Monday, 17 December 2012

Ghana's Supreme Court Will Not See Electoral Fraud Where None Took Place

In December 2008, when Atta Akyea & Co. sought to deny Ghanaian voters the regime-change many wanted, by arranging to have a case with massive  ramifications surreptitiously heard on a public holiday, Providence intervened.

And the end that that   legal sleight of hand sought - to steal an election with the help of a  judge they thought was a  "right judge" (to quote Atta Akyea and Malik Yakubu Alhassan) - failed to materialise.

Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo is a good and decent human being. His curse is that he is  surrounded mostly by utterly ruthless individuals with inflated-egos,  who unfortunately for Ghana,  lack the wisdom of great men such as the late  J. B. Da Rocha.

Alas, today,  the far-sighted and  principled  Da Rocha is no longer around to stand up to  the mendacious, amoral and power-hungry lot surrounding Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo,  whose dreams of ruling our nation has been shattered yet again, and tell them to the face that what they  seek is neither in the interest of the Ghanaian nation-state  nor that of their party.

What the too-clever-by-half politicians with inflated egos  seeking to subvert the will of the ordinary people of our country yet again,  forget, is that in the era of Facebook and Twitter, no self-respecting professional is unaware that the judgement of one's peers is no longer  limited to peers within national boundaries.

It is not for nothing that Providence ensured that at this critical juncture in Ghana's history,  the Electoral Commission would be headed by an honest and  dedicated public servant,  keenly aware of the fact that the focus of his peers around the world would be on him during Ghana's presidential and parliamentary elections.

Dr. Afari Djan is a principled gentleman who treasures his well-deserved international   reputation. He would never have been  party to any electoral fraud. That is why he is so adamant and emphatic that claims of electoral fraud made by the New Patriotic Party are "false".

In the same vein, every judge sitting on the Supreme Court panel selected to sit on the case the New Patriotic Party says it is bringing to prove the presidential election was rigged, will likewise  be keenly aware that their peers in Commonwealth democracies such as the United Kingdom; Canada; Australia; India; South Africa and Botswana for example, will be taking a keen interest in how they proceed.

Those who think that  "right" judges will rescue them, will have a rude awakening. No one can influence the judges who will sit on the case. Instead,  those judges  will prove to the world  that Ghana indeed has  a  truly world-class Supreme Court - with high-minded  judges.

That  is why one doubts  very much that those eminent and learned judges,  will deliver a judgement other than  that which their impartial and incorruptible peers in say the United Kingdom or Botswana would, in similar circumstances: all things being equal,  so to speak.

This time round too, falsehood will not win power through the backdoor for the New Patriotic Party, with the connivance  of the Ghanaian judiciary. The Supreme Court of Ghana will most definitely not see electoral fraud where none has actually taken place.

Tel: 027 745 3109.


NPP Supreme Court EC Declaration Challenge: History Will Judge Judges Hearing Case

One hopes that there is no truth  in reports carried in sections of the Ghanaian  media,   that the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) general secretary, Kojo Owusu-Afriyie,   had said his party would make Ghana ungovernable - were his party's leaders to be arrested,  as rumours  he had heard, had it.

It would be most unfortunate if  it turned out to be  true that the general secretary of a  political party seeking to govern Ghana, actually  made any such statement.

Surely,  no politician in his right mind would  make such a statement in a democratic and peaceful nation such as Ghana?

In case it escapes politicians of that ilk, the vast majority of the ordinary people of Ghana have moved on with their lives - having got  elections described by all the independent observers who witnessed it as free and fair, out of the way.

Ordinary Ghanaians  are not about to allow the personal ambitions of power-hungry politicians,  to let their country descend into chaos.

In any case, as they head for the Supreme Court, how are Ghanaians  to know that such individuals will not commit perjury by lying and  manufacturing evidence, in order to facilitate  the  manipulation of   the judicial system,  to enable them achieve their power-at-all-costs goal?

There are many independent-minded,  discerning and patriotic individuals in Ghana, who observed the counting of ballots after voting closed on both days that  voting took place.

They are lost as to  how any political party could have rigged such a transparent process, and at which stage the said rigging occurred.

Did the victors bribe all the 26,000 or so NPP polling agents, perchance? Is it not risking the  alienation of those idealistic individuals who volunteered to do that difficult,  tiring and thankless job of party  polling-agent?

Dr. Afari Djan, the Electoral Commissioner's emphatic dismissal of the NPP's rigging claims as "false",   pours yet more cold water on those claims.

As evidenced by the normalcy we are witnessing countrywide  after the polls as Ghanaians go about their everyday lives,  it would appear that in this most  unedifying of affairs, many discerning and independent-minded Ghanaians would rather take the word of  the highly-regarded Electoral Commissioner,  Dr. Afari-Djan, than that of politicians - amongst whose working tools are  insincerity and truth-stretching  - who insist that vote-counting that millions watched with eagle eyes across the nation, was somehow affected  by sleight of hand manipulation by their political opponents.

Well, Ghanaians  await the verdict  of the Supreme Court. One hopes that the judges who sit on the case brought by the NPP, will remember that history will also judge them - and be impartial and principled. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.


The Multi-culturalists Must Take Over The New Patriotic Party

As the leadership of the New Patriotic Party ponder how to confront the reality they currently face, perhaps they can learn a few things from comments made by young university students about their party.

Asked  what they thought about the refusal of the New Patriotic Party to accept the outcome of the presidential election,  one student said: "If you are a closet tribal-supremacist who had been dreaming of a powerful position at the presidency,  under a President Akufo-Addo, and felt that victory for your party in this year's  presidential election was a no-brainer, accepting defeat does not come easy." Food for thought, say I.

Another student said: "It appears that for many in  the New Patriotic Party, it is hard accepting  the reality that in fact their  party does not have as widespread an appeal as they previously thought - and that actually it is largely a party  dominant in only two out of the ten regions of Ghana".

Yet another young student said: "There are those who say that the  trouble about the New Patriotic Party, is  that far too many tribal-supremacist individuals with inflated egos,   who harbour  hidden personal wealth-creation agendas at the expense of others, simply see the party as a special purpose vehicle for the fulfilment of their personal  ambitions".

"To be successful nationwide, a new leadership of young, idealistic and cosmopolitan individuals -   who understand the futility of a revival of the power and influence of the  progeny of one group of the pre-colonial traditional ruling elites -  must take over the party".

"Ordinary Ghanaians are not enamoured with the parochialism of those who seem to feel that a nation of ethnic-diversity,  can be dominated by one constituent part of what is a multi-ethnic nation in which no ethnic group is superior or inferior to another".

"Those who hold such views are living in a bygone age. It  is so passe - and simply daft. One hopes that the multi-culturalists  in the New Patriotic Party will  take over that party to secure its future".  Food for thought, dear reader?

Tel: 027 745 3109.


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Ghanaians Will Judge President Mahama Again In 2016

I had a phone call yesterday afternoon, from a gentleman who wanted to know why I was "favouring the National Democratic Congress  over the New Patriotic Party"  -  which is disputing the outcome of the presidential election - when in the past I was "so critical of both President Mills and the then Vice President Mahama".

Had I "been bought", he wanted to know? Well,  my conscience is not for sale at any price - and has never been, and never will be.

For  patriotic reasons, I was an avowed  critic of both President Mills and Vice President Mahama, as he then was - both of whom I often called upon to resign after Martin Amidu was sacked as Attorney General.

However,  having now been elected to serve his own term as President, as a Progressive and patriot, I will support his regime - if it works in the interest of the ordinary people of Ghana.

However, I shall be his foremost critic, if he allows the rogues in his party to continue milking Ghana.

And if he wants discerning Ghanaians to take him seriously about fighting corruption, let him bring back Martin Amidu as Attorney General.

Symbolism is important in politics. Asking Martin Amidu to return to the position of Attorney General,  will convince most ordinary people that they were right to elect him to lead Ghana.

Above all, he must not be complacent - especially as he has seen  how quickly President Mills' administration's  4-year tenure has almost drawn to a close.

Key PPP projects he must prioritise and complete before his tenure ends, are: building a railway line from Tema to Paga on a build,  operate and transfer basis; a new bridge across the Volta; more gas-fired power plants; acquiring a fleet of four oil-tankers to enable the Ghana Navy have a monopoly transporting  oil from our oilfields.

Luckily,  today there is private equity financing available to part-fund  such projects.

Above all, his new administration  must find a way of ensuring that  it never  ignores good nation-building advice - whatever quarter it originates  from.

He will be held accountable by Ghanaians throughout his tenure. And in 2016, he will be judged  again by ordinary Ghanaians. One hopes he will not be found wanting then. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.


Real Change: The Buck Stops With President Mahama

Having snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, President Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) must be magnanimous in victory.

He  must  reach out to all  those  defeated by his party in the presidential and parliamentary elections. They too have  vital roles  to play in the coming transformation of Ghana.

He must also use the model that enabled the Democratic Peoples Party's members to return to the NDC,  to  reconcile his   party with the breakaway anti-Mills faction that formed the National Democratic Party.

This is the time for Ghanaians from across the spectrum to reconcile with one another. The task ahead of the  nation is an arduous one - and Ghanaians  can only succeed if they are united.

Above all, President Mahama ought to  move swiftly to consolidate his power, once he is sworn-in on 7th January,  2013.

He must put the past when he played second-fiddle,  and then went on to serve out the rest of President Mills' tenure, behind him.

He must  chart a new course as an elected leader -  selected by ordinary people to transform the enterprise Ghana and empower the younger generation of Ghanaians.

He would be wise  to align himself to his party's founder, President Rawlings  - by making him the chairperson of a new presidential task-force on  corruption.

It will enable him  quickly reconcile the various factions in the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Perhaps he can begin that process by appointing Dr. Ezenator Rawlings to the Ministry of Health. Mr Martey Newman ought to be sent abroad to China as our new ambassador. China is a key ally of Ghana's.

He must be replaced as Chief of Staff at the presidency, by a  consensus politician - who will  become  Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs. There are those who say that the  Hon. Alban Bagbin would be a perfect choice.

Above all, whatever he does going forward, he must never forget  that as President of the Republic of Ghana, it is he who history will judge - not the late  Mills' powerful  inner-circle:  who kept him on a tight leash throughout the late president's  tenure.

They will be mere footnotes in the recounting of the history of the period when he led Ghana - and as a student of history no one need remind him of that.

In bringing about real change in Ghana during his tenure, after he is sworn into office as President  next year, the buck really does stop with him. A word to the wise...

Tel:027 745 3109.


Nana Akufo-Addo: Concede Defeat Quickly For Ghana's Sake

Author's note: This was written on  9/12/2012. It is being posted today because I was unable to do so on the day. It did, however,  subsequently appear on Please read on:

Those who seek to lead our homeland Ghana,  must always put the interests of the nation and the well-being of ordinary Ghanaians, above their individual self-interest and that of the political party they belong to.

Naturally, having lost the presidential election yet again, it is perfectly normal that the candidate and  leadership of the New Patriotic Party will feel devastated and despondent.

However, it is at precisely such a moment  that the leadership of the New Patriotic Party can demonstrate to Ghanaians,  that indeed they seek the well-being of our nation - and  as a political  party are thus truly worthy of leading our country again.

They can do so by quickly conceding defeat,  and urging their followers to look to the future -  when the people of Ghana finally give them the  mandate to govern  again.

One therefore urges them to take a long-term view and set an example, which  will redound to their party's  benefit -  in similar circumstances  in future elections.

Above all, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo must demonstrate his love for Ghana - by following the late President Mills' example in the 2004 presidential election.

Let him ignore all those with hidden agendas around him who may argue to the contrary, and quickly concede defeat - for the greater good of the Ghanaian polity. It will definitely earn him a place in the Pantheon of great Ghanaians. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.


Why The Candidate Who Proved He Was Best Suited To Lead Ghana Did Not Win The Presidential Election

Author's note: This was written on 4/12/2012. It is being posted today because I was unable to do so on the day. It did, however,  subsequently appear on Please read on:

When  a friend in the U.S.A. asked me who I thought would win the presidential election in Ghana, for an  answer, I told him who I knew would definitely not win  that election - by  recounting  to him what a brilliant young female  student  told me,  when I asked a group of university students  the same question.

In the view of that brilliant female student, nothing would  change in Ghana, regardless of which candidate of the two major political parties that have governed the nation since the 1992 constitution  was promulgated - the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party  -    won  the presidential election,   because both  simply lacked   the political will to fight high-level corruption:   which she regarded  as the biggest nation-building challenge facing Ghana.

The tragedy for Ghana, she said, was that   the person who had  shown,  by deed,  not words - by making public the results of the medical examination he underwent to show he was medically fit for the ardours task of leading Ghana; releasing  his filed tax returns and declaring his assets openly to the media; as well as showing the amount spent on campaigning by the party he founded,  and the sources of  its funding to show he was transparent about financial matters he was  associated with    -    would not win the presidential election.

She ended by saying she was certain that Ghana (a nation full of "My-party-my-tribe-right-or-
wrong" myrmidon-types) would  miss the opportunity to elect the candidate who had shown the discerning that he was   the most suitable politician to lead the Ghana of today, for a number of reasons - all of them negative.

To begin with, it was her opinion that Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive Peoples Party would not win the presidential election,   because:  "Behind the facade of modernity, in terms of the psychology of a majority of the populace, in a sense,   Ghana is  a  nation in which superstition is rife and  deeply woven into the fabric of society. That is one of the   reasons  why the political  party most favoured by sundry crooks-in-dog-collars -   who speak in 'tongues'  and exert  a malevolent  influence over the minds of the millions who flock to their churches regularly  to seek 'prophetic anointing' and 'protection from spiritual enemies' -   can garner a substantial number of votes in elections. And, lastly,  tribal bigotry is written into the DNA of some of the most prominent and influential of today's  descendants of  the pre-colonial traditional ruling elites -  who,  even though it is a democracy, still seek to dominate the Republic of Ghana through the back-door   by proxy  - and those ordinary Ghanaians who hold fealty to them,  often demonstrate  their allegiance  by voting for the political parties such tribal-supremacist traditionalists support." And well said, say I.

How insightful that young Ghanaian was. Alas, indeed  as it turned out,  most voters did  not vote for the candidate who by voluntarily undergoing a medical examination and making public the results, as well as releasing his filed tax returns from the 1980's to date;  and  publicly declaring his assets  to the media, and topped all that by revealing the total amount spent by the party he founded and the sources of its funding,  showed Ghanaians (including a doubting-Thomas like me who has often criticised him in the past for attempting a reverse-takeover of the party founded by the great Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the Convention Peoples Party - and advised he leave Nkrumah's party to  set up one of his own,  in which he could call the shots),  that in good governance terms, he was   the best amongst this year's  crop of  presidential candidates -   and could   offer the  kind of sorely-needed  world-class  leadership (underpinned by an ethical ethos), which the  people of Ghana and their peaceful and democratic nation require to prosper.

Sadly, dear reader, as it turns out that young female university student was right in asserting that the candidate who proved he  was best suited to lead Ghana,  would    not win the presidential election - and that Mother Ghana will  be  the worst for it. Pity.

Tel: 027 745 3109.


Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Vodafone

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo: Time To Honour BBC Hardtalk Interview Promise

Commenting on what he said was the probable victory of the New Patriotic Party's presidential candidate, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, in the December 7th election, and its implication for the future of  second-cycle  education in Ghana,  a young university student acquaintance of mine made a rather interesting comment.

He observed that in no other country in the world but Ghana, would an idea from a hired foreign political strategist be adopted by those who hired his services; become their party's main campaign message, without it ever undergoing any in-depth scrutiny by either the media or civil society groups: even when their party is supposedly poised to win power.

In his view, it was extraordinary that a political party "led mainly by wealthy elitist-politicians, many from privileged backgrounds - and some of whom can either easily afford, or have already provided their wards with, an expensive overseas education - could be heading for victory in both the presidential and parliamentary elections, without once facing any serious questioning about the practicality (from a state-funding perspective) of its main campaign policy proposal to provide free secondary education, now."

Yet, we are all aware, dear reader, that over the years various Ghanaian Governments have, at certain points in time, not been able to provide funds in timely fashion, to keep the machinery of government functioning effectively.

There are many employees of ministries, departments and agencies of the Ghanaian nation-state, for example, whose salaries have remained unpaid on occasion - sometimes for months on end: simply because projected revenue outlined in the budget for a particular year, has not materialised.

(Is that perpetual lack of funding not the reason why the Tema Oil Refinery and so many state-owned business entities - such as the public utilities providing electricity and water - are basket-cases financially, I ask, dear reader? And was that not the driving force for the law-defying fire-sale of Ghana Telecom to Vodafone? But I digress.)

Then there are the unavoidable facts on the ground: Secondary schools need to feed their boarding students daily. They also need to pay for water and electricity, as well as pay for other goods and services needed to keep them functioning during the school term.

One shudders to think of the disruption that secondary schools suddenly facing a loss of the relatively reliable source of funds that fees paid by parents represents, will experience, when expected funds from central government fail to materialise at the right time.

Some might even be forced by circumstances to close down temporarily, in such situations - with the attendant disruption to the academic calender that that would entail.

It is unfortunate that those questioning the feasibility of a free secondary education policy being implemented without it destroying secondary education in Ghana, at this stage in our nation's development, have somehow been made out to be retrogrades against a "pro-poor policy" (to quote a patronising female serial-caller to radio phone-in programmes, who prospered mightily from her political connections, once upon a time, when the New Patriotic Party was in power).

Yet, some of us have insisted for decades, that a poor developing nation with aspirations, cannot afford not to provide free education from kindergarten to tertiary level, for its citizens.

And that was long before many of the "Latter-day-converts now trumpeting it took it up for opportunistic reasons - because a clever hired-foreigner, discovered that it was a sure-fire vote-winner with the gullible", to quote my young university student acquaintance.

The tragedy for Mother Ghana, is that many of those championing it today, do so not because they actually care about the well-being and future of our nation's younger generation, but simply because it will enable them win political power again. And damn the consequences, for all they care.

Otherwise why have they not thought of some of the most practical means of enabling poor Ghanaian families to educate their offspring, who have the aptitude to study, as alternatives that will not endanger the secondary educational system: a well-endowed scholarship fund, for example - replenished regularly from an agreed proportion of value-added tax on goods and services - that those with given aggregates will be awarded full scholarships from, and all other students can compete to be awarded funding from, year-round, in written national examinations for that purpose?

As things currently stand, it is difficult not to concur with those who accuse the New Patriotic Party of cynically exploiting the desperation felt by many financially-challenged families, who regularly need to find money to pay for the education of their offspring, in order to win their votes.

Many such individuals also insist that the New Patriotic Party knows perfectly well that as things currently stand, it will be next to impossible to implement a free secondary education policy proposal in Ghana, within a 4-year tenure, without destroying secondary education as we know it - and possibly dislocating our national economy into the bargain too.

Ordinary people in Ghana need to be fully informed about the total cost of implementing a free secondary education policy proposal over a future government's 4-year tenure - and the source of those funds: with sustainability being the operative word there, for every single government-funded secondary school in Ghana.

There are many independent-minded patriots in Ghana, who feel that the New Patriotic Party does not deserve to win power if it fails to be transparent and sincere in this particular matter.

There are also many of those selfsame independent-minded and patriotic Ghanaians - whose crucial swing-votes now decide who wins presidential elections in Ghana - who still remember that Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo told the world, when asked how much the free secondary education policy would cost, in a BBC Hardtalk interview not too long ago, that he would rather it was the Ghanaian people, who were the first to be told exactly what the NPP's free secondary school policy proposal would cost to be implemented.

Surely, he must honour that promise now - before the good people of Ghana cast their votes on the 7th of December, to elect a new President of the Republic of Ghana?

Let him outline, in a detailed breakdown of the total cost, what each public secondary school in Ghana will receive in the 4 years he will be president, if elected on 7th December 2012.

Nothing short of that will do - and his party must stop mentioning President Nkrumah's name in connection with this matter. With respect, none of them possesses Nkrumah's nation-building genius - and in any case Kwame Nkrumah's equal has not yet been born.

Simply put, dear reader, the time has now come for Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo to honour his BBC Hardtalk interview promise - to tell Ghanaians the cost of implementing his "free secondary education, now" policy proposal. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.


Monday, 26 November 2012

The African Union & The United Nations Must Condemn Rwanda For Assisting M23 Rebels

 Author's note: This was written on 24/11/2012. It is being posted today because I was unable to do so on the day. It did, however,  subsequently appear on Please read on:

It is totally unacceptable that in 21st century Africa, fellow Africans can be traumatised on the scale being  witnessed in the tragedy now unfolding in the  eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) must ensure that those responsible for the trail of death and destruction in DR Congo, are eventually indicted and tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, for crimes against   humanity.

No matter what  the M23's leader,  Colonel Vianey Kazaramah's  complaints are, nothing can justify taking up arms against one's own country and subjecting one's fellow citizens to untold hardship,  on a scale that is almost apocalyptic.

Those responsible for the abominable crimes against humanity that are occurring   in the  villages lying in the path of the advancing M23 rebels, must not be allowed to get away with the  endless suffering being experienced by so many ordinary  people in eastern DR Congo.

Yesterday,  it was General Nkunda rebelling against the central government in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Today,  it is  Colonel Vianey Kazarama.

Clearly, both of them have  had the support of elements within Rwanda's ruling elite, in their rebellions.

Although on paper Rwanda is a democracy, in reality it is effectively a police state in which nothing goes on without the knowledge and consent of the highly-intelligent despot who rules it with an iron fist, President Paul Kagame.

It is intolerable that a nation in which genocide occurred years ago, continues to sponsor armed rebellions against its neighbour DR Congo, which  result in such widespread misery and the mass slaughter of innocents.

The time has come for the African Union (AU) and the United Nation's to put diplomatic niceties aside, and  condemn Rwanda's leadership in no uncertain terms - and demand that they end their support for armed rebellions in the DR Congo immediately.

If they fail to confront Rwanda's leaders this time round, they will have the blood of the teeming  innocents now being murdered daily  in eastern DR Congo on their hands.

Whiles condemning Rwanda, the AU and the UN must also assist the DR Congo's government to move the Rwandan Hutu refugees in the eastern DR Congo enmasse,  to the west of that nation.

That will finally remove the eternal excuse for Rwanda's constant meddling in the DR Congo's internal  affairs - and deny Rwanda's  elite the opportunity it  offers them  to rob the DRC of some of its vast mineral wealth.

With respect, to maintain their credibility with ordinary Africans, both  the African Union and the United Nations must condemn Rwanda for assisting the DR Congo M23 rebels. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.


Ensuring That Ghana Remains Peaceful Is The Patriotic Duty Of Our Political Leaders

Author's note:

This was written on 24/11/2012. It is being posted today because  I was unable to do so on the day. It did appear on subsequently. Please read on.

Whichever party's candidate emerges victorious after  the presidential election on  the 7th of December, one hopes that he will move quickly to bring the nation together -   by reaching out to the candidates he  defeated:  and promising to seek their counsel throughout his tenure.

Our nation needs to come together and unite for the daunting  task ahead.

That is why as we head towards the December 7th elections, it is one's hope that the leadership of all the political parties will have the wisdom to isolate the extremists in their midst.

Nothing will be gained by a recourse to violence during and after the elections.

The stability of our nation is a vital  ingredient in the mix of factors that investors - both local and foreign - take into account, when considering  whether or not to invest in projects in our nation.

Ghana can advance only when it is able to attract further investment into its economy. The desperately needed jobs for the  teeming millions searching for meaningful  employment,  can  only materialise when the private sector is thriving.

It is therefore  crucial that the presidential and parliamentary elections pass off peacefully. To remain  a magnet for investment, Ghana needs to maintain its worldwide reputation as a stable and peaceful democracy  in sub-Saharan Africa.

And,  that, dear reader,  is in the hands of the leadership of all the political parties competing to be given the people's mandate to govern Ghana,  after 7th January  2013. Ensuring that Ghana remains peaceful is their patriotic duty. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.


What Is The Free In A Free Secondary Education Policy Proposal - And From Where Will It Be Funded?

Author's note:

This was written on 20/11/2012. I am posting it today because I was unable to do so on the day. It did however appear on and subsequently.  Please read on:

Today,  I am reproducing a story written by reporters of the UK newspaper,  the Daily Telegraph, entitled:  "£230 million British aid programme to support schools in Nigeria is failing".

It is my two-pesewa contribution  to the debate about free secondary education in Ghana.

There are many discerning Ghanaians who feel that somehow the lack of a proper national  debate on the subject, might  lead society to  sleepwalk  towards a possible future disaster, which  might destroy second-cycle education,  and possibly dislocate our national economy on top too.

One hopes,  therefore, that the discerning and independent-minded Ghanaian patriots,  whose crucial swing-votes now determine who becomes Ghana's president, will step back and make up their minds that they will  prevent a gigantic fraud being perpetrated on ordinary people in Ghana.

If the uncharitable in our midst are right about them, then those they describe as "ruthless and determined   politicians",    who they allege care precious  little about the education of ordinary people, but are nonetheless using the promise of  free secondary education as a clever campaign-carrot ploy,  to enable them win power,  ought to  be prevented from succeeding in their cynical aim,   at all costs.

Let this culled story about the shortcomings of education in Nigeria,  serve as a warning   of what  possibly awaits ordinary Ghanaians  in the not too distant future - if decent and independent-minded  people are prevented from demanding answers to the troubling question of how we will fund free second-cycle education in Ghana  on a sustainable basis, and, above all, precisely how much it will cost our nation over the first four years. Please read on:

"A £230 million British aid programme to support schools in Nigeria has failed to produce any major improvement in pupil learning, the development watchdog said today.

By Telegraph reporters

6:00AM GMT 20 Nov 2012

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) said the UK's education programme in Nigeria was being undermined by a shortage of effective teachers and a lack of support from local state governments.

On its system traffic light ratings, the commission ranked the scheme amber-red - the second lowest rating - indicating "significant improvements" were required.

To date, the Department for International Development (Dfid) has spent £102 million on supporting education in 10 of Nigeria's 36 states, with a further £126 million committed to 2019.

However, the commission found that around a third of the eligible children - an estimated 3.7 million - were still not in school, while those that were received little by way of education.

"We are concerned by the very high numbers of out-of-school children and the very poor learning outcomes in nine of the 10 Nigerian states supported by Dfid," it said.

"Dfid's education programme in Nigeria operates in a very challenging environment, with too few effective teachers, poor infrastructure and unpredictable state funding all contributing to poor learning outcomes for pupils in basic education.

"Our review indicates no major improvement in pupil learning."

The findings will further add to the pressure on ministers over the aid budget, with many Tory MPs strongly opposed to David Cameron's commitment to maintain overseas aid at a time of spending cuts at home.

ICAI chief commissioner Graham Ward said: "The communities we spoke to in Nigeria want their children to become self-reliant by learning to read and write.

"In our view, Dfid's programmes will only become sustainable when they can routinely help to unlock state governments' budgets to fund the required improvements both adequately and equitably."

A spokesman for Dfid said: "This was a limited enquiry in that the team only visited one per cent of schools, most of which were in only one state in Nigeria, and they did not take into account the most recent evidence of the projects' progress. However, we will carefully review the report's recommendations and respond in due course."

End of culled Daily Telegraph report.

Whiles a very good and progressive idea, it is essential, dear reader,  that no political party is allowed to get to power in Ghana,  promising free secondary education, without thoroughly explaining  exactly what the "free" in its promised free second-cycle education policy proposal consists of, precisely how much it will cost our nation over a 4-year period and from whence those funds will be sourced. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.


Food For Thought For Self-Righteous Ghanaian Pastors?

Author's note:

This was written on 20/11/2012. It is being posted today because I was unable to do so on the day. It subsequently appeared on and Please read on:

Listening to a  pastor issuing veiled threats on an Accra FM radio station yesterday,  implying that Christian pastors in Ghana  would use the numbers making  up their congregations against a political party -  some of whose extremist  members' campaign activities  had incurred the wrath  of Pastor Otabil -  on election day, an old wag I know,  expressed his disappointment at the turn of events.

By definition, pastors ought to be infinitely wise, open-minded and  forgiving. Pastor Mensah Otabil, a very wise man,  obviously meant  it when he said he had left the matter in God's hands.

And what better hands to leave punishment for the machinations of one's detractors,  than those of God Almighty, I ask?

In the view of the old wag,  it is most   unfortunate that some  pastors have now  apparently forgotten that President Mills came to power after the December 2008 presidential election, precisely because a majority of the Ghanaian electorate had become fed up with the unfathomable greed and amoral behaviour of some of the leading lights of the then ruling regime,   led by Mills' predecessor as president.

He wondered if those indignant pastors  ever passed  judgement on any of those whose "insensitivity and unparalleled selfishness,  created a dog-eat-dog society in our country, in which a few hundred politically well-connected individuals,    exploited the national economy for private gain, at the expense of the rest of the Ghanaian populace:  in the halcyon days of the golden-age-of-business-for-a-
privileged-few,  from January 2001 to January 2009"?

One can only hope, dear reader,  that in this matter,  God will touch the hearts of some of those pastors in Ghana, who focus exclusively on materialism, instead of helping members of their congregations' to build good characters.

If they did that perhaps ours  would become the sort of moral society,  free of corruption,  and in which  extremist   politicians   whose campaign tactics is underpinned by   Goebbels-style sophistry, would think twice before embarking on the sort of activities that raised the ire of Pastor Mensah Otabil, for fear of attracting public opprobrium.

Rather than demonising whole political parties,  as punishment for the transgression of their more extremist members,  pastors in Ghana must be more even-handed and less judgemental,  when commenting on national affairs.

Pastors  must never forget that ordinary Ghanaians will not experience a period of rule by saints, whichever political party wins power after the December 2012 elections.

And lest they forget, pastors in Ghana must also remember that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is as full of selfish and amoral self-seekers lurking in the shadows, as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is.

Above all, after the elections,  a moral society will not emerge in Ghana - one in which God-fearing pastors focus on character-building, instead of encouraging unbridled  avarice -   with  endless sermons that encourage crass materialism dressed up as heavenly  blessings.

Regardless of which of the two biggest political  parties in Ghana wins power after the December elections,  it is inevitable that we will continue to have an opaque system riddled with high-level corruption,  in which the self-interest of a powerful few with greedy ambitions,   determine  our nation's destiny.

Alas, that is the reality of our times - and as the  old wag I know pondered: "Kofi, food for thought for self-righteous Ghanaian pastors,  perhaps?" A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.


Do Not Encourage Galamsey In Ecologically-sensitive Areas Like The Atewa Range Upland Evergreen Rain Forest

It is most unfortunate that in their bid to win power, some politicians are promising those involved in illegal surface gold mining - galamsey - that were they to come to power after the December 2012 elections, they will not clamp down on what is an illegal activity    responsible for the destruction of the natural environment,  in vast swathes of the Ghanaian countryside.

It is time Ghana's hard-of-hearing politicians understood clearly that at a time of global climate change, the natural environment in ecologically-sensitive areas like the Atewa Range upland evergreen rain forest,  must be protected and preserved at all costs.

From the point of view of creating jobs, would it not be far better for our nation, if   a viable way could be found that will enable the big multinational gold mining companies to exploit part of their concessions, by outsourcing the work to self-employed galamsey miners:  whose work could be more closely monitored that way?

Akyem Abuakwa -  where  the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) presidential candidate  Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo's late  mother's family hail from -  used to have some of the most beautiful  countryside in Ghana.

Alas, today, a large part of an area of outstanding natural beauty, which  potentially could become a leading eco-tourism destination in Africa, has been more or less destroyed by the ruinous and criminal activities of illegal surface gold miners  and loggers.

Let our nation's leaders understand clearly,  once and for all,  that at a time of global climate change  it is imperative that Ghana abandons all plans to mine bauxite and gold in the Atewa Range upland evergreen rain forest. Community-based eco-tourism is a viable and sustainable alternative to mining in that area.

Life as we presently know it will become impossible to sustain, were the three major river systems  that take their headwaters from that part of our nation - and on which much of urban and rural southern Ghana depend  on for their  drinking water supply - to dry up.

At a time when global climate change is impacting the Ghanaian  countryside negatively, it is vital that political parties in our country  understand the importance of protecting what is left of our nation's forest cover.

For the sake of present and future generations, galamsey activities should neither  be encouraged nor tolerated,  in ecologically sensitive areas,  such as  the Atewa range upland evergreen rain forest - an area designated a  Globally Significant Biodiversity Area (GSBA). A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109

Email: peakofi.thompson@gmail.

Ghana Mourns Former Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama

Author's note:

This piece was written on the day  former Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama passed away. It is being posted today because I was unable to do so at the time - although it was posted on and not too long after his death was officially announced.

Please read on:

One commiserates with the immediate and extended family members of former Vice President Aliu Mahama, whose untimely death was announced today.

One is pretty sure that the general consensus in Ghana,  will be that on balance, former Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama was a good and decent  gentleman.

Naturally, the cynics amongst us would also say that he was a man who was hard done by his New Patriotic Party (NPP)  - which showed him disrespect by not allowing him to succeed President Kufuor as its presidential candidate for the December 2008 election.

Those selfsame cynics will  also insist that had he hailed from the southern part of Ghana,  and had his name been Barimah Osei Prempeh, for example,  Alhaji Aliu Mahama's party  would have  gone to great length  to ensure  that he was automatically chosen by his party, to lead it,  after President Kufuor's two-term tenure.

Whatever be the case, former Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama deserves the state funeral he is getting tomorrow. He did his best for Mother Ghana, as vice-president.

He was a simple man,  who despite his considerable  wealth, was  always humble and down to earth - and,  notably, was never infected by the unfathomable-greed-bug  that soiled the record of  so many  of his upper-echelon  party colleagues, during the NPP's tenure.

It is fit and proper that a state of mourning has been declared by President John Dramani Mahama, as Ghana  mourns  a decent politician who in his time  served  his country to the best of his abilities. May his soul rest in peace - and may the Almighty Allah grant him a place in paradise.

Tel: 027 745 3109.


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Could Technology-Enabled Learning Hold The Key To Providing Quality Free Education In Ghana?

Today, dear reader, I am reproducing an article that highlights the possibilities that technology-enabled  learning offers our nation, as it strives to provide quality free  education - from kindergarten to tertiary level -  for the younger generation of Ghanaians.

One hopes that all the political parties in Ghana will focus on how the use of digital devices such as tablet computers,  could  help our country provide quality free education from kindergarten to tertiary level,  to all Ghanaians with the aptitude to study -  at  a fraction of the cost of providing education through the traditional bricks-and-mortar  method.

Entitled "The World's Cheapest Tablet Unveiled", the article was posted on Wealth Wire  by  Adam English, in the website's Monday, November 12th, 2012 edition.  Please read on:

"While the world waits on bated breath for any news about Apple tablets, a small UK firm named Datawind just announced the world's cheapest Tablet.

While a top of the line IPad with the much-touted retina display costs a whopping $829.00, the new UbiSlate 7Ci will cost a mere $64.00. Students in India will be able to take advantage of a subsidy that lowers the price to $24.65.

The Aakash tablets have been developed through a public-private partnership to make computing technology available to Indian students. Internet usage is only at around 10% in the country, which leaves many students at a disadvantage as they move into the workforce.

Indian president Pranab Mukherjee personally launched the tablet while highlighting the importance of putting computing devices in the hands of hundreds of millions of students over the coming five years.

"Technology-enabled learning is a very important aspect of education," Mukherjee said. "This must be adapted to our specific needs and introduced expeditiously in all educational institutions across the country."

Unlike its predecessor from a year ago, the new tablet received widespread praise from the 15,000 teachers already trained on the device. Positive reviews are also popping up in the media.

The original model was slow, plagued by delivery delays and widely panned as an outdated and poorly designed tablet.

The first 100,000 will be provided directly to students at engineering universities and colleges. After the first batch, the new tablets will go on sale at university and college stores around India

While the tablet is not competitive with top-of-the-line tablets, it is more than capable of handling the needs of students and casual users.

The tablet run on the latest Android 4 platform and feature a 7 inch 800x480 capacitive display, 1 Ghz processor and 512 MB of DDR3 Ram. The device will store 4 GB of data internally and will be compatible with a 32 GB small external drive.

For internet access, a Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n card will guarantee compatibility with the latest wireless routers.

It even comes with a USB cable and a 4 port USB hub will allow it to communicate directly with more traditional computers."

End of culled Wealth Wire article by  Adam English.

As a people, dear reader, there is nothing we cannot do, if we are creative in our thinking.

Providing quality free education from kindergarten to tertiary level, need not bankrupt  our nation. We have the Indian example to guide us.

Could we not educate millions by making e-textbooks available  to all  those in our educational institutions,  and outside of those institutions - and also providing   them with broadband wireless internet access? Ditto  providing  wi-fi for all educational institutions in our country?

Perhaps by involving all the telecommunications companies in Ghana, and Google - through the use of tax incentives -  our ruling elites may yet discover that indeed  technology-enabled learning,  could  well hold the key to providing quality free education in Ghana.
A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.


The Achimota Melcom Tragedy Must Change Our Attitude To Building Regulations

One's heart goes out to the families of all  those who died and were injured,  when the building housing the Achimota Melcom superstore collapsed.

An inquiry into this disaster is crucial. It is important that the authorities learn important lessons from this tragedy - and ensure that they are incorporated in Ghana's  building code.

One wonders whether the filling-in that was done when the section of the Achimota-Ofankor highway that runs in front of the collapsed building was being constructed,  might somehow be a contributory factor to  the tragedy.

Perhaps it might be prudent to carry out an inspection of all the nearby buildings, to avert another tragedy -  if the ground in the area isn't properly drained and thus soaking up run-off storm-water.

Those public officials charged with enforcing building regulations must carry out their work more diligently - as such tragedies will be averted if they carried out on-site inspections more frequently during the construction of buildings in Ghana.

The Achimota Melcom superstore  tragedy must change the  attitude of all stakeholders in the building industry,  to building regulations in Ghana. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

We Must Pay Those Who Serve In The Judiciary, Legislature & The Executive Well

It is understandable that in a nation in which there are huge disparities in wealth, any increase in the salaries of judges, parliamentarians and members of the executive branch of government,  will be frowned on by many ordinary people struggling to survive on a daily basis.

However, if we are serious about fighting high-level corruption and the wealthy criminal syndicates destroying our natural heritage and our social fabric,  it is necessary  that judges,  parliamentarians,  the president and those who serve in his administration are paid well.

Though not perfect, democracy is preferable to any other form of government known to humankind - and it does not come cheap.

If we expect those who act as stewards of our nation's wealth, write the laws that govern us and interpret them,  to do their work without fear or favour, then we must ensure that they are well-paid and  have secure and good pension benefits.

The more responsible sections of the Ghanaian media ought to  play a leading role in helping to make  ordinary people understand the importance and necessity of ensuring that judges, parliamentarians, the president and those serving in his administration are paid well.

A democracy under assault by international drug traffickers and powerful local criminal-syndicates, cannot afford not to pay those who govern it,  well. For that reason,  let us keep envy and populism out of this vital  matter.

Paying judges, parliamentarians, the president and those who serve in his administration,   well, will help preserve our free and peaceful society. A word to the wise.

Tel: 027 745 3109.


Those Conspiring To Hijack It: Hands Off Plot B90 La bone!

Since  my conscience will not allow me to remain  silent, in the face of  a blatant attempt to deprive an old  widow of 86,  of her property (plot No. B90, Labone),  I am firing off this if-the-cap-fits-wear-it-piece to warn those attempting this outrage.

I am doing so,  because the  recounting of her plight by  an elderly pensioner (aged 86) -  who seventeen years or so ago was made to sign a document that effectively deprived her of her own house at Labone for over a decade and a half, because of her kind-heartedness -  moved me to tears.

That shabby story, illustrates perfectly how so many Ghanaian professionals aren't guided by the ethics of their profession in their everyday  dealings with ordinary people.

How would one describe individuals   who choose to  repay an honest  woman  who gave out her own house to save their business -  without a pesewa being paid her in compensation for her extraordinary act of kindness - by yet again asking her to sign away the remainder of the government-granted 99-year lease for no compensation, when the property leased by her to save their business,  ought to have reverted to her two years ago: the lease having expired for that length of time?

That 86 year old pensioner, is now in an  agitated state and highly stressed - because she has been handed the most outrageous legal document covering the purchase of a leasehold, that  I have ever come across, to sign.

It appears that the period for the leasing of  her Labone property - which she was made to  sign years ago  without her being told the full implication  of what she was doing - has now  lapsed.

Yet, she is  being asked to sign away the rest of the remainder of the 99 year lease -  again without any financial compensation whatsoever.

Naturally, the brave old  lady refuses to sign away her property yet again, at what is the evening of her life. She is adamant that her signature will never be appended to that monstrous document.

So,  for now,  dear reader, I am asking  the people involved in this shabby story of unfathomable greed and unparalleled ruthlessness, to immediately cease what amounts to the mental torture of a helpless old lady of 86, and ensure that the noble lady gets her property at plot B90 Labone  back immediately.

Though I am loathe to do so, they must know that if need be,  I will not hesitate to ensure   that the whole world gets to know the identities of people who should be protecting of widows and orphans - but as we speak are rather  attempting  what effectively amounts to the defrauding of   an old widow:  in a  conspiracy  to  deprive  her of her property   situated at plot B90, Labone.

To each one of them,   I simply  say:  Hands off plot B90,  Labone!  A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Ghana's Burgeoning Middle Class Must Get Off The Fence - & Speak Out More Against Bad Leadership

According to a conspiracy theorist I encountered the other day, were  our system as transparent and our society  one that frowned on corruption, perhaps Ghana would be as free of corruption as Botswana is.

In his view, it is precisely because our system is opaque and principled individuals often regarded as awkward customers,  in a society that worships wealth -  regardless of how it is acquired -  that high-level corruption persists  in Ghana.

To him, it is instructive that to date not a single presidential candidate has publicly published his net worth (and that of his spouse). And neither has any political party revealed the sources of party funds.

That political parties can get away with ignoring this fundamental 21st century transparency requirement,  says a lot about  the byzantine  nature of our  national life, according to him.

He was adamant that as things stand, should there be a change in government after the December 7th 2012 presidential election, the only thing that will change is that a new ruling party will replace the previous regime and become the recipient of the munificence of the wealthy and ruthless special-interests  for whose benefit he believes the Ghanaian nation-state now exists.

And under the guise of  public private partnerships, he predicts that  our nation's wealth will gradually be transferred to the powerful few with greedy ambitions -  to whom our political class and the parties they belong to are all beholden, and whose ambition is to own our homeland Ghana.

In the process, those with access to the president, and some of the  leading lights in the new ruling party will grow super-rich - advancing the interests of the few  faceless  and powerful individuals  who actually control our nation's destiny -  regardless of what our rulers say in public.

It may be a rather cynical view of our country, but it is a snapshot of what the post-Nkrumah Ghanaian nation-state has become.

It is said that when good people shun serving their nation, it often falls into the hands of those who do not deserve to lead it. Food for thought for Ghana's burgeoning middle class perhaps.

They ought to get off the fence and speak out more about what goes on in Ghana - and demand competent leadership from those at the helm of affairs in our country. Let them take a leaf from Pastor Otabil's book. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Was Pastor Otabil's Recent Intervention In Ghanaian Politics Suicidal?

That those  in the sectors  of the national economy that are booming,  are doing pretty well for themselves, can be seen in the many brand new vehicles clogging roads in urban Ghana;   the many gated-communities springing up in our major cities and the plethora of shops selling a conurcopia  of fast-moving expensive goods in cities and towns across Ghana.

Parents from this Ghanaian demographic, prefer to invest in the best possible education available in Ghana (and elsewhere), for their offspring.

In speaking out against  "free" education, Pastor Mensa Otabil - who  has worked his way up from a poor background to join this elite group in Ghanaian society -  was merely expressing what many in  this group of well-off  Ghanaians think and say in private.

That is why reputable  fee-paying tertiary institutions like Pastor Otabil's own Central University College,  and the  Aseshi University,  do not have enough places for all those wishing to be educated in them.

Alas, those who have been left behind as some  sectors of the  Ghanaian economy boom,  haven't been so lucky.

For those unlucky souls, life is incredibly tough. Sadly, it is this group of Ghanaians who are most likely to fall prey to the wiles of the cynical politicians making empty promises that they know very well are unlikely to be kept,  once they are in power.

Yes, a developing nation with aspirations -   such as the Republic of Ghana -   cannot afford not to have free education from kindergarten to tertiary level for all its citizens who have the aptitude to study.

However, it is imperative that voters insist that political parties committed to offering free education - to any level in the educational system - point to a credible and sustainable funding source, before deciding which way  to cast their vote.

Free education is far from being inexpensive. Ghanaians will have to make enormous sacrifices,  to enable such a policy to be successfully implemented, on a long-term basis.

It will be disastrous for Ghana,  if the usual recourse to implementing what the New Patriotic Party (NPP) often refers to as   "social intervention policies", without first securing a sustainable funding source (as they are wont to,  in such cases), is applied to implementing its "free" senior high school policy proposal.

The consequences would be dire for  second-cycle education in Ghana, and apart from destroying it, could even end up dislocating our national economy on top too.

That the NPP hasn't a clue how much "free secondary education" will actually cost Ghana over the four years it will be in office for, were its presidential candidate to be elected on December 7th, should be  obvious to any discerning and independent-minded observer.

It really is intolerable that because our nation is cursed with being saddled with millions of gullible "My-party-my-tribe-right-or-
wrong" myrmidon-types, on whose unfailing support the two biggest political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the opposition NPP, can count on, the NPP could possibly win the presidential election without ever letting Ghanaians know exactly how much "free secondary education" will cost Ghana, and precisely where the money to fund it will come from, before the December polls.

It is no use saying funds for its "free" secondary education policy proposal    will come from oil revenues, when the NPP is perfectly aware that the  bulk of the relatively paltry sums we earn from that source - because our leaders signed some of the worst oil production agreements in the world,  during the selfsame NPP's tenure - are already more or less committed to the repayment of sundry loans.

Perhaps in what some see as an unwarranted intervention by him in Ghanaian politics, Pastor Otabil may have done our nation a world of good, in saying what he did about the "free" secondary education policy proposal.

Ghana is  a nation full of fence-sitting moral cowards.  There are many  who will  say that he was  being suicidal in saying what he did - in terms of incurring the wrath of those who some accuse of  using what they know is an empty promise, to win power in the December polls.

However, far from that, Pastor Otabil has earned the gratitude and respect  of many well-meaning Ghanaians - a majority of who   want a sensible national conversation about how best to fund "free"  secondary education in Ghana on a sustainable basis before the December elections.

Tel: 027 745 3109.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Ghana's Political Class Must Work Closer Together - To Make Ghana Prosperous

Ghana's middle classes  are  incredibly hard-working and dynamic.

Across the country, the  small and medium-scale enterprises  they own and run, employ thousands of ordinary people - whose wages enable them  support their families.

Our dynamic middle classes  deserve exemplary leadership from our political class.

That is why the time has come for Ghana's  politicians  to be less confrontational and start working closer  together - in order to make the enterprise Ghana a more  efficient and competitive African nation-state.

It is only when our country is truly competitive and efficient that it can become prosperous.

Why should Ghana not  have the lowest corporate tax rates in Africa, for example, I ask?

And what catastrophe would befall our nation,  if we abolished personal income tax,  to put more money in the pockets of workers? Would that not be incentive enough to boost productivity in Ghana, I ask?

Will cross-party cooperation not  provide the political will to  cut down endless  bureaucratic red tape and remove the web of restrictive regulation that no longer serve any purpose in today's competitive world?

If Ghana's politicians worked closer together to further the national interest, could all the above  not be done in record time, dear reader?

And would many companies not move their African headquarters here to take advantage of such a business-friendly climate?

If taxes on businesses were the lowest in Africa, for example,  surely that will make the many informal sector business entities that are currently not paying their fair share of taxes, feel obliged to do so?

It simply does not make sense for those hard-working private individuals who contribute so much to wealth-creation in Ghana,  to be constantly hampered by the public-sector's inefficiencies.

If   our political class worked closer to create a more conducive climate for the private sector, Ghana will grow at a much quicker pace - and the real economy will expand faster to create more jobs for the younger generation: who hold the key to Ghana's future. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.


We Must Never Accept What Politicians Say At Face Value

 Every time a political party comes up with a policy proposal that  will benefit  ordinary people, we must commend them for it, to encourage the other parties to do  same  too.

That   is why it is gratifying that at long last, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has finally come up with a policy proposal for  which they will not have to resort to Kweku-Ananse-economics, in order to try and justify.

That is  because it is a policy proposal that is  actually doable and feasible,  and,  above all,  just the sort of policy proposal that will impress an important Ghanaian demographic: the nation's small crop of independent-minded,  patriotic and discerning individuals whose crucial swing-votes now decide who becomes Ghana's president.

In a nation in which the two biggest political parties, the ruling National Democratic Congress  (NDC),  and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP),   can almost always  rely on the support of millions of "My-party-my-tribe-right-or-
wrong" myrmidon-types -  whose blinkered support for both  parties is slowly destroying Ghanaian democracy - it is comforting  to know that it is  the swing-votes of  those independent-minded and discerning individuals, which now  determine  the outcome of  presidential elections.

And luckily for Mother Ghana, those independent-minded and patriotic citizens, are also very much aware of the fact  that there is only so much available to the government of the day, by  way of tax revenues, to enable it implement its developmental agenda.

They are also aware that a large chunk of those revenues invariably go  into the  payment of public-sector employees and to ensure that  the machinery of state functions effectively.

It is this awareness of how little room for manoeuvre there is for every government,   budget-wise, which makes such individuals doubt the sincerity of those politicians promising to turn Ghana more or less into a land flowing with  milk and honey,  in which there are endless freebies for ordinary people, if voters elect them  to power in the December 7th elections.

In reality, every policy proposal that  offers  something "free" to Ghanaians, actually  has to be paid for,  out of those selfsame  inadequate tax revenues.

What that means in practice,  in the real world, is that the government of the day  has to resort to either borrowing  money or     levying  additional taxes,  or  make drastic cuts in government spending.

That is why discerning and independent-minded Ghanaians are keen that Ghana's politicians tell ordinary people,  precisely  where they intend to find the money from,  to pay for the freebies they are offering Ghanaians.

It is in the light of all the above that  as someone who for over two decades   has advocated that  tax holidays on rental-income  ought to   be extended  to real estate companies offering well-designed,  well-built and affordable rental accommodation to ordinary Ghanaians, I now feel able to commend Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) presidential candidate,  for assuring members of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA)      that that will be one of his government's key policies.

That is just the sort of  creative thinking by politicians that will redound to the benefit of ordinary working families in urban Ghana. Pity that the hard-of-hearing Mills regime never listened to those  of us who  gave  them that selfsame  idea for free.

So kudos to the NPP's Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo,  for proposing to  offer tax incentives to  real estate companies in Ghana, that  provide  affordable rental accommodation.

Let us hope that the many promises  that members of our political class (across the spectrum) are making to voters,   don't end in tears for the ordinary people of  Ghana,  eventually.

For this year's presidential and parliamentary elections, it really is vital that ordinary Ghanaians are a great deal  more discerning  than has been the case in the past.

Above all, instead of accepting things that Ghana's  politicians say at face value, ordinary people   must constantly question those politicians  making policy proposals in campaign speeches across the country,  in order  to get a  whole-picture-view of issues. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.


Should Strike Action By Public Sector Teachers & Healthcare Professionals Be Banned In Ghana?

If our parliamentarians see the need to adopt a consensus approach when it comes to the issue of  their emoluments, then they must also do so in tackling many of the problems that confront Ghanaian society.

Take the issue of students in public educational institutions not being taught,  and patients in government hospitals being  denied the services of healthcare personnel,  as a result of strike action, for example.

Can  it not be argued that it is totally unacceptable that ordinary people can be held to ransom in such unacceptable fashion in 21st century Ghana - by professionals trained at great cost to taxpayers?

Has the time therefore not  come for all the political parties in Ghana to unite and agree that after the December presidential and parliamentary elections,   Government and Parliament will be  asked to take immediate steps to ensure that legislation is passed, which   will ensure that never again will those being educated  in public educational institutions,  and patients attending public-sector healthcare facilities,  be denied access to the services offered by those institutions, as a result of  strike action by  teachers and healthcare professionals?

To whom much is given, much is also expected of. Compared to the many struggling families of working class Ghanaians, those who teach in public educational institutions and public-sector healthcare professionals,  are relatively much better off materially.

Surely, in this day and age, there can be no justification  for teachers and  healthcare professionals  putting  the education of those attending  public educational institutions in jeopardy, and the health of those who use public-sector healthcare facilities,  at risk, by embarking  on strike action?

Can it not be argued, dear reader,  that schoolchildren, students, outpatients and those on admission in government hospitals and polyclinics across Ghana,  are being held to ransom in such circumstances - and that in a sense it is an abuse of their human rights?

Yes, healthcare professionals and teachers are important to society, and must be well-compensated.

However, they must always remember that all Ghanaians have, of necessity,  to make sacrifices as we journey towards a prosperous future together.

What will happen to our nation and its people, were the men and women who serve in the Ghana Police Service,  the Ghana Armed Forces and the other security agencies - who put their lives on the line on a daily basis - to embark on strike action over pay, I ask?

The Ghanaian nation-state does not have a bottomless pot of cash sitting in the national treasury. For the general good, all those who work for the Ghanaian nation-state must be prepared to sacrifice a little for the sake of Mother Ghana.

If it were possible,  perhaps public-sector healthcare professionals and those  who teach in public educational institutions in Ghana, would be paid some of the highest salaries for healthcare professionals and teachers in the world - but in our present circumstances, that is simply not possible.

Perhaps providing accommodation near where they work across the country, would make a difference to  healthcare professionals and those who teach in public educational institutions.

Let Ghana's politicians agree that that will be done in phases, until they are all housed near where they work.

Since their work is of an essential nature, for the common good, should Ghanaian politicians not  unite to   pass legislation banning strike action by public-sector healthcare professionals and teachers working in public educational institutions?

One hopes that that  will be done quickly -  for the sake of ordinary people in Ghana. A word to the wise.

Tel: 027 745 3109.