Sunday, 31 July 2011


For the benefit of those Ghanaians, who find it difficult to understand why it appears that some American conservatives, who say they are patriots and wrap the US flag round themselves so tightly, are risking tipping their beloved country's fragile economy into a recession (in order, say some of their critics, to make political capital out of any fallout from America defaulting in paying its debts - at President Obama's electoral expense they hope), here is a Q&A analysis to help them make sense of the US Congressional debt ceiling impasse. It is culled from BBC news online. Please read on:

Question: Why has the US not agreed a new debt ceiling?

Answer: The White House and Congress are fighting over how to raise the debt ceiling.

President Obama says the US risks being tipped back into recession

With the deadline for reaching a deal fast approaching, the fear is that the US will run out of money.

Question: What is the debt ceiling?

Answer: The US government faces a legal limit on the total amount of debts it can run up in order to pay its bills - including military salaries, interest on existing loans, and Medicare. The current limit is $14.3 trillion (£8.9tn).

The cap was reached in May. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was able to extend the expected day of reckoning to 2 August, by various tricks such as postponing payments into government pension schemes, and thanks to better-than-expected tax revenues.

Republicans, and some analysts, say that even after 2 August, the government has some leeway to continue meeting payments at least for a few more days.

Question: Why can't the Obama administration borrow more?

Answer: Because it is not in Mr Obama's power. The debt ceiling is set by statute and can only be raised by Congress.

An overall borrowing cap was first introduced by Congress in 1917 to make it simpler for the government to finance its efforts in World War I.

Since then the ceiling has been raised dozens of times, and it is usually a formality.

Perversely, Congress also sets the government's spending commitments and tax-raising powers.

This puts the Obama administration in the impossible position of being required to spend more than it earns, while also being prevented from borrowing the difference.

Question: What is the problem this time round?

Answer: The financial crisis and the US's fragile economic condition have caused government spending to soar, while tax revenues have suffered.

This has caused a big rise in the government's deficit - its rate of borrowing.

The Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, say they want to bring the deficit back under control, and have threatened not to raise the debt ceiling unless a deal is reached.

Question: How far apart are the two sides?

Answer: Both sides accept that cutting the deficit is vital. In recent weeks several plans have been floated by one side or another and been batted down.

The most recent proposals include:

A plan from Senate Democrats would raise the debt ceiling by $2.7tn and cut the budget deficit by $2.2bn. It would protect social programmes for the elderly and the poor that are dear to Democrats. In a concession to Republican demands, this plan would not raise new tax revenue.

A two-step plan pushed by the House Republican leadership - and passed in the House despite initial reluctance from conservatives - that would trim government spending by $915bn, including cuts to those programmes, but would only extend the government's borrowing authority for about six months.

The chief sticking points have been Republicans' resistance to tax rises and calls for much bigger spending cuts than the Democrats favour, and Democrats' desire to shield healthcare programmes for the poor and elderly and the Social Security pension programme from cuts.

Finally, a number of House Republicans - mainly newly elected staunch Tea Party fiscal conservatives - oppose raising the debt limit in any form.

Question: What happens if no deal is reached by 2 August?

Answer: The US could be in default, something Tim Geithner has said would be "catastrophic", and President Obama has warned could tip America back into recession.

Economists say President Obama's options could include:

Stopping payments across the board, including debt repayments. This would be a disastrous outcome for financial markets.

Prioritising some payments (particularly interest payments), at least until money completely runs out. Some $23bn of social security payments due on 3 August could in theory be delayed. But these payments are computer-automated and may be technically impossible to stop. Moreover, stopping them would hurt core Democrat voters. And it is not even clear the government has the legal right to prioritise payments like this anyway.

Ignoring the debt ceiling and continuing borrowing. Some have argued that the US constitution gives the president authority to do this. It would certainly spark a constitutional crisis, and possibly impeachment proceedings.

Question: What do academics believe will happen if the US defaults?

Answer: Interest rates on credit cards, car loans and home mortgages could rise sharply, says George Washington University Professor Julius Hobson.

He adds that global financial institutions around the world holding AAA-rated US Treasury notes and bonds would see the value drop.

Harvard University Economics Professor Jeffrey Miron says foreign creditors could start withdrawing money from US banks.

He also says cheques could be delayed to social security beneficiaries.

Question: Surely the US would not default on its debts?

Answer: So far that has been everyone's assumption.

The US has not seen any significant increase in its borrowing cost, in the way that Greece and other indebted eurozone governments have.

The rating agencies are somewhat less relaxed. On 15 July, Standard & Poor's warned it could cut the US's coveted AAA credit rating if no deal is done, which could limit some investors' ability to lend to the US government.

Moreover, some analysts point out that a surprisingly large amount of existing debt comes up for repayment in 2011 - some $1.7tn, or 12% of its total debt.

They fear that investors could panic and refuse to relend the money, forcing a default.

Question: Is there a compromise to be agreed?

Answer: Republicans have proposed raising the debt ceiling by enough to fund the government for another six to eight months, to allow more time for negotiations.

Mr Obama opposes this extension, which would set the new deadline in the run-up to the 2012 presidential elections.

Other Democrats have backed a longer extension, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has floated a proposal to give Mr Obama unilateral authority to raise the debt ceiling while giving Congress an opportunity to register its disapproval.

It could be brinkmanship, but both parties agree that talks on a new ceiling cannot go on indefinitely.

Culled from BBC News.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Why Every Young Ghanaian Ought To Take A Keen Interest In The Politics Of Ghana

Nothing breaks my old heart, more than hearing disillusioned young people in Ghana, saying that they will never vote in any election again - because all politicians and political parties are the same: and that nothing in their personal circumstances ever changes, no matter which political party comes to power after an election.

Yet, nothing could be more counter-productive and inimical to the well-being of the younger generation, than holding such a negative viewpoint.

It is precisely because their personal circumstance don't see much improvement after governments change following presidential and parliamentary elections, that young Ghanaians ought to endeavour to influence the politics of our nation.

For example, by using mobile broadband, they can deploy laptops and also take advantage of smartphone capabilities, to ensure the integrity of the next presidential and parliamentary elections in December 2012.

Dedicated teams of young people across Ghana, who put love of country above tribe and party, using laptops and smartphones, can work with the dynamic, good-value-providing American short text messaging service (SMS) company, MobilizeUs (which one gathers might soon be offering its services to Ghanaians, incidentally!), and the American youth activist group with a global footprint, AVAAZ, to make the all-important December 2012 poll, the laptop, smartphone, YouTube, SMS, MMS and email election - and set a trailblazing example for the rest of Africa.

By instantaneously disseminating information about polling station activities, including results, and video-recording election centre activities nationwide, they can stop the power-hungry and the power-mad extremists in the two major political parties in Ghana, from election rigging nationwide.

That will ensure that the disgraceful actions to steal the vote in parts of the Ashanti, Eastern and Volta regions of Ghana that occurred in December 2008, are prevented from occurring in December 2012 - as text message and audio-visual evidence of all polling station activities will be sent by SMS, MMS, as well as videos posted on YouTube and elsewhere online, to shame political parties into preventing party extremists from plunging our country into chaos, during and after those elections.

And Ghana's young generation indeed do have the numbers, to make their influence felt, in our national life - if they put love of country above all else, and don't allow those passe politicians who have nothing to offer the ordinary people of Ghana, to divide them along tribal lines: in order to win elections and hold on to political power.

Politicians who take refuge in tribalism do so to play on such base sentiments, just to enable them continue to rule Ghana when they lose the trust of ordinary people.

As a class, our ruling elites are only a tiny proportion, of Ghana's total population - and can be defeated easily if ordinary people are wise enough not to fall for the tribal-card when it is resorted to by brain-dead politicians and effete political parties (just to lull ordinary people into sleep, as it were).

Ghana's younger generation need to help change the nature of our political world - by making totally irrelevant, the type of politician or political party, that never deals with issues that are relevant to the lives of ordinary Ghanaians.

The younger generation must see through all the empty barrels making such a ghastly din in the Ghanaian political world - who prefer to engage in shouting matches instead of dwelling on pertinent issues and offering creative solutions to Ghana's myriad of problems.

Such politicians, who are bankrupt of ideas, rather prefer exchanging abuse with each other and making asinine and irritating comments - to having a civilised debate about policies that will make our nation prosperous and improve the quality of the lives of ordinary people.

Ghana's young generation must seek to change the politics of their country, by shunning politicians or political parties that know perfectly well that in a globalised 21st century Africa, which is now on the cusp of an ICT revolution, tribe is irrelevant - yet constantly harp on ethnicity: because in the past it has been a convenient and effective building block in their lets-divide-the-have-not-majority-and-take-turns-to-rule-Ghana-permanently strategy of winning elections in Ghana.

What clued-on young person today, does not know that Ghana is divided not along tribal lines, but into two nations: the Ogyakrom Ghana of the majority "Moborowaa" have-nots, ruthlessly exploited and controlled by the tiny proportion of the population who are the well-connected "Atiyiee" haves - the ruling elites who dominate Ghanaian society and call the shots in our national life?

And is it not an open secret that far from seeking power to improve the lot of ordinary folk, the real agenda of some of the most powerful members of our ruling elites is to end up owning virtually all the resources of our homeland Ghana?

Do such politicians not abuse the power entrusted to them to serve ordinary people honestly - by using their period in office to exploit our national economy for themselves, the members of their family clans, and their favourite crony-capitalists: who front for them in the Great-rip-off, of Mother Ghana?

The time has come for Ghana's young generation to take an active interest in bringing about a new society that is fair, open and in which the hard-working can always rise to the top from poverty - because credit is available and cheap.

It is outrageous that our nation is currently saddled with usury interest rates - an intolerable situation that persists only for "book-long" textbook theoretical reasons: as there are no sound real-world practical and commonsense reasons that that should be the case in a post-credit crunch environment, if you ask me, dear reader. But I digress!

Young people in Ghana must shun and make irrelevant, all those shameless politicians who take ordinary people for granted - and rather than telling ordinary Ghanaians how they and their political parties intend to make our country a nation full of equal opportunities, prefer instead to resort to character assassination and name-calling: in an attempt to divert ordinary people's attention from the need for politicians to debate pressing national issues.

Yet, there are pressing issues, such as the chronic lack of public-sector affordable housing. An unacceptable situation that forces most ordinary folk into the steely and vicious arm-lock of our nation's many Shylock landlords.

But as we all know, there is a crying need for politicians and political parties to tell ordinary people, precisely what concrete measures their political parties intend to take, to resolve this modern day outrage, once and for all, when they come to power - in what is supposed to be a civilised nation in 21st century Africa.

Ghana's young people must take a keen interest in politics, because it is in the political arena that all the decisions that will affect their future well-being, such as access to quality education, access to decent healthcare facilities and access to well-designed, well-built and affordable housing for all Ghanaian families and individuals, who cannot afford to buy or build their own homes, are taken.

They must force politicians and political parties to bring an end to the current situation that makes Ghana a dog-eat-dog hell-hole in which there are huge disparities in wealth - a terrible situation exacerbated by the greed-filled years of the golden age of business for the perfidious Kufuor & Co.

The younger generation certainly have the majority vote in terms of their numbers. And if they unite, they can help rid our country of incompetent politicians - who only seek power to improve their personal net worth and that of the members of their family clans.

Young Ghanaians must wake up to the perfidy of those politicians who take them for granted and think that they will always vote one way - either exclusively for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), or the Akan tribal-supremacist dominated New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), or the Peoples National Convention (PNC): without ever once stopping to think and weighing which political party or individual politician in Ghana, is deserving of their vote, on the basis of how well they have succeeded in presenting and defending their plans for the nation, in proper and civilised debates about the issues affecting ordinary people in our homeland Ghana, during election campaign periods.

(Above all, not all Ghanaians can be moronic "My-party-my-tribe-right-or-wrong" myrmidon-types, whose blinkered world-view and uncritical support for them, is slowly destroying our nation's political parties, and also makes the most foolish amongst their membership, take to making completely false allegations about the sexual preferences of their political opponents, simply because some other moron on the opposite side of the political divide, chooses to insult their party leader. Imagine that, dear reader - sheer lunacy.

And, incredibly, uncouth individuals like that think that they are heroes because of their boorishness - and actually seek to lead Nkrumah's Ghana, one day, too. God give us patience. But I digress yet again!)

Ghana is doomed to end up like Nigeria eventually, if Ghana's younger generation don't take a keen interest in the politics of their country - as apathy on their part will simply lead to a situation similar to that in Nigeria, where the apathy of ordinary Nigerians led to the mushrooming of oil dollar multi-millionaires, most of who paid not a kobo in cash upfront for blocs in oilfields, but got them nonetheless, as a result of patronage and corruption.

The same thing could happen here too - and we will then see increasing numbers of the well-connected mushrooming into dollar multi-millionaires throughout the tenures of various political parties.

And whiles Ghanaians without political connections and their nation grow ever poorer, amidst great wealth from oil and natural gas revenues - the bulk of which will somehow always eventually find its way into the pockets of our ruling elites, a chosen few will accumulate wealth beyond the imagination.

Young Ghanaians are lucky that it hasn't happened under the principled and honest President Mills - but the question is: did they not hear recently, just how much money some of those who were lucky under the mostly-corrupt NPP regime of President Kufuor, made, from disposing of their stakes in blocs in our oilfields, acquired when they got their lucky-breaks under the perfidious Kufuor & Co.?

In the light of the fact that wealth, which could build a whole affordable housing estate, to house thousands of disadvantaged families, is ending up in the bank accounts of just two individual Ghanaians - who paid no cash upfront for oil blocs that should have gone to our nation, but did not - Ghana's young generation had better start taking a keen interest in the politics of their nation, today - not tomorrow: when it may be much too late for them to wield any real collective influence: and when all the wealth from the exploitation of our oil and natural gas deposits, would have gone into private pockets. A word to the wise...

Tel (powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.


Ghanaians are such an interesting people sometimes. There's been so much blather about Rupert Murdoch - and the baleful influence of his multi-media empire, in a large part of the English-speaking world.

Yet, I do not know of a single media entity in Ghana, which can be compared to the Murdoch multimedia empire - in the power that until recently, it wielded in a large part of the English-speaking Western democracies.

And neither do I know of a single individual, in the Ghanaian media world, to whom politicians are beholden or enthralled by - as was the case with Rupert Murdoch: who was courted by many of the leaders of the English-speaking democracies: because of the enormous power he wielded.

I doubt if much of it occurs here, but any hacking of mobile phones and emails that goes on here by journalists, will not be in furtherance of scoops - but merely to serve the interests and the agenda of their political paymasters: or, more credibly, will be done illegally, by secret service types, at the instigation of politicians, for their hirelings in the media to do their bidding with.

We are not - in a nation in which a large swathe of the media landscape is in the pockets of our ruling elites, and a majority of journalists are individuals who lack personal integrity, and see toadying to our ruling elites as a ticket to riches - in any danger of ending up under the thump of the Ghanaian media: as has apparently hitherto been the case, in some of the Anglo-Saxon democracies of the West, which Murdoch bestrode like a Colossus.

Over there, as we now know, apparently, national leaderships were often unable to see clearly what was good for their people - because they were engulfed by the thick fog of the miasma of Rupert Murdoch's mean right-wing views.

In any case, the Ghanaian media is too emasculated to pose any threat to those powerful philistines amongst our ruling elites, who debase our democracy with their tribal-supremacist triumphalist nonsense on bamboo stilts - and are slowly destroying the moral fabric of our society with the unfathomable greed that drives them.

The idea that professionals who are often unethical, and a majority of whom are unable to master even the basic tool of their profession, the English language, are somehow feared by the thick-skinned and powerful plutocrats, oligarchs and plain criminal-types, who masquerade as democrats to enable them more or less control the Ghanaian polity, is laughable - and we shouldn't go round chasing red herrings, within the Ghanaian media world, in looking for those who actually pose a real threat to Ghanaian democracy.

For that, we must look to those dangerous tribal-supremacist hypocrites, who cloak their perfidy in such ostentatious fashion, with the fine and smooth silken garb of multi-party democracy, but are in actual fact quiet contemptuous of it.

Our democracy is threatened, not by the cheap sensationalism of unprincipled and dissimulating Ghanaian hacks, but by those who profess to believe in the rule of law, but evidently think that somehow they themselves are above the law - and cleverly manipulate our legal system for their own ends: which certainly aren't benign.

And in what is a unitary Republic of diverse-ethnicity, and in which no tribal group is inferior or superior to the other, they threaten the cohesion of our united country, with their Kokofu-football politricks and endless nepotism - and the ridiculous notion that they and their ilk were born to rule our country: till the very end of time.

They are the kingpins of the tribal-supremacist cabals that hijack political parties, and use them as convenient vehicles, to enable them achieve their secret political agenda - of perpetually dominating Nkrumah's multi-ethnic Ghana.

It is that dangerous and sly lot, dear reader, who threaten Ghanaian democracy. Not those who merely serve them as useful tools - a large part of the Ghanaian media world.

And it is critical that Ghanaian patriots and nationalists understand clearly that those plutocrats and oligarchs in our midst, are those that the good people of Ghana really ought to be wary of - and constantly focus their attention and energies on: in protecting Ghanaian democracy. A word to the wise...

Tel (powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.

Post Script:

It will be recalled that in that infamous tape-recording, of a meeting held by a number of New Patriotic Party (NPP) legal luminaries, to strategise on how best to ambush Ghanaian democracy, after failing to manipulate the legal system successfully to achieve that end (because the judge they thought was one of the "right judges" who could be counted on to do the NPP's bidding, turned out to be no judicial-puppet at all!), which was aired during Radio Gold FM's "Election Forensics" programme in December 2008, the loquacious Honourable Atta Akyea, who says he believes in the rule of law and democracy, was distinctly heard saying in Twi, in apparent frustration, and obviously exasperated that he could not prevent power slipping from the hands of his fellow-travellers: "Saa democracy nonsense yi!"

He epitomises the type of Akan tribal-supremacist individual referred to above - and his party's upper echelons are jam-packed with people of that ilk.

It is in reference to individuals like the Atta Akyeas of the world of Ghanaian politics, that a rather uncharitable cynic I know, once said to me: "Kofi, those of us who believe in the enterprise Ghana, must always be wary of people like him: and deal firmly with them always, when they cross us - lest they beguile is with their charm and smoothness, and steal our freedoms from us!

Quite right, too - and words of wisdom indeed, say I, dear reader. It is said that inherited privilege is the greatest enemy of meritocracy.

Consequently, we must be eternally vigilante and constantly keep an eye on the Atta Akyeas and their insufferable tribal Chieftains - who apparently think they can neither be contradicted nor be criticised openly.

Their hidebound system (with its insular nature and demand for endless sycophancy which encourages megalomania), is a menace to liberalism and fans hypocrisy in Ghanaian society.

If truth be told, it poses the single greatest threat to the cohesion of our homeland Ghana - and to the well-being and continued existence of our young democracy. There is nothing benign about what is the last bastion of age-old tribalism, in Nkrumah's Ghana.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

International Criminal Court Nominations and Elections Must Be Fair, Transparent and Merit-Based

Global Coalition Provides Update on 2011 Election of ICC Judges and Prosecutor; Urges its Members and Governments to support efforts to seek the Most Highly-Qualified Candidates

New York / The Hague, 28 July 2011 — The Coalition for the International Criminal Court today urged governments, non-governmental organizations and other relevant professional bodies and individuals to join in the effort to find the most qualified candidates in the world for the six positions of judge and the position of chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC). Nominations for judges are open until September 2, 2011.

The elections of the judges and next prosecutor of the ICC are at the heart of what will be almost a complete turnover of leadership in the Court and treaty body in 2011-2012.

“No one predicted how important the treaty and Court have become as major actors in global peace and security within a few years; the impact of the new officials will be tremendous,” stated William R Pace, Convenor of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court— a global network of over 2,500 civil society organizations in 150 countries advocating for a fair, effective and independent ICC.

The Coalition believes it is crucial during the next six weeks to identify the most qualified candidates in the world for the positions of judges and prosecutor.

“We must not allow the ICC elections to repeat the bad practices that have characterized most international elections,” Pace stated.

“So far, only male candidates have been nominated for judgeships. In both the judicial and prosecutor nomination processes, there is at this stage insufficient representation of women, the principal legal systems of the world and geographic representation,” he added.

The ICC, established by treaty in 1998 which entered into force in 2002, is the first and only permanent international court capable of trying perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

(1) ICC Prosecutor Search

The term of the first ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, is due to expire in June 2012. His successor is to be elected in December this year.

The Assembly of States Parties (ASP) —the Court’s governing body — has established a Search Committee for the Prosecutor of the ICC composed of States Parties’ representatives, mandated to facilitate the nomination and election by consensus of the next Prosecutor.

The President of the Assembly along with the Coordinator of the Search Committee have called for governments, NGOs, professional associations and individuals to contact the Search Committee with names of individuals they believe are among the most qualified individuals in the world to be the Prosecutor of the ICC.

The Coordinator of the Search Committee, H.E. Ambassador Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein and the President of the Assembly, H.E. Ambassador Christian Wenaweser recently reported on the progress and activity of the Search Committee for the position of ICC Prosecutor.

Details released by the Committee indicate that it is publicly calling for informal “expressions of interest” within the next six weeks in relation to any highly-qualified candidates noting that women and those from Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe are currently underrepresented in its list of names.

The Search Committee has indicated that thus far it has considered 29 persons who have expressed an interest in being considered for the post of Prosecutor, three of whom have however been dropped from the list because, according to the Committee, did not meet the requirements of the Rome Statute or have asked to have their candidacy removed.

Of the 26 still under consideration by the Committee, 21 are men and five are female.  Based on the United Nations’ geographic classification, 15 are from Western Europe and other States group; eight are from the African group; one is from the Eastern European group; and two from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean states. There are no candidates under consideration from the Asian group so far.

“The figures released on the search for the next Prosecutor reveal a regional and gender disparity”, said William Pace, Convenor of the Coalition. “We want the search to occur in every legal system and region of the world. Some of the most outstanding international prosecutors and judges were prior to taking office little-known national civil servants who had not even thought about international service,” Pace stated.

“The Coalition therefore encourages States, professional organizations, NGOs and any interested persons to submit to the Search Committee the names of those who they believe to be the most qualified and suitable for the role of Prosecutor,” he added. “At the same time the Coalition encourages the ASP President and Search Committee coordinator to continue providing reports of the progress made.”

Interested candidates or those wishing to recommend the names of qualified individuals are requested to contact the Search Committee through the Secretariat of the Assembly of States Parties before 9 September 2011

: Secretariat of the Assembly of States Parties, International Criminal Court, Maanweg 174, 2516 AB The Hague, The Netherlands; Fax: +31 70 515 8376; Email: 

For additional information on the Search Committee, see: 

For additional information on ICC prosecutorial elections, see: 

(2) ICC Judicial Elections

Between 13 June and 2 September 2011, States Parties will also nominate candidates to fill six judicial vacancies at the ICC. These elections are to be held concurrently with the Prosecutor election between 12 and 21 December 2011 at the tenth ASP session, to be held in New York.

A total of ten candidates have been nominated by States thus far, all of whom are male candidates. Asian states have not nominated any candidates; one nominee is from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States; two nominees hail from the Eastern European group; two from Western Europe and other States group; and a further five have been nominated by the African States group..

The six elected judges will join the eight female and four male judges who will remain at the Court. The Rome Statute — the Court’s founding treaty —  establishes a framework for judicial elections, including by fixing qualifications for Judges, fostering fair and competitive elections, and ensuring all major legal systems are represented through geographic representation.

This year, governments must elect two judges from the Latin American and Caribbean region and one from the Eastern Europe region. The Statute also ensures equitable gender representation.

Due to the current number of female judges, State Parties will need to vote for at least two male candidates.“Whereas the treaty’s progressive gender balance provisions on this occasion will operate in favour of male candidates, with all ten candidates being male thus far, we are of course worried about the gender imbalance swinging back the other way,” said the Coalition’s Convenor, William R. Pace.

“The Coalition is also calling for highly qualified judicial candidates from Eastern European and Latin American and Caribbean states so that regional minimal voting requirements are met,” he stated.

Mindful of the negative practice by governments of vote-trading in international elections, the Coalition’s efforts are aimed at improving electoral nominations to ensure that all elected officials are highly qualified.

Since the first ICC elections in 2003, the Coalition has been promoting informed decision-making by States Parties by ensuring that the qualifications and expertise of candidates for election are as transparent as possible. The Coalition as a whole does not endorse or oppose individual candidates but advocates for the integrity of the nomination and election procedures.

In December 2010 the Coalition established an Independent Panel on ICC Judicial Elections composed of eminent jurists to provide independent assessments of judicial candidates and to report whether each candidate fulfills the qualifications prescribed by Article 36 of the Rome Statute.

For additional information on the Independent Panel on ICC Judicial Elections

see:www.iccindependentpanel.orgFor more information on the Coalition’s Campaign on ICC Elections


Background: The ICC is composed of judges representing all regions and principal legal systems of the world; eleven judges are women. Current judges are: Sang-Hyun Song (Republic of Korea), Fatoumata Dembele Diarra (Mali), Hans-Peter Kaul (Germany), Elizabeth Odio Benito (Costa Rica), Akua Kuenyehia (Ghana), Erkki Kourula (Finland), Anita U¹acka (Latvia), Sir Adrian Fulford (United Kingdom), Sylvia Steiner (Brazil), Ekaterina Trendafilova (Bulgaria), Daniel David Ntanda Nsereko (Uganda), Bruno Cotte (France), Joyce Aluoch (Kenya), Sanji Mmasenono Monogeng (Botswana), Christine van den Wyngaert (Belgium), Cuno Tarfusser (Italy), Silvia Alejandra Fernández de Gurmendi (Argentina), Kuniko Ozaki (Japan), and René Blattman (Bolivia). The ICC Prosecutor is Luis Moreno-Ocampo (Argentina), and the Deputy Prosecutor is Fatou Bensouda (Gambia). 

The ICC is the world’s first permanent international court to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. There are currently 116 ICC States Parties.  Central to the Court’s mandate is the principle of complementarity, which holds that the Court will only intervene if national legal systems are unwilling or unable to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

There are currently six active investigations before the Court: the Central African Republic; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, the Sudan; Uganda, Kenya and Libya.

The ICC has publicly issued 18 arrest warrants and nine summonses to appear. Three trials are ongoing. The ICC Prosecutor recently requested authorization from Judges to open an investigation in Côte d’Ivoire.

His office has also made public that it is examining eight other situations on four continents, including Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, Guinea, Honduras, Republic of Korea, Nigeria, and Palestine.

The Coalition for the International Criminal Court is a global network of civil society organizations in 150 countries working in partnership to strengthen international cooperation with the ICC; ensure that the Court is fair, effective and independent; make justice both visible and universal; and advance stronger national laws that deliver justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. For more information, visit:



The destruction of so much of Akyem Abuakwa's natural heritage, is one of the most tragic stories of our time.

The recent floods there, attest to the fact that one can't abuse nature without it exacting revenge, in the end.

Those floods in parts of Akyem Abuakwa, have been blamed by many on the rampant illegal tree-felling, as well as the unauthorised and destructive surface gold mining, which is carried out there by wealthy criminal syndicates - and with such impunity too - on an almost daily basis.

Today, it is hard to believe that it is a part of our homeland Ghana, which was once one of the most well-endowed forested areas in our country. President Mills was right to express his anger at the illegal activities going on in that part of our country - in total defiance of the authorities.

And such has been the scale of the destruction of Akyem Abuakwa's natural heritage, that to save what now remains of it, immediate steps ought to be taken to bring the illegal logging and unauthorised surface gold mining to a complete and permanent halt.

The authorities must treat the situation with the urgency it demands. And as an alternative livelihood-provider (to replace the temporary jobs provided by the illegal activities of the criminal syndicates operating there), the recommendations contained in Conservation International's (CI) RAP Survey Bulletin No. 47, for the development of eco-tourism in the area,  ought to be taken seriously - and implemented fully.

If that is done, it will enable the people of Akyem Abuakwa benefit from the huge potential the area has for community-based eco-tourism (CBE).

Private initiatives that partner local communities to use CBE as a tool for conservation ought to be encouraged, throughout that part of Ghana's Eastern Region.

A noteworthy example is the plan to turn the P. E. Thompson Estate's (PETE) Akyem Abuakwa Juaso Nature-Resource Reserve (AAJNRR), into a community-based eco-tourism destination.

The AAJNRR is in the Atewa Range upland evergreen rain forest - and forms part of a designated Globally Significant Biodiversity Area (GSBA). Indeed a GSBA pillar is actually located in it.

That planned CBE destination at Akyem Abuakwa Juaso, will have as its centrepiece, a number of eco-lodges (including tree-house eco-lodges) and a forest canopy walkway. Such projects can bring wealth to people at the grassroots-level - and can help restore the area's natural environment, in the long term: and ought to be encouraged and supported.

The promoters of the project, amongst whom are ethical green foreign investors, hope that by partnering the people of Akyem Abuakwa Juaso in the CBE, they will create a shining example of wealth creation made possible by a thriving and sustainable green local economy, which is centred on community-based eco-tourism.

Their desire is that projects of such nature will be replicated in fringe forest communities in other parts of the Atewa Range upland evergreen rain forest - which provide vital eco-system services for many urban areas in Ghana - and help protect the remainder of its spectacular natural heritage.

Tel (powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011


My frustration at trying to get the arrogant and hard-of-hearing individuals amongst those who run Vodafone Ghana to pay me compensation in kind, shows just how some foreign investors abuse Ghanaian consumers with complete impunity.

Why should I pay millions of cedis since November 2010, when I bought my BlackBerry from Vodafone Ghana, and have to continuously put up with an atrocious internet access that is unstable most times - and be ignored when I demand that Vodafone Ghana pay my next month's broadband bundle to compensate me, I ask, dear reader?

Would Vodafone Ghana's British executives dare ignore a dissatisfied BlackBerry customer in the UK, Spain or the Netherlands, I ask? Certainly not. So why should my demand for compensation continue to fall on deaf ears?

In a sense, perhaps one shouldn't blame Vodafone Ghana's over-pampered and over-paid British executives - who are living in Ghana like Arabian oil Sheiks at our expense: at a time when even the genuine article now understands that excess is foolish.

Perhaps one rather ought to blame the short-sighted and stupid Ghanaian politicians who went ahead and broke our country's laws (Section 2 of the Divestiture of State Interest Act is the pertinent part of the law in question - showing who should sell what and how!) and sold a state-owned Ghana Telecom (GT) worth some US$5 billions - in today's values! - to Vodafone for a paltry US$900 millions.

The question is, will those who now rule our country too allow Vodafone Ghana to continue getting away with treating its customers so shabbily - without being sanctioned in any way at all: especially when the blackguards who sold GT to them told us it would result in better service?

Well, we are watching how our current leaders too will deal with complaints about foreigners who come to Ghana and treat paying customers with disdain and do so with complete impunity - and will advise ourselves appropriately.

Vodafone Ghana must not be allowed to take millions of cedis from its BlackBerry customers, and provide rubbish internet access that is unstable in return - and get away with refusing to pay compensation to those of its BlackBerry customers who refuse to put up with such an outrage.

The National Communications Authority (NCA) must step in - and act to protect Ghanaian consumers from such outrageous rip-offs. And I don't want to be told that I should "port" my number and move elsewhere, if I am dissatisfied with Vodafone Ghana's BlackBerry service.

To that asinine suggestion, I say: What about the millions of cedis of my money it has taken regularly without fail, all this while? Vodafone Ghana must be decent enough to pay me compensation - by bearing the cost of my next broadband data-bundle. Period.

That is a matter of principle for me - as they would do so were I a paying BlackBerry customer of theirs in the UK or the EU, who was dissatisfied with their service.

And speaking as a Ghanaian journalist who has never sold his conscience before, and consequently fears no one, I feel that for the sake of all their dissatisfied customers in Ghana, who are unable to speak up for themselves, Vodafone Ghana must be forced to treat their Ghanaian customers in exactly the same way that they treat their customers in the West. Period. A word to the wise...

Tel (powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.


27 July 2011 – Following the announcement made on 21 July 2011, Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) now confirms that 3,531,546 ordinary shares of 10p each in the capital of Tullow (Shares) have today been admitted to the official list of the UK Listing Authority and the official list of the Irish Stock Exchange and to trading on the main markets of the London Stock Exchange and the Irish Stock Exchange (Admission).

Following Admission, the total number of shares in issue is 903,846,948, and the total number of voting rights in the Company is 903,846,948. The Company holds no shares in treasury.

Tullow also confirms that with effect from 10 a.m. Ghana time (11 a.m. UK time) today, its Shares will commence trading on the Ghana Stock Exchange (symbol: TLW), with a market capitalisation of approximately 28.18 billion Ghana Cedis. The listing more than doubles the entire market capitalisation of the Ghana Stock Exchange and makes it one of the largest Stock Exchanges in sub-Saharan Africa, outside of South Africa and Nigeria.

The above figure may be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, the Company under the FSA's Disclosure and Transparency Rules.

Commenting today, Aidan Heavey, Chief Executive, said: “This is an historic day for Tullow Oil as our shares begin trading in Ghana for the first time. I am delighted by the success of our offer and excited that we now have a stock market presence in Africa, 25 years after the company was founded.”

Tullow Group Overview

Tullow is a leading independent oil & gas, exploration and production group, quoted on the London, Irish and Ghanaian (symbol: TLW) stock exchanges and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. The Group has interests in over 90 exploration and production licences across 22 countries and focuses on four core areas: Africa, Europe, South Asia and South America.

In Africa, Tullow has production in Ghana, Gabon, Côte d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Congo (Brazzaville) and Equatorial Guinea with two large appraisal and development programmes in Ghana and Uganda. Tullow also has exploration interests in Gabon, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mauritania, Senegal, Tanzania, Madagascar, Namibia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

Tullow’s European interests are focused on gas in the UK Southern North Sea where it has significant interests in the Caister-Murdoch System and the Thames area and in the Netherlands where it has offshore gas production, development and exploration opportunities.

In South Asia, Tullow has exploration and production in Bangladesh and exploration interests in Pakistan. In South America, Tullow has exploration interests in Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname.

Sunday, 24 July 2011


A culled Daily Telegraph article, which I am posting here today, dear reader, is a must-read for every one of Ghana's teeming well-educated younger generation.

It is the sudden realisation, after many decades, by a brilliant British conservative writer, that those of us who say that neo-liberalism's claims about freedom, democracy and market forces, are all a sham - hiding the hijacking of power by a greedy, powerful and ruthless few, for their personal enrichment: at the expense of the rest of society - are indeed right in some respects.

To quote Charles Moore: "It turns out – as the Left always claims – that a system purporting to advance the many has been perverted in order to enrich the few."

Alas, here in Ghana, a majority of today's younger generation, like most of their older compatriots, seem to have forgotten so soon, the dreadful economic mess left behind by our local version of the oligarchs and plutocrats who masquerade as democrats and own much of the world: President Kufuor and the tribal-supremacist cabal that helped him dominate the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and enabled them hijack our country for eight long and painful years - abusing the power entrusted to them by Ghanaians in December 2000, to successfully exploit our national economy for themselves; members of their family clans; sundry "bottom-power" girlfriends; their overly-ambitious tribal Chieftain and their small army of crony-capitalist legal-fronts (who according to bush-telegraph sources, hide the bulk of their vast wealth for them: in special purpose offshore entities!).

Every sincere, independent-minded and discerning Ghanaian, knows perfectly well that all the suffering and hardship that ordinary Ghanaians are experiencing today, stem directly from the criminal profligacy of Kufuor & Co., particularly during the later stages of their eight-year tenure.

They also know that Ghanaians would not be better off today, had the NPP been in power now, instead of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime of the honest, humble and hard-working President Mills.

The Mills regime ought to be praised by Ghanaians for largely succeeding in clearing up that ghastly mess - and setting our country on a path of growth: instead of being endlessly pilloried, unfairly, for the negative effects of the mismanagement of the national economy, by Kufuor & Co.

For those Ghanaians who are being fooled by the "Enkoyie" propaganda of the NPP, that must-read Daily Telegraph article, by Charles Moore, ought to be a salutary lesson - in why they should not be beguiled by the NPP's false message of hope that the so-called "New Society of Opportunity" apparently awaiting Ghanaians after December 2012, represents.

As many of us are aware, that false message of hope is now being sold to Ghanaians nationwide, in the most assiduous of fashions, by those who are looking to follow in the soiled footsteps of Kufuor & Co., after the next presidential and parliamentary elections.

Incidentally, dear reader, Charles Moore's brilliant article, is entitled: "Is the Left right after all?"

And just as a matter of interest, one ought to stress that most Ghanaian Progressives (just like the great Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah did in his time !), believe in a mixed economy, with the state using its power to actively protect society from crooked businesspeople. Please read on:

"I'm starting to think that the Left might actually be right

What with the phone-hacking scandal, the eurozone crisis and the US economic woes, the greedy few have left people disillusioned with our debased democracies.

It has taken me more than 30 years as a journalist to ask myself this question, but this week I find that I must: is the Left right after all? You see, one of the great arguments of the Left is that what the Right calls “the free market” is actually a set-up.

The rich run a global system that allows them to accumulate capital and pay the lowest possible price for labour. The freedom that results applies only to them. The many simply have to work harder, in conditions that grow ever more insecure, to enrich the few. Democratic politics, which purports to enrich the many, is actually in the pocket of those
bankers, media barons and other moguls who run and own everything.

In the 1970s and 1980s, it was easy to refute this line of reasoning because it was obvious, particularly in Britain, that it was the trade unions that were holding people back. Bad jobs were protected and good ones could not be created. “Industrial action” did not mean producing goods and services that people wanted to buy, it meant going on strike. The most visible form of worker oppression was picketing. The most important thing about Arthur Scargill’s disastrous miners’ strike was that he always refused to hold a ballot on it.

A key symptom of popular disillusionment with the Left was the moment, in the late 1970s, when the circulation of Rupert Murdoch’s Thatcher-supporting Sun overtook that of the ever-Labour Daily Mirror. Working people wanted to throw off the chains that Karl Marx had claimed were shackling them – and join the bourgeoisie which he hated. Their analysis of their situation was essentially correct. The increasing prosperity and freedom of the ensuing 20 years proved them right.

But as we have surveyed the Murdoch scandal of the past fortnight, few could deny that it has revealed how an international company has bullied and bought its way to control of party leaderships, police forces and regulatory processes. David Cameron, escaping skilfully from the tight corner into which he had got himself, admitted as much. Mr Murdoch himself, like a tired old Godfather, told the House of Commons media committee on Tuesday that he was so often courted by prime ministers that he wished they would leave him alone.

The Left was right that the power of Rupert Murdoch had become an anti-social force. The Right (in which, for these purposes, one must include the New Labour of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown) was too slow to see this, partly because it confused populism and democracy. One of Mr Murdoch’s biggest arguments for getting what he wanted in the expansion of his multi-media empire was the backing of “our readers”. But the News of the World and the Sun went out of the way in recent years to give their readers far too little information to form political judgments. His papers were tools for his power, not for that of his readers. When they learnt at last the methods by which the News of the World operated, they withdrew their support.

It has surprised me to read fellow defenders of the free press saying how sad they are that the News of the World closed. In its stupidity, narrowness and cruelty, and in its methods, the paper was a disgrace to the free press. No one should ever have banned it, of course, but nor should anyone mourn its passing. It is rather as if supporters of parliamentary democracy were to lament the collapse of the BNP. It was a great day for newspapers when, 25 years ago, Mr Murdoch beat the print unions at Wapping, but much of what he chose to print on those presses has been a great disappointment to those of us who believe in free markets because they emancipate people. The Right has done itself harm by covering up for so much brutality.

The credit crunch has exposed a similar process of how emancipation can be hijacked. The greater freedom to borrow which began in the 1980s was good for most people. A society in which credit is very restricted is one in which new people cannot rise. How many small businesses could start or first homes be bought without a loan? But when loans become the means by which millions finance mere consumption, that is different.

And when the banks that look after our money take it away, lose it and then, because of government guarantee, are not punished themselves, something much worse happens. It turns out – as the Left always claims – that a system purporting to advance the many has been perverted in order to enrich the few. The global banking system is an adventure playground for the participants, complete with spongy, health-and-safety approved flooring so that they bounce when they fall off. The role of the rest of us is simply to pay.

This column’s mantra about the credit crunch is that Everything Is Different Now. One thing that is different is that people in general have lost faith in the free-market, Western, democratic order. They have not yet, thank God, transferred their faith, as they did in the 1930s, to totalitarianism. They merely feel gloomy and suspicious. But they ask the simple question, “What's in it for me?”, and they do not hear a good answer.

Last week, I happened to be in America, mainly in the company of intelligent conservatives. Their critique of President Obama’s astonishing spending and record-breaking deficits seemed right. But I was struck by how the optimistic message of the Reagan era has now become a shrill one. On Fox News (another Murdoch property, and one which, while I was there, did not breathe a word of his difficulties), Republicans lined up for hours to threaten to wreck the President’s attempt to raise the debt ceiling. They seemed to take for granted the underlying robustness of their country’s economic and political arrangements. This is a mistake. The greatest capitalist country in history is now dependent on other people’s capital to survive. In such circumstances, Western democracy starts to feel like a threatened luxury. We can wave banners about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, but they tend to say, in smaller print, “Made in China”.

As for the plight of the eurozone, this could have been designed by a Left-wing propagandist as a satire of how money-power works. A single currency is created. A single bank controls it. No democratic institution with any authority watches over it, and when the zone’s borrowings run into trouble, elected governments must submit to almost any indignity rather than let bankers get hurt. What about the workers? They must lose their jobs in Porto and Piraeus and Punchestown and Poggibonsi so that bankers in Frankfurt and bureaucrats in Brussels may sleep easily in their beds.

When we look at the Arab Spring, we tend complacently to tell ourselves that the people on the streets all want the freedom we have got. Well, our situation is certainly better than theirs. But I doubt if Western leadership looks to a protester in Tahrir Square as it did to someone knocking down the Berlin Wall in 1989. We are bust – both actually and morally.

One must always pray that conservatism will be saved, as has so often been the case in the past, by the stupidity of the Left. The Left’s blind faith in the state makes its remedies worse than useless. But the first step is to realise how much ground we have lost, and that there may not be much time left to make it up. "

End of culled article from the Daily Telegraph.

Well, there it is, dear reader - the case against a return to power any time soon, by Kufuor & Co.'s NPP. And one certainly need not say anything further, in addition to all that is contained in that brilliant piece.

The right-wing Daily Telegraph's own conservative columnist, Charles Moore, brilliantly puts the case against elitists who hijack democracies around the globe, whiles the rest of society suffer endlessly (so that their exploiters can "sleep easily in their beds"!).

Ordinary Ghanaians must not be beguiled by our local elitist would-be hijackers of the Ghanaian nation-state and our democracy, for personal gain - at society's expense.

We must prevent our homeland Ghana from being dominated by a powerful few with greedy ambitions (to paraphrase Ghana's founding father, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah!).

They are our local version of those who Charles Moore says have hijacked "democratic politics, which purports to enrich the many" but which he now understands "is actually in the pocket of those bankers, media barons and other moguls who run and own everything".

Well, that may be so in the West today, after the global credit crunch - that epoch-making game-changing moment in humankind's history. However, our local version of the ruthless and greedy global oligarchs, must never be allowed to succeed in their aim.

That is why Ghanaian Progressives must unite, and work hard to prevent Kufuor & Co. and the NPP from returning to power in Ghana again, any time soon.

As Charles Moore's column's mantra puts it: "Everything Is Different Now." The NPP's so-called New Society is based on economic and political assumptions that no longer apply.

We are being sold a sham by those, who like Kufuor & Co., will come to power and grow even richer than they currently are. And together with their tribal Chieftain (no doubt yet another insufferable tribal-supremacist megalomaniac), they too will also come to lord it over ordinary Ghanaians. We must not buy the sham they are attempting to sell us! A word to the wise...

Tel (powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!):
+ 233 (0) 27 745 3109.

Friday, 22 July 2011

A Letter Of Complaint To The CEO Of Vodafone Ghana

Dear Sir,

I shall dispense with the usual polite formalities and go straight to the point - I am writing to you to demand compensation from Vodafone Ghana. I bought my BlackBerry from your company's Accra Mall retail outlet last November.

From November 2010 to date, the internet access has been atrocious.

And at a certain stage, I felt so outraged by the appalling service, that I took to Twitter - in the hope that your London HQ people would spot it: and intervene.

As we speak, nothing much has changed - although I had a text message from your company admitting to the unreliability of your BlackBerry internet access.

Those dishonest and unpatriotic Ghanaian politicians who broke our laws and sold Vodafone a company worth some US$ 5 billions for a paltry US$900 millions, may have appeared to be incredibly stupid wogs, to those of your colleagues who dealt with them from your London HQ.

But I can assure you that the average Ghanaian is no fool. I am not interested in the mealy-mouthed excuses Vodafone Ghana makes about your BlackBerry service's shabby treatment of those paying through the nose for rubbish.

My month's data bundle ends at midnight 25/7/2011. I demand that your company bears the cost of the following month's data bundle for me to get back some value from the millions of my old cedis that have literally disappeared into the ether - instead of getting me online: as my contract with Vodafone Ghana, is supposed to do.

What exactly do you have to say to that, I wonder? I await your answer - and do bear in mind that I shall take to Twitter again, if I am forced to.

Finally, I suspect that my BlackBerry's being hacked into. Ditto my emails. I do hope, for your company's sake, that no agent of yours has entered into a conspiracy with some of those corrupt and criticism-averse incompetents amongst our ruling elites, who see some of us as enemies of the Ghanaian nation-state simply because we expose their perfidy to the world.

Please make sure that nothing of the sort is going on - as there'll be hell to pay for your company, were that to be the case. And that's not a threat - its a solemn promise.

I will not tolerate some over-pampered, over-paid and under-worked British national, living the life of Riley here at Ghana's expense, conspiring with some of the quislings in our midst, to invade my privacy - in an attempt to deny me my constitutionally guaranteed basic human rights, in any shape or form, in my free and democratic home country. A word to the wise...

Yours faithfully,

Kofi Thompson.

Tel (powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.

Thursday, 21 July 2011


Sources with direct knowledge of it, report that Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) will soon issue a statement saying that it is pleased to announce the allotment of 3,531,546 ordinary shares of 10p each in the capital of Tullow (Shares), which rank pari passu with the existing Shares in issue, pursuant to the offer for subscription of up to 4,000,000 Shares (the Offer) in connection with Tullow’s secondary listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).

It will be the largest primary share offer ever completed on the GSE and this will more than double the market capitalisation of the GSE.

As Tullow previously announced on 13 June 2011, the Offer was open between 13 June and 4 July 2011 with Shares offered at 31 Ghana Cedis. During this period, 10,147 valid applications were received for 3,531,546 Shares representing a total amount of 109,477,926 Ghana Cedis (approximately 72.3 million US Dollars). It is expected that the secondary listing and the first day of trading of Shares on the GSE will be on 27 July 2011.

Application will be made to the UK Listing Authority for the admission to the Official List of those 3,531,546 Shares and to the London Stock Exchange plc for such Shares to be admitted to trading. Admission of such Shares to the Official List and to trading on the London Stock Exchange plc's main market for listed securities is expected to occur on 27 July 2011. It is expected that such Shares will be admitted to trading on the Irish Stock Exchange on the same day.

Information for Offer applicants:

All applicants who submitted valid applications in the Offer will receive all of the Shares they applied for. As a result of this, there will be no refunds. Applicants will have their Ghana Stock Exchange Securities Depository Accounts credited with their allotted Shares by 25 July 2011 and may commence trading such Shares on 27 July 2011.

According to a source with direct access to Tullow's top management who has sighted it, the company's Chief Executive, Aidan Heavey, will express his sentiments by stating that he is:“... delighted by the success of our offer on the Ghana Stock Exchange, the largest primary share offer ever completed in Ghana. Ghana remains at the heart of Tullow’s investment decisions and underpins our long-term future in Africa. I would like to welcome all new shareholders, including Ghana’s National Basic Pension Scheme, to Tullow and thank them for their investment in the company. I look forward to updating all our shareholders with news of our progress, both in Ghana and beyond, over the coming years.”

Tullow Group Overview

Tullow is a leading independent oil & gas, exploration and production group, quoted on the London and Irish Stock Exchanges (symbol: TLW) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. The Group has interests in over 90 exploration and production licences across 22 countries and focuses on four core areas: Africa, Europe, South Asia and South America.

In Africa, Tullow has production in Ghana, Gabon, Côte d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Congo (Brazzaville) and Equatorial Guinea with two large appraisal and development programmes in Ghana and Uganda. Tullow also has exploration interests in Gabon, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mauritania, Senegal, Tanzania, Madagascar, Namibia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

Tullow’s European interests are primarily focused on gas in the UK Southern North Sea where it has significant interests in the Caister-Murdoch System and the Thames area. The company also has interests offshore the Netherlands.

In South Asia, Tullow has exploration and production in Bangladesh and exploration interests in Pakistan. In South America, Tullow has exploration interests in Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname.

Monday, 18 July 2011


Global Coalition Calls on AU Heads of State to Support ICC in Delivering Justice to Victims of Serious Crimes

(New York, USA)— In documents publically released on 15 July 2011, African heads of state meeting at an African Union (AU) summit in Equatorial Guinea condemned the issuance of arrest warrants by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi and two other high-level Libyan officials. Participating states also criticized the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for not suspending the ICC arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. 

These developments undermine the required and needed support from governments – particularly those from African states – to the ICC in order to deliver justice to the victims of grave crimes in the region, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court said today.

The ICC is the world’s first
permanent international court to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

At a summit held in Malabo at the beginning of the month, the Assembly of the African Union – composed of African Heads of States - approved a decision calling on AU member states not to cooperate with the ICC in arresting and surrendering ICC suspects Omar Al-Bashir and Muammar Gaddafi. This decision runs contrary to the obligation of all states parties to the ICC including those in Africa, to cooperate with the Court in the execution of its arrest warrants.

Thirty-three African countries have ratified the Rome Statute. The input, involvement and support of the majority of African states are vital to the Court’s continued fair, effective and independent functioning. “The 33 of 53 AU member states that have ratified the Rome Statute have clear obligations to arrest and surrender ICC suspects. All AU states are Member States of the UN and are obligated to respect the decisions of the UN Security Council,” said William R. Pace, Convenor of the Coalition. 

“For the heads of government to issue AU resolutions that contradict their legal obligations to the UN and ICC only undermines the legitimacy of the AU, and could weaken the effectiveness of the ICC and UN,” Pace stated. “The AU heads of governments’ anti-ICC resolutions ignore the plight of victims, violate the AU charter, and endorse impunity over justice and accountability for the worst crimes in international law,” he added.

The recent Malabo decision also urges African members of the UNSC to ensure that the investigations, arrests, and trials concerning the crimes in Sudan, Kenya and Libya are suspended. “Members of the Coalition based in the Africa region have consistently stated that a request for an article 16 deferral should never be used to shield those charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide,” said Stephen Lamony, Africa Situations Adviser at the Coalition. “According to the Rome Statute, the UNSC should consider deferring a situation under article 16 of the Statute only in exceptional cases that pose a threat to international peace and security,” he added.

While an outcome of the summit was a refusal to cooperate with the ICC another outcome was the endorsement of candidates for crucial ICC posts. The AU Executive Council - composed of Ministers – approved the candidacy of ICC Deputy Prosecutor Fatou Bomm Bensouda (The Gambia) as the only candidate from Africa for the ICC chief prosecutor elections to be held at the ASP in December 2011 in New York. The Council also approved the candidacies of

Judge Vinod Bolell (Mauritius) and Chile Eboe-Osuji (Nigeria) for ICC judicial elections to take place at the same ASP session in December 2011.   

In view of the major impact these elections will have on the ICC and the Rome Statute system, the Coalition has launched a Campaign on ICC Elections, to promote the nomination and election of the most highly qualified officials through fair, merit-based, and transparent processes while upholding the Rome Statute principles of a fair, effective and independent ICC representing all of the world’s regions and major legal systems as well as maintaining equitable gender representation.

More on the Coalition’s Campaign on ICC Elections: 
More on the Coalition’s activities in Africa: 

Background: The ICC is the world's first permanent international court to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. There are currently 116 ICC States Parties. Central to the Court's mandate is the principle of complementarity, which holds that the Court will only intervene if national legal systems are unwilling or unable to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. There are currently six active investigations before the Court: the Central African Republic; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, the Sudan; Uganda, Kenya and Libya. The ICC has publicly issued 18 arrest warrants and nine summonses to appear. Three trials are ongoing. The ICC Prosecutor recently requested authorization from Judges to open an investigation in Côte d'Ivoire. His office has also made public that it is examining eight situations on four continents, including Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, Guinea, Honduras, Republic of Korea, Nigeria, and Palestine. 

The Coalition for the International Criminal Court is a global network of civil society organizations in over 150 countries working in partnership to strengthen international  cooperation with the ICC; ensure that the Court is fair, effective and independent; make justice both visible and universal; and advance stronger national laws that deliver justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. For more information, visit: 


An Open Letter To The Honourable Deputy Finance Minister, Fifi Kwettey

Minister, there are many independent-minded and discerning Ghanaians, who often despair - because so many of the individuals who rule our country, aren't creative thinkers.

Yet another reason, why this group of patriotic Ghanaians often despair, is that so many of our rulers are hard-of-hearing and criticism-averse individuals - who simply ignore good advice proffered freely.

Sadly, sometimes one gets the distinct impression that some of the gentlemen in your regime, take note of advice, only if it is procured at great expense (as was the case with some appointees during the corrupt Kufuor & Co's tenure in office, too!) - from sundry "consult" consultancies: for whom hapless taxpayers' are the millennium cash-cows.

Your regime will do well to listen to the concerns of such patriotic individuals, Minister - if you don't want to end up becoming a one-term administration: something that is beginning to look more and more likely, if some of the members of your regime, don't, to use a Ghanaian pidgin English phrase, follow President Mills' example, and "humble yourselves" and listen to good advice, offered freely by those who want nothing in return.

Why does your regime continue to ignore those independent-minded and well-meaning Ghanaians (the so-called floating voters!) who, for example, advise you to publicly publish the assets of the president, all his government's ministers and district chief executives - together with that of their spouses: and put clear blue water between your regime and those wolves-in-sheep's-clothing lurking in the shadows in the New Patriotic Party (NPP), who are successors to Kufuor & Co, that way?

Do none of you realise that it will make your regime hard to beat in the December 2012 elections, were that to happen? So, what exactly stops you from doing so, one wonders?

And now that our nation is an oil-producing country, if done, will that not allay the fears of millions of Ghanaians that our homeland Ghana's ruling elites will somehow succeed in following the example of Nigeria's thieving ruling elites?

Furthermore, if it is done, Minister, will that also not enable your regime to walk the endless probity-and-accountability-talk, so enamoured of your "founder", who whiles in office as Ghana's leader for nearly some twenty odd years, curiously did no such thing himself (come to think of it!)?

Minister, you constantly talk about creative thinking - which is a good thing in a nation so bereft of it. Well, accept a challenge to see the sense in your regime "taking on board" (to use your recent GTV interview phrase!) an old man's advice - meant to make some young Ghanaians actually benefit from your administration's new Local Enterprises and Skills Development Programme (LESDEP).

For what it is worth, here is my two pesewas: a troika of thinking-out-of-the-box ideas as it were - to help your regime create an enterprise culture amongst the disadvantaged in Ghanaian society, today, not tomorrow:

(1) Get the relevant officials in Ghana's mission to the US, to get in touch with Solar Sisters' Katherine Lucey immediately - and invite her organisation to come to Ghana as soon as it is practicable to do so: and team up with the 31st December Women's Movement (31st DWM) to work with your LESDEP, to empower disadvantaged Ghanaian women, to become renewable energy micro-entrepreneurs.

Perhaps Tullow Oil may be willing to fund Solar Sisters' work in Ghana - so ask their CEO, Aiden Heavey, Minister. Tullow has proved itself to be a very good corporate citizen of Ghana - unlike some arrogant and corrupt US oil company we all know of.

(2) Then ask those selfsame Ghanaian diplomatic staff in the US, to contact BRAC USA's Susan Davis - and invite her organisation too to come and replicate its hugely successful crab-farming project for Bangladeshi fishing families, in coastal communities right along Ghana's entire coastline.

Again working with the 31st December Women's Movement to empower disadvantaged women in coastal communities along the coastal belt. Don't forget the 31st DWM has experience of empowering coastal communities in Korle Gonno beach, for example - near Lavender Hill.

(3) Then, finally, do look up Fearless Planet's fantastic work empowering rural women - by linking up a number of women organic palm oil producers in Kade, in the Eastern Region, with a US fair trade soap manufacturer: and successfully creating a thriving sustainable local green economy, for their rural communities, in the process.

Do ask Fearless Planet to replicate that business model for female shea butter producers in the three northern regions of Ghana - as a LESDEP partnership project.

Long story short: In other words, Minister, let your LESDEP outsource some of the task of creating young Ghanaian entrepreneurs, to reputable international NGO's with a track record of the empowerment of disadvantaged people around the globe.

All your regime need do, is to empower those NGO's - by removing all red-tape that will hinder their work in Ghana - from the clearing of containers at the ports to registering their organisations, obtaining visas and resident permits for their foreign staff, for example.

And the 31st DWM will make excellent local partners for all of them - which will help your administration reconcile with Ohemaa Awhofe Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings: a must if your regime wants to be returned to power again in the December 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections.

That is the kind of creative thinking that will make your regime achieve its goal of creating an enterprise culture amongst young people in our homeland Ghana, quickly, Minister - and change the lives of hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged young (and not-so-young!) Ghanaians, for the better: in the better Ghana that your National Democratic Congress (NDC) party promised the good people of Ghana.

And don't forget that your regime will soon be held to account by the good people of Ghana (mainly the so-called floating voters - the kingmakers of Ghanaian politics today!), in December 2012 - which is just round the corner: in case those of your colleagues who, sadly, have become so incredibly arrogant, forget!

Post Script

And how about this for a 21st century Nkrumaist "vision," Minister: Access to well-designed and well-built affordable rental accommodation for every Ghanaian family that cannot afford to buy their own home - with the entire building process of such homes farmed out to private sector companies, who will enjoy tax exemptions on all materials used to build those housing units, and will not have to pay any tax on the income they get from the affordable rents they charge!; railway lines to every regional capital in Ghana - also built on a build, operate (for 25 years tax-free revenue!) and transfer to the government of Ghana basis; an airfield in every district capital - built and operated by the Ghana Armed Forces; free education up to tertiary level for every Ghanaian with the aptitude to study to that level and free access to health care facilities nationwide within twenty years; super-cheap internet access for all of rural Ghana - as part of the conditions for any telco having its operating licence renewed by the National Communication Authority (NCA).

And all the above will be achieved by getting maximum value from that windfall from Providence for our country - utilising our nation's oil and natural gas revenues to transform Ghana into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia.

Minister, the exploitation of our oil and natural gas deposits must not just end up enriching fat-cat foreigners and their greedy local lackeys in unfair and one-sided agreements. That is simply intolerable.

The people of Ghana expect those they elect to lead their country to sign agreements that benefit the ordinary people of Ghana - and if they fail to do so, they are then deemed to be acting against the national interest: which is untenable, criminal and unconstitutional. Period.

So, naturally, the kind of Kweku Ananse agreements signed by the neo-colonialist NPP regime of the greedy, corrupt and nepotistic President Kufuor, with oil companies for the exploitation of the jubilee oilfields will have to be torn up pronto (we must have bold leaders prepared to follow Colonel Gaddafi's example when he overthrew King Iddris!).

 And if any of the oil companies operating here refuse to agree to renegotiate those rip-offs, they must be told in no uncertain terms that Ghanaians are not fools and will not let foreigners and the quislings in our midst who collaborate with them to cheat us, benefit from our natural resources whiles ordinary Ghanaians lead miserable lives. Never.

If they refuse to see reason, they will be paid fair compensation and those oilfields nationalised - to put our country in the driving seat.

And we will then exercise full control over what is after all a finite resource, which should benefit the people of Ghana first and foremost, whiles it lasts - not mainly the wealthy shareholders of private oil companies: whose agents here succeeded in buying off some of our corrupt and greedy leaders, simply because they are rich and powerful foreign folk able to get away with even murder. Literally. Sod that - Nkrumaists fear no one in our own nation. Period.

If their governments try to bully us, we will simply parley with the Russians, the Chinese and the Iranians instead - all of whom, as a non-aligned nation friendly with all the nations on the surface of the planet Earth, we have no quarrels with.

And by the way, Minister, since there are many ways of killing a cat, we will use different tactics, to frustrate any oil company that refuses to see reason: for example: watch their executives and key staff like hawks 24/7 all year round, and arrest them for the smallest of misdemeanours - and throw them out of our country for those infractions of the law; refuse key staff visas for months on end; and shut down vital equipment for safety checks that take forever, etc.

They will soon come to understand that there is a new Ghanaian they are dealing with - and see reason.

And as I said before, there is always the option of working with the Russians, the Chinese and the Iranians - all of whom we have no quarrels with. Cowards, they say, die many times before their death - but Nkrumaists are no cowards. Period.

Friday, 15 July 2011


Sitting all alone having lunch

On a table that serves six

I pause awhile and look through the window opposite

At what should have been the garden

But now grows this year's crop of maize inter-cropped with cassava

And I see the leaves and branches of the papaya, plantain, moringa and corn

All swaying in the wind

Dancing perhaps to some tune of Mother Nature's

Mysterious songs from primordial times perhaps, inaudible to the human ear

Then it strikes me

That soon I shall depart this house that has been my home for nearly a decade and half

And I wonder what will happen to my two papaya and four Moringa trees

The four clumps of clusters of plantain plants and this year's corn crop

And the cassava it is inter-cropped with

It has all come as a great surprise to me and is quiet an upheaval

Thought we were scheduled to leave at the year's end

Life's full of mysteries indeed

Who would have thought that the seemingly harmless, too-clever-by-half Ogyakrom tree-surgeon

Now firmly ensconced in the lucrative God/Jesus business world

Profiteering from selling hope to the gullible and the vulnerable

Would one day, together with his Ogyakrom Hallelujah-God-Jesus master-crowd, set their hearts on this house

That first brought him to this forlorn neighbourhood

To fell that long-missed Indian almond tree the kindly landlady wanted removed

Would ever come to cause me such needless and endless trouble

With unholy shenanigans

What a snake!

Well, one hopes that that nest of vipers

In the Ogyakrom God/Jesus hallelujah-business will finally find peace

Now that the lone agnostic and semi-recluse of Ogyakrom's finally been rid of, for them

And on my part, one hopes that one day God will correct his one big mistake

And ensure that all of humankind's thoughts will be written boldly on every face

And lead to the Ogyakrom God/Jesus business world being rapidly rid of its many vipers for good!

And won't that be really nice payback for that confounded nest of Ogyakrom God/Jesus hallelujah-vipers, I ask?

International Justice Day: World Celebrates 13th Anniversary Of New Global System To End Impunity

Coalition Reiterates Call for States to Join the Rome Statute and to Nominate the Most Highly-Qualified Candidates for 2011 ICC Elections

New York/The Hague, 15 July 2011 - On Sunday, 17 July 2011, the world will celebrate International Justice Day in honour of the thirteenth anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

International Justice Day is a reminder of the urgency for all States committed to justice to ensure continued support for the Rome Statute's international justice system, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court said today.

As it has been the case for many years, the Coalition will commemorate this day in solidarity with victims of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes through a number of worldwide events.

"International Justice Day is a time to reflect on the enormous strides the international community has made towards the ultimate goal of ending impunity for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide with the adoption of the Rome Statute," said Coalition Convenor William R Pace. "It is also a time to take stock of the colossal amount of work that remains to be done. The post 'Cold War' achievements of international justice during the past 15 years are unprecedented. But as most of the world's ad hoc and special tribunals begin winding down, the ICC will take on even greater importance as the world's only permanent court of international criminal justice," he added.

"So today, we urge all states, international organisations, civil society and the world's media to reaffirm their commitment to justice, and to the goal that all nations should ratify the Rome Statute," Pace stated. "That the ICC has become, within a few years of its establishment, a major actor in global 'conflict management' is an astounding development."

On this date 13 years ago, with the overwhelming support of 120 nations, the Rome Statute was adopted, leading to the creation of the world's first permanent international court to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Today 116 nations have joined the Court and the number keeps growing.

A number of states around the world including the Philippines, Cape Verde, Malaysia and the Maldives are nearing completion of their ratification processes. "States from Asia and the Arab world have long been under-represented at the Court," said Brigitte Suhr, Director of Regional Programs. "Now with Tunisia's recent ratification and several Asian states on the verge of joining, the Coalition's long time goal of universal acceptance of the Court is advancing. Other Arab states, as well as the remaining P-5 states China, Russia and the United States should also take concrete steps toward becoming part of this system," she added.

This year, International Justice Day takes place during the nomination period for candidates for upcoming elections of judges to the ICC at the Assembly of State Parties in December 2011. A new prosecutor will also be elected. The elections represent the most significant change to the composition of the Court's bench and the Office of the Prosecutor in recent years.

"The upcoming elections will shape the Court and the Rome Statute system considerably over the coming years," said William Pace. "States parties will have a tremendous opportunity to ensure that only the most qualified-candidates are nominated and elected, and that the process is fair and transparent." In so doing they can help to make certain that the Court's reputation as the pre-eminent international tribunal is that of fairness and effectiveness."

International Justice Day is also an opportunity for the world community to celebrate the historic advances in ending impunity for the worst crimes in international law. Since 1993, around 200 trials dealing with terrible crimes committed in 12 countries have been held by six international and special tribunals. Similar trials are ongoing at national level. At the ICC, three trials are being conducted, investigations in six countries have been opened, and 18 arrest warrants and nine summonses to appear have been issued. Allegations of crimes committed in many other countries are also being considered by the ICC Prosecutor.

Background: The ICC is the world's first permanent international court to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. There are currently 116 ICC states parties. Central to the Court's mandate is the principle of complementarity, which holds that the Court will only intervene if national legal systems are unwilling or unable to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

There are currently six active investigations before the Court: the Central African Republic; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, the Sudan; Uganda, Kenya and Libya. The ICC has publicly issued 18 arrest warrants and nine summonses to appear. Three trials are ongoing. The ICC Prosecutor recently requested authorisation from judges to open an investigation in Cote d'Ivoire. His office has also made public that it is examining eight situations on four continents including Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, Guinea, Honduras, Republic of Korea, Nigeria, and Palestine.

The Coalition for the International Criminal Court is a global network of civil society organisations in over 150 countries working in partnership to strengthen international cooperation with the ICC; ensure that the Court is fair, effective and independent; make justice both visible and universal; and advance stronger national laws that deliver justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. For more information, visit:

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Together for Justice!

On International Justice Day, 17th July, civil society in 150 countries will be advocating for a fair, effective and independent International Criminal Court (ICC).

As a prelude to celebrating International Justice Day, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court will be holding a live question and answer session with the Coalition's Convenor William Pace, today from 4 to 5 p.m. CET / 10-11 a.m. EST in honour r of International Justice Day.

To join the live discussion, visit the Coalition's blog at: .

William Pace will answer questions from bloggers on the Rome Statute system and reflect on key issues including recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa, ongoing Coalition ratification/ implementation efforts worldwide and upcoming ICC elections for six new judges and a prosecutor, among other issues.


INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE DAY: On 17 July the world celebrates International Justice Day, in honour of the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC) - the first and only permanent international court capable of trying perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. International Justice Day is a reminder of the urgency for all States committed to justice to ensure continued support for the Rome Statute's international justice system. Thirteen years ago on this date, the Rome Statute was adopted by an overwhelming vote of 120 nations. Today, 116 nations have joined the Court and the number keeps growing. Coalition members are celebrating this day in solidarity with victims of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes through a number of worldwide events.

ABOUT THE COALITION: The Coalition for the International Criminal Court includes 2,500 civil society organisations in 150 different countries working in partnership to strengthen international cooperation with the International Criminal Court; ensure that the Court is fair, effective and independent; make justice both visible and universal; and advance stronger national laws that deliver justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. For more information, see:

Monday, 11 July 2011


Ordinary Ghanaians must be extremely grateful to Mrs. Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, for challenging the status quo in her party - by making a bid for the candidacy of the National Democratic Congress' (NDC) for the presidential elections of December 2012.

No doubt, it will become clear why ordinary Ghanaians ought to be grateful to her, in due course, dear reader - as her party renews itself in readiness for the December 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections. Her bid shook her party to the core - and has made it understand that it must take nothing for granted. That is certainly a good mindset for any ruling party to have.

And now that the NDC has finally chosen its candidate for the December 2012 presidential elections (in the person of H. E. President John Fiifi Atta Mills), one hopes, for the sake of the ordinary people of Ghana, and the overall interest of the Ghanaian nation-state, that the opposing factions in the NDC party will unite quickly, going forward.

It is imperative that they do so - as the December 2012 elections will decide the very future of our homeland Ghana. For, that will be when the ordinary people of Ghana, vote to decide, into whose hands the destiny of our nation will be placed (in a fast-changing knowledge-based and globalised world).

That all-important election in December 2012, will also decide who will ultimately benefit the most, from the revenues that accrue from the exploitation of our oil and natural gas deposits - because the world-view of the members of our political class who win power in that watershed election, will have a profound effect on the direction Ghana takes.

That election will decide whether Ghana's most valuable natural resources will be exploited to benefit all Ghanaians - or whether they will be hijacked by a rapacious elite, and benefit a powerful few with greedy ambitions.

By electing politicians, who (as Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah used to do!), always fight for the interests of the ordinary people of Ghana, and that of the Ghanaian nation-state, our oil and natural gas revenues will be utilised to contribute to the realisation of the long-held dream of Progressives in Ghana, that our nation will be transformed into an African equivalent, of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia.

Unfortunately, ordinary Ghanaians will more or less be condemned to perpetual servitude, on the other hand, if Ghana falls into the grasping hands of those greed-filled stooges for imperialism amongst our ruling elites - whose self-interest makes them the lackeys of foreign oil companies and their overseas shareholders: together with whom most of that wealth will eventually end up with, if given half the chance.

For, alas, their neo- colonialist mentality, dictates that they will always make it easy for our nation's resources to fall into the hands of foreign commercial interests, and under terms so generous, they cannot be found anywhere else on the surface of the planet Earth - and which are invariably detrimental to our nation and inimical to the well-being of its people.

There are classic examples of such pernicious and one-sided agreements, which are the handiwork of the stooges for imperialism and neo-colonialism amongst the membership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) - all of which were struck during the regime of the perfidious Kufour & Co.

Amongst them are those covering the takeover of Ghana Telecom by Vodafone; that of Ashanti Goldfields by AngloGold; that covering the acquisition of blocs in the jubilee oilfield; ditto the Byzantine Balkan Energy deal and worst of all, the scandalous non-deliverance of a fully-paid up power plant by Zachem.

It is vital that our nation never again falls into the hands of those clever asset-stripping individuals, for whom power is merely a useful tool enabling those who wield it, to cloak the unfathomable greed that drives them, with innocuous and high-sounding phrases that encapsulate neo-liberal economic concepts, such as "free enterprise" and "market forces" - to lend respectability to their goal of successfully exploiting our national economy to enable them increase their personal net worth: as well as that of the members of their family clans and favourite crony-capitalist chums.

If we allow such asset-stripping and tribal-supremacist politicians to come to power again in our homeland Ghana, our country will end up becoming one of those depressing nations that suffer the so-called 'resource curse'.

We must never again allow the intolerable situation, in which corrupt politicians use their crooked business friends as legal fronts, to acquire stakes in blocs in oilfields, which though may sound small when quantified in percentage terms, are actually worth hundreds of millions of dollars - vast sums that could be used to build schools and hospitals for the common good.

Why must we allow such wealth to fall into the hands of a few individuals, simply because they are the friends of those who rule our nation, at a given point in time, in our history - when such revenues coming instead to the government, can be used to improve the living standards of all Ghanaians: by building roads, schools, clinics, hospitals, provide affordable housing nationwide and improve the public transport system countrywide, for example, I ask?

(Incidentally, we must applaud President Mills' refusal to travel down that perilous road of corruption, when offered the opportunity to do so, by an American oil company.

No doubt, a deal similar to the E. O. Group one, would have been the result, if President Mills was your typical corrupt African leader - and grabbed the opportunity offered to him, by the corrupt American oil company, seeking to bribe him. Thank goodness he isn't!)

If we ever allow those who rule our nation to travel along that road again, Ghana's teeming millions of struggling families and hard-up individuals, will be condemned to perpetually live in the sort of depressing African nation-states, which are the subject of the concerns of the Western politicians and other well-meaning high-profile individuals, who were quoted in a Sunday, 20 February, 2011, UK Guardian newspaper article, by Heather Stewart, which is about how developed nations can take steps that can help deal effectively with extractive industries corruption in resource-rich African nations.

I am reproducing virtually all of Heather Stewart's Guardian article - to help me illustrate the end result of giving power in Ghana, to the asset-strippers amongst our ruling elites, who will divvy up our oil and natural gas deposits between themselves and their foreign collaborators, as sure as day follows night, if we are not vigilante always. Heather Stewart's article follows below:

"Britain is throwing its weight behind European efforts to force oil and mining companies to publish details of every penny they pay to governments in poor countries where they operate.

George Osborne told his fellow G20 finance ministers in Paris on Saturday that the coalition was keen to support an effort by the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, to throw open the operations of the extractive industries in the developing world to public scrutiny.

"As we enter a new decade when the resources of Africa are going to be heavily developed, I strongly believe it's in everyone's interests that mining companies and others operate to the highest standards," said Osborne. "That's the way to ensure some of the world's poorest benefit from the wealth that lies in the ground beneath them."

When multinational resources firms move into African states they often bring the promise of economic development, but campaigners say the result is all too often a bonanza for a tiny elite, while most of the population sees few benefits. In oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, for example, GDP per head is $30,000, equivalent to that of Italy or Spain, but most of the population still live on less than $1 a day. Exports of oil, gas and minerals from Africa were worth $393bn in 2008, while the continent received $44bn in international aid, and natural resources accounted for almost a quarter of Africa's growth between 2000 and 2008.

The long-running Publish What You Pay campaign, supported by a coalition of civil society groups worldwide, argues that if the scale of the payouts to host-country governments were revealed, voters would hold their leaders to account.

Jane Allen, UK co-ordinator for the campaign, said: "Too often the potential for growth and development in countries rich in natural resources is squandered as vast sums of money are misused by governments and individuals.

"By committing to legally binding measures that will make these payments open to scrutiny, the UK and Europe can play a critical role in reversing this 'resource curse' by fighting corruption and poverty."" End of Guardian article by Heather Stewart.

So, finally, dear reader, perhaps in giving the Mills administration a fright, by giving it a deserved kick in the backside, Mrs. Rawlings may very well have helped to prevent all the negatives mentioned above, in Ms Heather Stewards' Guardian article, from occurring in Ghana too.

Her criticism of the Mills administration, before and during her campaign for the election of the NDC's December 2012 presidential candidate, certainly brought about some deep soul-searching within the Mills administration.

And it is precisely that soul-searching, which will now help unite both factions in that party - a sine qua non, without which victory for the party's candidate in the December 2012 presidential election, will well nigh be impossible, alas.

And as is often the case, an NDC regime in power invariably pursues policies that redound to the benefit of ordinary Ghanaians and the Ghanaian nation-state - as opposed to the New Patriotic Party's stock-in-trade: policies that enrich a powerful and selfish few, with greedy ambitions: to paraphrase Ghana's founding father, the great Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nrkumah.

Alas, such elitism in running our country, has been the tendency of all the political descendants of the Akan tribal-supremacist and elitist Dr. J. B. Danquah, who have come to power, since Nkrumah's Convention Peoples Party (CPP) was overthrown in 1966. Pity.

So, we must say thank you, to Mrs. Rawlings - as she has done the ordinary people of Ghana a huge favour. And for their sake, she must now go a step further - and elect to work closely henceforth, with President Mills and his regime - to help make our homeland Ghana a better place for us all.

We thank her, and salute her for her courage and wisdom - and one hopes that now that her bid to become her party's presidential candidate for the December 2012 elections, has come to an end (for now at least - although there is always the one for the December 2016 presidential election to aim for!), she will take a long-term strategic view, and let bygones be bygones: in the interest of Mother Ghana!

So, to her, I say: Ohemaa Awhofe, don't forget that we must all do our bit, to help keep the few powerful, ruthless and hypocritical criminal-types, who form the tribal-supremacist and elitist cabal, which has such a vice-like grip on the NPP, from coming to power again, any time soon.

(Incidentally, not many people know it, dear reader, but some of the cynics amongst us, say that that Akan tribal-supremacist cabal, ultimately controls what some of its harshest critics say is nothing more than a political party, consisting of many decent but innocents abroad - who in a very real sense are like lamb-to-the-slaughter: mere cannon fodder for that cabal of tribal Chieftains and the descendants of the pre-colonial ruling elites. But I digress!)

So, as they say in local parlance: "Madame, humble yourself - and make you work with the Prof!" A word to the wise...

Tel (powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana, which actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.

Post Script:

Author's note: I am grateful to all those who read what I thought was going to be my blog's last posting for a while, and telephoned to offer help to enable me overcome my latest life-challenge - and deal with the emergency situation I then faced.

Naturally, I politely refused their help - as I am a fellow who believes that having made one's bed in life, one ought to lie in it, one's self.

I am not about to lie down and die - and I am actively working to overcome the entirety of this particular challenge.

The conspiracy theorist in me detects the long-arm of some of my Akan tribal-supremacist enemies from the NPP, at work - but I shall overcome this little local difficulty: as I have done many others in the past.

Anyhow, as can be seen, dear reader, despite one's real-world absent-mindedness (resulting from the curse of having to live inside one's head for rather lengthy periods of time, when engrossed in one's writing - and also afflicted with an impractical nature, on top of that!), one's bounced right back - having partially overcome one's latest challenge - from the collateral damage from one's real-world absent-mindedness.

As my many enemies amongst our largely-corrupt, mostly-incompetent and criticism-averse members of our ruling elites can see, I am still in fine fettle.