Friday, 27 June 2008


My dear Peter,

I respect all of you here - and had decided that I wouldn't respond to any more postings on Zimbabwe: so that none would take offence at my views. But since you address me directly, I must, out of common courtesy, respond to you.

No one reading what I actually wrote, as opposed to what they think I wrote, would think I was either condemning the white race in general, or seeking to excuse Africa's many failings, by pointing fingers at any Western government. Peter, I feel for the people of Zimbabwe, just as much as you all do.

Just this morning, my son's mother, called me from London to say her aunt, a white Zimbabwean, had had to flee her home - and was now in Cape Town, South Africa, living with her son (a white South African national). Perhaps for some Africans, friendship with white people, is a status symbol.

Well, for me, it is not - for, there are many white people intertwined with my family tree. They are an everyday living part of my existence - and I do not regard them as exotic creatures, who are either inferior or superior to me. I simply see them as fellow humans who are my equals: and have done so since my childhood.

As for those who think that any foreign nation is here for the love of Africans, let me just say that the systems running nation-states across the globe, are not moral entities. By definition, they have no feelings: and are ruthless and amoral creatures - without any scruples whatsoever. Nations have permanent interests, Peter, not permanent friends.

Their real interests in Zimbabwe is the desire to lay their hands (dripping with the blood of countless innocents over the centuries) on the wealth of that unfortunate land - now under the jackboots of a monstrous and tyrannical African regime. Let me quote a few passages from declassified CIA and State Department documents, to buttress my point.

On the 15 of September, 1961, the then British High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr. A.W. Snelling, in a dispatch to the British secret services, wrote, inter alia: "His [Nkrumah's] knack of giving expression to the feelings of so many Africans, who are all the time rapidly becoming more politically conscious, is exasperating. ......We shall be better off without him."

And on March 12, 1966, in a memo to President Johnson, from Robert A. Komer, then the president's Acting Special Assistant for National Security Affairs, wrote, inter alia (source Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Robert W. Komer, Vol. 21, 3/3/66--3/20/ 66. Confidential) : "The coup in Ghana is another example of a fortuitous windfall. Nkrumah was doing more to harm our interests than any other black African. In reaction to his strongly pro-Communist leanings, the new military regime is almost pathetically pro-Western. "

Nothing has changed, Peter. And in Ghana, even nine-year old Nkrumaists, will point out the cynical and contemptuous way, in which Komer dismisses the "pathetically pro-Western" military regime that overthrew Nkruamh on the 24th of February, 1966. It might interest you to know that the CIA paid those traitors to the black race, US$ 13 millions - and promised them more, if they succeeded in murdering Nkrumah!

They destroyed Ghana's economy then, too, in order to make that visionary pan-Africanist, unpopular in Ghana - and were it not for the effrontery of being called long-winded, I would go on to quote copiously from those CIA and State Department documents, to show you the systematic way they destroyed Ghana's economy, in order to make ordinary Ghanaians turn against Nkrumah - who by the way, was never a communist.

He was simply a non-aligned leader, who only sought to protect Africa's interests, as a matter of fact! I am an Nkrumaist and a pan-Africanist - we have seen it all here before, Peter: and we know how contemptuous they also regard today's stooges for neo-colonialism!

Just ponder over the fact that Mobuto, the very definition of a kleptocrat, and the epitome of a brutal African dictator, was kept in power for as long as he was, by those same nations sabre rattling today.

And if I may be permitted to ask you, Peter: do you not think it would be absurd for any one to suggest that I would call decent people like Andrius; Pamela; Benoit; Edward, as well as all those generous-spirited Westerners who are part of this conversation, racists? So I do hope that no one will misinterpret what I wrote.

Peter, what is going on in Zimbabwe is truly appalling - and I know the ends which decent human beings like you and the rest here, seek, in your concerns for the people of Zimbabwe. And they are also the same just and humane ends, which all the Westerners who are part of this conversation, also seek: freedom; a life of dignity; and the protection of the Zimbabwean nation-state, for all Zimbabweans, irrespective of race, tribe or their religious beliefs.

But make no mistake, the systems in place that underpin the Western nations have an agenda all their own. And to say that is not to point fingers and find excuses for the failure of the economic and political systems of many African nations, to provide a good quality of life for all their people. Never.

And if I may make a small point before I end, no Nkrumaist ever uses that fawning and outrageously servile phrase "colonial masters". In our view, the colonialists may have ruled Africa once upon a time, but they were never our masters. Period. I rest my case!

PS In thirty years hence, when C.I.A. and State Department documents, covering this tragic period in Zimbabwe's history, come to be released to the general public, it will really be interesting to know exactly what were their actual opinions, about today's stooges for neo-colonialism (contrasted with today's fine-sounding public platitudes, which we hear daily about the MDC leadeship, in the Western media! ).

Wednesday, 25 June 2008


I think it safe to say that the average woman or man in any bus queue in capital cities right across the continent today, without doubt, sympathises greatly, with their oppressed African brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe. And I do hope that that is some consolation, for you.

We are all appalled by the reports reaching us, which indicate that the violence appears to have been ratcheted up, by the thugs at the heart of the Mugabe regime: who are orchestrating moves to deny Zimbabweans the change they so clearly want - and which all Africans also agree they ought to have.

However, the dilemma many Africans face, is that we are also aware of the greedy intentions of the Western powers (themselves beholden to big business and "big money": both with significant interests in Africa's extractive industries!), who are the ones whose economic sanctions have, in the final analysis, ruined your marvellous nation so completely.

And is it not interesting that when it suited them in the past, they refused to impose sanctions on the racists who were enslaving you, because they claimed they wouldn't work? Frankly, your Morgan Tsvangirai, does not inspire much confidence in many of us - although we do hope that he is far smarter than he appears to be, at first sight.

We want a Zimbabwe whose wealth benefits all the people - not just the military generals and the regime's bed-fellows amongst the business elite, as is currently the case.

But we also don't want to see a Zimbabwe in which a tiny white minority owns 80% of the wealth of the country.

And from our vantage point, that is precisely the direction we feel the MDC will unfortunately take your country. They appear to favour the failed neo-con liberal economic policies that over the years, have been forced down the throat of many an African finance minister - and have impoverished millions of ordinary Africans and led to a destruction of the natural environment, in vast swathes of the countryside, across Africa.

We have also seen how our markets have been craftily prised open to allow a flood of foreign carpetbaggers, who collude with local oligarchs to freely transfer vast sums to enrich Western banks and businesses - often even without the payment of any taxes on those transfers!

You must be wary of "big money" from the West - which will buy your political elite: and as sure as day follows night, end up enslaving ordinary black Zimbabweans, yet again.

Do not forget, above all, that the Western nations now supporting your MDC (for their own selfish ends!), are in the meantime busy treating their own black citizens back home, even far worse than Mr. Mugabe and his cronies do to ordinary Zimbabweans - although that cannot, in any way, either be used as an excuse to justify Mugabe's thugs' unspeakable acts of brutality, or ask you to refuse help from well-meaning regimes and organisations in the West!

The harsh truth, however, is that at the end of the day, it is their own strategic interests they seek - not the well being of black Zimbabweans.

So, whiles we pray for you to be rid of those oppressing you today, we also pray that your country and its people are protected from those racist nations, which, even as we speak, still disproportionately imprison their own citizens of colour: because their criminal justice systems have institutional racism underpinning and guiding them.

Do not also forget, that they still allow the continued existence of a culture within their law enforcement agencies, which permits the police to kill their citizens of colour freely - and get away with it!

And, above all, they run a system that is unashamedly racist to the core. Have you heard the obscenities about immigrants coming from the Italian right, lately? The ambassadors' of nations in which racist right wing parties are on the ascendancy are simply being hypocritical, in their so-called "support" for democracy in Zimbabwe.

The plain truth is that their ruling elites who dominate and control the Establishments in their home countries' simply despise Africans: and don't regard us as human beings, or their equals.

That, my brother, is a bald fact - and if you strayed into any country club anywhere in the West by mistake today, because you had lost your way, that unpalatable truth, would be brought swiftly home to you, in the most salutary of fashions!

And for good measure, just take the case of an inspirational and eloquent leader like Barak Obama - a man whom if elected president of America, will literally make the world's perception of the US as an unjust and racist society, change overnight (and how for the better, too!).

It is clear as daylight to the rest of the world (a majority of which consists of people of "colour"), that his election will make it more likely that the US will have better relations with many of the nations that are currently antagonistic towards it - a positive situation that will make US expatriates safe worldwide.

Yet, simply because of his skin colour, many whites will most probably not vote for him: a man with a far superior intellect than the impulsive and bad-tempered John McCain - an old man with one leg literally in his grave: who incredibly proposes to continue with the pointless war in Iraq - in which thousands of young American are dying useless deaths (useless, because eventually, the Iraqis, a proud people with an ancient civilisation, will demand that the US withdraw its troops from their country!).

And do you not ponder why they would rather choose a man unable to understand that the Iraqi war, was, and is, insane: because it is fast sinking the US into debt - their already heavily-indebted nation, having spent nearly two trillions on the war, thus far? Money, that could help renew America's crumbling infrastructure (evidenced by the major highway bridge that suddenly collapsed!) may times over?

Well, hard though it might be to believe, for objective foreign observers free of prejudice, it is the visionary young brilliant black man, whom they will most probably reject in November 2008 - in favour of the "more-of-the-same" irascible elderly white man.

They would rather him than the gifted young man who clearly understands that it is far better to spend those vast sums currently being spent so foolishly on the Iraqi war, at home, instead, to renew the US today, for a better tomorrow for all its people! Crazy - but true, nonetheless. And racism is indeed, truly crazy, my brother!

The truth of the matter is that the average white American, apparently cannot see themselves being ruled by a black man, ever.

Yet, take a sample of the DNA of every single white American today to analyse it - and you will find that for a majority of those with roots going back to the dreadful days of slavery, somewhere in the distant past of their family's genealogy, a white slave-owning ancestor of theirs, was engaging in regular sexual intercourse with a beautiful and attractive female African slave, in his household - who possibly bore him many children!

So how come a nation with a majority of its white citizenry having bloodlines and DNA that can be traced to black African slaves, is so inhumane that it is comfortable about a situation in which, on a daily basis, black citizens face humiliation of one kind or another?

And what kind of human being would feel proud to belong to such a nation: if she or he, were a lifelong victim of its cruel; stupid; limiting and debilitating racial prejudice?

And today white racists seek to crucify Mrs. Obama for sighing in relief that things were changing - and at long last deserving African Americans too, could take their place under God's sun: and be at the table without any snickering from any quarter!

Wherein lies her unpatriotism for speaking the honest truth, about the frustrating existence, which everyday life in America, represents, for hardworking and brilliant people of colour?

And if they were black, would they have been proud of America, before a brilliant black man too, was finally allowed to mount a serious challenge, for the highest office in the land? What hypocrisy!

Why is a nation that says it is proud of its democratic traditions denying a significant proportion of its citizens, who happen to be people of colour, the same inalienable rights, which white Americans regard as God-given rights that they take for granted - but seek to deny others because of the hue of their skin?

And why are a people who never tire of broadcasting their self-righteous indignation over many social issues, unable to recognise that we are all children of one God - and members of one race: the human race?

So my brother, be wary of the Western governments who are today pontificating about democracy and freedom, and talk about principles in their so-called support for the people of Zimbabwe.

Have they shown the same degree of support for the people of Palestine, for example?

Do they not refuse to accept the democratic choice of the people of Palestine: who suffer terribly on a daily basis, as a result of the West's refusal to do business with the Hamas government - a regime elected to power in a free and fair election?

Where is the principle there, I ask? My brother, we either believe in democracy, or we do not - and if we truly have principles, then we cannot pick and choose, which people should enjoy the right be ruled by those they elect to rule them, can we?

So, is what is good for the good people of Zimbabwe, a priori, not good too, for the people of Palestine, who live in Gaza?

And remember too, that for the average black person in America and Europe, the entire state system, and the often-racist law enforcement agencies that are paid to safeguard it, are as oppressive as the terrorist Taliban regime was, in Afghanistan in its day: in their daily tormenting and humiliating of people of colour!

So my brother, keep your eyes widely open. Keep the gains of your independence struggle, and let the Africans of Zimbabwe (and only those white Zimbabweans who are not racists!), take and hold on to the commanding heights of your economy.

Africans must never tolerate white racists on our continent - for, they are an affront to the dignity of the entire black race: and we must root them out of our continent at all costs, come hell or high water! Period.

You must ensure, for the sake of future generations of black and non-racist white Zimbabweans, that the change you effect today, will be a positive one: which does not end up handing your country back to those self-same racists, who enslaved you, and with such cruelty, in the past.

You must always remember that although many ordinary white people in the West may not be racists, their ruling elites and the entire system they operate definitely are - and no matter what you think, they despise you, in reality: and only seek to have access to your country's wealth. Period.

We in the rest of Africa will continue to pray for a free and just Zimbabwe for all its citizens: both black and white (non-racists, i.e.!) - but we caution you to be wary of those of your opposition leaders who do not understand - or refuse to accept - that the Western powers (not to be confused with ordinary Westerners, many of whom are decent and generous-spirited individuals, who care about the plight of their fellow human beings, everywhere in the world!) are no true friends of the black people of the world. Be safe - and stay blessed, brother!

Yours in the service of Africa,


Tuesday, 24 June 2008


Ghanaians are funny people sometimes. Like everything else in our society, Justice Henrietta Abban's judgement, has become yet another nine-day wonder (and a cause celebre), to be savoured, by those addicted to the game of political football.

And so today, decent and fair-minded people, are having to look on, as legions of (legal) ignoramuses, who apparently do not fear to tread, where even angels fear to tread, crucify the poor woman. However, like everything else in Ghana today, this too, shall pass!

Fact is, no matter which way the verdict had gone, in this unfair nation, she would still have been crucified by many - in a country full of tiresome individuals, whose favourite tune, is : "My-party-my-tribe-right-or-wrong!"

I shall leave the legal arguments to those who are au fait with matters to do with the arcane subject of law.

But let those who would vilify her, rather ponder, if perhaps Mrs. Justice Abban is not a genius at spotting self-serving and self-interested evidence, when she comes across one - even from prosecution witnesses.

Could it be, perhaps (if the bush telegraph is to be believed), that there are some in the judiciary today, who know the goings on that occurred in the 1970's, at the so-called Kwame Nkrumah flats - and consequently, know clearly where the true loyalties and sympathies of some of the witnesses in the case lies (that make them biased and unreliable witnesses)?

Well, apparently (according to the bush telegraph!), there were two apartments at the so-called Kwame Nkrumah flats at Latebiokorshie, where two Americans, one a soap manufacturer in Lome, and the other the superintendent of the American Lincoln community school, lived.

Of course it may all be nothing but pure nonsense on bamboo stilts, but it is a fact that some homosexual white men in Accra at that material time, did in fact prey on young half-caste males, in the 1970's.

It is also a known fact that two flats at the aforementioned location, were frequented by many young half-caste males. And many serving in our secret services then, will confirm that!

They will also confirm that the two flats were rented by a Mr. R. Cope and a Mr. J. Wilson, both of whom the secret services alleged, were gay men.

And amongst those alleged to have been frequenting their apartments at the time, was a handsome and dashing young military officer (a very dear friend to both men, apparently!), who went on to become a Ghanaian head of state.

Let those making so much noise and who are questioning the integrity of Justice Henrietta Abban, understand that there are many things that many people in Ghana don't know about - but are known nonetheless, by some in our nation.

Those making so much noise about prosecution witnesses, must pause awhile - and ponder at the many imponderables in this case. There may be more to this matter than meets the eye! Hmm, Ghana - ayeasem oo!

Well, although at a certain stage, I loathed him, I think Tsatsu Tsikata is the one person who Ghana does owe a lot to, indeed.

And amongst all those who rode on the coattails of Flt Lt Rawlings: and consequently were able to live the life of Riley - a lifestyle that indeed, our former leader himself, in the end, also came to enjoy (replete with a lakeside river-front holiday home built on stilts - and children in overseas universities!); Tsatsu Tsikata, perhaps is the least deserving of such an ignominious fate.

There are many decent and fair-minded Ghanaians, who feel that Tsatsu does not deserve to go to jail, on a mere technicality of the law.

Yes, it is true that by the end of the Rawlings era, most of the members of their regime had morphed into hypocritical ex-revolutionaries - whose cushy sinecures, as pampered rulers of our country, were bankrolled by a bankrupt Ghanaian nation-state.

But as we have all stood by in amazement, and watched the astronomical rate at which the personal net worth of many in the present crowd of hypocrites, has also sky-rocketed, well, it is safe to say that as sure as night follows day, we shall also see a lot of once-important men and women, who forgot that wise Ghanaian saying: "No condition is permanent" (and thought they were invincible!), being escorted to prison at Nsawam, for various reckless acts of causing financial loss, to the Ghanaian nation-state. Hmm, Ghana - asem ebaba debi!

But we must also not forget the disgraceful profligacy of the past. Flt Lt Rawlings had a large army of spongers: countless never-do-wells and brutish myrmidons,who helped milk Ghana dry.

Some even left huge telephone bills at the seat of government in Ghana, the Osu Castle. And shocking invoices from a "posh-people's-photo-club" running into zillions, used to be sent to the same Osu Castle on account of that era's own hypocrite-in-chief - for the hapless Ghanaian taxpayer to pick up.

And no doubt, in the coming years, when our present hypocrite-in-chief finally does depart from office, we shall also hear similar noises from the same "My-party-my-tribe-right-or-wrong" crowd - and over the self-same issues!

And independent-minded Ghanaians will shed no tears for either side - for they have all done their fair share of "chopping Ghana small" - at the expense of ordinary people and mother Ghana.

Why, do they think we do not know why ordinary people point out to Zoomlion trucks whenever they pass by - and remark that they are today's equivalent of yesteryear's J. Stanley Owusu & Co. (the waste-collection and construction industries' behemoth of the Rawlings era)?

Our political class must understand that ordinary Ghanaians are not fools: "Ye tonko - na enso yendaye!" Period. May God bless and protect our homeland Ghana, always. Long live freedom! Long live Ghana!


Brilliant suggestion - but please send your article to the features editor of the Daily Graphic, too!

And I can already hear the chorus from the cynics saying you are motivated by self-interest - but ignore those whose only song is that dreadful and boring tune:"My-party-my-tribe-right-or-wrong!"

As for the idea of appealing to our hypocrite-in-chief, forget it. He and the tribalistic cabal who now dominate Ghana's ruling party so completely, were in the very deep pockets of their favourite tycoon, when they were mere impecunious men and women, at the beginning of their tenure - and hadn't learnt and perfected the fine art of "chopping Ghana small."

You'd be better off getting the largely unimaginative opposition crowd, to put your suggestion into their manifestos - and keep banging on about it, during their campaign trips across the country, as well.

It will be a real vote winner: particularly amongst our middle classes - those well-off and (forever!) fence- straddling cowards: who never like to rock the boat whichever regime is in power - lest their "awoof" benefits are taken away from them.

They would rather they kept reaping where they hadn't sown, than fight for truth and decency in our homeland Ghana! Like the three monkeys, they see no evil; hear no evil; and smell no evil!

But the trouble, nyebro, is, will the sleep-walking (to disaster in December 2008, if they all don't unite - and do it soon too!) opposition have the nous, to see how clever it would be, to make noise about the need for title insurance: and promise voters they will enact legislation for it, within the first term of parliament, were they to be elected to power? Hmmm, Ghana - eyasaem oo!

May God bless and protect our homeland Ghana, always. Long live freedom! Long live Ghana!

Sunday, 22 June 2008


Many thanks, Opanin Akwasi Prempeh - for your riposte to the outrageous article entitled: "CPP: Still a Copycat Party at 59" penned by "Professor" Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, and posted on Ghanaweb's news page of 21st June 2008.

Why on earth some Ghanaians choose to falsify our history so, is hard to fathom. Yet, the story of our country's struggle for independence, is a simple and straight forward one - that need confuse none but the intellectually bankrupt.

For, the choice which ordinary people faced at the dawn of independence, was a clear one: whom to entrust the government of the post-colonial independence era, to: because they were the most capable of bringing about the kind of social transformation that was sorely needed, in order to create a more just and equitable society, to replace the unjust and racist one, which the exploitative British colonialists had foisted on them.

The Convention Peoples Party (CPP) offered ordinary people, a vision of a united and modern African society, in which the wealth of the nation, would be used to ensure a decent standard of living, for all the people, irrespective of their tribal extraction; their religion; or their social background.

They wanted to ensure that the fruits of independence did not end up benefiting only "a powerful few, with greedy ambitions" (to quote Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's founding father): at the expense of the rest of society.

The opposition to the CPP then, which consisted mostly of the descendants of the pre-colonial feudal elites, under the banner of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), wanted the new nation-state of the post-colonial era to be as close a political model, to the pre-colonial feudal system, as they could possibly get away with: naturally with them firmly in the driving seat - and literally lording it over ordinary people, till the very end of time!

Incidentally, dear reader, their political progeny today, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), have ruled our homeland Ghana for seven disastrous years, thus far, since January 2001 - a truly wretched period for ordinary Ghanaians.

A hellish period, during which their quality of life has steadily deteriorated, whiles across the nation they see huge disparities in wealth opening up (as never before in their country!), right before their very eyes' - as politically well-connected influence peddlers boldly enrich themselves, at mother Ghana's expense!

But I digress! In short, those who opposed the CPP during the fight for independence, not only aligned themselves with the colonial oppressors, but clearly wanted a society in which some were more equal than others: and wanted voting rights to be restricted only to property owners and wage-earners: the true origins and meaning, dear reader, of the deceptive NPP slogan: "property-owning democracy"!

Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, on the other hand, insisted that the new nation's democratic system be underpinned by universal adult suffrage. And ordinary people duly rewarded the CPP for ensuring that in the new nation-state, of the post-colonial era, all adult citizens would have the inalienable right to elect their leaders!

Because its positive message of hope so resonated with ordinary people, the CPP was able to trounce its tribalistic and narrow-minded opponents, in subsequent elections: in 1951, 1954 and 1958 - increasing its parliamentary majority on each occasion!

Had the opposition succeeded in defeating the CPP, it would have led to the intolerable situation, in which those born into certain family clans, would be a permanent part of the ruling elite in the new nation: which would, ideally for them, simply be a loose federation made up of tribal "mini-states".

And thus ordinary people would have been condemned to an existence in the newly-independent nation, more or less akin to that of feudal-era serfs: living under the ham-fisted tyranny, of mostly long-discredited, hide-bound and calcified Chiefdoms, which had existed in the pre-colonial feudal era - and which had so lacked sophistication and wisdom, that foreigners from thousands of miles across the oceans, eventually succeeded in colonising them.

And thus would ordinary people, dear reader, have forever become slaves in the post-colonial era: and for no reason other than that an accident of birth, had meant that they had not been born into particular pre-ordained ruling family clans.

Yet, even the smallest primary school-going children in Ghana today, will tell you, Opanin, that the greatest enemy of any meritocracy, is inherited privilege.

Are you surprised then, that a buffoon with such a poor grasp of Ghanaian history (and command of the English language!), can walk around with his head held high, and call himself a "professor" of English? He actually believes he is a superior being - the poor man. Incredible!

Yet, how his ilk have blossomed and thrived, under what has turned out to be the most tribalistic regime Ghana has ever had!Let all us pray that God saves our nation from inbred fools - particularly on election day, this December! Amen.

So you see, Opanin, it is not such an arduous task, working out precisely what motivates the writing of such buffoons - and incidentally nothing irritates even simple Nkrumaists like me, more than the fact that he thinks his dreadful English, actually impresses anyone in Ghana.

(English, which incidentally, is so dreadful, that were he to submit any of his articles to any newspaper in the UK or the US, they would be thrown straight into the waste paper basket - and be dismissed as consisting of nothing more than unintelligible babble: which none of their readers would ever be able to decipher!)

Let him and those of his ilk continue to attempt to rewrite our history - and show decent and fair-minded Ghanaians, the extent of the degree of intellectual dishonesty those totally bankrupt minds, are capable of indulging in: and the depths to which they are prepared to sink.

They are simply beyond the pale - and the uncharitable amongst us will simply continue to respond to them with one word only: "Imbeciles!"

Which brings me to the subject of the purchase by the government of Ghana of the 10% shares of ALCOA, in VALCO - which leaves Ghana in complete control of an asset which will never be a going concern, in a nation which has succeeded in getting itself into an energy mess, of gargantuan proportions: because of the incompetence and lack of foresight, of some of its self-seeking leaders!

And typically, the regime's mercenary praise singers in the media have been quickly mobilised. And the usual knee-jerk reacton is at play: and we are seeing yet another example of a classic NPP "Alice-in-wonderland" mess, dressed up by spin doctors, to look like some a kind of a national triumph.

However, if one peers through and sees beyond the "smoke-and-mirrors" praise-singing, nothing but failure stares one in the face. Failure that George Orwell-style Animal Farm propaganda will seek to present to ordinary Ghanaians, as a world class achievement. Hmm, Ghana - ayeasem oo!

So, what then, pray, is the real truth behind the glossy picture we are being presented with? Well, ALCOA, like Kaiser Aluminium before it, dear reader, simply isn't prepared any longer to throw good money after bad - and watch it disappear down the financial equivalent, of a black hole, in an energy-challenged Ghana.

They have built a spanking new aluminium smelter in Iceland - where, if you dig far enough into the earth, you can tap virtually free geothermal energy (from underground hot springs!) to power an aluminium smelting plant, virtually for zilch cents per kilowatt hour.

One only has to work out how much that means, in terms of putting them in the happy and fortunate position, which VALCO was, when it had access to abundant and cheap hydro power, in the early 1960's Ghana, of the visionary Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

They simply have no time to waste in a country with a crippling and Byzantine system - and under the iron grip of a few powerful and greedy rogues: where "voodoo economics" rules OK!

And in the meantime patriotic Ghanaians (above all our unimaginative opposition politicians!) must be on the lookout to ensure that VALCO is not secretly asset-stripped, by the super-clever rogues, amongst our current leaders - whose unfathomable greed leads them to attempt to grab every valuable state asset in sight: Using the legal equivalent of a sleight of hand to take them over, overnight. Literally. Hmm, Ghana - ayeasem oo!

May God bless and protect our homeland Ghana always. Long live freedom! Long live Ghana!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008


God - I am just so fed up with rampant online 'Nigerian' 419 fraudsters. Why should imbeciles like that be allowed free rein to roam the internet insulting decent folk: with infantile emails asking them to take part in some fraud - which by the way, almost invariably involves millions of dollars, which they want to transfer to you (supposedly from a dormant account: whose long-dead owner has no traceable living next of kin!)?

It simply makes my blood boil that some bloody fool sitting in an internet cafe somewhere in the world is allowed by Yahoo, to affront the sensibilities of decent and honest folk, thus. Simply outrageous! (And in my case, it almost always is Yahoo they are sent from. So much for that internet giant's much-vaunted email security!)

Which brings me to Ghana's "too-clever-by-half" political elite. Where in the civilised world, dear reader, would a member of parliament, just released from prison by a presidential pardon, after being sentenced by a court of competent jurisdiction to a jail term (for supposedly dipping his hands into the public purse), have the gall to go straight back to reclaim his seat in parliament as a representative of the people - and be welcomed back by jubilant colleagues?

What do our politicians think we are, one wonders - that ordinary people are fools, perhaps? Just think for a moment, dear reader, of the tens of thousands of innocent Ghanaians currently languishing in prison, serving long jail sentences: hapless victims of a cruel criminal justice system, who are incarcerated simply because they did not have the wherewithal to give them access to lawyers.

Are those poor wretches not deserving of a presidential pardon far more than sophisticated politicians who have abused the trust of the people of Ghana - and had been imprisoned for being reckless with the public purse? And were some of our past leaders not executed in public, in 1979, for alleged instances of even lesser degrees of greed and corruption?

This is the third such occurrence since this regime came into power - and there are the cynical who say that it is merely a self-serving gesture by those in power today: who fear that they might also end up in prison too, were they to lose power in December - for wilfully causing financial loss to the Ghanaian nation-state. Makes you sick, does it not, dear reader? Hmm Ghana - ayeasem oo!

Which brings me neatly to the biggest pink elephant in the rubbish-filled chat-room that is Ghana: the touchy subject of the medical condition of Professor John Evans Atta Mills, the National Democratic Congress' (NDC) presidential candidate for the December 2008 presidential elections.

Clearly, the health of a man, who could, in six short months, be elected as Ghana's next president, does matter a great deal to all Ghanaians. It is not just his private affair (nor that of the political party he leads, for that matter!) - for he could end up becoming our next president, who in the end is constantly ill: and unable to perform his official duties.

So, if indeed he is suffering from some debilitating illness, then allowing him to stand in the forthcoming elections, would amount to a conspiracy against the Ghanaian people and their nation, by his party.

For, it would mean that we would end up being saddled with Mr. John Mahama as Ghana's de facto president: when in fact we were not voting for him to come to power that way, when we cast our votes! So let the NDC do the decent thing - and come out with a full and truthful account of exactly what ails (or dos not ail: if that is the case!) the good professor.

John Mahama is doubtless a very fine gentleman indeed - and of that there can be no doubt whatsoever. But, with the best will in the world, he is not presidential timber. Period. Ghana needs someone with an underlying streak of sufficient ruthlessness in him: to bring about the kind of disciplined nation we ought to become - if we are serious about becoming a wealthy nation within our lifetime.

We can never move forward as a people, if we don't end the culture of indiscipline and impunity that pervades our nation from the very top to the lowest rungs of the social ladder. It is this collective indiscipline that has made it well nigh impossible for us to move ahead since the 1966 military coup.

There is yet to be discovered anywhere on the planet Earth, the evolution of a successful social model, of a prosperous and civilised society, which wasn't built on a firm foundation of discipline and honesty. John Mahama, is no Osagyefo Dr. Kwme Nkrumah; General I.K. Acheampong; or Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings. And that is precisely what this largely lawless society needs now: A strong leader. Period.

Which brings me to the nonsense on bamboo stilts, which the prevailing neo-liberalism that has kept the vast majority of our people enchained in poverty, since Nkrumah's overthrow in 1966, represents (incidentally, it is by far the most difficult period in Ghana's history: in which only a very lucky and powerful few, have grown fantastically wealthy - whiles all else in our nation have seen their quality of life deteriorate steadily: in inverse proportion!).

We have marked time ever since Nkrumah's overthrow: because what he learnt between 1957 and 1960 (when he finally abandoned his neo-liberal economic policies - which weren't getting Ghana anywhere fast!), has escaped virtually all the highly educated "near-morons" (many with PhD's!) who either forced themselves upon our country through the barrel of a gun, or were elected by Ghanaians only to end up misruling our nation (whiles at the same time they very cleverly succeed in managing their own personal wealth creation ever so smoothly: transforming their negative personal net worth into exceedingly positive high net worth status, at the speed of lightning, in the process!).

As a result of their inability to think outside the box, over the years, that long line of well-educated and well-paid "near-imbeciles", who in the main have not been original thinkers, have made ordinary Ghanaians endure one dead-end World Bank/IMF economic experiment after another. Yet, all along, the stark facts of how to actually create prosperity in a sensibly-run poor developing nation, have been staring them right in the face!

Incredibly, whiles entranced by the wealth and achievements of the Malaysias and the Singapores, during their visits to those Asian economic success stories, it did not strike our myopic leaders that contrary to the self-serving strictures of the Western neo-liberal ideologues, Malaysia and Singapore, grew rich, not by unthinkingly and blindly opting to rely on their (largely selfish!) private sector businesspeople and foreigners to transform their economy and societies: but rather chose to use the power of their nation-states (through imaginative economic policies and honestly-managed and competently-run state-owned enterprises!), to develop their societies and turn them into prosperous ones.

And so today the hubris of our political elite has become obvious to even little primary school children (many of whom aren't getting the good school meals the MDG 's were supposed to deliver for them!); the poor who fall sick: and yet still have to fork out hard-to-find and practically non-existent cash, to pay towards the cost of their treatment at supposedly-free NHIS hospitals across the country; as well as those motorists who are compelled to pass on shoddily-constructed roads across Ghana (poorly constructed mainly because rogue contractors had to factor in biggish-kickbacks to the greedy and dishonest amongst our rulers: and hence had to change the design specifications!).

And all of them have now seen through the smoke-and-mirrors economics, which has impoverished ordinary Ghanaians and their country for decades: whiles making the politically well-connected and influence-peddling fat-cats of the land, grow uber-rich: well even beyond the wildest dreams of Avarice!

Clearly, most ordinary people recognise Ghana for the Hykle and Jekyll high-living, and hellish, "two-nations-in-one" democratic sham, it has become: and which enables a few well-connected and powerful tribalistic politicians, and their hypocritical crony-oligarchs, to enslave a whole nation - with ordinary people being constantly called upon to make sacrifices.

Yet it is all for the sole benefit of a chosen few - who choose to borrow money to build presidential palaces and to purchase luxury presidential jets: because for such obtuse individuals, that is what represents the dignity of a nation: not the quality of life of ordinary people. Literally. And in the meantime we are steadily being driven back into the dark-ages of our pre-colonial feudal past, by a few determined Akan tribal supremacists: for the personal modern-day aggrandisement of a few vainglorious, traditional-ruler megalomaniacs! Hmm Ghana - ayeasem oo!

And so today, dear reader, our country has finally been brought to its knees - and unbelievably, we are told that our rulers are now thinking of resorting to hedging: to counter the scourge of high oil prices. At this late hour? And with oil prices constantly hovering over US$100? Typical. What idiocy!

It is all simply a gigantic wheeze - just to enable a few powerful people and their crooked cronies in our financial services industry, grow even richer still: at mother Ghana's expense. And merely for the sake of those selfish buffoons, Ghana is apparently going to lock itself into the spot market for oil - because the respectable crooks whose greed knows no bounds, have spotted yet another golden opportunity, to rip mother Ghana off. Hmm Ghana - ayeasem oo!

In any case, do we not, dear reader, buy our oil from Nigeria (and sometimes from Libya)? So why are we hearing such self-serving talk about hedging? Precisely just where are we going to hedge for oil: which the goodwill of the Federal Republic of Nigeria apparently makes possible for Ghana to be supplied with, on 90-day credit terms (if what we were told in the past is true, i.e.!)?

And just why is a nation that in a few years hence (in perhaps as little as three years at the most: if our leaders are clever and sensible enough!), will become an important West African oil producer, mortgaging its future oil wealth, so recklessly? Why, are those future revenues not meant to be used to transform Ghanaian society when they come on stream: and turn our nation into one in which all the citizens, not just a well-connected, greedy and powerful few, have a good quality of life?

Instead of such short-termism by our rulers, ought we not rather to be planning to nationalise our oil and gas industries (like Saudi Arabia; Iran and Venezuela before us!) and replacing (after fair compensation for them: and when Ghana can afford it!) the private Western companies currently here to make uber-profits for their well-fed Western shareholders - and instead set up joint-venture partnerships with the best and most competent of the Chinese and Indian state-owned oil companies?

And can we not defer paying upfront for our 70% stake in any such ventures: with our shares being paid for, by issuing sovereign bonds to the sovereign wealth funds of China and India - when the oil finally starts flowing?

Why, do both nations not claim that they want an honest and mutually beneficial partnership with Africa (not the one-sided affairs we have had over the centuries with exploitative Western nations: and their greedy multinational corporations in tow!)? And would such action not be a far more appropriate and sensible use of sovereign bonds for the sustainable development of our homeland Ghana, dear reader?

And finally, dear reader, when are we going to be informed by those would-be presidents tomorrow, that the first thing they will do upon taking office, would be to have web-cams installed at several strategic locations on all the oil rigs drilling for oil off our shores - so that for 24/7 and 365 days, ordinary Ghanaians will be able to go online and monitor what actually occurs on all those oil rigs?

We need to ensure that when the oil starts flowing in earnest, the shenenigans associated with past oil finds will not reoccur. We must check the movements, in future, of all oil tankers loading Ghanaian oil - so that Ghana is not shortchanged by smart Alecs (as has apparently happened on occassion: when oil tankers laden with our Saltpond oil-field oil, have 'disappeared': oil lifted by the well-paid incompetents who currently handle that lucrative contract. Hmm Ghana - ayeasem oo!

May God bless and protect our homeland Ghana, always. Long live freedom! Long live Ghana!

Sunday, 8 June 2008

'Malapropisms" - A Free-Verse Poem By Kofi Thompson

(Title: "Malapropism")

What Is a malapropism?
A malapropism is a simple case
Of the literary equivalent of mistaken identity
Which occurs when an imposter
An uninvited and unwanted word
Sneaks unto a page almost unnoticed
Whiles a piece is being written
And is mistakenly accepted by an exhausted writer
Suffering the after-effects of prolonged lack of sleep
Who thinks he had seen a familiar word
He had meant to write
When in fact he had not
And the crafty imposter though familiar
Was in fact a complete stranger as it were
And that dear reader is a malapropism
A veritable case of mistaken identity

"Osama Bin Laden: A Liar, Sinner And Blasphemer" - A Poem By Kofi Thompson

(Title: Osama bin Laden: liar; sinner; and blasphemer!)

Osama bin Laden
Coward extraordinaire
Unbeliever and hypocrite
Using Islam
To seek world domination for self
Giving Islam a thoroughly bad name
Death to the Osama bin Ladens of this world
Mass murderers
Killers of innocents
Prostituting the name of Islam
A religion of peace
Abominable creatures
Whom the Prophet Mohamed
Peace be upon him
Would have condemned were he to be alive today
Masquerading as pious Muhajedins
Cowards and blasphemers
Who do not understand
That true faith in Allah
Never seeks revenge for Allah
But leaves vengeance in the hands of the Almighty Allah himself
Abominable killers of innocents
Using myrmidons as suicide bombers
Osama bin Laden
Killer of innocents
Who together with his followers are going straight to the hottest part of hell
When they die
Not to paradise
Which is reserved only for true Muslims
Who always protect the weak
And are always just and never kill innocents
Be they infidels riding in New York subway trains
Or infidels traveling on London's red double-decker buses
Or infidels in Copenhagen drawing harmless cartoons
Which would never have offended
The ever-gentle and super-tolerant Prophet Mohamed
Peace be upon him
Which is why
All those responsible for those crimes against humanity
The abomination that was 9/11/2001
Will roast in the hottest part of hell forever when they die
Death to Osama bin Laden
And blasphemer!

Wednesday, 4 June 2008


I would be most grateful if you could let me know the result of a letter that I wrote asking you to give me a month's credit, to compensate me for having to go elsewhere to browse the web, during the month of April 2008 - because your cell tower at McCarthy Hill was out of service for virtually the whole of that month.

If you did not receive my letter, which I sent to you via the manager of the Dansoman Care 4U centre, then please regard this as an official request for same!

I also wrote an article recently (please google: "ghanapolitics" for that article: "Is GT heading for the slippery slope?"), in which I asked you how you intended to repay the corporate bond issued in London, by Iroko, on your behalf.

Sadly, to date, there has been no response to it, from you - which I think is most unfortunate: especially in the NEPAD era, in which there is supposed to be transparency in all aspects of our national life (or at least that is what our leaders would have us believe!).

I wrote that article, principally because I was rather worried about the antecedents of Iroko - a company which was hived off by its erstwhile Botswanan parent: because it was a loss-making entity. I therefore wondered how they succeeded in finding their way into your company's boardroom! The question many ordinary people are asking today, is: "Just who in Ghana, led them to Ghana Telecom's doorstep?"

And what precisely are your answers to the questions posed in that particular article of mine, if I may ask?

In the post-Enron era of corporate good governance, in which the international community demands transparency and accountability from corporates worldwide, one hopes that answers to those simple questions, will be forthcoming from you, ladies and gentlemen - precisely because you are one of the most highly-rated management teams, in Ghana's telecoms industry, today (and deservedly so - thus far - in my view!).

However, in spite of all the brilliant things you are doing, let me inform you that I intend to speak to the Hon. Alban Bagbin, the leader of the parliamentary minority side - and ask him to get the minority benches in parliament, to invite your good selves to appear before the appropriate committee of parliament, which has oversight responsibility for your sector ministry: to answer all the questions, which I raised in that particular article.

For, I strongly believe that it is in the national interest, that that is done - so that the good people of Ghana can all be reassured that Ghana's best telecoms company, which is also state-owned, and therefore belongs to all the people of Ghana, is on the right track (in strategic terms, financially, i.e.!).

You will all agree with me, I am sure, that clearly, with the level of competition in the mobile phone sector of Ghana's telecoms industry, you will not be looking there for the robust earnings stream, which is necessary for you to have: in order to enable you repay that debt - and still be able to continue reinvesting some of your profits in your business, at the same time, to keep you at the cutting-edge of digital technology: and make GT even more competitive, and thus assure you of the continuing surpluses with which to meet the regular interest payments on those corporate bonds!

If you cannot rely on the mobile phone business to build up sufficient surpluses, is it not logical for any casual observer of the industry, to assume that the only area of potential growth left open to Ghana Telecom, is its broadband service?

Well, it is precisely for that reason, coupled with the nature of the problems I have faced thus far, since I became a "broadband 4u" customer last August, which makes me feel that I have good reason to be extremely worried about your company's future.

So, in the light of all the above, please do assure me that my fears are groundless: by letting me have answers to those questions I posed in that article (which by the way, also appeared in "The Network Herald" newspaper here - as it did "The Insight"too!), to allay my rather grim fears about GT's future.

Well, let me end my short missive to you, by saying: "Over to you, Joe Lartey" - as local parlance has it here in Ghana! Many thanks indeed - and do let me hear from you soon. Best wishes!

PS By the way, it might interest you to know that when I attempted to send you this missive through the appropriate message box on your website earlier today (June 4th 2008), I kept on getting a notice saying the server could not be found - yet, I was actually on your very own website. Odd, that! Hmm, Ghana, ayeasem oo!

May God bless and protect our homeland Ghana always. Long live freedom! Long live mother Ghana!

Monday, 2 June 2008

Environmental Justice: Why The Worst Polluters Are In Poor Nations - Plus Ideas For Change!

The need for faster economic growth in the poor nations of the world has often forced their governments - ever keen to be seen by their people to be working hard to provide desperately needed jobs - to accept foreign direct investment that sometimes has dire consequences for the natural environment, and the health of many of their citizens.

Unless countries such as Ghana step out of the shadow of conventional economic thinking, which makes them think almost exclusively of GDP growth without actually examining what constitutes that growth, they will continue to attract investors relocating "dirty industries" from the developed world in droves.

Yet, it is essential that economic development in nations such as Ghana, is sustainable: so that economic policy today, takes into account the needs of future generations of Ghanaians: who ought to be able to, at the barest minimum, enjoy the same standards of living as the present generation of Ghanaians.

It is the absence of such an ethos underlining economic policy in many African nations today, which makes it so easy for African politicians -  enthralled by the wealth and power of multinational mining companies - to permit callous polluters, such as some of the sly and greedy surface gold mining companies in Ghana (which come mainly from developed nations where surface gold mining is frowed upon), to operate with complete impunity in many parts of the continent.

Sadly, countless numbers of rural people are harmed by the dangerous chemicals and heavy metals, such as mercury and cyanide, used in the operations of the surface gold mining companies, which leech into soils and contaminate the sources of the drinking water of scores of African villages near mining areas: as does the natural environment of the countryside, itself.

In the case of Ghana, those companies, driven by the unfathomable greed that fuels their ruthless and relentless pursuit of profits, mainly at the expense of the quality of life of the poor rural communities, which border their concessions, have poisoned vast swathes of the Ghanaian countryside for decades now.

At the town of Obuasi, for example, where the single richest gold mine in the world is located, and where gold has been mined for centuries, the only things the indigenous people have to show for all the untold wealth that has been shipped overseas over the years, are enduring poverty and contaminated oranges: the growing of which constitute an important part of the local economy, and in which traces of arsenic have consistently been found in tests.

Alas, rural people in many African nations will continue to live with the most negative consequences of globalisation: because their governments accept investment from some of the worst polluters from the developed world, such as surface gold mining companies - many of which have deliberately chosen the much cheaper option of surface gold mining (which is sensibly frowned upon in their own home countries), over the more expensive underground mining: traditionally undertaken in Ghana for centuries until the nation's leaders were infected by the lethal Washington-consensus-bug: and foolishly agreed to permit surface gold mining in Ghana.

Virtually all those surface gold mining companies have simply relocated to Ghana because they cannot meet the stringent environmental standards set by their home countries: to protect the natural environment and to safeguard the health of their citizens.

A case in point is the horrific story of a defunct Canadian-owned surface gold mining company, Bonte, which was given the farmlands of the inhabitants of Bonte, a village in the Western Region of Ghana, as their mining concession. When the company finally folded up, it left a landscape akin to that found on the moon, and a string of debt: including money owed to its unpaid workers and suppliers of goods and services to the company.

And because it never posted the reclamation bond required by regulators, from which a clean-up of the environment after it ceased operating would have been paid, the hapless inhabitants of Bonte are no longer able to farm as a result of the complete degradation of their land - and now eke out a miserable living panning for gold in a hell-on-earth-existence.

Yet, the shameless Canadian operators of the defunct Bonte, continue to live as free men in their native Canada - and it is as if the leaders of Ghana don't know that they can even sue them there: for their crimes against humanity in Ghana.

And a proud and honest rural people have been reduced to penury - whiles vast swathes of once-pristine countryside have been destroyed in degradation that is of truly apocalyptic proportions. Yet, their forefathers lived in complete harmony with nature, before their first contact with Western civilisation.

Many of the traditional cultural practises of Ghanaians, such as the ban on hunting and fishing, during certain seasons; and the taboo that prohibits the killing of certain species of animals, such as the famous Mona monkeys, which have lived together with villagers of the Asante village of Boabeng Feama for centuries, ensured that they always lived in balance with nature.

The monkeys, which are regarded by the villagers as sacred beings, and are mourned and buried like human family relations when they die, have thrived: and their populations in the area have not only survived, but grown, unlike populations in other parts of the country where they have been hunted over the years - because they were not regarded as sacred by the indigenous people.

Clearly the blind pursuit of GDP growth, in the final analysis, certainly does more harm than good to the overall quality of life of the citizens of nations like Ghana: because of the harm caused to the natural environment by pollution resulting from the operations of companies that engage in the monstrous "race-for-the-bottom" type of investment: in which polluting multinational companies search for countries with the weakest environmental legislation and the weakest state environmental protection agencies, to relocate in.

A recent function attended by the president of the West African nation of Ghana, as well as the executives of the foreign mining companies operating in the country (which was held to mark the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the Ghanaian mining industry's main industry body: the Ghana Chamber of Mines), illustrates perfectly, the power of the mining lobby in Ghana: where they operate with near-total impunity - often under the protection of security forces billeted on towns in the restive mining areas of the country, to save them from the growing wrath of local people.

The symbolism of the nation's leader honouring the members of an industry, which has poisoned vast swathes of the Ghanaian countryside over the years (and gotten away with it, successfully), with his presence at the event, was not lost on environmental activists in Ghana.

For, as in all the nations of Africa where they operate, the mining lobby is one of the most powerful in the country - and it has used its clout and baleful influence over Ghana's political elite, to enable the industry get away with activities, which would shame and horrify most of their Western shareholders: were they to become aware of them.

And for the rural poor across Africa (who suffer the consequences of the impunity of players in the industry), it is the same story: as their nations, blessed with gold and other mineral deposits - and desperate to attract foreign direct investment to spur GDP growth and create much-needed jobs, put the blind pursuit of GDP growth, ahead of their quality of life - as if that too was not a prime indicator of a nation's prosperity and progress.

Saddled with a highly-educated ruling elite whose main priority is the promotion of its self-interest, the poor in the rural areas where mining activity takes place in Ghana (and other African nations like it), have been abandoned to their fate - by a system that has failed them completely, and has left them impoverished: as their quality of life has deteriorated steadily over the years. They are the veritable victims of today's globalisation.

No longer having access to their farmlands (taken away from them by the stroke of the pens of officialdom - at various levels of Ghana's ponderous machinery of state - who work and live in the comfort of their elitist air-conditioned cocoons in far-away Accra, Ghana's capital city), those poor villagers (the weakest strata in modern Ghanaian society) are also the forgotten victims of the so-called "Washington consensus".

That ideology, much favoured by Western neo-cons (and which largely underpins globalisation), was the brain-child of wealthy Western bankers and right-wing politicians, who did not have the nous to understand that there is a world of difference (in terms of the desired and expected results of free-market economic policies), between the matured markets of Western capitalism (which are fairly predictable), and that of the economically-impoverished environments of the developing-world: which are not.

Thus, today, the erstwhile owners of the aforementioned farmlands in rural Ghana, which now form part of the mining concessions of powerful multinational mining companies operating in the country, are worse off materially, than they were before the arrival of the surface mining companies: because it escaped the World Bank and the IMF (as they urged the military regime in power then - in the 1980's - to permit surface gold mining in the country, for the first time in Ghana's history) that the possible harm, which surface gold mining could cause to Ghana and its people, would be incalculable (in quality-of-life, terms).

The blind pursuit of GDP growth, and the combination of the class-interests of a largely self-serving ruling elite, and the unfathomable greed driving the search for profits by the multinational gold mining companies, meant that at the time there was a meeting of minds (of all concerned in this crime against humanity), to the extent that concern for the environmental impact of the operations of the surface gold mining companies, was simply not part of the equation: and was therefore a non-issue.

So, dear reader, the question is: what can be done to mitigate some of the harmful effects of this race to the bottom, by environmentally irresponsible companies that relocate to nations like Ghana, simply in order to take advantage of weak environmental legislation? What is needed to protect the environment and the health and well being of all living creatures in rural Ghana?

To avoid disasters, such as that which has befallen some farmers in rural Ghana, there is need for a push by those in Africa who are concerned with preserving the biodiversity of nations on the continent, for the use of income-generating strategies, such as the development of community-based eco-tourism destinations, to create wealth in rural Africa - particularly at a time of global climate change.

For, such schemes would make poor African nations less vulnerable to the blandishments of those who seek to exchange worthless bric-a-brac, for access to valuable gold deposits in 21st century Africa, for example.

And in the light of the discovery of large deposits of oil and natural gas off the shores of Ghana, there is renewed hope amongst environmental activists in Ghana, that the baleful influence of the powerful mining lobby, can be finally curtailed - as yet other sources of revenue open up for the nation: and consequently weakens their hold over those who rule the country.

Hopefully, it will help bring about a situation in which the Ghanaian nation need no longer depend on continued investment in the Ghanaian economy, by the players in the gold mining sector - which in over 100 years of exploiting Ghana's gold deposits, has never created the Ghanaian equivalent of a city such as Johannesburg. And that speaks volumes about the predatory nature of the motivation for their presence in Ghana.

Perhaps another key move to make surface gold mining companies in Ghana become more responsible environmentally, would be for the Ghanaian nation-state to act to change the relevant clauses in the articles of association of Ghanaian surface gold mining companies: pertaining specifically to those that limit the liability of shareholders for the environmental damage, arising out of the impact of their operations in the country.

If that were to happen, it would immediately make those shareholders, a majority of whom are from the Western nations, take an active interest in the daily activities of those surface gold mining companies, which they have invested in that operate in Ghana - lest they become personally liable for the harm done to the natural environment in a faraway African nation: which they know virtually nothing about.

Perhaps if environmental awareness amongst Ghana's politicians catches on, perhaps they could go on to prove their new-found concern for the natural environment here, yet further, by passing legislation (with real teeth, and which would have retrospective effect!) making it mandatory for polluters to pay for the future cost of the state having to deal with the consequences of environmental damage, caused in the past, but which Ghana's official environmental agencies are currently unaware of - because such knowledge is currently unavailable to the international scientific research community.

That, dear reader, would definitely make the well-off Western shareholders (who, incidentally, would never dream of allowing surface gold mining anywhere near where they live), take a keen interest in the way those surface gold mining companies operate here.

And justice, hopefully, will finally come for those poor and hapless Ghanaian villagers (and others like them across Africa!), whose lives were turned upside down, when they lost their livelihoods as farmers (when their leaders caved in to pressure from the World Bank and the IMF to permit such an environmentally harmful industry, to operate in their country), and who for decades now have had to lead a miserable and wretched existence, akin to a hell on earth - simply to enable Ghana's surface mining companies, continue piling up super profits: and distribute dividends to happy (largely Western) shareholders, year, after, golden year.

Perhaps, in the final analysis, if environmental activists in Africa worked closely with their counterparts in the West, they might succeed in making the worst of the polluters in the surface gold mining industry (who, in the main, have invested in Africa deliberately, in order to take advantage of the fact that most of the entities charged with protecting the continent's natural environment, are weak institutions), change their ways: by campaigning for tougher laws to protect the natural environment in Africa - a vital need, particularly at a time when global climate change is already having a negative impact on much of the continent's natural environment.