Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Ebola Hemorhagic Fever Containment Lessons For Ghana From Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea

What can Ghana learn from the Ebola fever outbreak in  Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea? There is a great deal we can actually learn from their experience in containing the Ebola fever outbreak that they are now grappling with - which is why we must not join those nations now ostracising them.

 It is heartbreaking that the  three sister west African nations that had been so successful in putting their dark and troublesome pasts - years of brutal civil wars ( in Liberia and Sierra Leone) and corrupt military dictatorships (in all three nations) - behind them,  and had evolved into stable democratic societies that were steadily growing their national economies, have suddenly had their systems' totally disorganised and turned upside down, by the outbreak of Ebola fever.

Instead of joining those countries trying to turn the three nations into pariah states as a result of the Ebola fever outbreak, by shunning all contact with them, Ghana ought to rather show them compassion.

Rather than shunning them, by refusing entry into Ghana by their nationals, why don't we simply require all travellers from the three  nations,  who want to transit through Ghana, or visit their friends and relations here, to apply for permits to visit Ghana a month ahead of their travelling dates - and issue them with special permits to come to Ghana, if they are screened at the end of the one month waiting period, and shown to be free of the Ebola virus?

Under the circumstances, no one can accuse Ghana of being unreasonable, in refusing those without such special permits, permission to enter its territory, from those three countries.

To show the governments and citizens of the three nations that we empathise with them, the government of Ghana  could also make donations of personal protective clothing kits to their respective ministries of health for distribution to frontline healthcare professionals - to show them that Ghanaians are at one with them at this trying period in their history.

Naturally, the government of Ghana must also provide all frontline public-sector and private-sector healthcare professionals in our country  with personal protective clothing kits. That will help empower them, in the fight to contain any outbreak of Ebola fever, in Ghana.

 Ghanaians with access to the internet, could also sign the online petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), started by the US-based  medical doctor from Sierra Leone, Dr. Ahmed Tejan-Sie, who wants the FDA to speed up the certification of experimental drugs like TKM-Ebola, which is said to have been tolerated by 14 human research participants in just-halted tests. TKM-Ebola was also apparently effective in treating primates infected with the Ebola fever virus.

Above all, let us learn from the experience of the three nations in containing the outbreak of Ebola fever  - which their healthcare professionals will willingly share with our healthcare professionals by video-link, if we showed them compassion.

On our part, as a people, it is time we stopped shaking hands in Ghana - as a public health measure to prevent Ghanaians from becoming infected by the Ebola fever virus, should it get into Ghana.

We can dispense with handshakes altogether, and greet each other by clasping our hands and bringing them near our lips and noses, and bowing our heads to acknowledge each other, as Buddhists do in places like India. The Tibetan religious leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, does that a lot, incidentally.

We must also realise that spitum is a bodily fluid - and mount a public campaign against spitting in public places. Human faeces is excreted from human bodies - so we  must ban defecation in the open throughout Ghana: and strictly enforce local authority bans in place against it, nationwide.

Local authorities must build modern public places of convenience throughout their jurisdictions. Proper sanitation is important in stopping diseases like Ebola fever from spreading, when they strike.

 Let us also understand clearly that the provision of treated drinking-water is a public health measure - not a commercial undertaking from which vast profits can be extracted. No household can be hygienic if it lacks access to treated running water.

Instead of constantly increasing tariffs to fund their operations, let us fund the expansion and modernisation of the Ghana Water Company Limited's (GWCL) treatment plants, by floating some of the government's shares in the GWCL, on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE). Listing on the GSE will infuse discipline into the management of the company, and ensure that corporate good governance principles underpin the entirety of their operations.

 And since sexual intercourse involves an exchange of bodily fluids, we would all be wise to avoid casual sex with those we are not in a regular relationship with. Those men and women who buy the services of sex workers must revise their notes very quickly - and turn over a new leaf.

It is also time we ended our wasteful spending on organising expensive funerals. Funerals could become infection hotspots across the country, should there be an outbreak of  Ebola fever in Ghana.

If the Ebola virus is at its most dangerous in the bodies of infected victims who die, does it not make sense to quickly cremate all those who die in Ghana as a matter of course -  instead of keeping the dead refrigerated in motuaries for months on end before finally burying them in cemetries?

Building and operating crematoria could be a business opportunity for both District Assemblies and private-sector businesses throughout Ghana - and enable us send off the dead with dignity, safely and hygienically.

Finally, to prevent being overwhelmed by any outbreak of Ebola hemorhagic fever in our country, is it not time the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) was removed from civillian hands, and transferred to the Ghana Armed Forces?

Alas, if we fail to do so,  it will be a complete disaster for Ghana,  were there to be an outbreak of Ebola fever here. It is worth noting that the military is playing key roles in the Ebola fever containment  efforts  underway in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. For our own good, as a society, we must learn practical lessons from the Ebola  fever outbreak containment efforts being made by Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. A word to the wise...

Friday, 15 August 2014

How The Pastor Mensah Otabils Can Help Ghana Prosper

Like Ghana, many of the the nations of the European Union (EU),  are experiencing slow economic growth rates. And, aside from the high cost of living in those nations,  their societies are also grappling with high youth unemployment.

And like Ghana, the austerity  measures they are taking to rebalance their national economies,  have led to widespread resentment that manifests itself in strikes by sundry public-sector employees - organised by European labour unions.  Other civil society groupings in the EU also hold demonstrations to protest against the high cost of living from time to time - the  selfsame response to the government's austerity measures that we have been witnessing in Ghana.

Under the circumstances,  it is entirely understandable that the Pastor Mensah Otabils in our midst feel rather despondent, and fear that our homeland Ghana "is sinking". Well, what is actually happening,  is that Ghana is being sabotaged on a massive scale by a powerful and greedy few, including vested interests that seek regime-change, in order to participate in the ongoing brutal gang-rape of Mother Ghana.

Alas, they are getting away with it, as a result of pusillanimous leadership that aims to please all-comers, including even its enemies. Pity.

(Incidentally, the President has no one to blame for all the negativity swirling around his regime, but himself. If he had ignored the rogues-in-high-places in his regime, and listened to those of us who pleaded with him in our writing to put clear blue water between himself and his political opponents, by publicly publishing his assets and those of his spouse, today, he would be occupying the moral high ground in Ghanaian politics - and would have made it virtually impossible for the quislings who want to return Ghana to their neo-colonialist collaborators and paymasters yet again, to hound him so. Poor man. But I digress.)

Still, the good news, is that despite all our current difficulties,  far from "sinking",  Ghana actually has a very bright future ahead of it. And the Pastor Mensah Otabils do indeed also have very important roles to play in helping to turn around the national economy.

 Instead of engaging in what amounts to an exercise in futility ("i.e. the blasphemy of arrogating the Almighty God's powers to themselves at every church service" -  to quote an old acquaintance of mine - "giving bombastic sermons" in which they "command" the fall of the Ghana cedi to be  "arrested"),  the billionaire founder-pastors of Ghana's super-rich, mega-churches should rather focus on character-building,  and make their flock clearly understand the importance of born-again Christians treasuring personal integrity above all else: if they want to book a place in heaven.

Alas, the obsession of so many of our nation's super-rich pastors, with sermons that focus on unrelenting materialism to the exclusion of virtually everything else, is a major contributory factor to the miasma that the prevailing dog-eat-dog  culture in today's Ghana represents. Indeed, there are many who believe that the unfathomable greed, which underpins their gospel-of-prosperity, actually fuels the unprecedented selfishness that is at the very heart of the widespread corruption in Ghana.

However, there is good news to be had in evangelical Christendom in Ghana: There actually is something very positive that the Pastor Mensah Otabils in our homeland Ghana can do to help turn Ghana's fortunes around. In addition to demanding that our leaders and their spouses publicly publish their assets, they can also appeal to our ruling elites to create a low-carbon green economy that will create wealth and generate thousands of jobs in rural Ghana - and lead to an era of cheap and abundant renewable power in Ghana, which will underpin the transformation of Ghanaian society.

The Pastor Mensah Otabils must impress upon our hard-of-hearing ruling elites to build new biomass power plants, and convert the existing ones to use wood pellets as feedstock. That will guarantee Ghana power that is even cheaper than that produced by coal-fired power plants, which cause such egregious air pollution around the globe. We could even become the biggest exporters of cheap power from renewable sources in west Africa.

 And it will also create  a virtuous supply-chain in which agro-forestry plantations of fast-growing trees provide the  raw material for rural wood pellet factories that will produce feedstock for renewable power plants across the country.

It will also mean that we will finally be able to find a creative way to utilise all the land poisoned by illegal gold mining across a vast swathe of the Ghanaian countryside. Pretty good news, that. Ditto utilise marginal land across the country that cannot be used to produce food for the same purpose.

 As it happens, luckily for us, there is enough long-term capital parked in pension funds in Ghana, which are looking for such solid revenue-generating projects to invest in.

And if the district assemblies and traditional rulers in the northern part of Ghana collaborate with Anne Rath, the CEO of NexSteppe - the U.S. start-up from California, which has used conventional plant breeding techniques to develop heat and drought resistant sorghum plants that grow on marginal land to a height of some 20ft,  and are specifically bred to produce  high-energy sorghum biofuels from, for the use of cars, buses, trucks and power plants - they can successfully replicate NexSteppe's U.S. sorghum biofuels business model's success across northern Ghana too.

Surely, such  innovative agricultural-sector projects will guarantee prosperity throughout rural Ghana, and help keep inflation in check in urban Ghana, because supplying the transport sector with biofuels produced from sorghum, will always be far more cost effective for the nation than supplying the transport sector with fuel produced from onshore and offshore hydrocarbon sources, will they not?

(We will also then finally  free Ghana from the clutches of the greedy and sly so-called bulk oil distributing companies, for which private risk has been socialised. Having been given a license to literally print money (even though they apparently lack the wherewithal and the requisite infrastructure), they now regularly hold our nation's economy to ransom: using a business model that amounts to  resorting to blackmailing governments of the day, through their lackeys in the media, to extort money from the national treasury. Yet those arch crony-capitalists knew exactly what they were taking on, when they lobbied for the opportunity to rip-off Mother Ghana in such systematic fashion. But I digress, yet again.)

We can also  build factories in the coconut-growing areas of Ghana, to produce valuable binderless ecoboards from coir-fibre, for local markets  and for export to the green  building-supplies trade's bulk purchasers in Europe, the U.S.A., the UK, Canada and elsewhere in the developed world.

 Ecoboards made from coconut fibre - which are structurally stronger than traditional boards -  can replace conventional boards (bonded with adhesives) made from trees cut from our fast-depleting forests. The ecoboard supply chain will also create wealth and jobs in rural Ghana,  and boost our exports too, will it not, I ask? Ghana really does have a very bright future to look forward to.

And one certainly has no doubt that  the Pastor Mensah Otabils in our midst are capable of convincing our ruling elites to embark on this green, low-carbon journey to prosperity - that can eventually turn around our nation's fortunes, and create a sustainable development model for rural Ghana, which redounds to the benefit of all Ghanaians.

By so doing the Pastor Mensah Otabils in our country will help bring prosperity to Ghana. That is a far more worthwhile and inspiring way to proceed, than the never-ending doom-and-gloom narrative that so dispirits the young-impressionable and the gullible-ignorant. Ghana is not "sinking" - and God willing, never will: No matter how "heavy" the hearts of some Ghanaian pastors might feel inside the bodies of their super-sensitive owners at any given point in time.

Finally, one hopes that the Pastor  Mensah Otabils in our midst,  will seek direction from God Almighty, when they next commune with him (as they frequently do: being such pious gentlemen)  -  so that they can find the strength to continue contributing positively  to the nation-building effort in their own unique ways. That is the best way they can get direction to enable them help Ghana to prosper.  A word to the wise...

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Empowering Young Female Entrepreneurs In Ghana And Elsewhere In Africa

On what is World Youth Day, today, whiles lauding and celebrating the achievements of Africa's brightest and best young leaders, many a committed Pan-Africanist will also be thinking about the plight of those younger generation Africans,  whose lives are being blighted by the brutal conflicts and life-threatening pandemics now raging in parts of the continent.

For the most part better educated than all the other generations of their demographic grouping, since the end of the occupation of Africa by European colonialists, and lucky to be maturing at a time when many nations in the continent are undergoing dramatic social change brought about by sustained economic growth and rapid urbanisation, one cannot help but be optimistic about the future of today's younger generation in Africa.

 It is they who will power Africa's prosperity - and usher in the African Renaissance. If they want to ensure their prosperity, younger generation African entrepreneurs ought to seek and focus on e-commerce opportunities online. It will help increase the continent's export trade - and expand yet further Africa's bourgeoning middle-class: that acts as ballast underpinning the stability of African democracy.

Throughout our history, African women have played an important role in the commercial life of the continent. Today's younger generation of female African entrepreneurs are no different. They are also contributing to Africa's growing prosperity - and are relishing it.

As one's humble contribution to their further empowerment, as the world celebrates World Youth Day,  the Ghanapolitics blog is bringing to the attention of young female entrepreneurs in Ghana,  and elsewhere in Africa, two examples of the many business partnership opportunities available for them online at: and

 And if governnents in Africa want to encourage an entrepreneurial culture to flourish across the continent, they must follow President Mahama's example - and set up youth enterprise funds that young people can access.

For funding opportunities online, they can crowd-source funding from websites such as:; and, as well as seek dedicated  case-by-case funding from:

 May they all succeed in their business ventures; create wealth for themselves and their loved ones, whiles creating jobs for those who need them across the continent; and also contribute to Ghana's GDP, and that of other sister nations in Africa. And, above all, they can help potential clients around the globe to locate them, by using Mapcode ( for easily-remembered and unique address codes of their very own. And long may they prosper!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Does West Africa's Ebola Outbreak Result From An Accident Or A Crime Against Humanity?

Having trawled through a number of alternative news websites - such as  and - for their take on the outbreak of the deadly Ebola fever in West Africa, one could not help but wonder what exactly was the nexus linking the three countries at the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in west Africa: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The west African Ebola fever outbreak narrative from alternative news sources couldn't be more different from that of the world' s mainstream media. They are world's apart. The mainstream media assigns the cause of Ebola to eating bats and other types of bush meat, whiles the alternative media mostly believes that the Ebola fever outbreak results from a programme of the weaponisation of viruses for biowarfare purposes.

According to a number of news sources that the cynics amongst us would attach the label "conspiracy-theorist-websites", it turns out that Tulane University, the New Orleans-based researchers running the Ebola fever diagnostic testing and treatment centre at Sierra Leone's  Kanema Government Hospital, and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Dieseases, which is based in Fort Detrick, somehow succeeded in releasing a weaponised bio-engineered  airborne hybrid  Ebola/Lassa fever virus in Sierra Leone.

 Could that perhaps be the reason why tests being carried out by Tulane University were halted by the government of Sierra Leone, when the Ebola fever outbreak began spreading, one wonders? Could that also be the reason why the US National Institutes of Health wrote - on 30 July, 2014 - to tell Tulane University that its contract for a five-year US$15 million  Ebola fever/Lassa fever research project in Kanema Government Hospital, would not be renewed when it expires in November 2014, citing federal procurement ethical issues?

The Ebola Fever/Lassa fever research that Tulane University was carrying out for ASAMRIID, had, according to, the announced purpose - amongst others - of defending against the future use of fever-viruses. Could it be the case that the research was a cover for weaponising the Ebola hybrid virus as an offensive biowarfare weapon?

 According to, the primary Ebola fever strain spreading in west Africa was bio-engineered by Tulane University and USAMRIID. Apparently a known Ebola strain from Central Africa was used as a base to become a hybrid respiratory illness (a combination Ebola virus and Lassa hemorrhagic fever weapon used by Tulane University and USAMRIID in Fort Derrick), turning it into a variant of the original strain found in Congo in central Africa.

That hybridisation  optimised aerosol human-to-human transmission (as well as induced respiratory infection - which is absent in the standard Ebola fever virus infection; extending (in two phases) the incubation period (to better increase its spread/threat potential) and gave it slightly toned down virility (to give it the ideal virility  and ideal mortality rate (of 40%)).

The question then is: since it is obvious that a secret testing and research programme that has clearly gone wrong, did not have the informed consent of the people in the areas it was being carried out in, should those innocent individuals used as human guinea pigs in  Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, not hold the Tulane University and the USAMRIID  responsible for what are in effect egregious crimes against humanity? And should those who sanctioned this unspeakable and abominable attempt to carry out genocide in west Africa not be tried in the U.S. for this terrible human tragedy?

 Is history repeating itself, one wonders? Has the U.S. government not learnt any lessons from the disgraceful and unethical 1932-1972 Tuskegee University research scandal - in which 600 African-American sharecroppers were tricked into believing that they were being treated for "bad blood" free of charge when in fact they were being denied treatment in a secret research trial - which ought to have ended in 1945 when penicillin was being mass-produced and widely acknowledged as a cure for syphilis - in order to enable researchers to study the long-term effect of syphilis?

 Incidentally, all that came to light in 1972 when a whistleblower blew the lid on what was an odious and reprehensible crime. And the selfsame deception occurred in Guatamala too between 1945 and 1948. There, prostitutes, soldiers, prisoners and mental hospital patients, were also secretly infected with syphilis, and denied treatment. A dreadful crime for which the U.S government later apologised.

 Yet another example of ethical corner-cutting (this time by a private U.S. corporation) is the 1996 Pfizer Trovan meningitis trial scandal in northern Nigeria - in which Pfizer conducted tests on 200 children without obtaining proper consent from their legal guardians. Like today's  Ebola test  scandal in Sierra Leone, tests continued in the fear-filled and chaotic conditions of a third world healthcare facility, in the midst of an outbreak of a dangerous and infectious disease. Fortunately for the victim,  in the end justice prevailed: years later Pfizer made an out of court settlement and paid out US$75 million to the families of the 200 Nigerian children.

If the conspiracy-theorist-websites are right in what they say, then in  light of all the above, it would be unconsionable were the U.S. government to refuse to supply the ZMapp serum free of charge to all the west African nations where the Ebola fever outbreak has occured, when the manufacturers finally succeed in producing more of the experimental drug which has been given to Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantley. Both of them contracted Ebola fever in Liberia and were subsequently evecuated to the U.S. to receive treatment - where they are reported to be steadily improving in health.

It is the least the U.S. government could do under the circumstances - an arm of it having once again played the very same dastardly trick  played in the secret Tuskegee University and Guatamala syphilis research scandals. It would appear that the same trick has been played on the many victims of the Ebola fever outbreak in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, too.

When available in sufficient quantities, the US government cannot morally justify denying the victims of the west African Ebola fever outbreak access to the ZMapp experimental drug - that seems to have helped Dr. Brantley and Miss Writebol to survive an Ebola fever infection. Hopefully,  the U.S. government will do the honourable thing this time round. And one also hopes that the American government will ensure that whenever other effective drugs are subsequently developed and approved by the  FDA, they will be made available to all the west African nations in which Ebola fever is detected.

However, were it to fail to do so, then no matter the spin the Western mainstream media puts on it, the west African Ebola fever outbreak will come to be regarded by many around the globe, as the terrible outcome of  a carefully planned crime against humanity, which ought to be declared as such by the United Nations and the African Union - and all those who planned it made to pay for it. A word to the wise...

Friday, 8 August 2014

Africa Must Partner Google To Build The Grand Inga Hydro Power Plant

Instead of allowing themselves to be convinced by Chinese power companies to permit the building of coal-fired power plants across the continent,  Africa's leaders ought to rather convince Google to partner the Democratic Republic of Congo,  to build the Grand Inga hydro power plant.

 The Grand Inga hyro power project has the potential to generate as much as 43,856 megawatts of electricity - twice that generated by China's Three Gorges hydro power project,  and enough  to literally power the whole of Africa. Renovating the Inga 1 and Inga 2 hydro power plants, in tandem with that mega project, will ensure that  there will also be enough power  to meet all of the DR Congo's own domestic energy needs

Google's participation would ensure that the highest environmental, engineering  and technological standards will underpin the project. It will also ensure that all those displaced by the project, are resettled and provided with sustainable livelihoods, which will enable them to enjoy a far better quality of life than was previously the case.

The Chinese claim that they can build "clean coal-fired power plants" is spurious. There is no such thing as a clean coal-fired power plant - a contradiction in terms if ever there was one. Incidentally, we must also not forget that carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology will not be ready for at least another twenty years.

The terrible toll that pollutants - particulants in particular - have had on the  health of millions of Chinese citizens in cities across that energy-hungry nation, including the capital Beijing, is the main reason why the Chinese government now frowns on new coal-fired power plants being built in China, and is now focusing instead on renewable energy projects.

 The chairperson of the Sunon Asogli Power Company, Mr. Li Xiahai, said recently that his company would build a "European-standard" clean-coal power plant in Ghana. With respect, that is pure nonsense on bamboo stilts - considering the haste with which European coal-fired power plants are now being converted to utilise wood pellets as feedstock: as a result of concern in Europe over the pollution they cause and their role in the emission of greenhouse gases.

A prime example is the conversion of the biggest coal-fired power plant in Europe, the UK's Drax coal-fired power plant - which is now importing wood pellets 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean from the U.S.A.

 The question is: Why does the Sunon Asogli Power Company not rather build a power plant that uses wood pellets and wood chips in Ghana - and create a virtuous green feedstock supply-chain across Ghana that encourages Ghanaian entrepreneurs to use marginal land, as well as land destroyed by illegal gold mining, to establish agro-forestry plantations containing fast-growing tree species?

That will create thousands of jobs across rural Ghana, and help Ghana's conversion to  a low-carbon economy, would it not, I ask? And it will also help burnish the Sunon Asogli Power Company's own corporate image yet further, and boost its green credentials - such as they are - would it not?

The proponents of coal-fired power plants from China,  and elsewhere, are relying on the ignorance and corrupt nature of much of officialdom across Africa, to sweet-talk their way to obtaining permits to build their so-called "clean" coal-fired power plants. They must not be allowed to succeed in their aim.

Africans, including Ghanaians, like Chinese citizens who live in urban China, also deserve to live in pollution-free environments, and enjoy healthy lifestyles lived in cities, towns and villages, in which the air quality is amongst the best in the world.

 The lungs of Africans are no less deserving of breathing clean air that is virtually devoid of  carbon dioxide, sulphur, particulants and other pollutants, than the lungs of  Chinese people - and the lungs of all the other members of the one human race on the surface of the planet Earth.

The  World Bank's managing director, Dr. Jim Yong Kim,  and his officials, ought to take note of that salient point, as they think of making an exception of Africa, at  a point in time when they are reluctant to finance coal-fired power projects: apparently except where there are no other viable alternatives. Well, as it happens, Africa indeed does have a viable alternative, to dirty and health-destroying coal - the Grand Inga hydro power project.

 Africa would be far better off focusing on partnering Google to implement the Grand Inga hydro power-generating project. That will provide the whole continent with cheap and reliable clean power for decades to come. One hopes that Ghana's President Mahama and the continent's other leaders will work together to make the Grand Inga hydro power project a reality. A word to the wise...

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Government Must Adopt Mapcode System To Power Ghana's Prosperity

If President Mahama's government is really serious about transforming Ghana into a prosperous society, it must ask Ghana's ambassador to the Netherlands, H.E. Dr. Tony Aidoo, to contact the Stichting Mapcode Foundation of the Netherlands - and ask it to make a video link Mapcode  presentation to Ghanaian officialdom as soon as that is practicable.

At absolutely no cost to Ghanaian taxpayers, the Stichting Mapcode Foundation could work with all the government  ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to create a system, which would enable Ghana to use mapcode  as a "standard and structured addressing system" (to qoute a stated global objective in the website of the Stichting  Mapcode Foundation) that makes addressable,  the location of  all "citizens, dwellings and businesses" throughout Ghana: assigning each a unique and easily remembered code.

 It is a perfect system for nations whose cities, towns and villages do not have street names or  formal addressing systems. The adoption of the mapcode system by the government, will, for example, immediately remove one of the key excuses that banks and other financial institutions in Ghana often make, for not financing small and medium scale enterprises: the near-impossibility of verifying and locating the addresses of those applying for loans from them.

The ability to provide a standard and modern addressing system that is structured will be a positive development for our country - and a nation-building game-changer:  that  will make a huge difference in improving productivity levels for many businesses and organisations  in Ghana through better targeting of services and markets.

It will also be a boon for the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) - as it seeks to widen the tax net and extend its reach across the country. Ditto improve district-level  planning and revenue generation.

Yet another benefit, is that the police and  other first-responder organisations, such as  the fire and ambulance services, will be able to quickly locate victims anywhere in the country, should natural disasters occur in any area in Ghana. Perfect for tracing and containing Ebola, wherever the virus attacks someone  in Ghana, incidentally.

And by working with the Stichting Mapcode Foundation, the ends that the state sought,  in budgeting for a national street-naming and house-numbering system,  will be met in timely fashion, at absolutely no cost to taxpayers - and Ghana will acquire an infinitely superior 21st century digital addressing system (that will complement the national street-naming and house-numbering system when that is completed), which will make addressable the  location of every citizen, dwelling and business in the land: finally achieving a developmental goal that every regime since independence has sought.

One hopes that President Mahama will not allow the greedy crooks-in-high-places, who always want 10 percent kickbacks from every government undertaking involving money,  to stop Ghana from deciding to use the mapcode system, simply because offered at no cost to its users,  will not benefit them financially, and send their net worth to stratospheric heights. It is vital that Ghana  adopts the mapcode system - as it will help power Ghana's prosperity in so many ways. A word to the wise...

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Mix Plastic Waste With Bitumen To Climate-Change-Proof Ghana's Roads

Ghana's President Mahama announced a few days ago that a sum of U.S.$750 million had been earmarked for the building of new roads - and the rehabilitation of a number of existing ones.

It is an opportunity for our ruling elites to be creative: and kill two birds with one stone, by finding a positive use for plastic waste whiles weather-proofing Ghana's road network. That will enable them to provide our country with fit-for-purpose infrastructure - at a time when as a society in transition we are confronted with the challenges wrought by global climate change.

President Mahama could help rid Ghana of the mountains of plastic waste dotted across the nation, by asking  the ministry of roads and highways to specify that plastic waste can be mixed with bitumen by road contractors, to climate-change-proof all the roads for which money has now been earmarked  by the government.

It will be a cost-effective measure to finally build long-lasting roads across the country - and save hapless taxpayers from having to pay for endless road repairs.

(And hopefully it might also assuage the feelings of those hypocritical and smug traditional rulers - sly partisan self-seekers, with permanent chips on their effeminate shoulders, who pass themselves off as brave men, but in reality are mere spoilt-cowardly-boys  -  who have the gall to unjustly criticise and publicly disrespect Ghana's president. But I digress.)

Research conducted in India, by its Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), in Delhi, and other parts of the country,  over the years, has proved that plastic roads last much longer than conventional roads. Research has also demonstrated that plastic roads  don't develop potholes. And, furthermore, they have the strength to withstand heavy loads - and being highly resistant to water, plastic roads aren't easily washed away, by floods.

Perhaps Ghana's high commissioner to India, H. E. Sam P. Yalley, and H.E. Victor Smith, Ghana's high commissioner to the UK, could arrange for the Commonwealth Secretariat in London to give a technology transfer grant to India's CRRI,  to enable it transfer the relatively simple technology for building plastic roads,  to the Building and Road Research Institute (BRRI) of Ghana's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), in the Ashanti Region.

 Private-sector road construction companies in Ghana, and the 48 Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Army, could then send their engineers and other middle-level managers, to the BRRI, to be trained in the use of the right types  of plastic waste, and the specific  quantities of such  waste material that can be mixed with bitumen, to build plastic roads throughout Ghana.

The collection of plastic waste could also provide steady income streams for thousands of recycling micro-entrepreneurs across the country: who could collect and dry plastic waste and deliver it to central collection points nationwide - where waste management companies like Zoomlion and J. Stanley Owusu & Co can then purchase all such delivered plastic waste: and sell them on to plastic road contractors in Ghana.

And unemployed younger generation Ghanaians could also form road-repairing  cooperatives,  whose members could be trained to use plastic waste mixed with bitumen,  to fill potholes, and resurface damaged sections of  existing roads,  all over the country.

 At a time when global climate change is impacting Ghana so negatively,  in the form of extreme weather, let us climate-change-proof roads in our country: and stop them from being damaged by floods - by mixing plastic waste with bitumen to build cost-effective and long-lasting plastic roads throughout Ghana. A word to the wise...