Friday, 30 October 2015

A Possible Role For Zenator Rawlings?

The battle for the right to represent the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in the Korle Klottey constituency, in the presidential and parliamentary elections of November 2016, is an interesting one.

It has turned out to be a battle between the old-style big-man/big-woman politics of patronage, represented by the Hon. Nii Armah Ashittey, and the new servant-leader/community activist politics - of the kind that eventually propelled President Obama to the White House from Chicago - espoused by Dr. Zenator Rawlings.

Zenator Rawlings definitely represents the future of the NDC - as a party of servant-leaders and community activists: helping marginalised communities across Ghana to pull themselves out of poverty by their own bootstraps.

Alas, the Nii Armah Ashitteys, represent the NDC's past - a faded and jaded brand that no longer appeals to the hearts and minds of millions across the country.

That brand, ruined by the cynicism and dissembling of the Stan Dogbes, has no future - and its cynical and corrupt heavyweights are passe. They are history: because Ghanaians are now fed up with the greed-filled polititricks that  breeds high-level corruption.

In support of her community-activism, here's an  idea for Zenator Rawlings - which could easily be scaled-up and replicated across the entire coastline of Ghana, to empower fishing communities.

Why does she not fly to Ireland, to meet with kindred-spirit, Dr. Easkey Britton, the world-famous surfer, and researcher with the Too Big To Ignore (TBTI) research network - which promotes and raises awareness for small-scale fisheries - to discuss working together to leverage aspects of the European Union's (EU) Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), for the mutual benefit of the fishing industries of Ireland and Ghana?

Easkey Britton is ambassador for the EU's INSEPARABLE campaign - which is a sustainable fishing campaign to encourage people to eat, buy and sell sustainable seafood, and to take an active role in helping to improve the state of the oceans around us, globally.

The EU needs to make further cuts in its total fishing fleet - to enable it conserve fish stocks for future generations.  Now that the Ghana Navy can effectively police our 200-mile economic zone in the waters above the continental shelf off our shores, that downsizing of the EU's fishing fleet could benefit Ghana's fishing industry.

Could the owners of some of those laid-up fishing boats not be encouraged to register those fishing boats in Ghana, and form joint-venture partnerships  with cooperatives of young fishermen, in  fishing  communities along our nation's coastline - as a first step to developing a modern world-class fish processing industry in Ghana?

Ireland's fishing industry could develop partnerships in Ghana to grow a modern and world-class fish-processing industry (and aquaculture industry) here to supply markets in the continent of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. When established, the industry will have a built-in comparative cost-advantage - and earn its players far  better margins than processed seafood exported from Ireland and Europe to those markets.

Could Zenator Rawlings not kickstart that by partnering Easkey Britton to create partnerships between Irish fishing companies and cooperatives of young fishermen in Korle Klottey, to transform canoe fishing into a modern industry with  modern fishing boats that is world-class?

Could she also not play a role in helping Korle Klottey's older generation of canoe fishermen (and older-generation canoe fishermen elsewhere along our coastline) to develop adventure tourism in which they take adventure-seekers out to sea for Ghc20 per trip - complete with life-jackets and the newly-invented inflatable tubes that people can cling to should the canoes capsize: that is now helping to save the lives of refugees who end up in the Mediterranean Sea when their boats sink?

Incidentally, additionally, she could also do similar deals  with  Leila Janah's Samma Group for digital jobs for the  young people in her constituency. Ditto with Katherine Lucey's Solar Sisters for young women there.

The future of the NDC definitely lies with honest,  idealistic activist-leaders like Zenator Rawlings -  who genuinely seek a fairer society for our nation and all its people. Good luck to her!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

An Open Letter To Switzerland's Ambassador To Ghana

Your Excellency,

When you recently spoke about the need to make Ghana a more attractive destination for investors, you were no doubt showing your commitment to strengthening the ties that bind the government and people of Switzerland, and the government and people of Ghana.

Those ties go back to 1843 when the first missionaries from the Basel Mission came to live and work in what then was the Gold Coast.

They were organised and sent to the Gold Coast by Swiss businesspeople who wanted the people of the Gold Coast to become Christians.

Those early  Basel missionaries - comprising Afro-Caribbeans, initially, and Europeans later on - left a legacy of uprightness, discipline and hard work that still underpin all the structures of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana.

Your Excellency, as regards the issue of making Ghana an attractive destination for investors, there is something that the Federal Swiss government can actually do to help the government and people of Ghana to attain that end  - at a time when most Ghanaian families have to struggle daily to survive: because of the prevailing harsh economic climate.

Over the years, there has been talk of the US-dollar equivalent of trillions of cedis lodged in accounts of the Oman Ghana Trust Fund, at the United Bank of Switzerland (UBS), supposedly belonging to the government and people of Ghana.

As you very well know, Your Excellency, behind the facade of uber-respectability, the world's leading banks that caused the global financial crisis, are centres of greed, chicanery and criminality. The recent benchmark rate-fixing Libor scandal being the latest manifestation of those unfortunate tendencies.

If they actually exist, it is only the Federal Swiss government that can force UBS to give all the funds said to be held in the Oman Ghana Trust Fund accounts back to the government and people of Ghana.

Your Excellency, by the simple measure of transforming those funds in the Oman Ghana Trust Fund accounts into a sovereign wealth fund for Ghana, which UBS can manage for a fee, those funds can be used to fund infrastructural projects, and to retire Ghana's debts, as and when contracted foreign loans mature, and to service those selfsame debts in the intervening years.

That way, it will not leave a massive hole in the balance sheet of UBS - and the crooks-in-high-places in Ghana will not have access to those funds: and the Ghanaian economy will be given a second-chance-opportunity to grow again.

Ghana can then finally be set on a course of becoming a fiscally-responsible and well-managed econony - and  uber business-friendly base from which Swiss businesses can manufacture and sell their products across the continent of Africa.

You can rest assured that the hard-pressed people of a grateful nation, will ensure that Swiss engineering firms bidding for contracts here, can play a leading role, in the expansion and modernisation of Ghana's infrastructure - paid for from the Oman Ghana Trust accounts converted to the Republic of Ghana Sovereign Wealth Fund, through the intervention of the Federal Swiss government.

Your Excellency, simply put, the best way the government and people of Switzerland can help the government and people of Ghana, for their mutual benefit,  is for the Federal Swiss government to order its secret services, and law enforcement agencies, to find that money sitting in the accounts of the Oman Ghana Trust Fund at UBS - and ensure that it is converted into a sovereign wealth fund for Ghana, which UBS can manage for a fee.


Kind regards,

The Ghanapolitics Blog.

 PS Your Excellency, since the Swiss are renowned the world over, for their meticulous record-keeping, Ghanaians would be grateful if you could request your secret services and law enforcement agencies now carrying out investigations into the financial affairs of Fifa, to give the people of Ghana details of all payments made to the Ghana Football Association (GFA), by Fifa, since Mr. Ohene Djan affiliated the GFA to Fifa in 1958, to date. Thanks.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Why Is The New Patriotic Party Tearing Itself Apart So Glaringly In The Open?

Why is Ghana's largest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), tearing itself apart so glaringly,  and in such open fashion, one wonders?

Why the confounding struggle for power that risks destroying the party's chances of winning the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections?

According to bush-telegraph sources, and some of Ghana's conspiracy theorists, the infighting in the NPP, is for control of the billions of cedis in kickbacks expected to flow into the party's coffers, when it wins the November 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Naturally, some might be say that that is a rather cynical and unfair view, for anyone to take.

Those who take that view of the NPP's current difficulties, insist that the plutocrats amongst those who organise funding for the party, saw the election of their preferred candidate as the party's candidate for the 2016 presidential election, as an opportunity to transform the NPP into the financial equivalent of a special purpose vehicle, which they would take full control of.

The election of the strong-willed and independent-minded Paul Afoko and Kwabena Adjei Agyapong as national chairperson and general secretary, respectively,  of the NPP, with overwhelming majorities, was therefore a major setback for those plutocrats.

It ought to be pointed out that the NPP's plutocrats don't actually believe in democracy - a mindset encapsulated perfectly in Atta Akyea's infamous and revealing December 2008 statement uttered in a secretly recorded conversation aired on Radio Gold FM's Election Forensics programme hosted by Raymond Archer: "Saa democracy nonsense yi."

It is also a fact that those super-clever NPP plutocrats have conveniently cloaked themselves ostentatiously with the garb of democracy - in order to remain respectable in Ghanaian society. Their ultimate goal is to dominate Ghana from the shadows when the NPP wins power in the November 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Apparently, they vowed to cut short the tenures of Afoko and Agyapong, and remove them from office, the very day the two gentlemen were elected to their positions - hard facts on the ground regarded as mere irritating irrelevances by the said plutocrats.

And as is the case with plutocrats worldwide, the NPP plutocrats seeking to depose Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong, in a coup, feel that somehow they are above the laws of Ghana and that they are not bound by societal norms - and can therefore act with impunity whenever it suits them. What, hubris.

Alas, they don't care a whit, what effect their actions have on the party's reputation and image - as long as they achieve the ends they seek. Unfortunately, their hubris has left the image and reputation of the NPP in tatters.

And it explains why two leading and longstanding party members, both elected to their national executive positions with overwhelming majorities, in a political party that says it is a bastion of individual liberty, and an upholder of the rule of law, have suddenly become the victims of a scorched-earth Machiavellian-strategy, meant to enable those NPP plutocrats take full control of the NPP's finances.

Unfortunately, the NPP's plutocrats have miscalculated terribly. That grave error of judgment will almost certainly result in the NPP losing many crucial votes amongst independent-minded and patriotic Ghanaians who are totally fed up with the fact that the NDC/NPP duopoly continues to be beholden to the vested interests bleeding Mother Ghana dry.

It is unfortunate that a political party many Ghanaians hoped would replace the party now in  power is tearing itself apart so glaringly and in such open fashion - because a few amoral plutocrats want to take full control of its finances before the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections: and doubtless make hay whiles the sun shines on them in the period between January 7th, 2017 and January 7th, 2021. Pity.

Ban The Purchase Of Diaries For Distribution As Gifts By All Public-Sector Entities

One of the loopholes through which spendthrift public officials used to siphon off taxpayers' money to businesses owned by their families and friends, was by purchasing overpriced Christmas hampers, for distribution as Christmas gifts.

Tens of millions of cedis regularly disappeared from the public purse that way until President Mills ordered a halt to that outrage - in a nation struggling to balance its finances.

Luckily for the nation, President Mahama has continued that policy - and has maintained the ban imposed on the purchase of Christmas hampers by public-sector entities by President Mills.

What President Mahama should now do to save taxpayers' from bring diddled yet again, by spendthrift public officials, as the Christmas season approaches, is to ban the purchase of diaries by all public-sector entities - including the presidency and all state-owned enterprises - for distribution as gifts.

It is outrageous that in an era of austerity, when millions of families struggle daily to survive in a harsh economic climate, money that can be used to help improve the quality of life for people in poor rural and urban communities, is wasted on the purchase of diaries by public officials.

It is a practice that can never be justified - as it only enables those who benefit from  inflating the prices of goods and services supplied to public-sector entities to enrich themselves. Most of those who receive such gifts invariably give them away in any case - because they don't actually need them.

The time has now come for the government of President Mahama to ban the purchase of diaries by all public-sector entities for distribution as Christmas gifts. The world will not come to an end if President Mahama bans such wasteful expenditure by public-sector entities, will it? We rest our case.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Younger Generation Ghanaians Must Leverage The Positive Money Movement's Ideas For Society's Benefit

"The way monetary economics and banking is taught in many - maybe most - universities is very misleading."
                                                     - Professor David Miles, Monetary Policy Committee, Bank of England.

If Ghana's younger generation want to ensure that at a time when global climate change is impacting Ghana so negatively, they, their children and their children's children, can at least enjoy the same standards of living as today's population of Ghana does - if not better - then they had better take their generation's destiny into
their own collective hands.

Instead of putting their faith in the older generation of leaders that have so egregiously failed Ghanaians, because they are unable to think creatively, they would be wise to arm themselves intellectually to secure their future,  by leveraging some of the ideas underpinning the reformist campaigns, for better societies, run by radical youth-oriented organisations across the world, which are freely available online.

To understand why our economy is in such a mess, and how radical action by creative policymakers could help Ghanaian businesses thrive, instead of being destroyed by high interest rates and a free-falling currency, for example, I humbly suggest that every university student in Ghana, calls for the setting up of a Ghanaian affiliate of the International Movement for Monetary Reform, the global arm of Positive, by the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS).

If all the students in Ghana's tertiary institutions were to access the information available on the Positive Money movement's  website, they would see the sense in NUGS taking such a step - if young people in Ghana are to arm themselves with the requisite knowledge to enable them protect their own individual futures.

Positive Money is a movement for a money and banking system that works for society and not against it.

 Its members are campaigning for the power to create money to be used in the public interest, in a democratic, transparent and accountable way, rather than by the same banks, that caused the global financial crisis - to paraphrase the organisation's online website.

To students in the UK, it points out the fact that "Universities often teach ideas about money and banking that have been out of date for decades" and calls on them to "make sure academics and students in your University understand how banks really work today, and how that affects the main social and economic challenges we are facing today."

And that is the UK, today. One shudders to think what the prevailing situation in university lecture rooms where similar course subjects are taught across Ghana are like.

Hopefully, by learning more from Positive Money. org, some tertiary students in Ghana will begin to think creatively about monetary economics and the banking system - and how radical ideas by policymakers can make the national economy benefit us all: instead of policies impoverishing society, as is currently happening with stratospheric interest rates.

As a patriot who cares about our homeland Ghana's future, one's  hope, is that all younger generation Ghanaians currently studying in our country's tertiary institutions, will leverage  the Positive Money movement's radical ideas, for Ghanaian society's benefit.

 Post Script

Naturally, all the above is also meant to benefit  media entities in Ghana too.  And to help Ghana's media professionals, and those members of the younger generation who attend our tertiary institutions, to police their nation's nascent oil industry much  more effectively, one's humble advice to Ghanaian media entities, and to NUGS and its affiliates, is that they should collaborate with Johnny West's online oil industry transparency platform,

That collaboration will enable Ghanaian media professionals, as well as  student's in all Ghana's tertiary institutions,  to have the necessary tools to enable them gather information about the oil industry globally - and demand policies that will make Ghana's oil and gas deposits benefit all Ghanaians: not just a greedy and powerful few.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Issues Ezenator Rawlings Must Confront Head On

It is painful to see Dr. Ezenator Rawlings being so super-careful and groping to find a way to establish herself in Ghanaian politics. Yet, she has a lot going for her. She should simply be her usual self: earnest, creative, outspoken, hardworking and compassionate.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being President Rawlings' daughter. She has as much a right to participate in our nation's politics, as all Ghanaians of sound mind do - if they are so minded.

She must not allow the fact that she is former President Rawlings' daughter to become an impediment for her in her career as an activist politician.

Here is some free consultancy for her: To begin with, she ought to make the point to Ghanaians that she is in politics to give back to society - and because she believes that Ghana needs more servant-leaders who are prepared to mix in with ordinary people and work with them to improve their quality of life.

Her recent health walk initiative and lobbying for the dredging of the Klottey lagoon show what stuff she is made of. They are exemplary examples of community leadership in action - and show what a difference someone like her can make to the future of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

And it is that future that ought to be her focus in the NDC party. Good, young, honest, creative and hardworking leaders with a moral compass are sorely needed in all the political parties - if our nation's moral fabric is not to be completely eroded.

She has complained of  vote-buying by some of her opponents in the NDC primaries for the Korle Klottey constituency. It is instructive that whiles she works to improve the lot of others less fortunate than herself, her cynical self-seeking opponents are buying votes instead.

She should make the point that there is a pressing need to halt the takeover of political parties (across the spectrum) by monied vested interests.

She must state clearly and unequivocally that some of her energies will be devoted to that national transparency and accountability challenge as an activist politician.

 She must tell Ghanaians that on a purely human level, she feels the pain and trauma that victims of the excesses of the 1979 and 1981 military coups suffered - and that like many younger generation Ghanaians she wished that that had never happened.

Naturally, she should state the obvious: that she loves and respects her father, just like all normal daughters do - and that she is proud of the fact that from being a military ruler, he finally ended up as a democratically-elected  leader of Ghana, who handed over power to the main opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), when it won the December 2000 presidential and parliamentary elections with a majority.

She should also make the point that she knows that there are some who will say that her father was dragged kicking and screaming to commit to making Ghana a standard bearer of African democracy - but that that's OK with her too.

Above all, she must commend her mother's contribution to empowering women from all classes in Ghanaian society throughout her adult life. The demand for gender parity, now, made recently by Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, should be Ezenator's big political idea too.

Many men in our country don't seem to realise it, but Ghana will never move forward, if a law isn't passed reserving half the seats in Parliament for women.

When that happens, it will change the nature of Ghanaian society in  positive fashion - to the wonder of all Ghanaians. Such a development will help hasten the day when Ghana finally achieves gender parity - spurred on by the nation's empowered women legislators from across the spectrum. Ezenator Rawlings must be in the vanguard of that particular battle.

She can end by saying that she is definitely her own woman - and not an appendage of her parents: for which reason she would henceforth not be answering any questions posed to her by the Ghanaian media about them. She is not their spokesperson - and has no wish to speak on their behalf.

As everyone in Ghana knows her parents are not shy and retiring types - but are an outspoken and plain-speaking couple who are perfectly capable of answering questions posed to them by the Ghanaian media themselves.

Finally, why does Ezenator Rawlings not contact the founder of the NGO, Solar Sisters, Katherine Lucey, and get them to work with her to assist disadvantaged women in the less affluent parts of the Korle Klottey constituency, to enable them sell robust solar lanterns, without first having to make any upfront payments?

Perhaps she could even get the energy company Vivo to sponsor such an empowering initiative for marginalised women in the Korle Klottey constituency - and elsewhere in Ghana?

 One hopes that Ezenator Rawlings, who has charisma in abundance, will have the nous and gumption to confront all the issues outlined above in her own inimitable way. Good luck to her!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Ghana's PURC Must Study The Bahamian Government's Deal With PowerSecure International To Manage The Bahamas Electricity Corporation

The Bahamian equivalent of Ghana's Electricity Company of Ghana Limited (ECG),  the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC), is going to be managed for the next 5 years - once all the details are worked out after legislation for a new entity to replace the BEC is passed - by the US company, PowerSecure International, which is headquartered in the American state of North Carolina.

According to the online Bahamian newspaper,, the main objective of putting the management of the BEC into the hands of PowerSecure International, is to bring relief to electricity consumers in the Bahamas, in the the form of lower tariffs - by making it a better-resourced and better managed entity.

Incidentally, the BEC is both a power generator and distributor, it ought to be pointed out.

The question Ghanaians should be asking is: why does the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) of Ghana, not approach the Bahamian authorities, for a copy of the deal between PowerSecure International and the Bahamian government?

Surely, by closely studying it, the PURC could recommend some of the measures outlined in that document - to ensure that the PowerSecure International BEC management contract results in lower tariffs for electricity consumers in the Bahamas - to those in Ghana seeking to transfer the management of the ECG into private hands?

Apparently - according to - the PowerSecure plan for restructuring the BEC, calls for a substantial reduction in the cost of electricity to consumers. And it targets a minimum price in the $0.20 cents per kilowatt hour range - which it says  would represent a 30-50 per cent reduction on the BEC's current average tariff.

The successor-company to the old BEC will also be owned 100%  by the Bahamian government.

An aspect of the deal that should be of particular interest to the Ghanaian authorities, is the idea of using Rate Reduction Bonds, proposed by some  US banks, to refinance the BEC's legacy liabilities without a government guarantee, and to provide working capital and fund other needs of the successor company to the pre-PowerSecure BEC.

All things being equal, were the government of Ghana to go for a similar win-win agreement - such as the one between the government of the Bahamas and PowerSecure - when transfering the management of the ECG (and other state-owned power sector entities) into private hands, surely, protecting the interests of electricity consumers in any such agreement would ultimately result in lower tariffs, here in Ghana, too?

It is time the welfare of Ghanaian consumers, not egregiuos profiteering by private companies at public expense, was made the sole objective of transferring state-owned entities into private hands.

Surely, by any logic, lower electricity tariffs ought to be the  end result, which the supposed efficiencies to be derived from better and more effective management of the ECG, under a private-sector entity, should produce for society's benefit?

Simply put,  in the matter of transfering  state-owned power generating and distribution companies to private-sector entitties, to manage, what is good for the Bahamian electricity consumer, is equally good for the Ghanaian electricity consumer, too.

That is why in addition to listening to the views of electricity consumers across the nation, on tariff increases, the PURC ought to study the details of the deal between the Bahamian government and PowerSecure International, to restructure and manage the BEC for the next 5 years, and bring down the cost of electricity for consumers in the Bahamas - and recommend a similar deal for transferring the management of Ghana's state-owned power sector entities into private hands: to enable  electricity consumers in Ghana to enjoy lower tariffs too.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Yes, Plan We Must - But Let Us Also Discard Aspects Of Our Culture That Hinder Creativity In Young People

It is worrying that as a people, we seem to be ignoring the fact that it is only by becoming an innovative society in which cutting-edge ideas are constantly produced by research institutions, businesses and individuals; and the taking hold of an  enterprise culture amongst young people, which will eventually make Ghana a prosperous African nation - one underpinned by sustainability.

Why, when some disruptive technology could come along to suddenly change a particular sector of the national economy, for example, and render its business model obsolete, should we shackle ourselves with the straightjacket of a 40-year national development plan?

Yes, plan we must, but why are we not also devoting the same energy to examining those aspects of our cultural heritage, which  hinder the development of curiosity in children, and block the fostering of creative minds in the education of young people?

Development plans indeed are essential for a nation's  growth - but they need to be implemented by people with the imagination and agility of mind to adapt them to the challenges of an ever changing world.

Talking of creative thinking, why, for example, as a people, do we not see that gender parity will immediately double the available talent-pool needed to move the enterprise Ghana forward?

Towards that end, should we not therefore, as a matter of urgency,  pass laws reserving half the seats in Parliament for women - so that the legislative arm of government spearheads efforts at making Ghana a nation in which women are truly equal in all spheres of our national life?

Will that not enable Ghana's gallant and hardworking womenfolk to make an even greater contribution to the creation of a more prosperous society than they currently do?

As a result of the fact that there is a dearth of leaders who can think creatively in resolving our problems, sadly,  at a time of global climate change, we continue to spend billions of cedis constructing roads that develop potholes soon after being built, and are easily washed away by flash floods.

Yet, we have the Building and Road Research Institute (BRRI), of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which could transfer to road contractors the simple technology of mixing melted plastic waste with bitumen, to enable our nation to be provided with a network of climate-change-impact-proof plastic roads, at virtually no extra cost.

Plastic roads last three times as long as conventional roads, remain pothole-free throughout their lifespan, bear heavier loads, and are not washed away by flash floods because plastic is impermeable to water.

A national network of plastic roads will  provide Ghana's national economy with some resilience and disaster risk-reduction capacity at a time when extremes of wheather have become the norm, and widespread flooding more frequent.

So, yes, plan we must, but it is only through constant innovation and creative thinking that Ghana will become a prosperous society. The various research institutes of the  CSIR should work closely with the Ghanaian business world to exploit their research findings for society's benefit.

By commercialising some of those research findings, could we not resolve the problem of youth unemployment, for instance, by encouraging young people to become self-employed, and teach them to access markets across the globe through the internet's plethora of e-commerce platforms including Alibaba, EBay, Amazon, Zulily, and Etsy?

And are there not crowdfunding websites that they could raise funds for their projects from, such as Greenvolved, GoGetFunding, Kickstarter and Indiegogo, I ask?

Whiles we plan for the long-term, we must also move quickly to discard those things in our culture that block curiousity in children, and kill creativity in the educated youth of our country - and witness the resultant flourishing of innovation that leads to the development of dynamic and profitable businesses and industries in Ghana, spearheaded by creative minds with cutting-edge ideas.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo Now Deserves To be Taken Seriously - Since He Promises To Publicly Publish His Assets

The recent undertaking given by Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, that he will publicly publish his assets before assuming the presidency, if elected, deserves our respect. He must be congratulated for so deciding.

For discerning minds, however, the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) presidential candidate must go further, if his undertaking is to affect the way they cast their votes, in the 2016 presidential election.

To begin with, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo ought to agree to publicly publish his wife's assets, too, when he does his.

And he must also give Ghanaians a solemn undertaking that that will be a condition all his public-sector appointees must also meet, in order to be given the privilege to serve Mother Ghana, under his regime.

The fact of the matter, is that many patriotic Ghanaians have not forgotten that President Kufuor also promised to publicly declare his assets, and those of his dear wife, at a speech he delivered at the Independence Square - shortly after his inauguration as President in 2001: but, alas, failed to honour it.

 In the end, he and his favourites among the members of his extended family clan, and his circle of friends, exploited his presidency in ruthless fashion, for personal gain, as they set about sending their net worth to stratospheric heights - in tunnel-vision fashion seldom seen before in Ghana's chequered history.

As we all know, they prospered mightily, during the golden age of business, for  Kufuor & Co.

Well, perhaps in his case, we can trust Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo never to rip Mother Ghana off, too, when he becomes President - but as a people we would be big fools to assume that that will also be the case for all his family and friends.

The plain truth, is that our homeland Ghana will not survive another set of greedy hypocrites, operating with impunity, from the heart of the presidency - to enrich themselves at Ghana's expense.

It is for precisely that reason that all patriotic Ghanaians must demand that Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, also gives the good people of Ghana, a solemn undertaking that publicly publishing the assets of appointees, and their spouses, before assuming office, and at the end of their individual tenures, will be a pre-condition for all the public-sector appointments he makes.

Above all, since Freddie Blay - who is a powerful presence in the NPP - has already made it absolutely clear that as far as he is concerned, no public publishing of assets will occur under an NPP administration, headed by Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, the NPP's presidential candidate for the 2016 election would be wise to promise Ghanaians that as long as Blay and others of his ilk, maintain that perfidious stand, they will not serve in any capacity in an Akufo-Addo administration.

To show that he will be an anti-corruption crusader, who will zealously protect the public purse at all material times, as President, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo ought to demand that all the leading lights of the NPP, should publicly publish their filed tax returns for the last 8 years, before the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections take place.

If entrenched, the public declaration of assets by public officials, will discourage the self-seeker-types from venturing into politics in Ghana - which will help lessen the incidence of high-level corruption.

That is why the point now needs to be made that Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo deserves our respect -  since he has promised to publicly publish his assets before assuming the presidency.

(It is such a pity that since he assumed office, as a result of the baleful influence of the crooks-in-high-places amongst those who surround him, President Mahama has always ignored those of us who have consistently advised him, in our writing, to publicly publish the assets of both himself and his wife - to enable him occupy the moral high ground in Ghanaian politics. Subsequent events have proven that it is the crooks-in-high-places who were the real fools - not us. Pity.)

Indeed, by promising to publicly publish his assets, whatever his shortcomings, one would go as far as saying that Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo deserves to be taken seriously, by all Ghanaians.

  Post Script

Incidentally, to maintain continued respect for him, amongst the discerning in Ghana, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo must also go ahead and rid the NPP of its tall list of party big-shots resorting to Kweku-Ananse-accounting-principles - to enable them play fast and loose with money that is not theirs. Impunity for such rogues won't bode well for an Akufo-Addo presidency. That was the undoing of President Mills. Nana Addo-Danquah Akufo-Addo must never forget that.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

These Indeed Are Interesting Times In Ghana


A thought occured to me, when I heard one of Peace FM's female news readers - whose name escapes me - asking a question this morning, about the format used by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), for the debates it organises, during campaigns for Ghana's presidential elections.

I have always wondered, whiles listening to them on the airwaves of Peace FM, why patriotic, one-nation media professionals - like the Kweku Baakos, the Kwesi Pratts and the Kwame Sefa Kayes - don't come together as a syndicate, to use the Despite Group's electronic media platforms, to organise a series of live presidential debates in all the 10 regional capitals, one after the other, so that topics sent to moderators by ordinary people in all the 10 regions of Ghana, are debated by all the presidential candidates, and aired live, nationally.

Would that not be a more meaningful contribution to the deepening of Ghanaian democracy, than the IEA's elitist and discriminatory presidential debates, I ask? And, best of all, would it not be equally beneficial to all Ghana's political parties, too, during the campaign periods leading up to presidential elections? Food for thought.


That President Mahama is a good and decent gentleman is beyond doubt. He has also shown that he has the courage to fight high-level corruption, when it is brought to his attention. Seldom in our nation's history have there been such  numbers of high-profile prosecutions of high-ranking public officials alleged to have engaged in acts of corruption.

The Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), and National Service Scheme (NSS) prosecutions come readily to mind.

The question the president and his advisors ought to ponder over is: Why is there such widespread concern that we are losing the fight against corruption in Ghana - when some practical action is being taken to fight it? Sadly, in a sense, President Mahama is his own worst enemy, when it comes to the issue of the public's perception of his willingness to fight  high-level corruption and end impunity in Ghana.

He seems to lack the moral courage to rid himself of those around him who engage in unethical conduct. Why, for example, is the brutish Stan Dogbe still at post - after physically attacking a journalist?

Is he above the law - or does he perhaps possess information that could bring the president down if it is revealed publicly: as some cynics and conspiracy theorists unfairly suggest (according to bush-telegraph sources)?

President Mahama's attitude, when his blood relations and those in his inner circle of friends mess up, always ought to be that they must not expect him to put his position at risk, by rescuing them from their own foolishness.

His family and friends have a moral obligation not to embarrass him by getting themselves into trouble of any kind. Ever. That is why he must get rid of the despicable Stan Dogbe now. From his own conduct Dogbe has shown clearly that he is simply not fit to work in the presidency. We all await the denouement of the Stan Dogbe saga-of-impunity.

Furthermore, President Mahama must ensure that his brother, Ibrahim Mahama, answers all the questions raised by the Hon. Kennedy Adjapong, and the rest of the minority caucus in Parliament. Did Ibrahim Mahama receive a payment of US$20 million from the Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA) for dredging the Odaw River - or did he not?

In fairness to him, it must be said that this being Ghana, many of those who criticise Ibrahim Mahama, probably do so because they are envious of his business acumen, and the enormous wealth he has accumulated over the years.

The ministry of local government and rural development, must give the good people of Ghana a detailed breakdown, of the total amount spent on fuel by the government for the use of the trucks, excavators and other heavy equipment, which Engineers and Planners  used to dredge the Odaw River.

It would also help the public to appreciate his public-spirited gesture better, if Ibrahim Mahama told the world the exact amount, which Engineers and Planners spent paying its employees to undertake that particular task.

And when exactly did Engineers and Planners take delivery of the ministry of local government and rural development's excavators, trucks etc., etc.?

Did the company also resort to using state-owned equipment in executing road construction projects at Tafo and Klago, as alledged by the Hon. Kennedy Adjapong and his New Patriotic Party colleagues in Parliament? Hopefully there was no question of the state paying for the fuel used for powering the equipment in either of those two road projects.

One hopes that the president and his advisors will realise the significance of the public being given precise dates of exactly when the ministry of local government and rural development's heavy equipment and trucks were handed over to Engineers and Planners to work with - and why the President must ensure that that is done immediately. It will give clarity on the issue of where the equipment used by Engineers and Planners for the Tafo and Klago road construction projects actually came from.


Such is the gravity of the crime of accepting bribes to pervert the course of justice that those guilty of it deserve no sympathy when caught. That is why it is so hard not to be contemptous of dishonest individuals in the justice delivery system, who when caught in the act, fight to prevent the world from viewing evidence that reveal acts of alledged corruption that they have been involved in, by manipulating the law - in the hope that they will be saved from punishment by legal technicalities.

This is the 21st century information age. Do such individuals not understand that in an era dominated by social media, in the long run,  adopting such a stonewalling strategy, is an exercise in futility? We must not allow those with such antediluvian mindsets to turn back the clock of progress - as Ghanaians seek to create an open, just and liberal society for themselves.

For the common good, why does Anas Amereyaw's Tiger Eye not simply post the results of its latest investigation, which exposes alleged corruption in the justice delivery system, on Facebook and YouTube -  and strike a blow for freedom of expression in Ghana: against those plutocrats in the system who (as a face-saving tactic) seek to use the law courts to censor free speech in Ghana?


Finally, it is a good thing that the Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, who is one of the leading political figures of his generation, now recognises that youth unemployment poses a long-term threat to peace and stability in Ghana. Having come to that conclusion, he ought to carefully study the  European Union's (EU) carbon offset initiative - that it is collaborating with the Forestry Service of the Forestry Commission to implement - to empower rural communities to establish agro-forestry plantations, and recieve payments for same bi-annually.

The vast swathes of land degraded by illegal gold miners across rural Ghana could be restored through such low carbon development initiatives. Cooperative societies of unemployed youth could benefit financially from such green-economy initiatives. Is that not  a creative way to curb youth unemployment at a time of global climate change, one wonders?

The question is: Will those who now lead our nation see the enormous benefit of such green initiatives for the younger generation? With the citizenry now determined to force Ghana's leaders to produce policies that help to improve the quality of life for ordinary people - instead of having to put up with being fed with never-ending sugar-coated propaganda - those who say that these indeed are interesting times in Ghana, are definitely right to say so: This is a time when ordinary people expect positive action from politicians, not mere platitudes.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

A Few Home Truths The Leaders Of Today's Nkrumahist Parties Must Pay Heed To

When Nkrumah's followers united and rallied around Dr. Hilla Limman he won the presidential election of 1979.

If today's followers of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah do the same thing too, and unite under the banner of their mother party, the Convention People's Party (CPP), they could win the 2016 presidential election - if Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom is selected to be the candidate for the presidency for a reunited CPP: with Samia Yaaba Nkrumah as his running mate.

It is the view of many ordinary people that with Ghana's largest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), in such disarray - riven by an ancient (and pointless) tribal rivalry between its leading lights who hail from Akyem Abuakwa in the Eastern Region, and those who hail from the Ashanti Region - a re-united CPP could offer voters a credible alternative, worth being voted into power to govern the country, in the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.

The vast majority of Ghanaians are totally fed up with the leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and that of the NPP - because of their refusal to put the well-being of Mother Ghana and the promotion of the welfare of ordinary Ghanaians, above party advantage and self-interest. The brutish and Machiavellian Stan Dogbes; the cunning, greedy and selfish Victoria Hammahs, James Afenyo Markins and Freddie Blays come readily to mind.

In light of all the above, the time has now come to tell the leading figures amongst today's Nkrumahist politicians, a few home truths.


The only presidential candidate of a united CPP, capable of  winning the 2016 presidential election as that party's candidate, is Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom. He dwarfs both President Mahama and Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo in terms of creating wealth and jobs. And he will make a far better president for Ghana than both of them. However, if he stands for the 2016 presidential election as the candidate of the party he founded, the Progressive People's Party (PPP),  he has absolutely no chance of winning that election.


In the same vein, Samia Yaabah Nkrumah can never win the 2016 presidential election, as the candidate of a stand-alone CPP. Her route to the presidency lies in first serving as Nduom's running mate for the 2016 election. Her four-year tenure as Ghana's vice president, under a President Nduom, will prepare and propel her to the presidency in 2020.


As far as most Ghanaians are concerned, as stand-alone political  parties, the CPP, the People's National Convention (PNC), the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), and the Progressive People's Party (PPP), are all seen as minor parties not worth casting votes for.

It is a clear message that today's leading Nkrumahist politicians ignore at their peril politically. To be taken seriously by voters, they have no alternative but to reverse their respective parties into the CPP - and do so in time to mount an effective  campaign for the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.


Clearly, Ghana needs a change of direction - and must be prised out of the clutches of the NDC/NPP duopoly: the opaque vessels through which vested interests are ruthlessly draining Ghana of its lifeblood.

That is a task that Nkrumahists are well-suited for - which is why a united Nkrumahist front to repeat President Limman's feat in winning the 1979 presidential election in 2016 is a must and so vital. The question is: will the leaders of the separate Nkrumahist parties pay heed to the four hometruths above? They ought to - for Mother Ghana's sake. And for the sake of Ghana's younger generation.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

When Will The Transfer Of Ghana's Natural Capital To A Powerful Few End?

During a 2003 meeting in the  UK, attended by the Eton-educated ex-SAS officer, and mercenary, Simon Mann, and the Nigerian-born Lebanese businessman, Ely Calil, at which the overthrow of Equatorial Guinea's President Theodoro Obiang was discussed, Ely Calil was said to have remarked: "Now there's a place I would like to be king for a day."

Now that is a phrase pregnant with meaning: As Equatorial Guinea's king-for-a-day, Ely Calil would probably have spent the day signing oil agreement after oil agreement, favouring companies fronting for him, which gave ownership of that oil-rich nation's oil deposits to Calil and his associates.

Perhaps Ely Calil should head for Ghana instead - for it is a welcoming place where he will not need to spend vast sums to effect regime-change by invading mercenaries, to enable him grab a valuable share of Ghana's untold wealth.

He can simply buy greedy and selfish politicians, who will happily collude with him to shortchange Ghana, by signing some of the world's worst agreements, to favour him, for small change: just a few million dollars.

With greedy and cunning politicians like the James Afenyo Markins, the Freddie Blays, and their ilk, around, there will be no dearth of politicians happy to accommodate Calil - and with their help he will soon become the wealthiest Nigerian-born Lebanese tycoon in the world: and swiftly rise to the top of the list of the world's 50 most swashbuckling billionaires.

The crimes of our political class are many and egregious. Where else in the world but Ghana, would politicians ignore national laws giving a monopoly on the development and operation of ports, to a Ports and Harbours Authority - that has already borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars to extend and enlarge the nation's ports - and instead give a foreign company with no money of its own, and with a chequered past like Calil's late friend Tiny Rowland's rump Lohnro, the go-ahead to build a freeport to service Ghana's oil and gas industry, as a monopoly? Pure madness.

The Ghanaian countryside is crawling with Chinese nationals engaged in small-scale gold mining - a sector reserved for Ghanaians only. Yet, behind them are said to be  powerful and politically well-connected Ghanaians.

In the meantime, rivers and soils in vast swathes of Ghana's landmass, as well as its ground water table, are being poisoned with heavy metals and toxic chemicals such as cyanide and mercury with impunity. Why are those small-scale Chinese gold miners not being forced to pay for the clean-up of the environmental pollution they are responsible for - which will affect the quality of life of present and future generations of our people? Do they not pay reclamation bonds upfront as required?

And do our leaders not realise that the impunity with which the wealthy criminal syndicates behind illegal logging in Ghana operate (especially those behind the illegal logging that goes on unabated in the Akyem Juaso section of the Atewa range upland evergreen rainforest) has so emboldened them, that they are now putting the Densu Basin at serious risk?

Where will Accra and other urban areas dependant on the Densu River for their drinking water supply, get water from, if the Densu's watershed is eventually destroyed?

Do National Security officials not recognise the threat posed to the Densu Basin by the wealthy criminals who sponsor chainsaw gangs to engage in illegal logging at Akyem Juaso  - and its security implications?

Why should a few super-rich crooks be allowed to grow even wealthier by destroying an upland evergreen rainforest providing ecosystem services vital for ensuring the well-being and quality of life of millions of Ghanaians?

When will that abomination be halted, I ask? There is only one route out of the rainforest at Akyem Juaso for the illegal chainsaw gangs to evacuate their bush-cut lumber: the road off the Accra-Kumasi highway, which begins from Akyem Juaso through Saamang and ends at Osino junction to join the Accra-Kumasi highway.  So why don't the security agencies place surveillance cameras along it? And if they also know that the illegal logging is centred in the areas bordering forestry reserve pillars 92, 93, 95, 96, 97 and 98, known locally as "Thompson" and "Francois" why don't they focus on that section of the Atewa range?

As the Anas Amereyaws work hard to hasten the end of the days of impunity in Ghana, the question our educated urban ruling elites must answer is: When will their transfer of Ghana's natural capital to a powerful few end?  There will doubtless be consequences for them one day. They had better beware - for the ordinary people of Ghana cannot be fooled forever. And neither will they remain forever patient. That is why the transfer of Ghana's natural capital to a powerful and greedy few must end.