Ghana is not a happy place. We have not yet descended into the funk of 2010 after we were done in by the Hand of Devil, a la, Suarez, but this morning there are fewer flags and smiles in Accra. Ghana’s 25 million coaches have started work and the prevailing pre-breakfast opinion is that the real coach, Kwasi Appiah lost us the match.

Some say he should have started with Essien and Boateng because the presence of those two would intimidate the American players. Others say they coach had a goalkeeping dilemma because Kwarasey is not good at catching down balls while Dauda is afraid of high balls. It is too bad the rules of Association Football do not allow the use of two goalkeepers; ideally we would field the pair of them. Kwarasey to catch high balls while Dauda crouches low! Read the rest of this entry »

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