Friday, 30 September 2011

IT IS TIME MOTORCYCLYSTS OBEYED ALL GHANA'S ROAD REGULATIONS!

Author's note:

This piece is dedicated to Ms. Muniratu Karim, whose recounting of her experiences dodging selfish motorcyclists on her way home to McCarthy Hill - whenever she is forced to walk home from Kaneshie ("First light") because of the unavailability of public transport - inspired this piece.


Like many ordinary people, I share her sense of outrage that the lives of law-abiding citizens, going about the entirely lawful business of walking on pavements, can be put at risk on a daily basis by selfish and reckless motorcyclists, breaking the law with complete impunity. Please read on:


Of late, there has been an increase in the number of near-fatal and fatal accidents, in which law-abiding individuals walking on pavements designed specifically for usage by pedestrians, as a safety measure, have been knocked down and either badly wounded or even killed, by speeding motorcycle riders unlawfully using such pavements (and invariably carrying fare-paying pillion riders too - an illegal enterprise known as "Okada taxi" apparently).

That stretch of the Kaneshie-Mallam highway's central reservation meant for pedestrians, from Odorkor to Mallam junction, is particularly notorious for its utilisation by defiant "Okada" motorcycle riders - who speed along them in their haste to make the return journey: and pick up yet another fare-paying pillion rider, especially during the early morning and late evening rush-hour periods.

The question is: Why does the Odorkor District Command of the Motor Transport and Traffic Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service, not devote some of its energies to preventing such lawless behaviour by those "Okada" riders?

The shocking disregard of road regulations by motorcycle riders nationwide, who carry on as if those regulations do not apply to them, gives one the distinct impression that that part of officialdom that deals with the enforcement of road regulations, simply isn't up to the task.

For example, day in day out, motorcycle riders jump red traffic lights across our homeland Ghana without any sanctions being applied against them - and sometimes right in front of police MTTU officers.

The ordinary people of Ghana are completely fed up to the back teeth with the lawlessness they see around them on a daily basis. Is there no one in charge of the Republic of Ghana, at all?

Those we elect to run the affairs of our nation must sit up - and give us leadership that is world-class: and is felt right across our homeland Ghana.

Let us see an example of such effective leadership, which will result in an abrupt halt to the lawlessness that has led to motorcyclists killing pedestrians on the central reservation of the Kaneshie-Mallam road from Odorkor to Mallam junction - and elsewhere in the country.

One hopes the hard-of-hearing members of our nation's political class, whom Ghanaians are currently lumbered with as their rulers, will take some action on behalf of ordinary people for a change - by ordering the Odorkor Police MTTU District Command to live up to its responsibilities, in this regard.

It is time motorcyclists were made to understand that pavements are reserved for pedestrians - and that all Ghana's road regulations apply equally to car drivers and motorcyclists alike, nationwide. A word to the wise...

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

Thursday, 29 September 2011

NO PLACE IN GHANAIAN SOCIETY FOR TRIBAL-SUPREMACISTS!

Apparently, the Ga Dangbe Youth Association is now demanding that the Akan word "Akwaaba" should either be removed altogether, or have the Ga Dangbe equivalent, "Mo Hee" placed beside it, on signage at the Accra international airport - because it is built on "Nii La's land". How absurd.

It is yet another example of the intolerance and prejudice, which accompanies virtually all the pronouncements, both public and private, of the small groups of tribal-supremacists dotted all over Ghana.

(Incidentally, it must be pointed out, dear reader, that these blinkered souls exist in all the tribal groupings in our country - and are invariably closely associated with the palaces of Chiefs: which are the last bastions of tribalism in Ghana.)

Tribalism is an affront to common decency - and poses a threat to the stability and cohesion of our nation of diverse-ethnicity: in which no one tribe is superior or inferior to the other. We must always confront those who seek to discriminate against their fellow Ghanaians, for such base reasons.

It is time it was pointed out to groups like the Ga Dangbe Youth Association and the Ashanti Youth Association (ditto their counterparts elsewhere in Nkrumah's Ghana!), that surprising though it might be to them, actually, there is no sovereign in Ghana - and every square millimetre of the land-mass of the Ghanaian nation-state is part and parcel of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Ghana. Period.

Their antediluvian demands and their tiresome narrow-mindedness, is beginning to grate - and they must heed those of their more broad-minded compatriots, who make the point, that Ghana is a modern African nation-state whose citizens are descended from different tribal groupings, but share a common identity as Ghanaians, and share a common destiny as well as one homeland. There is no place in our modern African society for tribal-supremacist individuals and groupings. Period.

If it hadn't been for the perfidy of Ghanaian politicians, who for entirely selfish reasons, decided to return land acquired by the Ghanaian nation-state decades ago, to traditional rulers and 'royal families', much of such pure nonsense on bamboo stilts wouldn't be occurring today.


It was stupid to come up with a government policy to give land acquired by the state and for which compensation had duly been paid, back to those from whom they were originally acquired.

The original land-use purposes for such acquisitions can change, but those lands should be seen as permanent national assets that can always be utilised for other common-good purposes - which by definition can change with the passage of time.

Who could have foreseen the need for a parcel of land for the Kofi Annan-India ICT Centre when that land was acquired to provide accommodation for civil servants and other public officials all those years ago, I ask?

We must stop kow-towing to tribal-supremacist individuals and groupings up and down our homeland Ghana - for they have no place in a modern and democratic African polity: no matter how exalted their positions in our Ghanaian society might be.

After all, are such individuals almost always not the beneficiaries of inherited privilege - and is that not the greatest enemy of meritocracy? We must never humour such blinkered individuals and intolerant groupings under any circumstances. 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.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Will The Brutal Murder Of Nana Yaw Ofori Destroy President Mills' Legacy?

There is an ongoing attempt to let those responsible for the brutal murder of Nana Yaw Ofori, scion of a wealthy family, and an employee of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), at the time of his mysterious death, get away with a heinous crime.

If it succeds it could destroy much of the legacy of President Mills (such as it is!) - along with the careers and reputations of a host of others: mainly from the AMA, officers from the top echelons of the Ghana Police Service and medical officers (pathologists) from the Ghana Health Service.

A few patriotic individuals - who are outraged that such things can happen in a nation whose leaders proudly proclaim that they believe in the rule of law and due process - are determined to help the brave mother of the murdered young man, get justice for her murdered son.

That brave Amazon, is determined to prevail regardless - in the face of what is clearly a determined and orchestrated effort to stop her from unearthing the truth about what exactly happened to her son: and thereby allow his cruel and calculating murderers to get away with their monstrous crime.

I have absolutely no doubt at all, that any attempt to cover up Nana Yaw Ofori's murder, could end up sullying the reputation of the Mills administration - as it will simply put that regime beyond the pale: just as the murder of the three judges and retired army officer did that of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).

My humble advice to the good people amongst those who surround President Mills, is that they ought to invite the mother of Nana Yaw Ofori, to meet with Brigadier General Nunoo Mensah.

He must listen carefully to the entire shocking story from that highly-intelligent lady.

After that he must act quickly to allow the very competent crime officer at the district level in the Tesano Police District Command, from whom the case somehow ended up being removed and transferred to the headquarters of the Ghana Police Service, just when he was ready to charge a suspect for the murder, to conclude his investigations.

The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Paul Tawia Quaye, ought to take a personal interest in this shocking matter too.

He ought to take the necessary steps needed to ensure that never again will the Ghana Police Service allow powerful people to use their baleful influence, to stop district level crime officers closing in on murder suspects, from doing so, and bringing their investigations to a conclusion, by using the headquarters of the police administration for such dreadful and evil ends.

This is a democracy not a dictatorship. We must not allow innocent people to be murdered in cold blood with impunity, by well-connected individuals - who can manipulate police officers to facilitate the cover up of murder-of-innocents, by blackguards amongst the rich and powerful, in Ghanaian society.

My humble advice to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly's chief executive, Dr. Okoh Vanderpuije, is that he too ought to understand clearly that the wrangle over Accra's billboard sites, is now no longer just a simple budgetary lobbying matter - about raising more revenue from a particular source of income for the AMA: and who can best deliver that for the AMA.

Alas, it would appear that there are mafia-type individuals who see all of that tangled web of envy, deceit, nepotism and influence-peddling-for-vast-sums, as a golden opportunity to grow super-rich quickly, in the Ghana of today.

It appears that they are even prepared to commit murder to achieve that end, and in the process, don't care one jot about the consequences for the reputations and futures, of the host of professionals in the AMA, the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Health Service, whom they are busy manipulating to ensure their success in that evil enterprise.

It won't happen - and they will not be allowed by some of us to succeed. Period.

The AMA boss must quickly distance himself from Via Affrinity, a business entity (and its controversial promoters!) that perhaps he originally simply thought could help improve the AMA's income from the billboard site location revenue stream.

However, it is more than that, at this point in time - and now that a number of individuals who fear nothing and are afraid of no one in Ghana, and who cannot be bought because their consciences are not for sale at any price, have decided to help a brave mother fight to unravel the murder of her beloved young son, Nana Yaw Ofori, by taking this matter up on her behalf, it may very well end up making the AMA's association with that controversial entity (Via Affrinity) simply untenable morally and politically.

This blog has refrained from discussing the struggle over access to billboard sites in the jurisdiction of the AMA in any detail in this particular piece because the matter is sub judice at the moment - but Dr. Okoh Vanderpuije's own legacy as Accra's mayor could end up being sullied if he is not careful.

Of course it needs to be said that the advertising industry players now kicking against Via Affrinity's virtual monopoly are not saints themselves either.

Many of them effectively colluded in the rip-off of the AMA in the past. A number of them used their connections with the previous New Patriotic Party (NPP) regime to enable them rip-off the AMA successfully. If they want the public's sympathy, they must resolve to become better corporate citizens of Ghana henceforth, going forward into the future.

Finally, dear reader, it may very well be the case that a murder has actually been committed because of the fight for access to billboard sites in Accra - incredible though that sounds.

For all those involved in this tragic story, let me also make the point, that this is one murder in the nation's capital, Accra, which cannot be covered up in the Ghana of today.

This blog predicts that if the ongoing attempt to cover it up, by deliberately raising distracting questions about the identification of Nana Yaw Ofori's body (already positively identified by his parents!) is allowed to proceed apace, one had no doubt that it will lead inexorably to the biggest political scandal in the history of our nation thus far,  from which the Mills administration might never be able to recover politically.

This is a civilised nation - and a nation of laws. The Mills administration must make sure that the law is allowed to take its course in this matter - and ensure that the IGP instructs that the Tesano District Command should continue with the investigation of the cold-blooded contract murder of Nana Yaw Ofori: and prosecute all those suspected of commissioning and carrying it out.

Friday, 23 September 2011

THE TRUE MEASURE OF THE MILLS REGIME'S ECONOMIC ACHIEVEMENTS

In highlighting the precarious economic situation faced by the heavily indebted and slow growing wealthy advanced nations of the West, now struggling against great odds, to rebalance public finances thrown out of kilter by huge budget deficits, and teetering ever closer to a double-dip recession, the article below, which I have culled from the Daily Telegraph's online version, entitled:
"David Cameron: world on brink of new economic crisis" (written by the paper's Jon Swaine and James Kirkup - and posted at 11:01PM BST on 22nd September, 2011), amplify perfectly, the burdens placed on the National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime of President Mills, by the huge budget deficit left behind by the profligate New Patriotic Party (NPP) regime of President Kufuor.

Juxtaposed against the situation faced by Ghana, when the Mills administration came into office in January 2009, the gloomy picture painted by the Telegraph article, illustrates perfectly, just how unfair the mostly-economic-illiterate Ghanaian journalists and self-seeking politicians now spearheading the NPP "Enkoyie" propaganda, have been to the ordinary people of Ghana, who they have been deliberately misleading about the ghastly legacy of the NPP.

From day one of the Mills administration's tenure, they have intentionally refused to acknowledge the dismal state of the national economy the new government faced on assuming office, and ignored the valiant efforts made by the NDC regime of President Mills to stabilise the Ghanaian economy, and at the same time succeeding in inducing some growth in the economy: whiles dealing with the dreadful hydra-headed economic monstrosity left behind by the perfidious NPP regime of Kufuor & Co.

To understand the true measure and real significance of what the Mills administration - which faced exactly the same problems that appear to be overwhelming the Western democracies when it came to power - has been able to achieve thus far, every fair-minded and discerning Ghanaian nationalist and patriot, needs to read the aforementioned Telegraph article, which I reproduce below. Please read on:

"David Cameron: world on brink of new economic crisis

The world stands on the brink of a new economic crisis that would leave countries like Britain “staring down the barrel”, David Cameron has warned.

The Prime Minister said that the failure of leaders in the US and Europe to tackle government deficits now "threatens the stability of the world economy".

Mr Cameron spoke as stock markets around the world fell sharply again, with the FTSE–100 suffering its biggest drop for more than two years.
Politicians, central bankers and investors are increasingly worried that the world's biggest economies are sliding back into a recession, dragged down by government debts.

More gloomy economic data yesterday led one of the world's leading economists to say that Britain, the US and the eurozone are all already in recession, and warn of a second financial crisis worse than that of 2008–9. The Prime Minister spoke in Canada after delivering a blunt warning to President Barack Obama and eurozone leaders about the need to follow Britain's example and curb their deficits.

In a speech in Ottawa, Mr Cameron said that Western politicians must show more "leadership" and warned that political indecision would only worsen the crisis.

"We're not quite staring down the barrel, but the pattern is clear," he said "Growth in Europe has stalled, growth in America has stalled."

Earlier, Mr Cameron put himself at the head of a new bloc of countries from the G20 group of leading economies to tell US and European leaders that their failure to take action on budgets threatened the world economy. "Barriers to action are now political as much as economic," Mr Cameron wrote in an open letter. "We must send a clear signal that we are ready to take the actions necessary to maintain growth and stability for all for the future."

In the letter, signed by leaders from Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico and South Korea, Mr Cameron implicitly criticised US and eurozone governments for not doing more to reduce budget deficits. The US "needs to overcome the remaining hurdles towards restoring medium–term fiscal sustainability," said the letter.

Eurozone governments must "act swiftly" to restore markets' confidence in the single currency and struggling countries such as Greece. All European economies "must confront the debt overhang to prevent contagion to the wider global economy".

Mr Cameron's warning was echoed in Washington at a meeting of the International Monetary Fund.

"The current economic situation is entering a dangerous phase," said Christine Lagarde, the fund's managing director.

Robert Zoellick of the World Bank also said that the world economy was now "in the danger zone".

Both warned that the world was facing a prolonged crisis unless leaders could find the "political determination" to set the recovery back on track.

In London, the FTSE–100 index of leading shares closed at 5,041 last night, down 4.7 per cent – the biggest one–day fall in the market since March 2009. Amid continuing fears of a new credit crunch, banks were among the hardest hit. Lloyds Banking Group dropped 10 per cent and Barclays was down nine per cent.

French and German stock markets saw even bigger losses, dropping five per cent. In New York the Dow Jones index dropped 3.5 per cent to end 391 points down, on 10,733.

Fears of a double–dip recession were intensified by new economic data. The CBI Industrial Trends survey – which tracks UK factory orders – fell more quickly than economists had forecast.

A European survey of manufacturing and services firms' activity also fell sharply, leading to warnings that the eurozone economies were already shrinking again.

Nouriel Roubini, a New York University economist who predicted the last financial crisis, said: "The US, eurozone and UK are effectively in a recession now."

A global recession was now all but certain he said, adding: "Will it be a mild G7 recession or a severe recession plus global financial crisis as bad or even worse than the 2008–09 one?" Such fears are driving investors to sell shares and bonds despite increasing efforts by central banks to inject more money into struggling economies.

The US Federal Reserve this week announced a plan to inject $400billion into the struggling US economy.

And the Bank of England is expected to launch a new round of quantitative easing, printing new money, as soon as next month.

Jurgen Stark, the chief economist at the European Central Bank, who announced his resignation earlier this month, said the situation was "dire" and threatened the euro's sustainability.

A new financial crisis and a British recession would pose the most serious test yet for the Coalition.

But some Conservatives think that it could alter Britain's relationship with the EU, allowing ministers to renegotiate or simply ignore some EU economic rules.

Sir Mervyn King, the Bank of England governor, has sparked controversy by missing a meeting a key meeting of the International Monetary Fund in Washington this week.

Despite the economic crisis, Sir Mervyn sent his deputy, Charlie Bean, to meet the world's most senior financiers. "

End of culled article from the online version of the UK paper, The Daily Telegraph.

Well, there it is, dear reader. From the doom and gloom faced by the wealthy nations of the West, clearly, the Mills regime performed a miracle, in keeping our country from grinding to a halt, when it first came to power in January 2009 - and met empty government coffers, and a gargantuan budget deficit, which even the neo-liberal think tank IMANI's Franklin Cudjoe, once admitted, during a current affairs programme on Radio Gold, was even bigger than Greece's, when measured as a proportion of GDP: and we all know the woes of the Greeks and their nation, as they struggle to stave off the economic equivalent of Armageddon.

The ordinary people of Ghana, deserve to be told the truth about the achievements of the Mills regime's managers of our nation's economy.

That Ghana is today one of the fastest growing economies in the world, attests to their astuteness and skill in successfully putting Ghana on a path of sustained growth again. They certainly deserve to have the good people of Ghana saying "Ayeekoo" to all of them. Ditto the whole of the Mills administration. As a government, they may have many faults, but they have been exemplary in their stewardship of our nation's finances.

Those hapless geniuses who speak for the Mills regime, must always point out the difficulties faced by the world's wealthy nations, now struggling to reduce massive budget deficits and faced with slow growth and its attendant difficulties, when defending the record of the Mills administration in managing our economy - to put what their regime has achieved in its proper perspective - and expose the terrible deception that the NPP's "Enkoyie" propaganda represents.

They must constantly point it out to ordinary Ghanaians (to use local parlance!), that: "Massa, nowhere cool!" The last thing ordinary people and Nkrumah's Ghana need, is another golden age of business for yet another set of powerful tribal-supremacist family clans of NPP rulers repeating the greed-filled years-of-plenty for a well-connected few - ruthlessly exploiting our national economy for private gain: at society's expense and sending their personal net worth into the stratosphere, in the process.

The next lot of NPP super-clever blackguards to win power again in December 2012, will make the light-fingered and sly Castle-kickback-Kufuor (now busy working like the true hustler he is, to gain international respectability, by lobbying for every award he can inveigle others into handing out to him - to make him look good!), his family clan and his regime's crooked tax-evading crony-capitalists, look like angels. Ghanaians must not swallow their sugar-coated words - for, they do so at their collective peril: and that of the Ghanaian nation-state!

We must stick to the honest, humble and disciplined President Mills and his NDC party - who have shown themselves to be far better and more responsible managers of Ghana's economy, than the profligate Kufuor & Co. and their NPP ever were, in the eight long years they lorded it over ordinary people.

Who has forgotten that many of those smooth-talking ace-hypocrites, adeptly influence-peddled and insider-dealt their way to super-wealth, during that sunny period of their charmed and pampered lives - whiles millions of honest, hard-up every day folk across the country, struggled to survive? A word to the wise...

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

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Honouring The Menory Of Ghana's Founding Father - Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah!!

Today is Founder's Day in Ghana. It is to the eternal credit of President Mills and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime, that they reserved the title Ghana's "founding father", for Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah - and did not bow to pressure from those who wanted some of Nkrumah's pre-independence contemporaries, whom he worked with during the struggle for our independence, to be given that honour jointly with the Osagyefo.

Nkrumah's conservative contemporaries, most certainly do not deserve that honour.

The kind of post-independence polity they envisioned, would not have benefited ordinary people, who were wise enough - once Nkrumah appeared on the Gold Coast political landscape from the UK, and they started hearing his fiery speeches demanding independence from Britain - to immediately cotton on to the fact that there would be precious little social mobility, in the loose federation of more or less sovereign pre-colonial tribal entities, which those who opposed Nkrumah wanted to see replacing the Gold Coast colony, when the British occupiers of our country, finally departed from our shores.

Were it not for Nkrumah, we would not be citizens of today's proud nation of diverse-ethnicity in which all the tribes in Ghana co-exist peacefully, none superior or inferior to the other, and making up a tolerant society in which there is practically no extended family clan in which - as a result of inter-marriage between people of differing tribal backgrounds - family membership isn't a collection of individuals of different tribal descent, who are united through ties of consanquinity and by marriage.

That is what has made our homeland Ghana so different from all the other nations in the continent of Africa.

Indeed, one only has to look next door, at the current sorry state in which our troubled neighbour to the west, the Ivory Coast, bedevilled by tribal animosities between northerners and southerners, today finds itself,  to see how fortunate we are that it was Nkrumah's vision of a modern and united ethnically-diverse African nation-state - peopled by a well-educated population living in an industrialised society, underpinned by science and technology - that ordinary people chose in all the pre-independence elections, and made sure prevailed in the end.

As a result of their good sense, they adamantly refused the option offered by Nkrumah's arch-conservative, elitist and tribal-supremacist opponents - and consigned their antediluvian vista, of entrenched privilege perpetually lording it over ordinary people, to the dustbin of history.

Kwame Nkrumah is in the Pantheon of 20th century greats, because he was on the right side of history - and dwarfed all his contemporaries.

And as the years roll by, his greatness becomes ever more evident - as the breathtaking scope of what he undertook and the sheer breadth of his achievements - compared to the puny efforts of all his successors - dawns on our people.

Although there are many who say Nkrumah's equal has not yet been born, Samia Yaaba Nkrumah, the most successful, politically, of his children, is a chip off the old block. She has only recently been elected as chairperson and leader of the CPP - for which she is to be congratulated.

Today, she is working hard with other dedicated Nkrumaists, to rekindle interest in the CPP amongst ordinary people in Ghana - many of who wished that the Convention People's  Party (CPP) would be so re-branded and repositioned in Ghana's political spectrum, to enable it provide a credible alternative to the NDC and New Patriotic Party (NPP) - both of which have failed woefully to narrow the ever-widening gap between the rich and the less well-off in Ghanaian society.

Alas, the two major parties in Ghana,  prefer to spend their time engaging in divisive politics, constantly pointing accusing fingers at each other - rather than uniting the nation behind a common purpose: making Ghana a prosperous place for all its people, not just "a powerful few with greedy ambitions", to quote the great Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

Those who now carry the torch of leadership in the CPP, must take the task of uniting the Nkrumaist family seriously - and intensify efforts being made in that direction nationwide, by CPP and People's National Convention (PNC) party officials. They owe that to the Osagyefo.

They must aim to offer Ghana's younger generation a New CPP, with a winning manifesto, full of original and people-empowering ideas that will be implemented by a government of national unity, were the CPP to win power in December 2012

A government made up of its formidable array of talented individuals, such as: Mrs Susan Adu Amankwah; Prof Edmond Dele; Kwame Jantua; Professor Akosa; Professor Dowunah; George Aggudey; Kossi Dede and Kwesi Pratt Jnr., to mention a few, could work with nationalistic and patriotic individuals, selected from the other political parties, to transform Ghana into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia.

That will be one of the best ways of honouring the memory of Ghana's brilliant and visionary founding father, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

Perhaps a Dr Edward Mahama-Professor Akosa dream ticket for the next presidential election in December 2012, will be just the sort of patriotic and highly-intelligent two-person team, which Nkrumah would have wanted at this juncture of our homeland Ghana's history.

Clearly, the time has come for our nation to turn to a competent northerner, to take his or her turn, to lead Nkrumah's Ghana forward, into the future. Samia Yaaba Nkrumah: "Ohemaa, over to you, Josephine Lartey!" - as one would say in local parlance: were this a nation in which equality of the sexes prevailed. A word to the wise...

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

Monday, 19 September 2011

TIME FOR THE MILLS ADMINISTRATION TO WAKE UP FROM ITS STUPOUR?

For many Ghanaian Progressives, until the rebuilding of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's Convention Peoples Party (CPP) is completed - in a Ghana that is a functioning multi-party constitutional democracy - supporting a National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime, no matter how distasteful some might find it, is preferable to supporting a party such as the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Alas, as we all know, that party traces its roots to Dr. J. B. Danquah. He was an elitist who believed in inherited privilege - which is the greatest enemy of meritocracy. He was also a self-seeking quisling and an Akan tribal-supremacist politician.

And on top of all those negatives, was also a paid agent of foreign powers - imperialist nations that were bent on exploiting our country's natural resources on their own terms. With the help of politicians like Dr. Danquah, they hoped our nation would remain a client-state of theirs permanently - run by pliant puppets of theirs: till the very end of time.

For all his intellectual brilliance, Dr. J. B. Danquah was a bigoted snob, who often despised non-royals and was contemptuous of virtually all non-Akans - the selfsame prejudices secretly shared by many of the most influential of his political descendants: particularly the NPP's "real owners"!

Such narrow-minded backwardness in the mental outlook and world-view of Ghanaian politicians, ought never to be accepted in today's world - which to all intents and purposes, has become a truly global village, in the internet age.

And that is why no true pan-Africanist and Nkrumaist will countenance the enterprise Ghana, a unitary republic and our ethnically-diverse homeland, in which no one tribe is superior or inferior to another, falling into such divisive hands ever again.

Who, for instance, wants the tribal Chieftain of a tribal-supremacist cabal, dominating a particular regime in power, at any given point in time in Ghana's history, going forward, to be arbitrarily imposed on our nation, as a de facto monarch of Nkrumah's Ghana - as the perfidious Kufuor & Co., sought to do whiles in power, I ask?

Never again will such an intolerable outrage be tolerated in our homeland Ghana. Period. That is why for most Ghanaian Progressives, nothing is more frustrating than the seeming lack of any sense of urgency, at all, being shown by so many in the Mills administration.

Ditto their continuing failure to grasp the importance of bringing about the necessary changes in the administration - which will strengthen the NDC regime sufficiently, to make it possible for it to ensure that President Mills is re-elected for a second term in December 2012.

As an irreverent friend said to me recently: "With respect, God neither stands as a candidate, nor votes in elections anywhere in the world - not even in the Vatican: to elect the Pope. And as his son Jesus Christ made it so abundantly clear, when he famously said give unto Caesar what is his due (to paraphrase him!), Heaven expects temporal powers to take care of the business of governing and managing nation-states - whiles it deals with the important business of managing the universe and promoting the spiritual well-being of the cosmos. Ghanaians under pressure from a harsh economic climate, certainly do not want to hear President Mills telling the world that God is Ghana's president - and that he 'makes presidents'. He does not. Period. Ghanaians cast votes to elect their president - not God: whose name does not appear on ballot papers in presidential elections in Ghana, either."

The truth of the matter, dear reader, is that it is time President Mills sat up, and acted decisively to save his party from certain defeat in December 2012.

And it is also time that the NDC's many highly-intelligent individuals amongst its top-brass, understood clearly, that their party will be defeated in the December 2012 elections, if their regime does not send a clear signal to ordinary Ghanaians that between it and the NPP, it is the only major political party in Ghana, which will deal effectively with rooting out corruption when in power - and that, that, a priori, means it will ensure that all the revenues from oil and natural gas production off our nation's shores, are used to help transform our nation into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia.

Above all, they must make it absolutely clear to ordinary Ghanaians, that the NDC will prevent our oil and natural gas deposits from ending up as the personal assets of dishonest and crooked individuals acting as legal fronts for greedy politicians - as happened during the Kufuor-era, when well-connected private individuals, who neither paid a pesewa upfront nor contributed a cent in development and production costs, somehow ended up with a share in the jubilee oilfield.

The complacency being shown by some in the NDC government is hard to fathom. Are they so intoxicated by power that they do not see it literally slipping out of their hands? Or have some of them got their long snouts so deep in the trough of awoof-and-unaccountable-sika, that they do not see or hear the disenchantment of ordinary people in Ghana - many now totally fed up with their colourless regime?

The honest and humble President Mills - who, as is well known, is one of the few individuals-with-influence amongst Ghana's educated urban ruling elites, who actually cares about the plight of ordinary people - must sit up before it is too late. He and the advisors he listens to and trusts, must understand that it is pointless for the current president of the Republic of Ghana, to put his faith in God to rescue his regime from certain defeat in December 2012. It won't happen.

With respect, God gave all of us brains - and it is up to those who are enjoying the perks of office in the Mills administration to have the nous and gumption to devise strategies that will enable them fight and win the December 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections.

And here is some free advice from a patriot who does not expect any reward (financial or otherwise!) for the advice he gives, which they can begin with: They can put clear blue water between the NDC and the other political parties in Ghana, and steal a march on the opposition NPP, by doing the smartest thing that any group of politicians in their present predicament can do - the NDC regime of President Mills ought to, as soon as practicable, if it wants to be returned to power again, publicly publish the assets of all the appointees of President Mills and their spouses (from the president himself, down to the district chief executive of the smallest district in Ghana!) - and promise to do same upon leaving office.

At the very least, that will restore some faith in this regime amongst many ordinary people in Ghana - the perfidious NPP "Enkoyie" propaganda notwithstanding. 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, 16 September 2011

A CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF A GHANAIAN POLITICIAN TOADYING TO FOREIGN POWERS!

One of the problems often faced by our nation, is the willingness of important and highly-placed officials, to bend over backwards, to assist foreigners - at our nation's expense: when they wouldn't dream of lifting a finger to help a fellow-Ghanaian, in similar circumstances. They would much rather frustrate him or her, instead.

The domination of our nation's economy by foreign commercial entities, since the overthrow of our nation's visionary founding-father, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, in 1966, has been made possible by this dreadful failing of so many Ghanaians - particularly members of our ruling elites.

A classic example of such nation-wrecking negativity, is the naivete shown by a former New Patriotic Party (NPP) energy minister, Dr. Kofi Adda - who, unlike the very American diplomats he was so anxious to please (and who were incredulous that he never once made reference to the public tendering process!), appeared to have completely forgotten that tendering is a vital anti-corruption tool, which those who rule our homeland Ghana, at any given point in time, ought to insist on, at all material times: where procurement of goods and services for the nation, is concerned.

I am posting a leaked diplomatic cable from the US Embassy in Accra, sent to the State Department in Washington DC, and culled from the Wikileaks website, which exposes his nauseating toadying to agents of a foreign power, during his interaction with American embassy officials in Accra.

That this important member of a political party that says it believes in due process and the rule of law, never mentioned, or referred to, the tendering process - in his eagerness to please his foreign masters: as the cable will show - illustrates perfectly, the fact that many of Ghana's politicians merely pay lip service to the concepts of due process and the rule of law.

Sadly, his attitude is neither unusual nor surprising - as it is written in the code of the DNA of his political antecedents. His party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), is jam-packed with quislings, stooges for neo-colonialism and the lackeys of foreign commercial interests - always happy to sell our nation short to foreign interests: in return for a percentage. Please read on:

"Viewing cable 06ACCRA1898, NEW ENERGY INVESTMENT PROSPECTS IN GHANA

06ACCRA1898

2006-08-18 11:43

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Accra

VZCZCXRO4304
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHAR #1898 2301143
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 181143Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY ACCRA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2153
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 0603

UNCLAS ACCRA 001898

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT PLEASE PASS USDOE - TOM SPERL
DEPT PLEASE PASS USTR - LAURIE-ANN AGAMA
USDOC FOR MARIA RIVERO
TREASURY FOR LUKAS KOHLER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG GH EINV
SUBJECT: NEW ENERGY INVESTMENT PROSPECTS IN GHANA

REF: ACCRA 1634

¶1. On August 11, A/Econ Chief and the Commercial Officer met
with Ghanaian Minister of Energy Joseph Kofi Adda, at his
request. The Cabinet had approved a new energy policy which
identified the need to double the country's power generation
in the next 5-7 years, he said. He hoped to expand access to
electricity, including in rural areas. Because of government
resource constraints, most of the investment in generation
plants and distribution equipment will have to come from the
private sector, he added. He hoped to identify new
generation and distribution options by the end of 2006 and
negotiate agreements in early 2007 for projects to begin in
late 2007.

¶2. According to Adda, the GOG is most focused on enhancing
its hydropower potential and is finalizing proposals for 16
mini-hyrdros. The Chinese have been discussing the large Bui
Dam hydro project (Brong-Ahafo region), but this deal is not
yet finalized and the government would consider other offers.
The Chinese and Indians are constantly on the ministry's
doorstep, Adda said, but he preferred the high quality and
standards of U.S. companies. He noted that he had studied in
the U.S. (Indiana Weslyan and Columbia Universities) and
liked U.S. products. He anticipated approval for $350
million in EXIM Bank financing for rural electrification
distribution products and he also saw growing business
opportunities for U.S. companies in the oil and gas sector.
Adda suggested inviting U.S. energy companies to a special
event where the GOG would discuss its plans and hope to
interest U.S. investment.

¶3. Emboffs responded that U.S. companies were already active
in Ghana and would be interested in exploring more
opportunities. We requested a detailed list of proposed
projects. Commerce Officer said she would look into the
possibility of recruiting a trade mission for the energy
sector.

¶4. Comment: It remains to be seen if the minister will move
quickly on new plants, especially given the GOG's slow
decisionmaking on power projects in the past. It also
remains to be seen how these anticipated new investments will
be selected. Adda did not mention the word "tender" in his
presentation to us. Even if open tendering is used, the
tendering process can be slow and non-transparent. For
example, the GOG has let a tender three times for a new 300
megawatt VRA thermal plant, without making a decision.
Nonetheless, we are cautiously optimistic. Adda is a
financial economist with strong U.S. credentials. His
initiative in seeking out Emboffs and his enthusiasm for
attracting U.S. energy investments offers hope that the GOG
may finally be taking a more urgent approach to meeting
Ghana's anticipated need for 500 megawatts of new power over
the next five years (see reftel for more background on the
sector and its challenges).

BRIDGEWATER"

THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY - A FLY-ON-THE-WALL UNVARNISHED OIL INDUSTRY VIEWPOINT OF GHANAIAN POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT!

When US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, visited Ghana after the Mills administration assumed power, he had a round-table discussion with representatives of foreign oil and gas companies operating in Ghana, about the advantages and the risks of doing business in our country.

For a fly-on-the-wall view of what took place on that occasion, I am posting the leaked diplomatic cable of the meeting, which I have culled from the Wikileaks website.

It makes for very interesting reading - as one rarely gets to listen-in on such plain-speaking from high-ranking executives of foreign corporate entities operating here.

Alas, mere mortals like us, only get fed with the usual bland and non- controversial corporate-speak, sanitised for public consumption, from their corporate affairs departments - whenever they are obliged to comment on industry or national issues. Please read on:


"10ACCRA157, OIL IN GHANA - THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
10ACCRA157

2010-02-24 18:18

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Accra

VZCZCXRO2329
RR RUEHPA
DE RUEHAR #0157/01 0551818
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 241818Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY ACCRA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8915
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 0737
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ACCRA 000157

SIPDIS

WHITE HOUSE FOR USTR LAURIE-ANN AGAMA
USDOC FOR MAC/ITA
DEPT OF TREASURY FOR ADAM BARCAN
DEPARTMENT FOR EEB/CBA SUE SARNIO
DEPARTMENT FOR EEB/OIA BRADLEY STILWELL
DEPARTMENT FOR AF/EPS
DEPARTMENT FOR AF/W NOLE GAREY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/23/2020
TAGS: EPET ENRG EINV ECON GH
SUBJECT: OIL IN GHANA - THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

Classified By: Economic Chief Phil Cummings for reasons
1.4 (b) and (d).

PLEASE CLOSELY PROTECT ALL CORPORATE SOURCES.

¶1. (C) SUMMARY. During a business roundtable with AF
Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson, oil and gas companies
discussed both the advantages and the risks of doing business
in the energy sector in Ghana. The country stands at a fork
in the road regarding the use of Ghana's modest future oil
and gas revenues: they could enhance the development of
Ghana, or oil money could lead to increased corruption,
violence, and environmental degradation. Companies praised
the competence of the labor force and government, and a
favorable security situation in Ghana as reasons to operate
here. They also raised numerous concerns with a politicized
bureaucracy, energy companies thrust into the center of the
national sport of political football, and unrealistic goals
set by the public and government. Worryingly, there is
growing uncertainty over whether the GOG will honor contract
sanctity after political transitions. END SUMMARY.

¶2. (C) During his visit to Accra, Assistant Secretary Carson
met with representatives from oil and gas companies for a
roundtable discussion on their experiences operating in
Ghana. He opened the meeting by saying that the discovery of
oil presents a choice for Ghana. The government can use the
oil revenues to provide economic growth, hope and
opportunity; or the oil can provoke the country to violence,
chaos, environmental destruction and corruption. He said
that the USG promotes U.S. investment in Ghana's oil sector
and the use of Ghana's natural resources to benefit its
people, not a corrupt elite.

-----------------------------
THE GOOD: SAFETY AND SECURITY
-----------------------------

¶3. (C) Many company representatives spoke of Ghana being a
preferred country in Africa. Technip and Tullow spoke
specifically about safety and security in Ghana. Tullow
explained that in many countries, even those with prior
experience developing oil fields, it can take 5-7 years to
move from oil discovery to production. In Ghana, it will
take only four, which speaks highly of the government and
labor base. Schlumberger's Transportation Management Center
for Africa is headquartered in Ghana, and they are
transferring regional staff from Lagos to Ghana because of
the favorable environment.

--------------------------------------------- ---------
THE BAD: POLITICIZATION OF THE BUREAUCRACY, POLITICAL
FOOTBALL WITH PETROLEUM AGREEMENTS, UNREALISTIC GOALS
--------------------------------------------- ---------

¶4. (C) The oil company representatives described red flags
they had seen in other countries when countries began to
misuse oil sector revenues. Anadarko said they believed the
warning sign was politicization of the bureaucracy. They
said that since the NDC has come to power, there has been
"radical change" in implementation of the Petroleum
Agreements signed under the previous administration.
Furthermore, they said that Anadarko and other companies have
been caught up in the "political football game" in the press,
despite their best intentions to stay politically neutral.
They added that there were a number of non-governmental
advisors complicating the bureaucratic process, with which
Qadvisors complicating the bureaucratic process, with which
Schlumberger's representative agreed.

¶5. (C) Several company representatives also described
unrealistic expectations of how the oil sector can bring
wealth and employment in Ghana. Anadarko cautioned that oil
production is capital intensive, not labor intensive, so
there will not be a big need for Ghanaian labor.
Furthermore, they said that many companies, including
Technip, would have to bring equipment and contractors from
outside of Ghana to operate effectively. Anadarko expressed
concern that in the next election oil companies will become a
target when the Ghanaian people are frustrated with their
unmet expectations. NOTE: Post is now only beginning to see
signs of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and Energy

ACCRA 00000157 002 OF 003


Minister attempting to dampen public expectations. END NOTE.

¶6. (C) Anadarko said that the Energy Ministry has drafted a
local content policy document that mandates that the oil
companies hire 90 percent of their employees locally within
10 years. COMMENT: Although the GOG is not currently
enshrining this exhortative policy in law, this policy,
currently receiving public comment, has triggered serious
concern among oil companies in Ghana. END COMMENT. Tullow
has about 80 percent Ghanaian employees, including 50 percent
of management. Tullow also said that the GOG is considering
a policy that would require oil companies to use 90 percent
local content over time, a figure that is essentially
impossible. He noted that in Trinidad, a country Ghana often
uses as a model, oil companies use about 10 percent local
content.

------------------------------------------
THE UGLY: CONCERNS ABOUT CONTRACT SANCTITY
------------------------------------------

¶7. (C) The primary concerns of many of the representatives
were contract sanctity and rule of law. Tullow said the
government is "turning a blind eye to what the contracts
actually say," a threat to the investment climate in Ghana.
He said it was important to feel confident that contracts
will remain in place over different administrations, and they
do not have confidence in that level of consistency in Ghana.
Tullow said that in their experience, unfavorable laws that
are consistent are preferrable to inconsistently applied
favorable laws.

¶8. (C) Kosmos agreed and said that the Mills Administration
had "systematically interfered" with the sale of its asset.
They said that sanctity of contracts is "out the window" in
Ghana, and the government is trying to "shake us down."
Kosmos said that this interference by the GOG was a
deliberate attempt to lower their reputation, and thereby
drive down the value of their asset. They described their
experience as a "pattern of government misbehavior" and said
Ghana could not be called a democracy in spite of their
elections because of their behavior between elections. The
Assistant Secretary disagreed with this assessment of
democracy, but agreed that sanctity of contracts is crucial.
Schlumberger attributed the GOG's interference in the sale of
Kosmos's asset to political concerns. They said that because
Kosmos's financial partners are linked to the opposition
party, the current administration is unwilling to let them
sell their asset out of fear that it will provide their
political rivals with funding.

¶9. (C) Anadarko's representative also expressed concerns
about their contract. In Ghana, as in many countries, he
said that the government must approve the sale of an asset in
the oil sector. However, he believes that in Ghana the GOG
will insist on the right to buy the asset being sold, even
though that is not specified in the contracts. Tullow echoed
this sentiment. Anadarko added their concern that contracts
from the previous administration will not be considered valid
in this administration.

¶10. (C) Tullow brought up Norwegian company Akers SA, which
was granted a Petroleum Agreement and shot about 2,500 km of
3D seismic images, a very expensive endeavor. Recently, the
Q3D seismic images, a very expensive endeavor. Recently, the
Minister of Energy announced that he wanted to re-negotiate
the license over a seemingly minor issue, and Akers is now
suing. The Assistant Secretary said that these problems are
very damaging to the reputation of Ghana, and will be
problematic both for U.S. companies and for the economic
growth of Ghana.

¶11. (C) In his closing remarks, the Ambassador asked
companies to keep the Embassy in the loop. He assured them
we would be discreet if they need us to be, but said that it
would help in the way we interact with the GOG if we know
about their experiences.

¶12. (C) Roundtable Participants (PLEASE PROTECT):
Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson
Ambassador Don Teitelbaum
Economic Chief Phil Cummings

ACCRA 00000157 003 OF 003


Rob Scott, Anadarko Petroleum Corp.
Sam Eshun, Schlumberger Technical Services Inc.
Ted Harrigan, Tullow Oil
Kevin Black, Kosmos Energy
Boniface Plahar, Balkan Energy
Stephane Sole, Technip
Kofi Tornam Afenu, Vanco

¶13. (C) This cable has been cleared by Assistant Secretary
Carson.
TEITELBAUM". Culled from the Wikileaks website.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

ICC to Open Key Hearing in Democratic Republic of Congo Kivus Investigation

15 September 2011 - Judges to Consider Charges against Callixte Mbarushimana for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity; NGOs Regret Delayed Involvement of Victims in the Case

Tomorrow, 16 September 2011, the International Criminal Court (ICC) will open a key hearing in the case of The Prosecutor v. Callixte Mbarushimana for alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The purpose of the confirmation of charges hearing is for judges of ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I (PTC I) to determine whether the case against Mbarushimana should be sent to trial. 

Callixte Mbarushimana is a Rwandan citizen and executive secretary of the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda — Forces Combattantes Abacunguzi (FDLR-FCA). Mbarushimana is suspected of being responsible for crimes against humanity (murder, torture, rape, persecution and inhumane acts) and war crimes (attacks against the civilian population, destruction of property, murder, torture, rape and inhuman treatment) allegedly committed in 2009 in the DRC. 

During the hearing, the ICC prosecutor will be required to support his charges with sufficient evidence. The suspect will be given the chance to object to the accusations and challenge evidence through his defense counsels.

One hundred and thirty victims will participate in proceedings through their legal representatives and present their perspectives and concerns. The chamber is expected to make a decision within 60 days after the hearing’s closing.

Judges can confirm the charges, reject them or ask the prosecutor for additional information. If the judges of PTC I confirm the charges, the case will move forward to trial. PTC I is composed of Presiding Judge Judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng, Judge Sylvia Steiner and Judge Cuno Tarfusser. 

“The opening of the confirmation hearings in the Mbarushimana case is an important step towards bringing justice to victims of the grave crimes committed in the Kivus over the past number of years,” said Byamungu Armel Luhiriri, the Africa Situations liaison for the Coalition for the International Criminal Court — a civil society network of more than 2,500 NGOs in 150 countries advocating for a fair, effective and independent ICC and improved access to justice for victims of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

Several NGO members of the Coalition have long been calling on the ICC prosecutor to accelerate his investigation in the Kivu provinces of the DRC.

“The opening of the Mbarushimana hearings is an important step in the fight against impunity in the region,” said Andre Kito, coordinator of the DRC Coalition for the ICC. “However, the ICC Registry should take steps to extend victims participation in the proceedings to those from the city of Shabunda (South Kivu), as serious crimes have also been committed there.”  

A number of Coalition members have deplored the delays concerning the participation of victims in these proceedings. The decision authorizing 130 victims to present their views at the confirmation hearing was only rendered less than a week before the original hearing date of 16 August 2011.

Hundreds of additional victims who had applied to participate in advance of Court-set deadlines in the Mbarushimana case were also left out due to time and resources constraints of the Registry, which was unable to process applications for some 470 victims by the deadline that had been set by the Chamber. 

“For many victims in North and South Kivu, this was their opportunity to tell the Chamber, through their legal representatives, why this case is important for them and why it should proceed to trial stage,” said Carla Ferstman, director of the NGO REDRESS. “Now, victims are finally coming forward to engage with the Court but the Court is not ready or capable to deal with them. If this resource issue is not resolved, victim participation will become a meaningless paper promise.” 

BACKGROUND: On 25 January 2011, Mbarushimana was transferred to the ICC detention center in The Hague, the Netherlands, following his arrest on 11 October 2010 by French authorities pursuant to an ICC arrest warrant issued under seal on 28 September 2010.  

Kivu is a region in the northeast area of the DRC that borders Lake Kivu. North and South Kivu have long been sites of conflict involving a number of actors, including the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC), the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) and the MONUSCO.

The DRC is one of six situations under investigations by the ICC. It was formally referred to the Court by the DRC Government on 19 April 2004, and the prosecutor officially opened an investigation on 23 June 2004. Five arrest warrants have been issued in the DRC situation, and two trials are ongoing, the first for Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, and second for Germain Katanga and Matthieu Ngudjolo Chui.

The ICC is the world's first permanent international court to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. There are currently 117 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 seven 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:

www.coalitionfortheicc.org

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Does Leaked January 2006 U.S. Diplomatic Cable Paint An Unflattering Picture Of Kufuor's NPP Regime?

A leaked 2006 diplomatic cable sent from the US Embassy in Accra, to the State Department in Washington, by the then US Ambassador to Ghana, Her Excellency Pamela Bridgewater, makes very interesting reading, indeed.

The cable is a report of her January 30, 2006 meeting, with the then Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, His Excellency Donald Bobiash.

H. E. Bobiash's insightful observations (about our educated urban elite's dependency culture; corruption in Ghana and failure by the Kufuor regime to deal effectively with it; the gulf existing between the small but powerful educated urban elite and ordinary Ghanaians, as well as slow decision-making by our leaders!), sums up perfectly, the true state of the Ghanaian nation-state at the time.

Yet, to listen to President Kufuor & Co, and the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) "Enkoyie" propaganda machine, today, one would think that they turned Ghana into an African paradise, during their tenure in office.

To show how hypocritical the opposition NPP's criticisms of the Mills administration are, I am reproducing the aforementioned leaked diplomatic cable posted on the Wikileaks website, below. Readers must remember that they refer to a nation that had been ruled by the NPP for six long years. Please read on:


"Embassy Accra

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ACCRA 000335

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/06/2011
TAGS: EFIN ENRG EINV PGOV GH
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR AND CANADIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER DISCUSS CORRUPTION, BUSINESS CLIMATE, TOGO

REF: A. ACCRA 256

¶B. ACCRA 255

Classified By: EconChief Chris Landberg for Reasons 1.5 (B and D)

Summary
-------
¶1. (C) On January 30, 2006, Ambassador Bridgewater paid a courtesy call on Canadian High Commissioner Donald Bobiash.

They agreed Ghana has been slow to seize the opportunities it has to become a middle-income country, and also agreed the
U.S. and Canada appear to care more about corruption and problems with the investment climate than other donors.

Bobiash was concerned that Ghana's elite was out of touch with the reality of life for most Ghanaians, and also highlighted aid dependency as a growing problem.

Like the U.S., Canada is focusing much of its aid program on the north and Muslim areas.

Canada has demarched Ghana related to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) vote on reporting Iran to the UNSC. Bobiash recently returned from Togo with the impression that while calm has returned, the new President is just a figurehead. End Summary.

¶2. (C) High Commissioner Bobiash compared Ghana to a garden. When you first arrive, you focus on the flowers -- democracy
and stability, respect for human rights, freedom of the
press. The longer you are in Ghana the more weeds you see -- corruption and cronyism, incompetence, slow government decision making, and difficult business environment.

¶3. (C) Bobiash acknowledged that Ghana is moving generally in the right direct with regards to both economic and political
reforms.

He said it was at the "proverbial crossroads,"
where government decisions now can accelerate progress
towards becoming a middle-income state.

However, he said that the President and his cabinet were not showing the
strong leadership necessary to achieve this goal.

He noted this is particularly true on corruption, where the government is not making examples by prosecuting corrupt officials -- what Bobiash called the "litmus test" for a country's willingness to tackle corruption.

¶4. (C) The Ambassador commented that Canada and the U.S. seem to be the only donor countries seriously concerned about corruption and lack of transparency, referring to her recent calls on other Mission head(reftels) who regard these as minor issues.

She added that she has raised her concerns several times with President Kufuor, focusing not only
corruption but on poor treatment of foreign companies, lack of sanctity of contracts, and questionable procurement
practices.

The Ambassador and Bobiash compared notes on the
inordinate amount of effort and time they had each spent
weighing in at high-levels on business deals and breaking
logjams between government ministries.

Bobiash said he thought the fault was not solely with high-level officials, arguing that powerful and entrenched bureaucrats created many of the problems.

¶5. (C) Bobiash criticized the international community for hobnobbing almost exclusively with the Ghanaian elite, based primarily in Accra.

He commented that this elite group, comprised of well-off and highly educated people in government, business, and civil society, is out of touch with the other 95% of Ghanaians.

The elite have little
understanding of or sympathy for the difficult conditions
under which most Ghanaians live, and Bobiash argued they lack a sense of urgency to do much about it.

The donor community should care about this because this has been a historical
problem in Ghana, with out-of-touch, powerful, corrupt elite mismanaging the country, leading to military takeovers.

Although Bobiash does not believe we are near such a point, donors should keep the pressure on Ghana to maintain its reform program, grow the economy and reduce poverty.

¶6. (C) Canada's assistance program is focused primarily on the northern part of the country, which the government has largely neglected. CIDA, the Canadian aid agency, has spent almost half a billion dollars on water projects in the north, and they also have programs supporting predominantly Muslim areas.

Bobiash praised Ghanaian Muslim communities as
relatively tolerant, although he also noted they are quite
divided.

¶7. (C) Bobiash said he is quite concerned about Ghana's growing aid dependency. Assistance levels are at record levels, with donors pledging over $1.2 billion for 2006, or about 30% of the budget.

Nevertheless, Bobiash argued, results have been meager. He complained that an assistance mentality has developed where government officials ask for more assistance in every meeting, and whatever donors agree to give is not enough (Note: an example is the GoG's campaign to get up to $5 billion to pay for projects related to the
NEPAD Peer Review. End Note).

¶8. (C) The Ambassador briefed Bobiash on Post's extensive lobbying effort to gain Ghanaian support for the IAEA to report Iran to the UN Security Council, as well as to get Ghana to clear its arrears with the IAEA. Bobiash said he had also demarched Ghana on the IAEA, most recently in December.

He commented that the IAEA vote on Iran was significant for Canada and they were pushing hard on the nuclear issue. He noted that Canada had reduced bilateral
relations with Iran down to almost zero and had almost pulled its Ambassador following the murder of a Canadian journalist
a few years back.

Canadian HC's Impressions on Togo
---------------------------------
¶9. (C) Bobiash is also accredited as Ambassador to Togo, and recently returned from presenting his credentials. He
commented that Togo had stabilized and it appeared most Togolese were resigned to the current regime.

He noted that the U.S. and Canada were the only two countries to call the
election fixed, and was disappointed by what he termed the "cynical" EU and French reaction to the election results.

During presentation of his credentials, Bobiash found the new leader shy and uninformed, and in his opinion President Faure Gnassingbe was just fronting for the key decision-makers in Togo -- his father's ex-advisors.

Bobiash concluded that he
did not come away from Togo overly optimistic about its
future.

Comment
-------
¶10. (C) The U.S. and Canadian missions are reading from the same script: Ghana is clearly a top performer among developing economies and a rising star in Africa.

However, as Bobiash said in the meeting, a country with Ghana's reputation should be more aggressive at countering corruption and opening itself up to criticism and change.

We need to continue to hold Ghana to a high standard to ensure gains are not lost in harder times.

End Comment.
BRIDGEWATER"

End of the leaked US diplomatic cable from Accra - from the Wikileaks website.

Clearly, dear reader, the opinions of the two diplomats about President Kufuor and his NPP regime, aren't all that flattering. Neither do their observations about our country, paint a picture corresponding to that which former President Kufuor & Co. and their NPP colleagues would have us believe, was more or less a paradise on a patch of African earth, on which the sun shone ever so brightly, compared to the Ghana of today.

The question is: Would the grass be any greener for ordinary Ghanaians, tomorrow, than it is today - under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime of the incorruptible and humble President Mills - were the NPP to come to power again, after the December 2012 elections?

One doubts that very much, dear reader - and so should all those who seem to have forgotten so soon, the deprivation suffered by so many ordinary Ghanaian families, during the boom-days for a well-connected few, in the golden age of business, for Kufuor & Co.

To such individuals, let me end this piece by quoting H. E. Donald Bobiash's words of concern in the leaked diplomatic cable, about our divided nation - dominated by a small and wealthy educated urban elite, out of touch with, and unconcerned about, the plight of the other 95% of the Ghanaian population - made up of struggling families and teeming financially-challenged individuals:

"Bobiash criticized the international community for
hobnobbing almost exclusively with the Ghanaian elite, based primarily in Accra.

He commented that this elite group,
comprised of well-off and highly educated people in
government, business, and civil society, is out of touch with
the other 95% of Ghanaians.

The elite have little
understanding of or sympathy for the difficult conditions
under which most Ghanaians live, and Bobiash argued they lack a sense of urgency to do much about it.

The donor community should care about this because this has been a historical
problem in Ghana, with out-of-touch, powerful, corrupt elite mismanaging the country, leading to military takeovers.

Although Donald Bobiash does not believe we are near such a point, donors should keep the pressure on Ghana to maintain its reform program, grow the economy and reduce poverty." End of quote from leaked cable.

Surely, dear reader, that does not look anything like the rosy picture that former President Kufuor & Co and their NPP apologists in the Ghanaian media world, often paint of that period in our history, when the NPP held the reins of power, does it?

So why vote them back into power again, I ask? Ordinary Ghanaians would be far better off, if they gave the honest and principled President Mills - who unlike most of the members of our educated urban elite, actually cares about the plight of ordinary Ghanaians - a second term as Ghana's president. 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, 9 September 2011

Zaedyus Exploration Well Makes Oil Discovery Offshore French Guiana

9 September 2011 - Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Zaedyus exploration well (GM-ES-1), offshore French Guiana, has made an oil discovery having encountered 72 metres of net oil pay in two turbidite fans.

Results of drilling, wireline logs and samples of reservoir fluids show that the well has encountered good quality reservoir sands on prognosis.
The objective of the Zaedyus well was to test whether the Jubilee-play, successfully established in West Africa, was mirrored on the other side of the Atlantic.

This discovery therefore opens a new hydrocarbon basin within which several neighbouring prospects have been mapped. This result also reduces the exploration risk associated with Tullow's prospect inventory offshore French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana.

An appraisal programme and extensive follow-up exploration activities will now be considered.

The Zaedyus well is being drilled in the Guyane Maritime licence using the ENSCO 8503 deepwater semi submersible. The well was drilled in water depths of 2,048 metres and has been drilled to a depth of 5,711 metres.

Drilling operations will now continue and the well will be deepened to over 6,000 metres to calibrate the deeper geology. The well will then likely be sidetracked to enable cores to be obtained over the reservoir sections.

Tullow (27.5%) operates the Guyane Maritime license and is partnered by Shell (45%), Total (25%) and Northpet (2.5%), a company owned 50% by Northern Petroleum plc and 50% by Wessex Exploration plc.  

Angus McCoss, Tullow's Exploration Director, commented today: "The discovery at Zaedyus has proved the extension of the Jubilee-play across the Atlantic and made an important new discovery in French Guiana. Tullow has built a commanding and unique acreage position in South America and this result marks the start of a significant and potentially transformational long-term exploration and appraisal campaign in the region."

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.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

WHY ONE REFUSES TO KEEP ONE'S PLANS FOR THE PRIVATE FREEHOLD AKYEM ABUAKWA JUASO NATURE-RESOURCE RESERVE SECRET - & WILL FIGHT THOSE SABOTAGING IT!

When parts of Ghana's Eastern Region were devastated by floods not too long ago, those of us who for over a decade and a half, have risked life and limb, fighting the rampant illegal logging and surface gold mining carried out there without valid Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permits, were not in the least bit surprised that such a catastrophe should occur over a widespread area, in that part of Ghana - particularly in Akyem Abuakwa.

Perhaps in expressing his anger at the wanton destruction of the area's natural heritage, resulting from the illegal activities accelerating the depletion of the remainder of Akyem Abuakwa's forest cover, President Mills must have realised that despite all the effort being made by his regime to halt the operations of the wealthy criminal syndicates, which fund the illegal logging and surface gold mining in Akyem Abuakwa, the depletion of the rain forest there continues apace, in relentless fashion.

Clearly, there is an urgent need to exploit the area's undoubted potential for a thriving nature-focused community-based eco-tourism industry, as that unquestionably is the most effective conservation tool that society can use as an incentive to interest grass-roots people in protecting a natural resource potentially worth billions of dollars, over the coming decades, for present and future generations.

With the best will in the world, if things are allowed to remain as they are, the poorly-resourced state agencies tasked to protect the remainder of Ghana's natural heritage, such as the Forestry Service of the Forestry Commission and the EPA, will continue to be overwhelmed by the scale of the problem.

Some of us have learnt, over the years, through bitter experience, not to rely on any of the aforementioned state agencies, in our quest to save the area that covers the privately-owned freehold rain forest land-holding that we have christened the Akyem Abuakwa Juaso Nature-Resource Reserve (AAJNRR).

Having worked hard for over a decade and a half, to get to the point where there is now an opportunity to build a forest canopy walkway and a number of eco-lodges in it, as the centrepiece of what we are determined will be a world-class eco-tourism destination, which will help educate visitors and local people about the wonders of nature - some found nowhere else in the world - in what is part of a designated Globally Significant Biodiversity Area (GSBA), one has no intention of allowing those professionals privy to our plans - because we consulted some of them along the way - who have already started to sabotage our proposed project, and are apparently working on similar plans of their own with others, using information and contacts gained from their association with us, to get away with their perfidy.

They must understand that we are a pretty determined lot - and that nothing, including being stabbed in the back by such unethical and shabby behaviour, will stop us achieving our dream.

The people of Akyem Abuakwa Juaso too, deserve a better quality of life and have a right to also enjoy a high standard of living - all of which such a project will make possible for them: and we will make sure that that eventually happens, regardless, despite the shenanigans of selfish people who put profits ahead of human life, and neither care one jot about preserving nature, nor about the welfare of their fellow human beings, as long as they can make a quick buck.

And to those well-meaning professional advisors who think it is unwise to openly talk about our aforementioned plans, why hide something so noble and meant for the common good, I ask? After all, this is not just any old profit-seeking private initiative, driven by greed, is it?

Is the very basis for the new burgeoning green economy, not caring business undertakings, which are underpinned by an ethos of transparency and accountability?

And if more large privately-owned rain forest land-holdings ended up being transformed into world-class community-based eco-tourism destinations, as a conservation measure in partnership with local communities, would that not protect the remainder of Ghana's natural heritage - and guarantee rural dwellers higher living standards too? So what's the big deal - if others learn of our plans, I ask?

On the contrary, our AAJNRR project is a shining example of the infinite wealth-generating possibilities offered by fostering a new green nature-based economy in rural Ghana, which generates wealth on a sustainable basis - in a unique conservation partnership between environmentally responsible private landowners and the poor cocoa-farming community they are an integral part of: and who have been major players in the local economy since 1915, from the days when the British occupied our country, and exploited the natural resources Providence blessed it so abundantly with.

I shall fight all those selfish individuals (including the faceless and greedy cowards in Ofori Panin Fie - busy undermining their hard-working tribal Chieftain's legacy in conservation, surreptitiously!) who seek to sabotage our dream - and I am serving them notice, with this piece. Let them beware - I never give up and always fight to win, too. I may look old and frail, but I am a pretty tough customer, I'll have them know. I fear nothing - and fear nobody. A word to the wise...

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

International Criminal Court Election Nomination Period Extended to 16 September

Global Coalition Urges States to Utilize Extension and Nominate the Most Highly-Qualified Candidates

New York/The Hague—The Coalition for the International Criminal Court—a global network of more than 2,500 non-governmental and civil society organizations in 150 countries—today urged states to use the extended nomination period for the upcoming International Criminal Court (ICC) elections to continue to identify the most highly-qualified candidates for the available positions. States parties to the Rome Statute—the ICC’s founding treaty—now have until 16 September 2011 to nominate candidates for six judicial vacancies. The election, together with that of the Prosecutor and six members of the Committee on Budget and Finance, scheduled to take place at the tenth session of Assembly of States Parties (ASP) in December 2011, represents the most significant changeover in ICC officials since the creation of the Court. 

The Rome Statute envisions a judiciary which represents the judicial systems of the world as well as its regions. The minimum voting requirements for each election are calculated based on the number of states parties in a region as well as the number of judges from each region remaining on the bench. This system helps to guide votes in certain directions but does not determine the outcome of the election.

"The judges elected in December will shape the Court's future direction and contribute to the ICC's standing as a permanent and respected international judicial institution," said William R. Pace, Convenor of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. "Civil society will continue to advocate for states parties to nominate highly-qualified candidates to ensure the ICC continues to deliver accountability for victims of international crimes wherever they occur."

The extension of the nomination period for the judicial elections was initiated to allow Latin American and Caribbean (GRULAC) states to fulfil the minimum voting requirement of four candidates for the two judicial positions for which ICC states parties would be required to vote from that region. As of 8 September 2011, only three candidates from GRULAC have been nominated. However, as part of its global Campaign on ICC Elections—which calls on states to nominate the most highly-qualified judicial candidates through a fair, transparent and merit-based election process to ensure the independence and effectiveness of the Court—the Coalition stresses that the extension applies to all nominations, not just those from Latin American and Caribbean states. To date, 17 candidates have been nominated in the judicial election, with eight of those coming in the last week of the initial nomination period which ended on 2 September 2011.  Of the seventeen nominated, however, only one is female.

Because there will be fewer male than female judges at the time that the outgoing judges complete their terms, states parties will be required to vote for at least two male candidates in early rounds of voting.

"We are disappointed more States haven't nominated women candidates for the judicial election,” said Brigid Inder, Executive Director of Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice. “Does this mean states are not paying attention to this election, or that only the Philippines believes it has women judges capable of serving on the bench of the ICC?"

In order to promote the nomination of the most highly-qualified judicial candidates, the Coalition has asked judicial nominees to complete questionnaires concerning their backgrounds and qualifications.  Completed questionnaires can be viewed on the Coalition’s website at:

http://www.coalitionfortheicc.org/?mod=electionjudges. The Coalition as a whole does not endorse or oppose individual candidates but advocates for the integrity of the nomination and election procedures.

The Nomination period for the position of prosecutor, as well as for six members of the Committee on Budget and Finance (CBF) has also been extended to 16 September, in the latter case this was to facilitate equitable geographic representation on the CBF, which is presently missing candidates from the group of Latin American and Caribbean states.

 
For more information on the Coalition’s Campaign on ICC Elections, see: 

www.coalitionfortheicc.org/elections 

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 Ušacka (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 117 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:

www.coalitionfortheicc.org.   

 

###

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

GHANA'S POLITICAL CLASS MUST STOP PRETENDING OUR NATION CAN BECOME PROSPEROUS OVERNIGHT - WHEN THE PROCESS WILL TAKE DECADES!

Nothing provides such ample evidence, of the extent of the economic illiteracy afflicting some of the members of Ghana's political class, and exposes their cynicism, more than the outrageous vote-us-in-for-a-rosy-future propaganda narrative, now being vigorously spun and sold to ordinary Ghanaians, by the perfidious Kufuor & Co.'s New Patriotic Party (NPP).

A classic example, is their exploitation of the increasing frequency of the periods that consumers now experience the disruptive effects, on their households and businesses, of shortages of liquefied petroleum gas in the country.

Yet, Ghana would not now be experiencing shortages of liquefied petroleum gas, if the NPP, which is now seeking to exploit the public's irritation with the frequent shortages of LP gas, had had any foresight, and planned properly for the future - by creating a conducive energy industry climate, which could have, in addition to the state's own investment in that sector, attracted the private sector in sufficient numbers (to take advantage of the growing demand for liquefied petroleum gas nationwide) to invest in gas sector downstream facilities and activities.

It must be pretty difficult for independent-minded and patriotic Ghanaians who are discerning and apolitical individuals (as opposed to the "My-party-my-tribe-right-or-wrong" myrmidon-types whose blinkered support for Ghana's political parties, is slowly destroying our young democracy!), to understand why so many of the members of Ghana's political class, continue to believe that a political strategy underpinned by barefaced lies and the deliberate misleading of the ordinary people of Ghana, is the best path to attaining political power in Ghana.

Why pretend that any government in power today, sworn into office in January 2009, could have created a prosperous society in Ghana by now - when the reality is that our nation's economic prospects depend to a large extent on outside factors: beyond the control of those who manage our nation's economy?

Are such politicians unaware of the precarious nature of our nation's prospects - resulting from the challenges that many of our major trading partners now face, as they grapple with gargantuan budget deficits; high levels of unemployment; a growing debt crisis and increasingly weakened growth prospects?

As any honest observer of the Ghanaian political scene will confirm, most of the difficulties our nation and its people face today, stem largely from the NPP regime of President Kufuor's unprincipled governing style, characterised by the favouring of the regime's crony-capitalists at Mother Ghana's expense - and the deliberate Kokofu-football-politricks policy, of insider-information-provision to underpin and empower Kufuor & Co.'s outrageous nepotism, aimed at fast-tracking the enrichment of members of their family clans; their tribal Chieftains; sundry amoral bottom-power girlfriends and crooked and criminal-type cronies: from across the social strata in Ghana.

Yet, incredibly, we are now being told by the Akan tribal-supremacist and super-ruthless former President Kufuor that their corruption-addicted, mega-tribalistic and nepotism-riddled party must be returned to power again - because they were "selfless". Amazing.

Who has forgotten the asset-stripping spree that went on, as they plundered Ghana's accumulated wealth, built up over many years by the blood, sweat and tears of ordinary people, in their unprincipled 8-year stewardship of the enterprise Ghana, I ask?

The shameless scramble for state-owned land put up for sale to a well-connected few, at rock-bottom prices, in the poshest parts of urban Ghana, and the deliberate killing-off of Ghana Airways, just in order to grab the choicest parts of its extensive local, cross-border and overseas property portfolio, are typical examples of the unfathomable greed, which we all witnessed, during the golden age of business for the greed-filled cabal that was Kufuor & Co.


The annoying thing there, is that the perfidious Mr. Kufuor, is regarded by most sincere, decent-minded and patriotic Ghanaians, who are apolitical, as the most dishonest, greediest and the most amoral individual, ever elected to lead Ghana thus far - since we gained our independence in 1957, from the imperialists who occupied our country for decades.

Yet, today, he has the gall and barefaced cheek, to ask Ghanaians to return his disastrous and nation-wrecking party, jam-packed with violence-prone self-seekers, driven as always by unfathomable greed, to power again - apparently so that they can ensure that the days of prosperity and plenty for the hapless ordinary citizens of Ghana, return again. Incredible. Who does that sly man think he is fooling, I wonder? Unbelievable.

For those Ghanaians who are fooled by such cynical rubbish, let me make a point, by reproducing part of an article from the online version of the UK newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, written by Louise Armitstead, and posted at 6:39PM BST, on 05 Sep 2011, to show how close to the precipice are our so-called "development partners" (on whom our oft-lazy, unimaginative and mostly-clueless ruling elites like to sponge on, so):

"European banks face collapse under debts, warns Deutsche Bank chief Josef Ackermann

Josef Ackermann, the chief executive of Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest bank, has warned that "numerous" European lenders would collapse if they were forced to book their losses on stricken sovereign bonds.

Deutsche Bank has already warned that it could miss its target of €6.4bn pre-tax profits this year. 

Mr Ackermann said that the value of billions of euros of loans has plunged to a level that could overwhelm smaller banks.

He told a conference in Frankfurt: "Numerous European banks would not survive having to revalue sovereign debt held on the banking book at market levels."

Mr Ackermann said market conditions were as febrile as the height of the banking crisis. "We should resign ourselves to the fact that the 'new normality' is characterised by volatility and uncertainty," he said. "All this reminds one of the autumn of 2008.""

End of quotation from the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Does that paint a rosy picture of prosperity and even yet more prosperity to come going forward, for our eurozone "development partners" (Ghanaian begging-bowl diplomacy-speak for those who deliberately encourage our ruling elites' nation-wrecking dependency culture), I ask? So why are some of our feckless politicians pretending that the nation's future would be rosy, if they were voted into power?

Alas, if ordinary Ghanaians are not more discerning and are fooled by such pie-in-the-sky pure nonsense on bamboo stilts, they will only end up as their brothers and sisters in Nigeria have ended up: living under the thumbs of greedy, corrupt and ruthless ruling elites, in an oil-rich and inefficient nation, in which nothing works and where there are huge disparities wealth - if they continue to allow themselves to divided and dominated by career rogues: who go into politics only to enrich themselves at Mother Ghana's expense.

Why allow a well-meaning majority in our mostly-peaceful society to be fooled time and time again by such unprincipled characters, who delude ordinary people into thinking that Ghana can be made prosperous overnight, so that they can be voted into power - when the reality is that it will actually take decades of hard work by all Ghanaians: inspired by a visionary, bold, creative and honest leadership, for Ghana to become an African equivalent, of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia?

For those simple-minded souls who think that the NPP will lead Ghana to paradise overnight, if returned to power after the December 2012 elections, because they managed our economy well during their tenure, as I draw to the end of this piece, I shall paraphrase the independent Ghanaian think-thank, IMANI's Franklin Cudjoe , and in the process, hope they will appreciate the impact on the lives of the ordinary citizens of Greece, as their leaders grapple with the effects of dealing with its massive public debt, as they struggle to try and rebalance that nation's public finances, by reducing its budget deficit.

IMANI's Franklin Cudjoe once told Radio Gold FM's listeners that as a proportion of GDP, the NPP left a budget deficit larger than that of Greece's - ordinary Ghanaians must count themselves lucky that the Mills administration has spared them, from going through a quarter of the agonies being experienced by citizens of Greece and their forlorn nation, as a result of the massive public spending cuts, as we speak.

Finally, ordinary Ghanaians mudt understand clearly, that the fact of the matter, is that no political party in present-day Ghana can make our homeland Ghana a prosperous country overnight.

Our best hope, dear reader, is to have an honest and principled leader, like President Mills (but with a tad more backbone, and a degree of ruthlessness, sufficient to enable him or her, to deal effectively with the many crooks that often surround our leaders!), who can safeguard the revenues from our oil and natural gas revenues.

Such a leader will ensure that the J. A. Kufuor political-slieght-of-hand, which gave the E. O. Group a share of the jubilee oilfield even though they neither paid a pesewa upfront for it, nor paid a cent in its development and commercialisation, is never repeated again: so that all the revenues that ought to come to the ordinary people of Ghana, from what after all are finite resources, don't end up being owned by a few greedy, powerful and well-connected super-crooks - but can, instead, be used to transform Nkrumah's Ghana, into an African equivalent, of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia.

Ghanaians must be wary of Kufuor & Co.'s silver-tongued NPP - which would have them believe that they can make Ghana prosperous overnight once they are voted into power again. It just won't happen - and the only prosperous people we will end up seeing under them, will be NPP big-wigs; members of their family clans, their amoral bottom-power girlfriends, their over-ambitious tribal Chieftains and their regime's crooked and tax-dodging crony-capitalist bankrollers: exactly as it was during the apogee of the golden age of business for the super-greedy Kufuor & Co. 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.