Monday, 29 February 2016

Young People In Ghana Must Approach The November Elections As Thinking Beings - Not Blinkered Zombie-Voters

Whiles alive, a dear childhood friend of mine - who passed away a few months ago - and I, shared an aversion for negative types, particularly those from Ghana's political world.

For a number of those of us, who have little or no formal education, and are largely self-taught,  a problem or disaster, is always a golden opportunity to find innovative solutions, for the common good.

That is why it never ceases to amaze me that so many Ghanaian politicians are unable to see the many positive attributes of our country and its long-suffering people.

Yes, there are many irritating and dispiriting things about our system - but that notwithstanding, manufacturing giants like Kasapreko, and world-class universities like Aseshi University, still evolved  in Ghana, did they not?

Their persevering founders did not allow the frustrations in our dysfunctional system to stop them from going ahead to execute their ideas.

And, despite the ongoing attempts at sabotaging the nation-building effort (which started as far back as January 2009, incidentally), by the block-headed self-seekers, who have succeeded in infiltrating some of Ghana's largest political parties, the economy has expanded by leaps and bounds - compared to what it was in 2008.

And that expansion of our national economy has occurred despite the  difficulties the world experienced in the wake of the global financial crisis  between 2007 and 2008,  and the drop in commodity prices resulting from the slowing down of the global economy in the recent past.

The fact of the matter, is that  what deprivation there still is in rural Ghana, and the poorer parts of urban Ghana,  exist mostly because when it comes to the crunch, our system more or less forces District Chief Executives (DCE) to toady to the Presidents who appoint them - instead of responding to the needs of local people when it matters most.

To end that pure nonsense on bamboo stilts. in our nation's politics, young people must demand that Ghanaian politicians and political parties should find a less cumbersome way to enable local people to elect DCEs, from candidates presented to them by political parties, as soon as practicable - instead of having to wait for God knows when our sly vampire-elites will condescend to allow a referendum, to secure a constitutional amendment, which will bring that desperately-needed positive change, about.

Will it not deepen the roots of Ghanaian democracy, yet further, if local people elect their own DCEs, I ask?

If political parties and politicians claim that the "Battle is the Lord's," then discerning young Ghanaians ought to remind such politicians that they must never forget that tolerance, fairness,  principle and ethical behaviour - in private and in public -  are on top of the list of the Lord's approved weapons of choice in all such battles.

Patriotic young people who love Mother Ghana, ought to point it out to Ghanaian politicians that  in all such "battles," victory will always elude those armies whose rules of engagement, are not consistent with the spiritual equivalent, of the Geneva Conventions regulating the conduct of soldiers during wars.

So such God-fearing politicians must not be surprised, when they lose elections that the rest of the world assumes they will win hands down. God's name must never be taken in vain. It always has serious consequences - surprising though that might be to some of them. Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o. Asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.

Young Ghanaians must demand that the sabotaging of the nation-building effort ceases henceforth - for it is ordinary people in the bottom strata of Ghanaian society, not our well-heeled educated urban-elites, who bear the brunt of its terrible consequences. Enough is enough. Haaba.

The brightest and best amongst Ghana's younger generation who are prospering from the new opportunities created by the economic expansion that has taken place,  are so inspiring. They are our nation's future. Definitely.

They are not sitting down moping about the lack of jobs in our national economy. They are crowdfunding their projects online at websites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter. And those with the requisite skills are earning money doing digital work online: and earning a decent living from that.

Young Ghanaians must not allow negative politicians and doomsayers in Ghana to discourage them from dreaming.

They must use lateral thinking to actualise their dreams. The world literally is their oyster.

For the honest, principled and hardworking ones amongst them, the internet has many possibilities for networking and open-source collaboration to implement their projects.

Above all, they must take their destinies into their own hands, by approaching the November elections as thinking beings who are independent-minded.

The bottom line in every calculation they ought to make about Ghana's future, is that apparently this is a nation that has a combined external and domestic public debt of over U.S.$30 billion (if we are to believe those opposition politicians who say so, that is).

It is also a nation which spends the bulk of its tax revenues paying nearly 600,000 mostly-unproductive public-sector employees - many of whom incidentally wouldn't last five minutes in the private sector because of their low levels of productivity and their egregious negativity.

If the plain truth, is that between debt-servicing, and the payments of salaries to public-sector employees, there is very little left over to fund the development of our country with, then young generation Ghanaians would be wise to demand that all those who seek their votes, and make endless promises to Ghanaians for that reason, should tell them precisely where they will find the money to pay for their promises - without piling on yet more debt and imposing yet more taxes on an already overburdened people: many of whom struggle daily to survive.

Any political party or politician unable to outline clearly a workable plan to reduce our nation's large public debt, whiles inducing GDP growth at the same time,  is simply not worth voting for. Period. Such politicians and political parties should never be taken seriously by any discerning and independent-minded Ghanaian citizen.

Neither are politicians who refuse to voluntarily publish their assets, and those of their spouses, worth bothering about too - especially if they talk endlessly about halting high-level corruption in Ghana: yet refuse to publicly publish such assets.

Ditto political parties that refuse to publicly publish all their sources of funding. What exactly have they got to hide from Ghanaians, which makes them so reluctant to publicly publish their sources of funding, I ask?

And since the preservation of what is left of our natural heritage, is a prerequisite for ensuring a reasonably good quality of life for all Ghanaians, young Ghanaians must ask politicians to outline their policies for preserving the remainder of our forests and protecting our soils, rivers and other water bodies from being poisoned by the chemicals and heavy metals, used so indiscriminately by illegal gold miners, across the nation.

Ditto ask politicians to outline their policies to ensure food security for our people and to protect Ghana's food sovereignty. They must favour politicians who reject GMOs in Ghana. And, at a time of global climate change, the future of Ghanaian agriculture will be secured by empowering smallholder farmers to farm organically.

Large-scale commercial farming utilising tonnes of poisonous chemicals to produce food is a dead-end solution - and a fool's-gold-pipe-dream that will only end up throwing billions of cedis into the financial equivalent of a massive sinkhole that will leave us dependent on food imports for decades to come.

Only intellectually-lazy politicians and political parties in hock to the vested interests selling poisonous agricultural inputs banned elsewhere, here, and importers and
dealers who sell tractors and other mechanised agricultural machinery, and sundry equipment, will benefit from this massive mistake of a so-called  agricultural policy.

Young people in Ghana who are concerned about their future, ought to see themselves as indepedent-minded voters, who seek honest and patriotic leaders, who can create the necessary conditions that will make them prosper individually.

Such prosperity in Ghana will result  from the impact on the real economy, of  governments of the day, implementing creative and business-friendly policies - whiles at the same time creating a fairer society in Ghana  with robust social safety-nets for the vulnerable, to prevent future social explosions like the Arab Spring, from occuring in Ghana.

What all independent-minded and patriotic Ghanaians who love Mother Ghana, ought to aim for, is to contribute to the transformation of our homeland Ghana into an African equivalent, of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia - not the reimposition of the precolonial feudal system on Ghanaians by stealth, for the personal aggrandisement of the favourites of politicians, amongst traditional rulers in Ghana.

What Ghana actually needs is meritocracy - the greatest enemy of inherited privelage. We do not need a revival of the past glories of the pre-colonial feudal entities, just so a few traditional rulers with overblown ideas about themselves, can fantasise that they are the absolute rulers of soveriegn states, within the unitary Republic of Ghana - a nation of diverse-ethnicity in which no tribe is inferior or superior to another. It is all so tiresome - that antediluvian pure nonsense on bamboo stilts.

That is why younger generation Ghanaians should not allow themselves to be tricked by sly and super-ruthless politicians into becoming blinkered zombie-voters whose motto is: My party, my tribe, right or wrong!" They must never forget that they are thinking beings who will help secure Ghana's future by voting wisely with their heads, not their hearts. They must never become zombie-voters. Ever.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Should The Government Of Ghana Not Remove All The Illegal Gold Miners From AngloGold Ashanti's Obuasi Concession Immediately ?

The invasion of parts of the concession of AngloGold Ashanti at Obuasi  by illegal gold miners is most unfortunate. Indeed, it is astonishing that such an occurrence, can actually take place in Ghana.

Why is there such a sudden upsurge of acts of impunity across our country now? What hope is there for ordinary private landowners  when lawless and violent individuals can get away with such brazen trespassing and unlawful damage to private property in our country?

Surely, as a nation, if we value the contribution that the private-sector makes to Ghana's socio-economic development, we must never condone such free-enterprise-abominations?

What is occuring at AngloGold Ashanti's Obuasi concession, is an illegality that no one in present-day Ghana should accept. We must not allow illegal gold miners to continue defying the laws of our nation with such impunity.

As patriotic citizens, since this is an election year, perhaps the time has now come for all men and women of goodwill in our country, to find a way to compel our ruling elites to turn our democracy into a haven of peace and tranquility for the law-abiding, and a hell on earth for lawless individuals and groups, in Ghanaian society.

It is important that those who administer our country understand clearly that the protection of property is a fundamental human right that ought to be guaranteed by the state in our democracy - in which the rule of law is said to prevail.

That is why it is vital that the government ensures that all the illegal gold miners are removed from that Obuasi concession as soon as practicable. The situation there is totally unacceptable.

After all, this is a nation of laws - and Ghanaians are a civilised people, are we not?

The continued occupation of part of AngoGold Ashanti's Obuasi concession by illegal gold miners does Ghana's well-deserved global reputation as a safe investment destination absolutely no good at all.

It is very damaging to our country's image abroad - and ought to be brought to an end swiftly by the authorities.

The more responsible sections of the Ghanaian media - particularly the electronic media - should play an active role in encouraging the youth in Adansiman to be patient and law-abiding in this matter.

The advantages of setting up legitimate small-scale mining companies of their own should be pointed out to them - as it will enable them to apply for permits to mine gold lawfully in that area when AngloGold Ashanti finally completes the process of handing over part of the concession back to the government.

Indeed, they can be trained to mine gold more responsibly and sustainably by AngloGold Ashanti, as a CSR initiative - but they must first be forced by the authorities to end their unlawful occupation of the company's concession.

It is only when they leave AngloGold Ashanti's Obuasi concession that their mining operations can be regularised.

Perhaps the time has also come for those presently in charge of AngloGold Ashanti to do some lateral thinking for a change.

Could this existential crisis not be an opportunity to adopt a new low-cost business model - in which individual contractors, instead of paid employees, mine gold for the company on mutually agreed terms?

Incidentally, last week, on my way to Anyinam, to report the invasion of part of my family's 14-square mile upland evergreen rainforest freehold property at Akyem Juaso, by illegal gold miners, to the Anyinam District Police Command, a detachment of soldiers in a military truck  ahead of us on the Accra-Kumasi highway, branched off into Kibi Goldfields' yard.

I was later informed, when I mentioned it to a gentleman I am acquainted with, from Saamang, that on a day to day basis, there is a permanent military detachment apparently guarding the  company's Akyem Abuakwa concession.

The question is: If, today, soldiers protect Kibi Goldfields' Akyem Abuakwa concession, why should AngloGold Ashanti's Obuasi concession not be protected from illegal gold miners, by the military, too?

Naturally, the eviction of the illegal miners from the Obuasi concession of AngloGold Ashanti, ought to be carried out with minimum force - and the fundamental human rights of all the illegal gold miners must be respected by the security agencies.

Although it is unpalatable to some of us that Ghanaian soldiers should be used to protect properties of private companies, during peacetime, unusual situations call for unusual solutions.

Private property should be sacrosant in any democracy that is a free society - and if the rights of property owners in Ghana, have to be upheld and enforced by the security agencies, then so be it.

It is also a fact that the unfortunate situation at Obuasi today, could have been averted, if the Kufuor regime had put the national interest ahead of self-serving crony-capitalism, during the battle for the takeover of Ashanti Goldfields.

That was the reason why some of us criticised the government of President Kufuor, at that time, for rejecting the bid by Randgold Resources for Ashanti Goldfields - which would have allowed Ghana to retain its golden share and kept the company domiciled and headquartered in Ghana on top of that - and predicted just such an outcome going forward into the future, if the government  lost the golden share in any takeover of Ashanti Goldfields.

Unfortunately, what we predicted would happen - if our sincere advice as patriots and well-meaning nationalists was ignored by that particular crop of  Ghana's hard-of-hearing politicians - has now come to pass, alas. Pity.

However, be that as it  may, having once been given the greenlight to take over Ashanti Goldfields, all those years ago, our country is duty-bound to protect AngloGold Ashanti's investment in Obuasi - and the present government must fulfil that obligation: and ought to deploy the security agencies to Obuasi immediately to remove all the illegal gold miners from the company's concession.

Illegal gold miners are fast becoming a menace to Ghanaian society.

They must be dealt with ruthlessly by officialdom before their unfathomable greed for gold destroys our nation and literally erodes our quality of life completely. Enough is enough. The government of Ghana must remove all the illegal gold miners from AngloGold Ashanti's Obuasi concession immediately.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Today's Ghanaian Politicians Must Emulate President Nkrumah's Patriotism And Selflessness

"The coup in Ghana is another example of fortuitous windfall. Nkrumah was doing more to undermine our interests than any other black African. In reaction to his strongly pro-communist leanings, the new military regime is almost pathetically pro-Western."
                                                                           - Robert W. Komer.

The quotation above is an excerpt from a letter written to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, on March 12, 1966 (declassified Johnson Library State Department NSC file Africa document 260), by Robert W. Komer, of the U.S. National Security Council.

It sums up succinctly, the importance the Western powers attached to the removal from power, of President Nkrumah - and the contempt in which those selfsame Western powers held the quislings that they recruited locally and used to attain the ends that they sought in Africa: unimpeded access to the continent's natural resources and markets.

In linking Nkrumah's name with communism, Kromer was repeating a falsehood used by his political opponents,  in the propaganda war against President Nkrumah.

Nkrumah was a pragmatist, not an ideologue. He was genuinely non-aligned. He had written to U.S. presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson that he was building a mixed-economy in Ghana and welcomed genuine private investors.

Nkrumah was far ahead of his time in many ways. His economic development model is what has powered China's economy and turned it into an economic superpower.

Alas, today, fifty years after Nkrumah's overthrow in 1966, Ghana has become a dream neocolonialist profit-centre, for foreign commercial interests - from which flow vast sums in repartriated profits and evaded taxes amounting to billions of dollars annually.

In the meantime, as the billions of dollars flow out  of the country, the nation struggles to stay afloat financially - and there is great hardship amongst ordinary people as their vampire-elites allow Mother Ghana to be milked dry by sundry vested interests.

Yet, Nkrumah's goal, was the eradication of poverty in Ghana - and the transformation of the nation into a prosperous and industrialised society: by utilising our nation's natural resources in an import-substitution industrialisation drive.

If his government's development plans had been implemented fully, today, Ghana would be an industrial powerhouse, exporting manufactured goods across sub-Saharan Africa.

And its well-educated citizens would be enjoying high living standards - and the world would be referring to Ghana as an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia.

 It is still not too late to achieve that goal. That is why our present-day  leaders must learn from the win-win agreements that President Nkrumah's regime signed with foreign investors - so that some of the profits from such investments are retained in the country: and used to develop Ghana with.

The agreement that led to the building of the oil refinery at Tema is a classic example of the beneficial agreements that President Nkrumah's government negotiated and signed with well-intentioned foreign investors. All the political parties in Ghana ought to study it carefully - and learn from its positive impact on the national economy.

No foreign company must be allowed to bid for government contracts if it does not have Ghanaian partners.

And when foreign companies and their Ghanaian partners win government contracts here, politicians must not  see such contracts as opportunities for their cronies in the Ghanaian business world to grow super-rich, at the expense of Mother Ghana and ordinary people.

By allowing the outsourcing of the recruitment of labour for the Brazilian companies building the interchanges in Accra and Kasoa, for example, our current leaders have allowed some Ghanaian  workers to be exploited unecessarily by privately-owned human resource companies. Nkrumah would never have allowed that to happen.

Our ruling elites must rather ensure that all the Ghanaian workers that such companies employ, are paid well and enjoy all their full benefits - such as social security contributions, paid sick leave, overtime allowances and paid holidays.

Such contracts are opportunities to lift unemployed people from poverty -  and ought to be seen as such by all Ghanaian politicians.

Nkrumah believed in the power of science and technology to transform Ghana's economy. Present-day politicians in Ghana must do more to encourage the teaching of  science, maths and ICT in Ghana's educational institutions.

Coding, for example, ought to be taught from primary school to tertiary level in Ghana - to equip young people in our country with the skills needed for jobs in tomorrow's technology sector.

That is a goal that all the members of our political class must aim for and plan for. It is just the sort of national goal Nkrumah would have set for Ghana if he was alive and in power today.

The destruction of our natural heritage is something that Nkrumah would never have tolerated - as it has a direct bearing on the quality of life of millions of ordinary people across the country.

The egregious environmental destruction going on across the country today, is a result of the lack of discipline amongst our people, and the growing lawlessness in a democratic nation,  in which the rule of law is said to prevail.

We will not make any progress as long as we remain a lawless and indisciplined people.

Neither will we make any progress if in the name of cultural pride we continue to tolerate the violence resulting from the actions and inactions of elements amongst today's progeny of the beneficiaries of the pre-colonial feudal system.

Our system must be underpinned by meritocracy - not held back by superstition-ridden dark-ages-feudalism (with its Antoa-Nyame pure nonsense on bamboo stilts) responsible for much of the rancour and divisiveness in Ghanaian society.

Nkrumah would never have tolerated lawlessness and indiscipline - especially the illegal logging, illegal sand-winning and illegal gold mining that is denuding our forests and poisoning soils, streams, rivers, groundwater and other water bodies, across vast swathes of the Ghanaian countryside.

Neither would President Nkrumah have sold out to foreign interests by allowing Ghana's food sovereignty to be ceded to foreign companies such as Monsanto. Today's politicians ought to be more protective of our nation's food security.

Above all, let today's politicians learn from President Nkrumah's selflessness and patriotism, in protecting the national interest at all material times, and promoting the welfare of all Ghanaians in all the policies implemented by his government.

President Nkrumah had his faults, but on balance, he was a truly great leader - and our country was fortunate to have a detribalised pan-Africanist, as its first prime minister after independence in 1957, and as its first executive president, when Ghana became a republic in 1961.

Championing the cause of ordinary people, as opposed to furthering the interests of the progeny of the pre-colonial feudal ruling elites, placed Nkrumah firmly on the right side of history - and is the reason why amongst all his peers in the struggle against the British colonial occupiers of our country, it is he, not his political opponents, who is in the Pantheon of 20th century greats.

 It is no accident that in the eyes of the vast majority of members of the black race, Nkrumah is regarded as a  pan-Africanist hero, and dedicated nationalist leader, who dwarfed his contemporaries - and that will be the case till the very end of time: because it is the plain truth.  And no amount of revisionism by ill-motivated propagandists will change that. Ever.

President Nkrumah came to serve his people - not to enrich himself. Neither did he seek to use his position to turn his family members into zillionaires, nor did he ever manipulate the system in order to send his cronies'  net worth into stratospheric heights: in return for kickbacks from them.

Today's Ghanaian politicians must follow his example of selfless and honest leadership. He was a true patriot and nationalist - who despised narrow-minded tribalism: and sought instead to unite Ghanaians as one people with a common destiny. Members of our political class would be wise to emulate that too.


Friday, 19 February 2016

Instead Of Pillorying Him Let Us Examine Pastor Mensah Otabil's View Of The Nature Of The Society We Ought To Build In Ghana

What a strange lot some politicians in Ghana are. Instead of finding a way to profit politically, from Pastor Mensah Otabil's latest contribution to the national conversation about governance in Ghana, some National Democratic Congress (NDC) politicians are rather falling into the trap of responding in knee-jerk fashion,  to a man who is a world-class individual by any standard - by pillorying him.

How many people in this world have the vision and determination needed  to establish universities that eventually grow to become reputable tertiary institutions, from scratch, I ask?

Surely, the few who do so are true  nation-builders, deserving of being honoured by Ghanaian society - instead of being disparaged by hard-of-hearing politicians?

Pastor Mensah Otabil has handed a precious gift to the NDC - for which they should be eternally grateful.

It is such a pity that so many of them have failed to recognise Otabil's generous gift to their party.

Instead of railing at him, the NDC's members should ask Pastor Mensah Otabil to tell the nation,  just how millions of ordinary Ghanaians - who cannot afford to pay for the private clinics that well-off Ghanaians, such as Pastor Mensah Otabil himself, can access, either through the companies they work for, or pay for, out of their own pockets - will survive, if the state "gets out" of the business of providing hospitals, establishing universities, constructing roads, building affordable housing for the masses, etc., etc., were Otabil to get his wish, if a new government comes to power after the November presidential election.

And why do the NDC members criticising Otabil, not rather ask him to provide Ghanaians  with a list of the capable Ghanaian businesspeople, churches, and other civil society organisations that can finance the building and running of the zillions of schools, hospitals, universities,  roads, affordable housing etc., etc., which the nation and ordinary people desperately need - but which the Pastor Mensah Otabils want the state to leave to individulas and private entities to build, own outright and operate by themselves, going forward?

Will the poor and deprived parts of Ghana not be seen as unattractive markets, by the dominant players in such a system - in a nation in which short-termism and the get-rich-quick mentality are hallmarks of the corporate culture underpinning most private enterprises, one wonders?

The question is: Should ordinary Ghanaians trust private businesspeople (in a Ghanaian corporate world notorious for unethical  conduct, which is a zillion times even more nepotistic and corrupt than the public-sector in Ghana is) to provide them with the goods and services now provided by the state, at reasonable rates - when the vast majority of them are profiteering rip-off merchants like the Smarttys Management and Production Company of infamy?

Why do Otabil's NDC critics not ask him what exactly is wrong with allowing the state to provide social amenities and build infrastructure in transparent win-win public  private partnerships (PPP), with reputable and responsible private-sector concerns, instead of ceding all that to greedy and unethical individuals, opaque private businesses, and other shady private-sector entities, I ask?

Instead of casting aspersions on Otabil's integrity, why do the NDC members critical of him, not simply  remind Pastor Mensah Otabil that that is exactly what they have been doing for some time now, and are contemplating doing even more of, in future, as it happens - in case that has escaped him?

Be that as it may, thanks to Pastor Otabil's latest observations, the conversation about the nature of the society we ought to build in Ghana, is now on the table - and Progressives in our country can show Ghanaians how a powerful and well-connected few, are busy divvying-up our nation's resources and wealth amongst themselves, at the expense of ordinary people: in the dog-eat-dog society that has evolved in Ghana since the overthrow of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah on the 24th of February, 1966.

What we need as a people, is leadership that demands ethical conduct from the wealthy and well-connected few, who are milking Mother Ghana dry with such impunity - and think that they and others of their ilk,  can continue to steal what belongs to all Ghanaians and get away with it successfully, till the very end of time.

What many independent-minded  and patriotic Ghanaians also want to hear from the Pastor Mensah Otabils, is forthright condemnation of those who are busy sabotaging the nation-building effort, as part of a scorched-earth Machiavellian political strategy, to enable them win power.

Our nation needs patriotic and nationalistic politicians who are committed and loyal to our country whether in power or in the political wilderness - not selfish and self-seeking fairweather friends of Mother Ghana: prepared to see our country sink because they are not in power at any given point in time in our history.

Independent-minded and patriotic Ghanaians also want to hear the Pastor Mensah Otabils denouncing the many hypocritical, closet tribal-supremacists disrespecting the current President of the Republic of Ghana, simply because he is a northerner.

Is that not the elephant in the room that bold and fair people participating in the national conversation about good governance in Ghana ought to be pointing out and condemning in no uncertain terms? Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.

 Is such gross disrespect today, not abominable and unspeakable, in a modern and ethnically-diverse unitary republic,  in an Africa in which no tribe is inferior or superior to another (despite what the super-ruthless Al Bashirs of Darfur, and Paul Kagames of Eastern DR Congo, infamy, and their ilk think), I ask?

Kwame Nkrumah set a common-good standard of leadership that is protective of the national interest and promotes the welfare of the Ghanaian people at all material times, which all today's politicians and political parties, would be wise to emulate too.

There are many discerning and patriotic Ghanaians who are of the view that the Ghana of today most certainly does not need a leadership that is obsessed with creating the neo-liberal hell-on-earth that the Mensah Otabils want to foist on our country.

And, lest we forget, Nkrumah  was a pragmatist, who recognised the important role that a private-sector with a social conscience could play, in the mixed-economy model he adopted, as a strategy to make Ghana prosperous - which is why he was insistent that private businesses had to be underpinned by corporate good governance principles: and had to be committed to contributing financially to the development of a Ghanaian equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia.

The Pastor Mensah Otabils, and their critics in the NDC, ought to read the speech President Nkrumah delivered, when he officially opened the Tema Oil Refinery in 1963 - for a vision of a sustainable economic development model that serves the interests of all Ghanaians, not just a powerful and well-connected few:  with greedy ambitions, and whose ultimate goal, is to divvy-up our nation's resources amongst themselves (to paraphrase the great Nkrumah).

The question is: Should we be satisfied with the present-day selfishness culture, of the dog-eat-dog society we are now lumbered with, and ask the state to step aside as the Pastor Mensah Otabils would prefer - and allow the many crooks in the private-sector of our national economy to have free rein to sell us sundry counterfeit goods, with impunity?

Should we be condemned in perpetuity to be held to ransom by privately-owned hospitals that prescribe and sell unregistered medicines and counterfeit drugs, and forever allow private educational institutions to fleece students from poor families?

Ditto allow private investors to construct shoddy roads that develop potholes after a only a few years, for us to travel on throughout the country, till the very end of time, etc., etc. - or aim instead to build an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia in which principle, ethical conduct, harmony and equity (not crookery, greed and selfishness), rule OK? Eyeasem sebeh.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

For Ghana's Political Parties - An Innovative Market-Driven Pure Water Provision Idea From Sweden's Lund University And Watersprint

Yesterday, in the hope that it would inspire and encourage Ghanaian politicians, and the nation's present crop of young entrepreneurs, to replicate it locally, I posted a culled article from the Big Ideas Berkeley website, written by Sybil Lewis, about a successful social enterprise in Kenya, which makes charcoal briquettes from human faeces.

Today, for the same reasons, I am posting a press release from Sweden's Lund University, about the provision of pure water for poor communities in Bangladesh, which is culled from the EurekaAlert website.

It is a market-driven solution - resulting from a collaborative effort between the Water Resources Engineering Department of Lund University of Sweden, the Swedish company Watersprint and Professor Yunnis - to the problem of providing inexpensive pure water to poor communities in the developing world.

If replicated in Ghana, it will suit local conditions here perfectly. Hopefully, the brightest and best of our present crop of young entrepreneurs, and all the political parties in Ghana, will take note of this life-enhancing innovation, which could have a direct bearing on the quality of life of millons of disadvantaged people in the bottom strata of Ghanaian society, and run with it.

And, best of all, one hopes that somehow, someone super-clever in Ghana, could find a way for an inexpensive portable version for use by families and individuals, to be developed for the market here, as a primary source of safe drinking water for ordinary people, to replace the so-called "pure sachet water"  sold in sealed plastic bags - which contain water of dubious quality that no civilized nation that cares about the health of its citizens will allow to be produced and sold to the public.

Please read on:

"Public Release: 

Solar cells help purify water in remote areas

Lund University.

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a water purification plant that provides clean water far beyond the reach of the electrical grid - thanks to solar cells. With the help of Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus, these small and portable solar cell stations have now been placed across rural Bangladesh.

"750 million people lack access to clean water across the globe. Providing safe drinking water is one of the biggest challenges and one of the most important goals for humanity", says inventor Kenneth M. Persson, Professor of Water Resources Engineering at Lund University.

The environmental company Watersprint, founded in 2013 by Kenneth M Persson and engineer Ola Hansson, has patented the technology that helps purify water by combining UV-LED technology with intelligent software and Wi-Fi. Its system of 12 volts is so effective that it can be run by a single solar panel. The solar cells also charge its battery, which means that the portable facility can be used around the clock and in rural areas without access to electricity.

Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus and his organization Yunus Centre have ordered portable units as part of a pilot project. In October, the first unit was installed and by now, another 9 units have been delivered to the project in Bangladesh.

The portable purification units, so-called Micro Production Centres (MPC), are managed by local suppliers and help create jobs for young, unemployed people who run the small facilities and sell clean water in exchange for a small fee. A large part of the population in Bangladesh currently use water contaminated by arsenic.

"Thanks to these portable units, communities can now purchase inexpensive clean water, and at the same time - in accordance with Muhammad Yunus's model - a lot of them can make a small profit by running the plants themselves", says Kenneth M. Persson.

Watersprint recently signed a contract with the United Nations about placing 500 portable units in Bangladesh. The units can be connected to Wi-Fi and they include software that monitors the machine. In case of malfunction, the unit will send out alerts via text message to any mobile phone that is connected to it, as well as through the LED lights on the machine.

"The installations are hopefully only the first step to set up similar structures in several other countries that lack access to clean water", says Kenneth M. Persson.
*Professor Muhammad Yunus received the Noble Peace Prize in 2006 for founding the Grameen Bank and for his work on micro-loans. He also coined the term "social business", which provides access to technologies and services for solving social or societal problems.

Water Facts
According to the report The Rising Pressure of Global Water Shortages 750 million people lack access to clean drinking water, and almost 2 million children under 5 die every year from the lack of clean water and sufficient sanitation. 

Kenneth M Persson,
Professor of Water Resources Engineering Lund University
Phone: +46 (0)734 128167"

End of Lund University press release culled from the EurekaAlert website.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Political Parties In Ghana Need Not Reinvent The Wheel To Alleviate Poverty

Given the harsh economic climate prevailing in Ghana, today, it is vital that in order to help poor people to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, our nation's politicians deploy policies that will encourage the national economy's private sector, to replicate successful base-of-the-pyramid social entrepreneurial business models, which have had a positive impact elsewhere, in our country too.

There is absolutely no need for Ghanaian politicians to waste time trying to reinvent the wheel creating opportunities for people in marginalised communities to create wealth for themselves and their families. Not when successful examples of business models, which enable micro-entrepreneurs to make money, by providing services that help poor communities to overcome some of the socio-economic challenges they face, abound elsewhere.

When the two largest political parties in Ghana, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP),  say they will fund development projects in Zongo communities across the country, for example, the question that immediately comes to mind, for many discerning, fair-minded and independent-minded voters, is: where exactly will the money come from?

Do they both not refer to the same cash-strapped nation, which cannot even afford to pay accumulated allowances and back-pay, owed to tens of thousands of public-sector employees - out of a total of some 600,000 or so mostly-unproductive individuals: on whom nearly 70% of total tax revenues is foolishly lavished in blind fashion?

And precisely what sort of life-changing, earth-shattering sustainable  development projects, will the NDC and NPP fund in Zongos, if they were to come to power after the November presidential and parliamentary elections? Are hard-pressed people in Zongo communities not being led down the proverbial garden path yet again?

The question is: Just how many government-funded initiatives in poor areas of our nation have been successful, since the 4th Republic came into being? Do Ghanaian politicians never learn any useful lessons from similar past top-down economic development model failures, one wonders?

Kenya and Bangladesh are countries that  we should look to, for examples of successful  market-driven pro-poor initiatives that help ambitious poor people in marginalised communities to lift themselves up, by their own bootstraps. 

Base of the pyramid business models that utilise mobile-payment platforms, such as M-Kopa, have been used successfully to spread the use of  solar energy amongst the Kenyan masses. And many coastal communities in Bangladesh have been economically empowered through farming catfish, for example, in aquaponic initiatives made possible as a result of the work of researchers at the Bangladesh Agricultural University.

Surely, replicating such business models  in Zongos and poor coastal communities along Ghana's coastline,  is not beyond the capabilities of the present crop of young entrepreneurs in our country, is it?

Today, I am posting a culled article from the Big Ideas Berkeley website, which was written by Sybil Lewis,  for the benefit of members of  our nation's political class and young entrepreneurs.

Although it is taboo to talk about human faeces, in polite society and in public in Ghana, one 's hope is that the article will inspire our nation's politicians and young entrepreneurs - and encourage them to look to places like Kenya and Bangladesh (about which tomorrow I will post yet another culled article that shows an example of an innovative base-of-the-pyramid social enterprise bringing pure water to poor communities), which can be replicated in Ghana too.

Above all, if such an initiative will help save trees from being felled for charcoal-making, and for firewood, then it is definitely worthwhile replicating in Ghana.

 Please read on:

"Turning Feces to Fuel in Kenya

Oct 28, 2015
By Sybil Lewis

Sanitation and the removal of human waste are among the biggest environmental health issues of our time. According to UNICEF and the World Health Organization, 70 percent of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa lacks access to adequate sanitation—and in Kenya, sanitation coverage is available to only 41 percent of the country, largely because the government cannot afford or is not incentivized to cover the high costs of building pipes and sewage treatment plants in low-income areas. This leads to open defecation, fecal contaminated water, and disease.

To deal with this crisis, many non-governmental organizations are trying to come up with affordable and sustainable toilet solutions. One UC Berkeley student team and Big Ideas@Berkeley winner has been working in Kenya not just to increase sanitation services but to turn human waste into an energy solution—what they call “turning poo to power.”

Appropriately named Feces to Fuel, the four-member Cal team has been collaborating with Sanivation, a UC Berkeley- and Kenya-based organization that provides in-home toilets and waste collection services. Feces to Fuel’s plan is to collect fecal waste from Sanivation’s facility in Naivasha, Kenya and turn it into charcoal briquettes that can be sold at an affordable price and used as cooking oil.

Briquettes: Briquettes made in summer 2015 by the Feces to Fuel team in Naivasha, Kenya.
Briquettes: Briquettes made in summer 2015 by the Feces to Fuel team in Naivasha, Kenya.

According to Catherine Berner, a UC Berkeley graduate and member of the Feces to Fuel team, the creation of charcoal briquettes addresses another major issue affecting low-income populations in Kenya and throughout East Africa—the financial, environmental, and health costs associated with using traditional forms of cooking oil.

Berner, who majored in Environmental Engineering Science, explains that in many semi-urban and urban communities in Kenya the only available and affordable fuel sources are wood and charcoal, which have become increasingly unaffordable. Over the past decade, energy prices in Kenya have increased five-fold, and in Naivasha families are spending over 30 percent of their income on cooking fuel, hindering their ability to move out of poverty. Furthermore, burning crude forms of energy produces hazardous gasses, which are harmful not only to the environment but lead to serious health problems—more than half the deaths of children worldwide under age five are due to inhaling household air pollution.

Sanivation and Feces to Fuel have combined these seemingly unrelated problems to create a solution that both improves sanitation services and provides affordable fuel for low-income families.

But the enterprise is still very young. Sanivation launched its sanitation services in only September 2014. From its facilities in Naivasha, the social enterprise has been installing free in-home toilets, called Blue Boxes, for a $7 monthly subscription that includes twice weekly waste collection. In its first four months of operation, Sanivation signed up 57 customers for its in-home toilet and has maintained a 98 percent re-subscription rate. It aims to reach a million users by 2020.

Also over the past year, Sanivation has expanded its business model to turn the collected waste into energy, which is where Feces to Fuel comes in. Feces to Fuel is helping Sanivation identify and implement the best technology and method to transform human waste into a reliable fuel source. The project—which includes Cal students Emily Woods, Ken Lim, and Fiona Gutierrez-Dewar—is funded largely by an $8,000 prize from the 2015 Big Ideas@Berkeley competition in the Clean & Sustainable Energy Alternatives category.

Blue Box: Sanivation installs in-home toilets, called the Blue Box, which have a dry urine diverting system. The waste from the toilets is collected every two weeks
Blue Box: Sanivation installs in-home toilets, called the Blue Box, which have a dry urine diverting system. The waste from the toilets is collected every two weeks.

“Before collaborating with Feces to Fuel, Sanivation was using solar concentrators to heat up the feces because their original plan was to turn waste into fertilizer, yet people were asking if they could use it to cook food,” said Berner. “Sanivation replied no because it was not safe yet, but what they realized is that there is a huge need for fuel created from treated feces.”

Andrew Foote and Emily Woods, the founders of Sanivation who developed their model while undergraduate students at Georgia Institute of Technology, said they have spent the past four years trying to figure out a reliable method of sanitizing feces using solar energy. Woods is now a PhD student in the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley and Foote works fulltime on Sanivation.

In 2014, Sanivation started to develop a process that combines two waste forms—agricultural and human—to produce biomass-based briquettes for use in household stoves. The team now collects rose waste from surrounding flower farms, which otherwise would be burnt or discarded, and carbonizes the waste to create an energy dense charcoal dust. The rose waste biomass is then combined with human feces, collected from Sanivation’s in-home toilets, and heated up with solar concentrators to inactivate all pathogens, rendering the feces safe for use. The mixture of rose waste and feces is then placed in a machine, which turns the mixture into small briquettes.

According to Berner, the briquettes sold in Kenya are usually made with local organic waste or charcoal dust from traditional charcoal with trash-slurry as the binder. This combination produces little energy and lots of smoke, making it difficult to compete with charcoal. Whereas the energy-dense rose waste and high calorific value of feces used by Sanivation and Feces to Fuel produces briquettes that emit less smoke and burn longer than traditional biomass briquettes.

Cooking: The feces and rose waste combination produces briquettes that emit less smoke and burn longer than traditional biomass briquettes, which are made out of trash-slurry and organic matter.
Cooking: The feces and rose waste combination produces briquettes that emit less smoke and burn longer than traditional biomass briquettes, which are made out of trash-slurry and organic matter.

“Around the world and specifically in Sub-Saharan Africa, a lot of people are working on carbonizing agricultural waste into fuel and reusing feces for fuel,” said Woods. “We are carbonizing rose waste and using feces as the binder, which has never been done before.”

Other feces-to-fuel efforts have turned human waste into biogas, biodiesel, and fertilizer. Notable examples include the feces-biogas powered bus in the U.K and bio centers in Kenyan slums, which turn feces into biogas to power public showers. No other method, however, has used human feces to make briquettes for cooking.
While the number of feces-to-fuel innovations is growing, there is still a lack of research on the composition of feces and its potential for fuel. To develop its model, Sanivation relied on the work of few research organizations, such as the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag).

“I think that there is little research on the composition of feces, largely because of social stigma,” Berner said. “Human waste is just seen as that, waste, and not as a resource. For our model to work, we must find and show the value of waste.”
Sanivation conducted a beta test in mid 2014, in which 2,000 kg of briquettes were tested by families in Naivasha and the Kakuma refugee camp, along with small businesses and some industrial settings, to determine the best markets. Feedback from the beta test showed high customer satisfaction with the quality of the fuel; it also revealed that people are not uncomfortable with the idea of cooking with materials made with human feces. This is attributable to the fact that the briquettes do not look or smell like feces, said Berner.

Further analysis from the beta test showed that small businesses, such as hospitals and schools, are the key group for Sanivation to target, because they can provide consistent, mid-size orders, said Berner. However, Sanivation plans to continue working on sanitation in refugee camps in East Africa. The social enterprise received funding from the CDC’s Innovation Fund to design a system in the Kakuma Refugee Camp on the Kenya-South Sudan border. As part of the pilot for the toilet implementation, 30 families in the refugee camp tested their briquettes over a period of eight weeks.

During the summer of 2015, Feces to Fuel focused on improving the quality and manufacturing capability of the briquettes. In Naivasha, Woods, Berner, and Gutierrez-Dewar, implemented the Adam Retort, a carbonizer with high-energy efficiency and low pollution, which has been producing over 300 kgs of charcoal dust per week, according to Berner. The Berkeley team also helped Sanivation build out their waste treatment site and a greenhouse to study the potential of making fuel from dry waste.

Catherine: Catherine Berner working with the Sanivation team in Kenya to implement a process that created consistent briquettes.
Catherine: Catherine Berner working with the Sanivation team in Kenya to implement a process that created consistent briquettes.

Meanwhile in the U.S., Ken Lim, a UC Berkeley junior and member of the Feces to Fuel team, conducted research at MIT with experts in the briquette and charcoal field. Sanivation’s feces treatment method had already been proven to be safe for human use by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention; Lim’s role at MIT was to conduct more research to understand the composition of feces and its potential for fuel. The team is currently conducting further research on its briquettes at the Chemisense lab.

One of Sanivation’s main aspirations is to improve environmental health. If its briquettes can be sold at 60 percent the cost of charcoal, Woods said they will reduce the demand for traditional charcoal, offsetting the industry’s environmental impact that has left Kenya with 5 percent of its historic forest cover and contributed to climate change.

“We estimate that each ton of our briquettes saves 88 trees from deforestation,” said Berner. “Briquetting is taking off in Kenya. If we are able to prove our model, it will bring more attention to the briquetting industry and help replace the large demand for unsustainable charcoal.”"

End of Sybil Lewis' culled article from the Big Ideas Berkeley website.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Gold Miners In Ghana Must No Longer Be Allowed To Destroy Forests - And Pollute Soils, Streams, Rivers And Other Water Bodies

The negative environmental impacts  of the activities of illegal gold miners have now  become pretty obvious to most Ghanaians.

The question is: Should we allow illegal gold miners to continue undermining our quality of life - and that of future generations - with such impunity?

Furthermore, why are so many of our nation's politicians and political parties strangely silent about that troubling monstrosity spanning the entire country?

Is it because some of the most powerful amongst of them are beholden to the wealthy criminal syndicates behind the illegal gold mining and illegal logging now  going on in our country - as many in Ghana allege?

As forests containing their headwaters are severely degraded, scores of streams and rivers across vast swathes of the Ghanaian countryside, are drying up - causing severe shortages of treated drinking water in many towns and cities: as reservoirs of water treatment plants fall to dangerously low levels, seldom seen before.

Clearly, it no longer makes sense to allow those destroying the natural environment, in their quest for gold, to continue doing so at such a rapid rate in a nation in which the rule of law is said to prevail.

It is imperative that we live in harmony with Mother Nature - just as our forebears did before the first Europeans set foot on our shores.

As a people, it served us well then - and will do so again, if we are more protective of what is left of our natural heritage, going forward into the far distant future.

Drastic measures need to be taken by the authorities to arrest the situation. The price society is now paying for tolerating illegal gold mining in Ghana is no longer worth paying.

It must be brought to an end before it destroys life as we know it today. Using 32-tonne excavators is not artisanal mining - it is mining on an industrial scale: not small-scale mining. Surely, that ought to be self-evident by now to even obtuse officialdom?

To issue small-scale mining licenses to gold miners using excavators is therefore unconscionable, unpardonable, unspeakable and abominable - given the amount of environmental degradation they are causing across Ghana.

It will be prudent to place a temporary ban on all gold mining in Ghana - both legal and illegal -  lasting for a period not less than ninety days,  within which new permits must be applied for, and obtained,  for all gold mining  sites in Ghana by their operators.

In light of the massive environmental destruction, which has  gone on in illegal gold mining sites across the nation, we need to make a fresh start - and let sanity prevail in the gold mining industry.

No new permits must be issued without physical inspection of sites by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Minerals Commission officials -  costs of which must be borne by those applying for the permits.

In the post-moratorium era, when legitimate gold mining operations are allowed to resume again, no gold mining must be allowed to be carried out anywhere in Ghana, without the new Minerals Commission/EPA mining permits. Ever.

The tragic death of AngloGold Ashanti's public affairs manager, Mr. John Owusu, at Obuasi, not too long ago, when he was knocked down by a reversing company vehicle, as people scrambled to escape from violent illegal gold miners, who caused a stampede, when they charged at AngloGold Ashanti's employees at the company's Obuasi concession, must not be in vain.

All gold miners in Ghana - both legal and illegal ones - who flout such a Minerals Commission/EPA edict requiring that all gold miners obtain new mining permits, must be prosecuted - and face mandatory jail sentences of not less than ten years.

That will be deterrent enough, for many of those tempted to participate in this egregious crime, against humankind.

Issued new Minerals Commission/EPA mining permits must be promptly withdrawn from gold miners whose operations pollute streams, rivers and other water bodies, and degrade forests that contain their headwaters.

The quality of life of present-day Ghanaians, and that of future generations, must not be sacrificed on the alter-of-greed-for-gold, for the benefit of a selfish and powerful few, with greedy ambitions - to paraphrase Ghana's first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, of blessed memory, who would never have allowed this outrage to occur, were he in power today.

And neither would a present-day Convention People's Party (CPP) government allow it either, if it was in power now, incidentally.

Those engaged in illegal gold mining simply don't care about the effect of their actions on their fellow humans and on the natural environment. We must therefore not pity them either when the long arm of the law finally catches up with them - for they are gradually destroying our homeland Ghana: with their eyes fully open.

Enough is enough. Our natural heritage must not be allowed to be destroyed just so that a few callous, ruthless and unethical businesspeople, putting profit ahead of the common good, and the welfare of millions of Ghanaians, can send their personal net worth to stratospheric heights - by buying land and mining gold illegally at unauthorised areas: and funding their operations with proceeds from the sale of bush-cut lumber from illegal logging.

At a time of global climate change, illegal gold miners must not be given free rein to threaten the sources of our nation's treated drinking water supplies, pollute soils,  streams, rivers and other water bodies with heavy metals, and other toxic chemicals, and degrade forests in Ghana on top of all that, with total impunity. That is simply intolerable.

It must be halted by officialdom. Now. Not tomorrow - when it will be way too late, to save us from a water-distressed, apocalyptic future: in a barren and unpleasant land full of never-ending misery and untold hardship.  We can only save ourselves from such a bleak future, today, by preventing illegal gold miners from continuing to destroy forests, and polluting soils, streams, rivers and other water bodies.

Friday, 12 February 2016

How NPP MPs Could Expose Corruption In GNPC's Agreement With Vitol And ENI S.p.A.

The controversy surrounding the agreement between the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), and the  Ghanaian subsidiaries of the partially state-owned Italian energy company, ENI S.p.A., and Vitol, for the Offshore Cape Three Points Integrated Oil and Gas Project, can easily be brought to an end - if the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs criticising it, do some lateral thinking.

There are a number of steps that they can take, to help them expose any corruption that might have enabled ENI and Vitol to secure  the agreement with the GNPC, which they and many other well-meaning Ghanaians  believe to be tainted - if indeed such corruption did actually occur.

To begin with, since there is a Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC), why don't the NPP MPs use that forum to invite the head of Italy's National Anti-Corruption Agency, Rafaele Cantone, to Ghana, to meet with them as soon as practicable, to discuss that controversial agreement?

And since the Italian state has a 30.303% golden share in Eni S.p.A., why don't the NPP MPs also write directly to Italy's President, Sergio Mattarella, and point out to him, their suspicions that the agreement was secured through corruption - and provide him with a copy of the agreement, if possible?

If they also copy the letter to Ezio Mauro, the editor of the centre-left newspaper, La Republica, and give him a copy of the ENI-Vitol GNPC agreement, too, he will assign some of his best investigative reporters to establish the veracity or otherwise, of allegations that corruption may have secured for ENI and Vitol, an agreement detrimental to Ghana.

Above all, they must point out to all the people mentioned above, the fact that Enrico Mattei, who was the chairperson of ENI, who signed the agreement that made it possible for the Tema oil refinery to be built, and officially opened in 1963, by President Nkrumah, negotiated a win-win deal for that project -  which utilised ENI's "Mattei formula."

They can then make the point that in light of that past record of ethical conduct on the part of Enrico Mattei, patriotic Ghanaians insist that the present chairperson of ENI, Emma Marcegaglia, and its CEO, Claudio Descalzi, ought to ensure that a new win-win agreement is signed, to replace the present agreement between EBI-Vitol and the GNPC - if it is proven that it was actually secured through corruption.

If the NPP MPs take all the steps mentioned above, it might possibly enable them to expose any acts of corruption, which secured for ENI and Vitol, an agreement that in their view isn't in Ghana's interest - and demand that the Italian  Establishment should therefor force ENI to renegotiate a win-win agreement that does not disadvantage any of the Offshore  Cape Three Points Integrated Oil and Gas project partners.

By copying the editor of the La Republica newspaper, they will also ensure that their demand is taken seriously by the chairperson and CEO of ENI. And by copying the head of Italy's main anti-corruption investigative body, they will ensure that  any acts of corruption associated with the agreement, which took place prior to its being signed, can, and will be investigated, and exposed.

Good luck to them. Naturally, if the NPP MPs win their fight to get a better agreement for the GNPC, all of Ghana wins too. Cool.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

To Ghana's National Security Coordinator

Dear Mr. Donkor,

We all know how difficult your job is - and appreciate the incredibly hard work that  you and those who work with you in the security agencies, do, daily, to keep our homeland Ghana and its citizens safe, at all material times.

With the funding constraints you and your colleagues in Ghana's security agencies face, keeping our nation and its people safe, is a herculean task. You have your work cut out indeed.

An egregious infraction of the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Law, 2014, which amends the Minerals  and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), has just been reported to the Anyinam District Police Command, by the Assemblyman of Akyem Saamang, the Honourable Gyeatuo.

The Hon. Gyeatuo deserves to be commended for his patriotism and his determined fight against those behind the illegal gold mining and illegal logging in the area -  at some considerable risk to his person.

Incidentally, the brave and honest Hon. Gyeatuo, is an activist of the Wassa Association of Communities Against Mining (Wacam) - in addition to being the assistant headmaster of the local Methodist school. He has been in the trenches with us for some twenty odd years now. Good man. A true patriot and nationalist.

Commander Baba will appraise you of the full facts of the case when you contact him.

Do ensure that the excavator, all the equipment, and sundry products used in that particular infraction of the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Law, of 2014, are confiscated to the state.

Please take an active interest in this case - as it will give the entities  under your leadership an insight into the fraudulent use of bogus documentation by the wealthy criminal syndicates operating in the area that are behind the illegal gold mining and  illegal logging in the areas known locally as "Thompson" and "Francois".

That is how those wealthy and powerful crooks get away with their crimes against the good people of Ghana. The irony of it all, is that if the area is preserved, the fringe-forest communities of Akyem Juaso, Saamang and Osino, could receive regular payments in European Union (EU) community carbon sequestration initiatives.

The bogus documentation used by the wealthy criminal syndicates, whose unparalleled greed is destroying our section of the Atewa Range upland  evergreen rainforest, make it possible for bush-cut chainsaw lumber from illegally felled trees in the said area to be transported from Akyem Juaso to timber outlets at Muus, near Taifa junction - with 'conveyance documents' unlawfully issued by rogue elements in the Forestry Service of the Forestry Commission paving the way for the wealthy crooks.

Mr. Donkor, at a time when global warming is impacting Ghana so negatively, it is vital that a complete halt is brought to the illegal gold mining and illegal logging in the areas surrounding the Atewa Forest Reserve, and inside the reserve itself.

The area in question, where the reported infraction of Act 703 took place, borders Forestry Service of the Forestry Commission (FSFC) boundary pillars: 92; 93; 94; 95; 96; 97 and 98.

Sir, if the area is allowed to be degraded any further, by the  activities of illegal gold miners and illegal loggers, it will eventually affect the quality of life of millions of Ghanaians in southern urban Ghana, whose treated drinking water supply from the Ghana Water Company Limited's (GWCL) treatment plants, depend on the three river systems - the Birim, Ayensu and Densu - which take their headwaters from the Atewa Forest Reserve.

You are no doubt aware of the catastrophe that has recently befallen the people of Nsawam - who despite having a new and  modern water treatment plant,  are now desperate for treated water, as we speak.

Imagine the security implications of a major city like Accra suffering a similar fate. It just does not bear thinking - but it could happen if the activities of the callous and selfish individuals mining gold and felling trees illegally in the Atewa upland evergreen rainforest is not halted.

If there is no substitute for water, should we permit negligent officialdom, to allow that to happen, when water is said to be life itself?

Think of the public health implications of Accra being without water, Mr Yaw Donkor. And think of the many large manufacturing companies, such as the breweries and pharmaceutical manufacturers, which will have to be shut down - and what that will do to Ghana's GDP.

And we haven't even touched on the social explosion that could occur, as a result of the uncontainable anger of long-suffering parched-masses, finally boiling over - as their misery is compounded by the persistent lack of a basic necessity of life.

And all because when they could, the appropriate authorities refused to end the impunity of a few greedy, selfish and powerful people - who in reality were nothing but ruthless criminals who profited from gang-raping Mother Nature.

Do not let that happen under your watch - as history would judge your stewardship harshly, were that to happen. You certainly don't deserve that fate.

Sir, years ago, the then head of the Minerals Commission, Mr. Aryee, was so alarmed, when informed by us, of the prospect of gold mining and illegal logging affecting the headwaters of the Birim, Ayensu and Densu rivers, that he personally came down from Accra, to visit the 14-square mile freehold upland evergreen rainforest land owned by the P. E. Thompson Estate, which adjoins the Atewa Forest Reserve and borders the Kibi Goldfields concession.

The top management of Kibi Goldfields' so-called "co-operators", Solar Mining Limited, who joined Mr. Ayee to inspect the area in question, gave an undertaking that it was an area they would not ever venture into - because they recognised its ecological sensitivity and importance as a biodiversity hotspot.

The upshot of Mr. Aryee's visit was that both the Minerals Commission and the head of the mining department of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), Mr. Sakyi,  agreed with me, that they had to create a buffer zone in that area, to protect the Atewa Forest Reserve and the heavily forested slopes bordering it - designated a Globally Significant Biodiversity Area (GSBA) by Conservation International.

Please join Commander Baba of the Anyinam District Police Command and the Assemblymen of Akyem Saamang and Akyem Juaso, and other stakeholders, to visit the area in question tomorrow, if possible - so that you will be able to gain an insight into the nature of the problem: and plan an effective  strategy to bring the intolerable impunity, which the rampant illegal gold mining and illegal logging going on there, with the use of bogus documentation, represents, to a complete halt.

We salute you - and thank you in advance.

Yours in the service of Mother Ghana,

Kofi Thompson.

PS Incidentally, if any members of the late P. E. Thompson's family are involved in this outrage, in any way, please ensure that they are also arrested and prosecuted - as none of the beneficiaries have individual title vested in them: the title to the land still being that of the estate  of the late P. E. Thompson, because a key clause in the late P. E. Thompson's will, has still not been complied with, to date.

Ditto the overseers who are supposed to look after the said 14-square mile upland evergreen rainforest freehold property on a day to day basis - and must explain how an excavator ended up working on our private property: and why it was the Hon. Gyeatuo, not them, who had to alert us about the unlawful damage to our property caused by the trespassing criminals mining gold illegally on it. Monitor their leader ''Red" (0209361087) for that purpose.

Our lawyers, who will sue the illegal miners who have damaged our forestland, on our behalf, will make a certified true copy of the said will and indentures of the property available to you for inspection should the need arise.

We will sue those criminals for GHc10 millions for unlawfully destroying an area of outstanding natural beauty that evolved over millions of years, where we planned to build 10 eco-lodges, in a community-based ecotourism venture that includes  installing ziplines, and building what will be the world's longest forest canopy walkway (it will have 19 bridges and will be 1000 metres long),  as centrepiece attractions.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Why IBM Research And Airlight Energy's High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal System Is Perfect For Ghana

"I have always been driven to solve every problem I face."
                                                         - Martin Winterkorn.

It is such a pity that as a nation we seldom pay much attention to what our research institutions do - and hardly ever provide them with the needed resources to enable them carry out cutting-edge research, which could be commercialised by private sector businesses: and contribute to Ghana's GDP.

Years ago, when it was first announced that U.S.$20 million had been set aside to celebrate the golden jubilee 50th Independence Day anniversary, I wrote an article suggesting that it would benefit the nation more, if the government of President Kufuor gave all the money set aside for the celebrations, to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR),  to fund research work carried out by its various research institutes.

What a difference to our nation's long-term prospects that would have made, if the then government had heeded that humble advice.

It is a pity that Ghanaian politicians are such a hard-of-hearing lot - and that most of them act only if it will benefit them personally.

If only the billions of cedis that was fritted away - on frivolous undertakings, such as ordering dozens of luxury vehicles, and enriching a powerful and well-connected few, through public-purse pre-financing of the construction of luxury homes for sale by private developers - had been ploughed into research, as some of us suggested, what a difference that would have made to the fortunes of our country, today.

And if today we are still unable to resource Ghana's research institutions properly because we are cash-strapped, should we not do some creative thinking instead - and obtain the problem-solving outcomes we seek,  by getting our research institutions to collaborate with some of the leading research institutions in the world?

For example, as a result of global climate change, compounded by the destructive activities of illegal loggers, illegal gold miners and illegal sand-winners, our major river systems are drying up.

That should drive the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), to seek a new business model underpinned by energy independence, and which is less dependent on river systems to fill its treatment plants' reservoirs.

Such a business model, should also be devoid of the expense involved in purchasing vast quantities of chemicals that the GWCL currently uses to purify water sourced from increasingly polluted rivers - that frequently dry up because of prolonged dry spells during harmattan seasons: resulting from the extremes in weather brought about by global climate change.

That new GWCL business model should be one that focuses on developing its capacity for implementing  small and large-scale solar desalination projects.

At a time when global climate change is impacting Ghana so negatively, relying solely on its  traditional production methods, will not enable the GWCL to supply water in sufficient quantities and fulfil its mandate.

As we speak, the latest town in Ghana to experience an acute shortage of treated water, resulting from the drying up of a GWCL treatment plant's reservoir, is Nsawam.

The major river passing through that town - which is famed for its bread-making industry's  prowess - the Densu River, has shrunk to such an extent that water from it cannot replenish the reservoir of the GWCL's brand new treatment plant at Nsawam - a facility built with tens of millions of dollars of borrowed money.

Global climate change has also led to a decrease in stored water volumes in Ghana's hydro-power dams -  lowering water levels to such an extent that all  the nation's  hydro-power plants operate far below capacity during dry seasons.

Again, some of us predicted that scenario years ago - and suggested in countless articles that  instead of building a hydro-power plant that would never function at full capacity because of low dam water levels, the Kufuor administration should rather use the money to build a thermal power plant instead. It was ignored, sadly. Pity.

Above all, there is also a desperate need to increase the share of renewable energy in our nation's power-generation mix.

We could solve many of the problems enumerated above, creatively, by simply getting  the relevant research institutes of the CSIR, as well as the Volta River Authority (VRA), the GWCL and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST),  to collaborate with IBM Research and Airlight Energy's Dsolar, both of which would welcome such collaboration, I am sure.

After all, Ghana would become the proving ground for the Sunflower High Concentration PhotoVoltiac Thermal (HCPVT) system, would it not?

Such collaboration will enable Ghana to  adopt the Sunflower HCPVT system, to power the sustainable development of marginalised communities across the country.

It is the perfect  solution to the vexing problem of dumsor power outages - for it  will give off-grid energy independence to countless rural communities, hospitals, educational institutions, hotels, sundry businesses, etc., etc. - all of which could also get free air-conditioning from what is a renewable energy source.

For the benefit of readers, I  have culled an article from the IBM Research website, about  the IBM Research and Airlight Energy Sunflower High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal system,  that in my humble view,  our nation would be prudent to adopt - to provide off-grid renewable power for the sustainable development of rural Ghana.

Speaking  personally, if all my family's farms had one Sunflower HCPVT system  each, for example, I know the difference that having water for drip-irrigation year round would make to their production levels - as post-harvest losses would be completely eliminated if we built mini-warehouses,  to store harvested produce: into which cooled air could be channelled. Brilliant.

Finally, the Sunflower HCPVT system could also provide solar-powered air-conditioning for countless buildings in towns and cities across Ghana too. Perfect.

This is just the sort of innovative, high-impact project that Ghana's first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, favoured. He would doubtless have approached IBM Research and Airlight  Energy, were he to be in power today, and asked them to replicate it in Ghana, in collaboration with the CSIR's relevant research institutes.

One therefore hopes that the presidential candidate of today's Convention People's Party (CPP), Ivor Greenstreet, will promise to do so too, should he become President in January 2017 - as he campaigns for this November's presidential election across the nation.

Please read on:

"Airlight Energy brings solar electricity and heat to remote locations

System concentrates the sun's radiation 2,000 times using water-cooled photovoltaic chips

Top story

English | Italian | German | Japanese
Biasca, 24 September 2014—Airlight Energy, a Swiss-based supplier of solar power technology has partnered with IBM Research to bring affordable solar technology to the market by 2017. The system can concentrate the sun’s radiation 2,000 times and convert 80 percent of it into useful energy to generate 12 kilowatts of electrical power and 20 kilowatts of heat on a sunny day—enough to power several average homes.
High-tech sunflowerThe High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system, which resembles a 10-meter-high sunflower a 40-square-meter parabolic dish made of patented fiber-based concrete, which can be molded into nearly any shape in less than four hours and has mechanical characteristics similar to those of aluminum at one-fifth the cost.

The inside of the parabolic dish is covered with 36 elliptic mirrors made of 0.2-millimeter-thin recyclable plastic foil with a silver coating, slightly thicker than the wrapper chocolate bars are packaged in, which are then curved using a slight vacuum. The mirrored surface area concentrates the sun’s radiation by reflecting it onto several microchannel liquid-cooled receivers, each of which is populated with a dense array of multi-junction photovoltaic chips—each 1×1-cm2 chip produces an electrical power of up to 57 watts on a typical sunny day. The mirrors and the receiver are encased with a large inflated transparent plastic enclosure to protect them from rain or dust. The enclosure also prevents birds and other animals from getting in harm's way.

The photovoltaic chips, similar to those used on orbiting satellites, are mounted on micro-structured layers that pipe treated water within fractions of millimeters of the chip to absorb the heat and draw it away 10 times more effectively than with passive air cooling. The 85-90 Celsius (°C) (183-194 Fahrenheit (°F)) hot water maintains the chips at safe operating temperatures of 105 °C (221 °F), which otherwise would reach over 1,500 °C (2,732 °F). The entire system sits on an advanced sun tracking system, which positions the dish at the best angle throughout the day to capture the sun's rays.

The direct hot-water cooling design with very small pumping power has already been made commercially available by IBM in its high-performance computers, including SuperMUC, Europe’s fastest supercomputer in 2012.

“The direct cooling technology with very small pumping power used to cool the photovoltaic chips with water is inspired by the hierarchical branched blood supply system of the human body,” said Dr. Bruno Michel, manager, advanced thermal packaging at IBM Research.

An initial demonstrator of the multi-chip solar receiver was developed in a previous collaboration between IBM and the Egypt Nanotechnology Research Center.

With such a high concentration and based on its radical design, researchers believe that with high-volume production they can achieve a cost of two to three times lower than comparable systems.

Airlight Energy has spun off a new company called Dsolar (dish solar) to market, license and sell the HCPVT system globally. Dsolar has licensed several patents from IBM in the area of hot-water chip cooling.

“With the HCPVT we are ushering in a new generation of solar energy technology,” said Dr. Gianluca Ambrosetti, Head of Research, Airlight Energy with responsibilities for building the new spinoff. “Not only is the system affordable, but it will create jobs where it is installed because many of the materials will be sourced locally. We expect to partner with firms around the world to bring a commercial version to market by 2017.”

Based on its current design, scientists estimate that the operating lifetime for the HCPVT structure is up to 60 years with proper maintenance. The protective foil and the plastic elliptic mirrors will need to be replaced every 10–15 years depending on the environment, and the photovoltaic cells need replacing every 25 years. Throughout its lifetime the system will benefit from design and manufacturing improvements, allowing for an even greater system efficiency.

The HCPVT system can also be customized with further equipment to provide drinkable water and air conditioning from its hot water output. For example, salt water can pass through a porous membrane distillation system, where it is vaporized and desalinated. Such a system could provide 30–40 liters of drinkable water per square meter of receiver area per day, while still generating electricity with a more than 25 percent yield or two kilowatt hours per day—a little less than half the amount of water the average person needs per day according to the United Nations, whereas a large multi-dish installation could provide enough water for a town.

By means of a thermally driven sorption chiller, cool air can also be produced. A sorption chiller is a device that converts heat into cooling via a thermal cycle applied to a liquid or solid sorption material. Adsorption chillers, with solid silica gel adsorbers and with water as a working fluid, can replace compression chillers, which place a burden on electrical grids in hot climates and contain working fluids that are harmful to the ozone layer. Although absorption (liquid sorption) systems are already available for combination with the HCPVT system, they provide less cooling output compared to low-temperature driving heat for the adsorption (solid sorption) systems under development at IBM. The systems can also be customized with a transparent back for urban installations.

Initial HCPVT systems will be made available with non-optimized predecessor distillation and sorption cooling systems. Systems with optimized desalination and sorption cooling technologies require an additional two to three years of development with additional partner companies.

Airlight Energy and the IBM Corporate Service Corps (CSC) will team up to donate a High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system to two deserving communities. Each winning community will receive a prototype HCPVT system from Airlight Energy, and be eligible for pro bono enablement and transformation support from IBM Corporate Service Corps. Applications from communities will be open in 2015 and the winners will be announced in December 2015, with installations beginning in late 2016.

Scientists at Airlight and IBM envision the HCPVT system providing sustainable energy to locations around the world including southern Europe, Africa, the Arabian peninsula, the southwestern part of North America, South America, Japan and Australia. In addition to residences, additional applications include remote hospitals, medical facilities, hotels and resorts, shopping centers and locations where available land is at a premium.

Some of the initial funding for the development of the HCPVT system was provided to IBM Research, Airlight Energy, ETH Zurich and the Interstate University of Applied Sciences Buchs NTB in a three-year grant from the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation.

Join the conversation with scientists on Twitter @IBMResearch, @AirlightEnergy, #HCPVT, #dsolar and #bmiBruno.

AIRLIGHT ENERGY is a private Swiss company based in Biasca that supplies proprietary technology for large-scale production of electricity using solar power and for energy storage. AIRLIGHT ENERGY has developed an innovative and complete solution for the markets of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP)."

End of culled article from the IBM Research website.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Where Can One Locate Outlets In Ghana For Fresh Organic Agricultural Produce And Processed Organic Food Products?

Over the years, there has been growing awareness in Ghana, of the health benefits of eating fresh organic agricultural produce,  and consuming processed organic food products.

 It is a healthy-lifestyle awareness transformation in society that is to be applauded.

The problem, however, for many would-be buyers of organic agricultural produce, and consumers of processed organic food products, is to locate retail outlets where they can be purchased.

Perhaps some of the leading organisations in Ghana, which champion the production and consumption of wholesome food in Ghana, such as Food Sovereignty Ghana, can help in that direction - by publicising outlets in Ghana for the sale of organic agricultural produce that they are aware of.

In that regard, one looks forward to the day when the planned Ghana4Agroecology platform finally comes into being.

As this blog's widow's mite contribution to the awareness-creation effort, the contact details of a few outlets for organic agricultural produce in Ghana, which they can patronise, is published below, for the benefit of the consuming public.

For those hotels and restaurants that provide their clients with fresh-pressed orange juice, and would prefer to use organic oranges they purchase themselves, BioTropic Farms, has just set up a sales outlet in the Gallilea market, which is on the left side just off the Mallam-Kasoa highway, after the Brigade area, as one heads towards Kasoa from the toll booth.

Individuals, hotels, restaurants and other buyers interested in purchasing BioTropic Farms'  organic oranges, can speak to a BioTropic Farms representative by telephone on: 0202533013.

And those who are keen to  buy  any of the following organic products: organic baobab powder; organic baobab seed oil; organic moringa leaf powder; organic moringa seeds and organic shea butter, can contact a representative of  Cynbeth, which works with women's groups in the north, by telephone on: 0209420005.

A weekly pop-up market is held in Cape Coast on Fridays, opposite the Adisadel College post office, where some organic farmers go to sell their produce.

It is worth patronising - and could be the perfect excuse for a fun-filled family weekend trip to Cape Coast, to stock up on fresh organic fruits and vegetables, and also visit some of the tourist sites in Elmina and Cape Coast, for adventure-loving and health-conscious families that live in Accra, Takoradi and Kumasi.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Is A State Of Lawlessness And Disorder In Ghana Not One In Which Terrorists Will Thrive?

At a time when terrorist organisations are expanding their West African footprint, we must all be vigilant and law-abiding. And we must ensure that our security agencies are well-resourced - for they cannot possibly be vigilant if they are poorly-resourced.

If we cannot fund our security agencies sufficiently well enough, to make them effective for the fight against global terrorism, then we must encourage our allies to contribute their quota too, in that direction -  since the fight against global terrorism is one that unites all free societies as allies: because it threatens them equally.

Humankind must cut off each head of that hydra-headed monster, wherever in the world one appears.

Should we also not ensure that all Ghana's public-sector employees undergo orientation, which will lead to a clear understanding amongst them that terrorist organisations and narcotics drug syndicates, exploit corruption and unprofessional conduct in officialdom, in the nations they target - to enable them build the capacities of their local affiliates?

How can we be successful in preventing terrorist organisations and international drug cartels from gaining a firm foothold in Ghana, when, today,  some foreigners have been allowed to become so bold and arrogant - because  they are apparently well-connected - that they have now taken to mining gold illegally with excavators even in forest reserves? At a time of global climate change. Incredible.

What systemic failure made it possible for five Chinese nationals - who without a shadow of doubt, would have been arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to be executed by firing squad, had they done so in their home country - to engage in illegal gold mining in a forest reserve in Ghana, be apprehended by forest guards and handed over to the police, who then subsequently released them on bail, when, precisely because they were foreigners, the police should have handed them over to the Ghana Immigration Service: which would have detained them whiles their bona fides were checked?

How do we know that such lapses, in dealing with lawless foreigners and their local collaborators who show such impunity, will not encourage international  terrorist organisations and international drug cartels to decide to fund their local affiliates, by getting them to engage in unlawful activities such as illegal gold mining, illegal logging, illegal sand-winning, smuggling fuel and other goods across our borders, etc., etc.?

Should local authorities continue to turn a blind eye to foreigners establishing gold-buying and diamond-buying businesses in Ghana, and buying illegally mined gold and diamonds in the countryside areas where gold and diamonds are mined, and export same without paying a pesewa in taxes - when by law it is only the Precious Minerals Marketing Company that can buy gold and diamonds mined  by small-scale miners in Ghana?

Has the time not now come for the security agencies to apprehend all such foreign law-breakers who are purchasing gold and diamonds in the Ghanaian countryside, so that they are prosecuted, sentenced to prison terms and deported after serving their sentences?

One also wonders whether before expelling them from Asante Akyem, anyone in officialdom seized the opportunity to compile a database containing the bio-data (including photographs, fingerprints and DNA) of all the Fulani herdsmen at Agogo, so that identifying those amongst them who engage in crime will be a lot easier?

Incidentally, where exactly are the herds of cattle from Agogo and its periphery, going to eventually end up - and what plans are there to ensure that they are fenced-in, in the area they end up: so that the criminal elements amongst the Fulani herdsmen in charge of them do not terrorise local people there too?

Ending the egregious  criminality of Fulani herdsmen will be well-nigh impossible if the cattle they look after are not fenced in.

As a people, we need to unite to protect Ghanaian society from being easily harmed by international terrorist organisations and international drug cartels. If we are all law-abiding, it will make it easier for our nation to be protected from them, because they thrive in a state of lawlessness and disorder.

Our homeland Ghana must never be allowed to become another Somalia.  Those irresponsible, grandstanding and verbally-aggressive politicians  in our country, who forment trouble and incite violence across the nation,  must always remember that.

Henceforth, the authorities - particularly the justice  delivery system - must deal ruthlessly with all criminals, particularly those who engage in armed robbery, illegal gold mining, illegal sand-winning, illegal logging, as well as those operating as land guards - for their callousness and contempt for the law potentially makes them perfect footsoldiers for international terrorist organisations and drug cartels to recruit for their operations in Ghana and elsewhere.

A case in point is the illegal sand-winning now going on in parts of the Suhum-Craboa-Coaltar District.

Let the security agencies start off there, by monitoring the outrage going on at Thompsonakura, near Kyekyewre and Teacher Mante, which is just five minutes by car  off the Accra-Kumasi highway, before Asuboi.

There, they will see how illegal sand-winners trespass every night, to win sand, on farmland that is a private freehold property belonging to peaceful and law-abiding citizens, whose family have owned it since 1933, with total impunity.

How can such abominable and unspeakable things go on in a democracy in which the rule of law is said to prevail, I ask?.

Who are the powerful people allegedly sponsoring this brutal gang-rape of Mother Nature, at Thompsonakura, and the other villages in that area?

Perhaps if the security agencies monitor one of the villagers, Felix (0247968284), it might provide clues that will enable them apprehend some of those brazenly winning sand there illegally at night in Thompsonakura.

If left unchecked by the security agencies, such lawlessness and disorder in Ghana, will breed tomorrow's terrorists, as sure as day follows night. Those who are at the receiving end,  of such lawlessness and disorderly conduct, can see what is over the horizon clearly - and it is incredibly frightening.