Friday, 30 September 2016

Why The Hypocrisy And Intellectual Dishonesty Of Bawumia & Co Rankles

Why is it that a President whose National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration has undertaken so many important infrastructure projects across the nation - which are all vital for the long-term future of our country - appears to be on the verge of losing power in this December's polls?

It must rankle with President Mahama's supporters that he could lose power to an opaque political party, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), many of the leading lights of which, although forever alleging corruption by government appointees, are, significantly, themselves dead-set against the public declaration of assets by politicians and their spouses: although that is the most effective antidote to widespread corruption in Ghana. Odd, that.

It is incredible that the Ghanaian media overlooks that. Why? Do they have no sense of  patriotism at all? Have they forgotten their watchdog role in Ghanaian society? Ditto that they are the 4th arm of government whose job it is to protect Ghanaian democracy - by shinning the spotlight on the other three arms of government and scrutinising them in microscopic fashion?  Amazing.

Unfortunately, President Mahama has no one but himself to blame, if he loses power to the equally corrupt NPP, despite his administration's many achievements. If he does not win re-election, it will be because he failed to understand that to be a successful leader of Ghana, he had to always deal ruthlessly with errant members of his administration.

President Mahama is paying the ultimate price  for tolerating and sheltering errant Machiavellian appointees - such as Stan Dogbe at the presidency - when he should have fired them ages ago.

That that genius has been able to stay on at the presidency - despite his unspeakable transgressions of the bounds of common decency in his interactions with a number of journalists, and the unpardonable shame his inactions brought on the nation, in the form of the shabby "Brochuregate" scandal that occurred at this year's Independence Day anniversary celebrations at the Independence Square - confounds many well-meaning and open-minded Ghanaians.

It has lost President Mahama the support of quite a few of them - all of whom wonder what hold exactly Stan Dogbe has on the President of the Republic of Ghana that makes him an apparently  "untouchable" appointee: whom the president is either unwilling or unable to discipline, and thus can get away with literally anything he does.

Does that not breed impunity in any administration?  How many independent-minded, discerning and patriotic Ghanaians would want to see such a regime re-elected to power to govern the nation again, I ask?

And it did not help the President's cause that he caved in to pressure to free the so-called "Montie 3" -  when it would have been far more prudent to make them serve out their sentences: and, instead, rather looked to wealthy party backers to pay their families generous amounts of cash to support themselves, whiles the Montie 3's served their terms of  imprisonment in full.

Did it escape the President, a student of history, no less, that those abominable threats  issued by the Montie 3, coincided with the anniversary of the painful and terrible deaths of three high court judges and  retired military officer, who were brutally murdered a little over three decades ago (in 1982)?

Judges are human too - and can also experience fear like the rest of us. What signal exactly was the President sending the judiciary when he freed the Montie 3?

And why did it not occur to him that in the final analysis, all troublesome and irresponsible party members, such as the Montie 3, will at best only appear as mere footnotes in Ghanaian history - when his legacy as Ghana's leader is judged by posterity: and must therefore always be given short shrift by him when their actions besmirch his administration's image?

Ghana is a nation that demands strong and tough-minded leaders - not "nice" leaders who never want to cause offence to anyone. Mahama's attitude in that regard, is in sharp contrast to that of President Rawlings, who was blunt in making it absolutely clear to his family and friends that if they messed up, they had to understand that he would never come to their rescue.

It made a huge difference - for they all knew that they  would face the consequences of their actions and inactions on their own: despite their relationship with Rawlings. Mahama has only himself to blame that some of his appointees only think of saving their own skins even when that fuels the perception that the president is unable to sack those who behave irresponsibly in his administration.

Be that as it may, if it is any consolation to his supporters, in time, President Mahama will become a much-loved former head of state - and will always be loudly applauded whenever he appears at public functions by ordinary people.

He will also be accorded great respect by even those who abused him personally for political reasons - the most implacable of whom in reality  envy him and have never really forgiven him for ending up as Ghana's President after Mills' death, if truth be told.The verbally-aggressive and uncouth Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos and others of their ilk readily come to mind.

Yet, it could have all been so different, if he had listened to those of us who wished him well when he was thrust into the presidency by  the sudden demise of President Mills - and wrote articles advising him to immediately publicly publish his assets and those of his dear wife Lordina Mahama: to enable him assume the high moral ground in Ghanaian politics and put clear blue water between himself and his political opponents.

We actually prophesied that if he failed to do so his ruthless and amoral opponents would seek to destroy his administration's achievements by the use of vile propaganda. Alas, it has come to pass: the hardliners in the NPP ratcheted up their sabotaging of the nation-building effort immediately after Mahama was sworn in as Ghana's new president.Indeed, it still continues even as we speak.

Today, the Bawumias, who were used by others to enrich themselves when the currency was redenominated during the golden age of business for the perfidious Kufuor & Co, are heroes to many  gullible and politically-blinkered Ghanaians: despite the unpatriotism that deliberately talking down their own country for personal political advantage, at a difficult period in Ghana's history, represents.

Bawumia's sin is that he knows perfectly well that Mahama has done a yoeman's job despite the near-impossible task of building a solid foundation for future growth in a nation in which millions evade taxes - and which foolishly spends nearly 70% of the taxes it collects to pay frequently-striking public-sector employees: many of whom are unproductive and in any serious country would be sacked from their jobs.

Bawumia's astonishing,  irresponsible and cynical promise to restore the allowances of students in some tertiary institutions - forgetting that society was forced at a point in time in our history into asking certain categories of tertiary students to take out student loans  precisely because allowances paid to such tertiary students had become unsustainable as their numbers increased - illustrates his nauseating dissembling, perfectly.

In one breath he proposes tax cuts - and in another promises endless spending in empty promise after empty promise. What perfidy. Who does not see the obvious  contradictions, I ask? Incredible.

BlackRock's Larry Fink's advice to governments around the globe, in the culled piece by Nathan Rieff, which we are posting below today, show clearly that President Mahama was right strategically to focus on infrastructure projects, to enable Ghana build the foundation to enable it become a middle-income country.

For all his efforts on their behalf, this blog predicts that the clever and sly individuals who are now exploiting Bawumia from the shadows, to enable their party to come to power again, will make him the most miserable vice president ever, in the history of the 4th Republic, if their party emerges victorious in the December presidential and  parliamentary polls and assumes power in January 2017.

It will be at that stage that they will begin to show him their true tribal-supremacist colours - and start treating him with utter contempt.

We also predict that despite Nana Addo Danquah's undoubted incorruptibility, his New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration will become the most corrupt regime ever to rule our benighted country.

In our view,  BlackRock's CEO's advice  to governments around the globe, show clearly that President Mahama's long-term strategy for the national economy is sound - and will benefit Ghana in the end.

On balance, on the economic front, President Mahama has worked hard for Mother Ghana, during his tenure as president. That is an undisputable fact. Ironically, it is the next NPP regime - should the party return to power again - that will reap where it has not sown.

The question President Mahama must ponder as he faces possible defeat in the December polls is: What use have the Stan Dogbes been if  many Ghanaians neither feel the undoubted  energy Ghana pulsates with, nor see  the amazing progress being made in some critical sectors of the real economy - with many new privately-owned and public-sector projects such as schools, hospitals, government office blocks, markets, affordable housing, hotels, roads, etc., etc., being executed all over the country?

In failing to deal with the corrupt and irresponsible elements in his regime President Mahama dug his own political grave. Pity.

Anyway, some of us look forward to those who engaged in the gang-rape of Mother Ghana during Mahama's tenure being exposed and paying for that egregious crime. Hopefully, they will end up in jail for causing financial loss, to the Republic of Ghana.

And if Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo becomes president, we intend to criticise his new NPP regime mercilessly too, whenever the need to do so for the sake of our beloved homeland Ghana, arises - regardless of the consequences for us personally. We fear nothing - and fear no one. Never have done.  And never will. Ever. We are serving them notice, in other words.

The question is: Does Larry Fink's views on the global economy, not confirm the viewpoint that despite the turbulent global economic climate - aggravated by the shortcomings of his administration - essentially Ghana has been on the right path under President Maham?

The effort being made by Bawumia & Co to give the world the impression that Mahama has destroyed the national economy is intellectually dishonest. It is rather their confidence-sapping, self-serving criticisms that have created a crisis of confidence in the economy in the minds of most Ghanaians.

History will judge Bawumia & Co harshly for adopting that negative strategy to enable them win power. The plain truth is that the NPP's hardliners have sabotaged the nation-building effort ever since their party went into the political wilderness, in January 2009. It is their scorched-earth tactics that nearly derailed the national economy - but Providence saved it. Shame on them.

For their information, what is actually in the national interest, is that the hypocritical John Boadus, Sammy Awukus, Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos,   Asare Otchere-Darkos, Kwamena Duncans, Kwesi Oppong Nkrumahs and the selfsame Bawumias - who talk endlessly about high-level corruption in the Mahama administration - all publicly publish their assets and those of their spouses: as proof to the world that they have no hidden agenda to amass wealth at our nation's expense.

They must also give written undertakings that if appointed into office as ministers, they will publicly publish their assets and those of their spouses immediately after leaving office. This  blog knows that they never will - because many of them have  hidden wealth-creation agendas of their own too: similar to that of the hardline NDC babies-with-sharp-teeth. The NPP's Freddie Blays and the rest of them are just so obvious in their real intentions.

Finally, in case it escapes those genuises, not all Ghanaians are children and not all of them can be fooled at the same time always: the plain truth about our nation's current difficulties is that - to use a pidgin English phrase - "Massa, today, nowhere cool in this world!"  Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.

Please read on:

''BlackRock's Larry Fink Gives This Advice to CEOs, Governments

By Nathan Reiff

Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock Inc. (BLK), has a reputation for making his opinions known. The leader of one of the largest asset managers in the world, with $5 trillion invested in a huge array of companies, sent a letter to the companies that BlackRock invests in that urges leaders to change their approach to management. Fink believes that a long-term strategy will facilitate better growth. In a recent speech, Fink expanded his comments on the state of affairs to include governments as well as business leaders. Here are some of the highlights of his argument. (Related: Investors Need to Heed Climate Change.)

Don't Punish Those Relying on Banks

Fink believes that governments around the world have increasingly passed along the duties involved with growing economies to their central banks. In turn, central banks have exhausted strategies for healthily growing economies by running out of room. Over the past eight years, Fink believes, central banks have increasingly relied on low or negative rates of interest in order to stimulate the associated economies. Unfortunately, he feels, many lower-income families around the world have suffered as a result, as they largely rely on bank deposits or government bonds in order to successfully save money. This is part of the reason, Fink feels, that the middle class around the world has failed to see its wealth increase, as the rich have had greater success.

Economic and Political Unrest Follows

When families with smaller levels of wealth observe the rich getting richer, it can lead to unrest, which has manifested itself in elections around the world and in the Brexit vote in the U.K., among other things, Fink believes.

Infrastructure is Key

According to Fink, the single best area of focus for governments in order to support their economies is infrastructure. The BlackRock CEO feels that governments must regain economic control from central banks and that they must invest heavily in infrastructure. The results would be longer-term and would include greater numbers of jobs being created, and, eventually, higher interest rates. In turn, private investment will increase, with corporations likely interested in capitalizing on new developments. Fink cited a public walkway in Chicago, built with a federal loan, which ended up driving many new private real estate development projects as a result.

Single Driving Factor

Critics may see Fink's solution as focusing too much on a single factor: the development of infrastructure across the country and abroad. However, in a time in which political acrimony in the United States is running high, infrastructure spending is a key area in which many different political views tend to agree. Perhaps that influenced Fink's decision to focus so much of his attention on this area, in which it may be more likely that progress can be made in the near future."

End of culled  piece by Nathan Rieff.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

"Worm Farming - Artemisia Afra & Malaria - Mobile Phones - Pumpkins"

Today, we are sharing an email from a dear online friend from the UK, Graham Knight (, whose generosity and desire to empower  bottom-of-the-pyramid demographics in the continent, have won him tens of thousands of friends across Africa.

Hopefully, all the political parties vying for power and campaigning across the nation for the December presidential and parliamentary elections, will take a look at the many simple poverty-eradication ideas available at: - and use them to help transform rural Ghana into a prosperous part of our homeland Ghana.

Suffice it to say that some of us would take the loquacious Mahamadu Bawumias more seriously, if they committed their parties to taking away all land held by Chiefs in trust for their people - and pay compensation for same with  long-term government paper which can always be discounted for cash by those Chiefs - for a nationwide land redistribution initiative to alleviate rural poverty and boost agricultural production in Ghana.

Those lands would  then be parcelled out to landless families across the country, who either currently farm other people's lands as tenant farmers,  or want to start farming on their own lands but cannot afford to purchase land because they are poor.

Farmers would pay for such land in kind painlessly, simply by supplying public educational institutions, government hospitals, the military, police and prisons with foodstuffs at mutually agreed affordable prices, for say twenty years.

Is it not instructive that our nation's educated urban elites never talk about taking over and redistributing land held in trust for their people by Chiefs so that all landless  Ghanaians desiring to farm can do so without having to pay upfront for such land?

And if interest-free loans are given to farmers to have those newly-acquired lands mapped and formally registered  for them by LandMapp (+233 (0) 30 397 6152), would that not provide them with secure titles to those lands?

Is that not a far better way to spend some of our oil revenues, instead of frittering it away by dishing  out a million dollars to each district annually - which will only end up in the pockets of well-connected greed-filled crooks - as some politicians are threatening to do if elected to power in the December polls?

Would previously poor and landless farmers owning  land with land title certificates not truly  transform Ghanaian society - by alleviating rural poverty and making it a more egalitarian country in the process, I ask?

Is that not a far better way to utlilise our oil revenues than allowing designer-suit-wearing thieves-in-high-places to purlion that too from the national treasury - in order to send their already sky-high net worth into the stratosphere? Hmm, Ghana - eyeasenm o: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.

Please read on:


We now have a long list of people interested in starting a worm farm.
This is easy in some SSA countries and very difficult in others!
Send a message if you want more info.



Seeds of A Afra have recently been posted to several people.
Remember sometimes packets take several weeks to arrive.


This message below reminded me to mention that smartphones
are now getting quite cheap!

I bought a small smartphone directly from Aliexpress for about $30!
Almost perfect! Even with import duty it might not cost much more?

Ask for info

"Dear Graham,

 I would like to say "thank you" for introducing me to farm radio

In their recent articles I have enjoyed going through Bamboos in Zimbabwe and Mobile phones used in soil fertility testing communication via SMS.

I am laughing at myself as I can see that at times we lose opportunities. If bamboos can grow up to 20 m/yr in Kenya then our regions could look different by now even if they would grow 3 m high/ yr.

The soil testing app in the Mobile phones is another step to making agriculture easier for a common man. I hope this will reach my country soon. Good health.

Nelson Moyo, Anamed Malawi."

But soil testing needs a proper organisation!



Growing Pumpkins on a commercial scale is slowly becoming popular among farmers in many parts of Uganda.

Traditionally, almost every househol has one or two pumpkin plants in the backyard, mainly for domestic consumption.

Pumpkins are grown across the country mainly for domestic use with the balance being sold for cash.

Varieties of Pumpkin

There are over seven varieties of pumpkins in Uganda. The common ones

 * Sweet Cream
* Bala
* Dulu
* Sugar Pie
* Anderina

Uses of the Pumpkin

 * The young leaves make tasty vegetables when steamed.

 * The fruit can be prepared in a number of ways as food or sauce or soup.

 * Pumpkins can be processed into both fresh juice and wine.

 * Pumpkin seeds are also said to be natural aphrodisiacs for both men and women and they promote prostrate health among men. They reduce digestion disorders and stomach acidity.

* Young pumpkins are effective in de-worming children and also help in fighting malnutrition.

 * They can serve as animal feeds.

 * The seeds can be roasted like groundnuts and seasoned with Salt.

 * The pumpkin flesh can also be processed into flour that can be used to make cakes and other confectionery products.


Pumpkins can be grown in almost any part of Uganda.

 * Growing Pumpkins requires a space which receives direct sunlight forat least six hours daily in order for them to do well.

 * A single trailing plant can grow as long as 30 feet, sending out many vine shoots all along the way.

 * While Pumpkins usually keep low to the ground, they grow where other plants might never venture.

 * The huge leaves of the pumpkin plant can serve as floating mulch that holds down weeds and keeps the soil moist.

 * A farmer can sow four to five seeds and space them. One can soak the seeds for a night before planting and this will soften the outer shell and make sprouting easier and faster.

 * When they are two months old, the plants are pruned of any excess leaves. In case they are attacked by pests, a mixture of red pepper, tobacco and animal urine can be applied. Animal urine is more potent if it is kept for a fortnight before use. Options for artificial pesticides include durbsban 4E, cooper fungicide, indofile m45 and UREA.


Harvesting starts 90 to 120 days about three to four month from the date of planting. The harvested Pumpkins can be stored for between eight to 36 weeks if they are not disposed of immediately.



Ask for pumkin seeds!

Graham K

We now have a long list of people interested in starting a worm farm. This is easy in some SSA countries and very difficult in others! Send a message if you want more info.



Seeds of A Afra have recently been posted to several people. Remember sometimes packets take several weeks to arrive.


This message below reminded me to mention that smartphones pare now getting quite cheap!

I bought a small smartphone directly from Aliexpress for about $30!
Almost perfect! Even with import duty it might not cost much more?

Ask for info

"Dear Graham,

 I would like to say "thank you" for introducing me to farm radio network

In their recent articles I have enjoyed going through Bamboos in Zimbabwe and Mobile phones used in soil fertility testing communication via SMS.

I am laughing at myself as I can see that at times we lose opportunities. If bamboos can grow up to 20 m/yr in Kenya then our regions could look different by now even if they would grow 3 m high/ yr.

The soil testing app in the Mobile phones is another step to making Agriculture easier for a common man. I hope this will reach my country soon." Good health.

Nelson Moyo,

Anamed Malawi.

But soil testing needs a proper organisation!



Growing Pumpkins on a commercial scale is slowly becoming popular among
farmers in many parts of Uganda. Traditionally, almost every household
has one or two pumpkin plants in the backyard, mainly for domestic

Pumpkins are grown across the country mainly for domestic use with the balance being sold for cash.

Varieties of Pumpkin

There are over seven varieties of pumpkins in Uganda. The common ones

 * Sweet Cream

* Bala

 * Dulu

 * Onziga

* Sunfish

 * Sugar Pie

 * Anderina

Uses of the Pumpkin

 * The young leaves make tasty vegetables when steamed.

 * The fruit can be prepared in a number of ways as food or sauce or

 * Pumpkins can be processed into both fresh juice and wine.

 * Pumpkin seeds are also said to be natural aphrodisiacs for both men
and women and they promote prostrate health among men. They reduce digestion
disorders and stomach acidity.

 * Young pumpkins are effective in de-worming children and also help in
fighting malnutrition

 * They can serve as animal feeds.

 * The seeds can be roasted like groundnuts and seasoned with Salt.

 * The pumpkin flesh can also be processed into flour that can be used
to make cakes and other confectionery products.


Pumpkins can be grown in almost any part of Uganda.

 * Growing Pumpkins requires a space which receives direct sunlight for
at least six hours daily in order for them to do well.

 * A single trailing plant can grow as long as 30 feet, sending out many
vine shoots all along the way.

 * While Pumpkins usually keep low to the ground, they grow where other
plants might never venture.

* The huge leaves of the pumpkin plant can serve as floating mulch that
holds down weeds and keeps the soil moist.

 * A farmer can sow four to five seeds and space them. One can soak the
seeds for a night before planting and this will soften the outer shell
and make sprouting easier and faster.

 * When they are two months old, the plants are pruned of any excess
leaves. In case they are attacked by pests, a mixture of red pepper,
tobacco and animal urine can be applied. Animal urine is more potent if
it is kept for a fortnight before use. Options for artificial pesticides
include durbsban 4E, cooper fungicide, indofile m45 and UREA.


Harvesting starts 90 to 120 days about three to four months
from the date of planting. The harvested Pumpkins can be stored for between eight to
36 weeks if they are not disposed of immediatel



Ask for pumkin seeds!

Graham K

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Avoiding Potentially Harmful Effects Of LED Street Lights In Ghana

When President Mahama was in New York City to address the U.N. General Assembly meeting recently, he took time off to visit the city's traffic management system's  headquarters building, to see how technology is harnessed to track and manage that great city's traffic.

It is important that when they travel abroad, our leaders take an interest in how other nations manage various aspects of their systems - and adopt best practice they come across to improve our system.

To help cut down on energy consumption in Ghana, some local authorities are installing high-intensity LED street lights. From the point of view of energy conservation it is a wise decision for which they ought to be commended.

However, recent research in the U.S. has revealed potentially harmful effects on people living in areas where LED street lights are used. It is an unfortunate development that ought to be taken cognisance of by the authorities here: and measures taken to protect the general public.

Hopefully, today's culled article  by Stateline's Michael Ollove, will alert the authorities in Ghana, and lead to swift action being taken to protect Ghanaians from the potentially harmful effects of LED street lights.

Please read on:

"Some cities are taking another look at LED lighting after AMA warning

 By Michael Ollove.

If people are sleepless in Seattle, it may not be only because they have broken hearts.

The American Medical Association issued a warning in June that high-intensity LED streetlights — such as those in Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Houston and elsewhere — emit unseen blue light that can disturb sleep rhythms and possibly increase the risk of serious health conditions, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. The AMA also cautioned that those light-emitting-diode lights can impair nighttime driving vision.

Similar concerns have been raised over the past few years, but the AMA report adds credence to the issue and is likely to prompt cities and states to reevaluate the intensity of LED lights they install.

Nearly 13 percent of area/roadway lighting is now LED, according to a report prepared last year for the Department of Energy, and many communities that haven’t yet made the switch plan to do so. LEDs are up to 50 percent more energy-efficient than the yellow-orange high-pressure sodium lights they typically replace. They last for 15 to 20 years, instead of two to five. And unlike sodium lights, the LEDs spread illumination evenly.

[Blue light from electronics disturbs sleep, especially for teenagers]

Some cities say the health concerns are not convincing enough to override the benefits of the first-generation bright LED lights that they installed in the past three to eight years. New York is one of them, although it has responded to resident complaints by replacing the high-intensity, white LED bulbs with a lower-intensity bulb that the AMA considers safe.

Scott Thomsen, a spokesman for Seattle City Lights, which is responsible for the city’s exterior illumination, dismissed the health concerns about bright-white LED lights, noting that they emit less of the problematic blue wavelengths than most computers and televisions.

After a year and a half of discussion and sampling, Lake Worth, Fla., is replacing its sodium streetlights with about 4,150 LED lights with an amber glow. “We found a color that made sense for the health of our city, and we’re proud of the choice we’ve made,” Michael Bornstein, the city manager, said.

Mark Hartman, Phoenix’s chief sustainability officer, said the city might go with a mix of the intense lights for major intersections and ballpark areas that need very bright light and a softer light for residential areas. He said the city would consider the health arguments, although he too mentioned the glow from computers and televisions. “Nobody says don’t watch television or use your computer after 9 p.m. because of blue lights,” he said.

The first generation

Almost as soon as outdoor LEDs were made available, the federal government encouraged states and municipalities to use them, calling LEDs highly efficient for applications such as traffic lights and exit signs. But critics say federal authorities were too quick to endorse LEDs.

[What you need to know about OLED lighting]

The Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency “put a lot of push into them,” said Michael Siminovitch, director of the California Lighting Technology Center at the University of California at Davis. “I call it a rush.”

Siminovitch said the light from early-generation LEDs “really negatively impacts people’s physiological well-being.”

Lighting is measured by color temperature, which is expressed in “kelvin,” or “K.” The original LED streetlights had temperatures of at least 4000K, which produces a bright white light with a high content of unseen blue light.

Now, however, LEDs are available with lower kelvin ratings and roughly the same energy efficiency as those with higher ratings. They don’t emit as much potentially harmful blue light, and they produce a softer, amber hue.

When 4000K and 5000K LEDs were installed, they drew mixed responses. Police and traffic-safety officials and many motorists liked them because they created a bright light that sharply illuminated the ground they covered.

But in many places, including New York City and Seattle, residents complained that the bright white light they emitted was harsh, even lurid. People described them as invasive, cold and unflattering.

Even before the AMA warning, some researchers raised health concerns. Some noted that exposure to the blue-rich LED outdoor lights might decrease people’s secretion of the hormone melatonin. Secreted at night, melatonin helps balance the reproductive, thyroid and adrenal hormones and regulates the body’s circadian rhythm of sleeping and waking.

“As a species, we weren’t designed to see light at night,” Siminovitch said.

Meanwhile, the “dark sky” movement criticizes LEDs as a major contributor to what it calls the “light pollution” that humans cast into the night sky.

Effect on sleep cycles

In its warning, the AMA cited the melatonin issue, noting that studies have linked bright LEDs to reduced sleep time, poor sleep quality and impaired daytime functioning.

It referred to evidence that exposure to high-intensity light at night might increase the risk of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. And it cautioned that intense LEDs have been associated with “discomfort and disability glare,” which might impair nighttime vision for drivers.

[Nobel Prize in physics goes to three men who gave us blue LEDs]

Finally, the AMA cautioned about the harmful effects of bright LEDs on wildlife, particularly nocturnal animals, birds and insects.

“These lights aren’t just bad for us,” said Mario Motta, one of the authors of the AMA report, “they’re bad for the environment, too.”

The AMA did commend LEDs for their energy efficiency and effectiveness, but it urged cities to minimize blue-rich outside lighting and recommended the use of LEDs no brighter than 3000K.

Tony Dorsey, a spokesman with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, said that the organization’s environmental committee is studying the AMA’s report but that association members haven’t seemed concerned about the use of 4000K LEDs on roadways.

The Department of Energy said LEDs should be used with “prudence” but praised their overall performance. It said the AMA had added “another influential voice” to the issue.

Others, including the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., said the lights pose less risk than the AMA suggests. The research center pointed out that the AMA report is based on extended exposure to high-intensity LEDs, and said the blue-light hazard of LEDs “is probably not a concern to the majority of the population in most lighting applications.”

Motta stood by the AMA’s concerns about high-intensity LEDs and said there is no downside — either in cost or efficiency — to choosing a lower-intensity light.

Sleeping in Seattle

Some cities are satisfied with their higher-intensity LED streetlights.

In Seattle, which has installed about 41,000 new lights since 2010, Thomsen, the spokesman for Seattle Light, attributed the early complaints to residents’ surprise at the sharp difference in brightness between the old sodium lights and the new LEDs.

[What to order when you’re buying new (and pricey!) eyeglasses]

Light from the new fixtures is comparable to moonlight and provides excellent visual acuity for drivers, Thomsen said. Police especially like them, he said, because they enable people to distinguish colors at night. “The police say they get much better witness descriptions,” Thomsen said.

Thomsen also noted that even though the Seattle LEDs are rated at 4100K, significantly lower than most computer screens, laptops and televisions.

But Pete Strasser, technical director at the International Dark-Sky Association, said moonlight contains far less blue light than high-intensity LED lights.

A little more than a year ago, Gloucester, Mass., was on its way to replacing its sodium streetlights with new 4000K LEDs. But then city planner Matt Coogan began reading about health and environmental warnings. He also had residents sample the 4000K lights against 3000K models.

Next month, the city is expected to finish installing its LEDs, but they will be 3000K rather than 4000K.

Coogan knows the debate over the health risks of LEDs rages on. But he doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of history.

“I didn’t want to get 10 or 15 years down the road and find out we had exposed our people to a health risk,” Coogan said.

— Stateline"

End of culled Stateline  article by Michael Ollove.

About the Pew Charitable Trusts' Stateline

What is Stateline?

Stateline provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy. Since its founding in 1998, Stateline has maintained a commitment to the highest standards of non-partisanship, objectivity, and integrity. Its team of veteran journalists combines original reporting with a roundup of the latest news from sources around the country. Stateline focuses on four topics that are key to state policy: fiscal and economic issues, health care, demographics, and the business of government.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Let Private-Sector Ghanaian Companies Run Regional ECG Branches Instead Of Handing The Whole ECG To A Private Foreign Entity To Manage For 35 Long Years

My son Jonathan is visiting Ghana for the very first time. Luckily, he  has already fallen in love with Ghana. Encouraged by his sister, Gladys, to explore his Ghanaian heritage - by holidaying here instead of going elsewhere -  I am keen to ensure that he returns to settle in Ghana permanently, after he finishes university.

Naturally, one of the factors he will have to consider in moving from the UK to Ghana, permanently, is the availability of an efficient and reliable power sector, which provides round-the-clock electricity supply countrywide.

Incidentally, unbeknownst to him, and his sister, the day they chose to arrive in Ghana, 21st September,  2016, was an auspiscious one: Their arrival coincided with Founder's Day, the official birthday of President Nkrumah, Ghana's first post-independence leader.

Nkrumah was a polymath, an original thinker and a doer. He was a pragmatic leader who when necessary sought private-sector collaborators whose businesses were underpinned by a corporate good governance ethos, who believed in sharing the profits they made here, fairly with Ghana - to provide funds for the development of the nation.

What a difference from today's tax-evading multinationals run by ruthless self-seekers who corrupt African leaders and rip-off the developing nations they extract serious wealth from. Pity.

President Nkrumah's collaboration with the Italian tycoon Enrico Mattei - who then run the Italian state energy company before dying tragically in a plane crash  - led to the setting up of an oil refinery at Tema, which Nkrumah opened in 1963. His speech at the  opening ceremony spelt out his belief in the benefits to be derived from  win-win collaborations between the state and ethically-run private-sector businesses.

That is why for genuine and patriotic Nkrumahists, it is such a pity that none of those vying for the presidency in the December polls, has offered an alternative to the current government's agreed Millennium Development Authority Ghana Power Compact plan, for the privatisation of the management of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), for as long as 35 solid years. Totally crazy.

For national security reasons - especially in an age of global terrorism - surely, the ECG ought to be run by Ghanaian private-sector entities, not private-sector foreign companies: which could easily lead to ECG installations around the country being targeted by terrorists merely because that state-owned power distributor is being managed by a foreign-owned business?

The question is: Do those vying for the presidency  not realise that a far better privatisation model for the ECG already exists in Ghana? Surely, they are aware of the existence of Enclave Power Company Limited, are they not? Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.

They ought to be if they aren't already aware of its existence. It   really  does not make sense for the ECG to be handed over to foreign companies to run for as long as 35 years, when if given the opportunity - in a fair and transparent selection process - Ghanaian entrepreneurs can actually do so efficiently too: as the shining example of Enclave Power Company Limited shows so clearly.

Launched in the year 2000 - to supply power to businesses in the Tema Free Zone Enclave - the business model of Enclave Power Company Limited, a subsidiary of the Ghanaian conglomerate, LMI Holdings, owned by Mr. Ernest Owusu-Afari,  is a perfect example of how we can privatise the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

The enterprise Ghana would definitely be better served, if it invited bids from Ghanaian companies, to run the ECG's regional branches - to enable Ghanaian entrepreneurs run the ECG's regional branches for agreed specified periods - lasting not more than fifteen years at the most.

To ensure that Ghanaian private-sector companies selected to run the regional branches of the ECG survive and prosper, this blog recommends that they team up with  Ghanaian technology entrepreneurs, to provide superfast and affordable broadband internet access using the ECG's power lines throughout rural Ghana (and in deprived urban areas if regulators permit).

It will definitely help boost struggling local economies nationwide - as many companies will relocate to take advantage of the inexpensive and superfast broadband internet access available in such deprived areas around the country.

For that reason, we are posting a culled news report from  www.goldenshovelagency com.that shows the possibilities open to such imaginative tie-ups in collaborative partnerships when the ECG is broken up and run as 10 separate privately run regional power distributing companies.

All is not lost for the enterprising Paul Adom-Otcheres if they choose such a path to the provision of superfast broadband internet access provision across Ghana. Ditto District Assemblies utilising Kobby Acheampong's government-sponsored tech fund, the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), for private public partnerships (PPP) with district-based tech start-ups to provide district-wide superfast broadband internet access, utilising the ECG's distribution power lines.

Above all, such a development  that increases competition significantly in the telecoms sector, will force the greedy and hard-of-hearing foreign telcos ripping Ghanians off providing lousy services that they charge the earth for, to focus instead on improving their dreadful services, and lowering their ridiculously over-priced voice and data rates.

Please read on:

"Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas - News
- Golden Shovel Agency,

One of the members of the Arkansas Electric Cooperatives in Camden is partnering with a rural telecom in Hampton to form a new company to bring gigabit internet service to south Arkansas, joining larger cable and telecom giants in Arkansas seeking to expand “ultra fast” broadband service to smaller communities.

Ouachita Electric Cooperative (OECC) and South Arkansas Telephone (SATCO) announced today (June 14) that they have formed a new company called ARIS to bring gigabit internet service to thousands of homes and businesses in south Arkansas.

ARIS plans to start delivering services to customers in September 2016 with the goal of reaching all 9,500 homes and businesses of the OECC membership with fiber optic network services over the next few years, OECC and SATCO officials said. The initial packages will include options for gigabit Internet services, digital voice with unlimited local and long distance, and video services with options for up to 70 channels.

ARIS, which is now the second electric cooperative in Arkansas to launch a broadband offering in Arkansas in 2016, joins a growing list of larger telecom and cable providers that are looking to expand gigabit and gigabyte service to residential and businesses customers across the state. Ozarks Electric Cooperative in Fayetteville has also created a telecom subsidiary, and now has a gigabit-level, high-speed Internet offering called “OzarksGo,” which was unveiled in April.

“In the 1930’s and 1940’s it was the electric cooperatives that brought electricity to rural America, today it’s access to the internet,” said Mark Cayce, general manager of OECC. “This partnership leverages the strengths of both companies so we can come together and serve our customers and our communities. Companies looking to move to south Arkansas can know that they can get the same or better level of connectivity services they get in large metropolitan areas.”

“We’re adding Camden and Hampton, Arkansas, to the list of gigabit cities that includes Austin, Nashville, Kansas City and Chattanooga,” said Mark Lundy, director of SATCO. “These services will be transformative for not only our customers, but our region as well. SATCO believes in partnerships with other entities to help drive economic development for southern Arkansas.”

Last year, several Arkansas-based companies announced they were rolling out gigabit Internet offerings across the state. In May 2015, Cox Communications was the first to announce active deployment of fiber optic infrastructure in parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Oklahoma and Virginia to bring its “G1GABLAST” to customers in those states.

The service launched in parts of Northwest Arkansas in the fall, and Cox has said its residential gigabit service will be available in all of its markets by the end of 2016. Cox, which provides Internet service to the Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas markets, already offers residential gigabit connections in parts of Phoenix, Ariz., Orange County, Calif.; Omaha, Neb., and Las Vegas. The company has been deploying multi-gigabit speeds to businesses for more than 10 years.

In December 2015, Dallas-based telecom and wireless giant AT&T announced plans to expand the availability of its gigabit Internet service to residential and small businesses in the Little Rock, Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas metropolitan areas. The rollout of the new Internet service is part of AT&T’s nationwide expansion of the service to 38 additional metros across the U.S. The service is now available to 56 metro areas across AT&T’s vast fiber optic network.

AT&T has not divulged the approximate dates the service will be available in Little Rock, Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas, but a company spokesman woman has said the launch date typically takes place within a year of announced plans.

Cable giant Comcast also announced plans in 2015 to unveil its 2-gig Internet service in Atlanta and other communities across the South, but not Arkansas. The nation’s largest cable and Internet provider, said it is now testing a “scalable, national” 1-gig technology service, and expects to begin rolling it out this year.

Rural telecom operator CenturyLink also now offers gigabit service to some residential and business customers in selected markets, but not in Arkansas. Little Rock-based Windstream has also began rolling out gigabit broadband offerings in several of the larger markets where it operations this year.


When asked if any other 15 members of the AEC in Arkansas plan to jump into the Internet business in the future, Rob Roedel, spokesman for the Arkansas Electric Cooperatives (AEC), said that decision is left up to each of the individual electric cooperatives.

“As you are aware each individual electric cooperative is locally owned and governed by a local board of directors, so decisions such as entering a new business venture is handled by each respective electric cooperative,” Roedel said.

Last week, OECC President and CEO Mitchell Johnson; Randy Klindt, general manager of its subsidiary, OzarksGo; and Elizabeth Bowles, president of Little Rock-based Aristotle, testified before the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Advanced Communications and Information Technology on the need for the state to use a blended approached to extend broadband to rural areas.

Bowles said no technology is future proof and the state needs a blended approach. She said fixed wireless broadband, which transmits data wirelessly from permanent locations, is a better solution in some circumstances because it can achieve high speeds and be deployed cheaper and quicker. She said speed is only one consideration for laying broadband; others include consumer costs and whether providers cap the amount of data that can be consumed.

More than two years ago, former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski called for at least one gigabit communities in all 50 states by 2015 to meet the “Gigabit City Challenge,” which he said would accelerate gigabit communities nationwide through the creation of a critical mass of markets and innovation hubs with ultra-fast Internet speeds.

According to the FCC, speeds of one gigabit per second are approximately 100 times faster than the average fixed high-speed Internet connection. At gigabit speeds, connections can handle multiple streams of large-format, high-definition content like online video calls, movies, and immersive educational experiences. Networks cease to be hurdles to applications, so it no longer matters whether medical data, high-definition video, or online services are in the same building or miles away across the state."

End of culled

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Happy Founder's Day To All Genuine Nkrumahists!

Today marks the official birthday of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first constitutionally elected president. Because both of his parents were not educated, the actual date that Nkrumah was born on, is not known.

Nkrumah, as we all  know, was a selfless and dedicated leader, who really cared about the well-being of our homeland Ghana, and led a government that focused on implementing policies that promoted the welfare of all the people of our nation.

There is a world of difference between Nkrumah's altruism and the cynicism that underpins all that the majority of today's crop of Ghanaian politicians do. Many of them work hard to craft laws and policies that benefit their exploitative local and foreign paymasters.

President Nkrumah, for example, would never have signed any of the unpatriotic and  "criminal" oil agreements entered into by the neocolonialist regimes of presidents  Kufuor, Mills and Mahama - for virtually every one of the agreements those administrations signed continue to cause financial loss to Ghana.

History will judge all such unpatriotic  Ghanaian politicians harshly - as sure as day follows night. And lest they forget,   judgements of history, which turn out to be positive, alas, can never possibly be obtained through bribery and propaganda on the airwaves of television and FM radio stations - thank goodness.

There is no question that when the balance sheet of Ghana's hydrocarbons sector is finally drawn up, future generations of our people will curse the administrations of those three leaders who allowed our oil and gas deposits to purloined so egregiously - Kufuor, Mills and Mahama

Nkrumah most certainly would not have countenanced any government of his agreeing that ever-so-daft so-called "hybrid" oil-sector  agreement bill recently brought to the floor of Parliament: because he would have understood the importance of those oil and gas deposits remaining national assets owned by the Ghanaian people, not foreign oil  companies and their greed-filled local lackeys.

Let those genuises in our Parliament, who are busy giving away our oil and gas deposits freely to foreign oil companies, read the Monkey-dey-work-baboon-dey-chop agreement between the Canadian oil company, Africa Oil, and Tullow Oil, which Tullow was happy to sign to exploit part of  Africa Oil's oil concession in Kenya. They will realise what fools they have been. Shame on them. They are all traitors.

And when they finish perusing the agreement between Africa Oil and Tullow, those morons can also go on to read some of the technical services contracts that so many international oil companies were falling over themselves to sign with Iraq to exploit its giant Rumaila oilfield - and realise the height of their stupidity.

Without  question, Nkrumah's administration would  have understood clearly, that passing laws that insist on Ghana only ever signing production sharing agreements, and which make the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation the key entity, in the exploitation of Ghana's oil and gas deposits, was in the best interest of all the people of Ghana.

Today, Nkrumah will doubtless be turning in his grave throughout the day - for all manner of phoney so-called Nkrumahists will crawl out of the woodwork to shower praises on him: whiles refusing to unite to win power, at a historic moment, when the vast majority of discerning Ghanaians have become thouroughly fed up with the divissive antics of the corruption-riddled duopoly, which has ruled Ghana since the 4th Republic came into being in 1992.

How can the leaders of all the so-called Nkrumahist political parties still not understand that they have a moral obligation to Ghana and its suffering people to unite to win power in this December's presidential election?

Why are they refusing to unite and merge their mickey-mouse political parties and reverse them into the original party of Nkrumah, the Convention People's Party (CPP)? Incidentally, for their information, it is still not too late to do so.

The question is: Are the leaderships of Ghana's Nkrumahist political parties so blinkered politically that they cannot even comprehend the fact that both the  ruling the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the main opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), are now regarded by thinking-Ghanaians who truly love their country, as no longer fit-for-purpose political entities, in the Ghana of today?

As a result of their continued refusal to unite and field a common presidential candidate, some of us now have nothing but contempt for such selfish politicians - who clearly are putting selfish personal ambition above what is the nation's best interest today: the return to power of an Nkrumahist leader for our country.

At this stage of the game, how can the leaderships of the so-called Nkrumahist political parties justify not having a united front politically, and refusing to unite around a common presidential candidate for all the Nkrumahist political parties?

Will all of them not eventually serve in a national unity government formed and led by that common candidate whom they select for the presidential election, if he emerges victorious in the December polls?

So to honour the memory of the great Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, instead of wasting one's energies on the mediocre and blinkered-blockheads in leadership positions in the so-called Nkrumahist political parties, this blog is rather posting two culled pieces today.

The first is an email from the acting Vice Chancellor of Australia's leading university, the National University of Australia, Canberra, Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington. The second culled piece is by Mr. Solomon Kwawukume of the Ghana Institute of Governance and Security (GIGS).

Solomon Kwawukume is a true patriot and nationalist who over the years has fought a lonely and courageous battle to alert Ghanaians about the giving away of their oil and gas deposits by their selfish leaders in the criminally-negligent and opaque oil agreements favouring foreign oil companies, which they have signing since production started in Ghana..

Both pieces  would have been of great interest to President Nkrumah were he to be in power today.

For some extraordinary reason Professor Hughes-Warrington's fund-raising email found its way into my email's inbox. Nkrumah was very keen on collaborations between leading academic institutions around the  world and their counterpart research and tertiary educational institutions in Ghana.

That is why on Founder's Day, the question to ponder for some Nkrumahists is: Why does the Council for Scientific and industrial Research's (CSIR) Food Research Institute (FRI) not reach out to the successors of Dr. Howard Bradley's research work at the Australian National University?

Would such collaboration not make it possible for the FRI to lead a collaborative effort amongst food researchers throughout West Africa, to work with the sub-region's media, to educate women in West Africa on the adoption of the cyanide removal methods Dr. Bradley's research work has led to?

Since the consumption of cassava is widespread in Ghana, and in many other West African nations, any research that leads to the cyanide it contains being easily removed, will be of enormous benefit to national economies throughout the West African sub-region - as it is only a healthy working population that can be productive economically.

Happy Founder's Day to all genuine Nkrumahists. This blog hopes that they will  enjoy reading the contents of both today's culled posted pieces: the email from Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington and the piece by Solomon Kwawukume.

Please read on:

"Hello my friends,

Something you may wish to know about... general health issue related to cassava:

    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Help ANU prevent konzo
    From: "Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington" <>
    Date: Wed, September 21, 2016 2:48 am
    To: "Jeffery_C._Marck" <>
    The Australian National University
    Let's make Konzo disappear
    ANU Giving Day
    Wednesday 21 September

 Dear Jeff
This year Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt has led the University's 70th Anniversary celebrations. Since our founding year, ANU alumni, staff and students have made incredible contributions to the nation. One truly remarkable story is that of Dr Howard Bradbury AM, who this year will officially retire after 56 years at ANU.

Since 1988 Dr Bradbury has focused his research on cassava and the disease konzo. Konzo is a neurological disease that causes irreversible paralysis of the legs, often in women and young children. It's caused by malnutrition and consumption of high levels of a cyanide compound found in cassava - which happens to be a common staple food in tropical Africa.

 Konzo can't be cured, but it can be prevented by educating those who prepare cassava to eat.

Thanks to Dr Bradbury's research, there's now a simple and inexpensive method that removes the poisonous cyanide compound from cassava flour. His solution to prevent konzo is elegant in its simplicity. ANU is now working with local health authorities to raise awareness of this method, and educate affected communities.
Konzo has now been prevented in 16 villages across the region, and since the program began, the time taken to teach Dr Bradbury's 'wetting method' has been halved.

Today, on ANU Giving Day, we as a community of alumni, students, staff and friends can come together to support a cause that reflects the heart and soul of what ANU is – exceptional research that has a global impact.

Please join me and make a gift in recognition of Dr Bradbury's commitment and work to help prevent konzo.
    »   make a gift today  
 Your gift will directly support educational programs that teach women how to remove the cyanide compound from their food and prevent new outbreaks of konzo.

 Thank you for your supporting the ANU Giving Day campaign. 
    Yours sincerely,
 Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington
    Acting Vice-Chancellor

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ANU recognises that your privacy is very important to you. ANU complies with the Privacy Act 1988 to protect the integrity of your personal information. If you decide to make a donation you will be directed to an external fundraising website owned by USEED Inc to register your details. You may be asked to submit personal information including, but not limited to: a) your name; b) your email address; c) your postal address; and other personal information. If you decide not to register these details, you may not proceed to make a donation. Any personal information you submit to the fundraising platform will only be used to process your donation. All information collected by the fundraising platform will be subject to USEED's Privacy Policy and will be processed in fundraising platform system and stored within the USA.

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End of culled email message from Professor Marnie Huges-Warrington.

Second culled piece by Mr. Solomon Kwawukume of the Ghana Institute of Governance and Security.

Please read on:


Does it guarantee ghana a fair share of oil revenue and protect the interest of ghana?

On Friday 19th August, 2016, the Ghana Institute of Governance and Security locked horns with the Africa Centre for Energy Policy represented by Dr. Adam Amin, Natural Resource Governance Institute represented by Mr. Samuel Bekoe and the Select Committee on Mines and Energy represented by Mr. Mutawakilu, Deputy Chairman, on the programme Ghana Connect on Joy TV and Joy FM Radio to debate whether the new Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill guarantees Ghana a fair share of the oil revenue and protects the interest of Ghana.

Due to time constraint, GIGS was unable to articulate our observations and comments on the Bill fully but only dealt partially with the Fiscal Regime which mostly is our focus.

GIGS and its partners in this campaign to adopt PSA now represent our full observations on the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill in two parts.


The law in the making is in all respect the Royalty Tax System under the concessionary system - a system progressive and forward looking leaders would not adopt to regulate Oil and Gas discoveries in this 21st Century - cunningly and subtly clothed in some provisions of Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) to conform and fall in line with the exploitative agreements so far entered into by both NPP and NDC governments and approved by our Parliament; now metamorphosed into Modern Concession, the Ghana Hybrid System. It is an attempt now, therefore, to give legal backing to these bad and illegal agreements and contracts tinted with corruption, as stated categorically by Dr. Adam Amin in a presentation made to the House Sub-Committee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organisations on 18th July, 2013. I quote:

‘’In conclusion I have already mentioned the issue of bad deals in the oil and mining industries. Some of these bad deals have already been producing resources and the United States like other importing countries is consuming oil from some of these bad contracts. This places an important responsibility on the United States to lead by example in ensuring that oil and minerals from countries that promote questionable contracts tinted with corruption are not patronized.’’

The question one may ask is, if Dr. Adam Amin knew about these things, why is he supporting an obnoxious and exploitative law to legitimise these contracts tinted with corruption that would go a long way to impoverish his country? What are his motives and incentives? And that of others charged with overseeing our oil boon?

GIGS and its partners and supporters are opposed to the Modern Concession because it is equally exploitative as the Traditional Concession despite its modification to include Carried and Participation Interests and Additional Oil Entitlement (AOE).

We were and still are irrevocably and unabashedly in support of consolidating the PSA which the previous PNDC Laws 64 and 84 support, which even Tullow on one of its website links acknowledged but dishonestly and mischievously claimed Ghana had adopted to regulate its Upstream Oil Industry in order to derive optimum benefit, a claim since then edited out from that link.

The passed Bill enables the foreign oil companies to swindle Ghana through taking advantage of certain incentives that go with adoption of PSA, such as waiver of import and export duties.

The Bill takes away all the sole rights and controls granted the National Oil Company, GNPC, under the PNDC Laws 64 and 84, thus placing ownership and control of the oil and gas resources of Ghana into private hands contrary to Article 257 Section 6 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

The semantic interpretation given by Mr. Mutawakilu, Deputy Chairman, during the debate was very absurd to me and Dr. Adam Amin remarked if I wasn’t satisfied I could go to the Supreme Court for proper interpretation. According to Mr. Mutawakilu, natural resources only belong to Ghana underground. They become the property and asset of any investor who gets access to it and brings them out to the surface.

The Bill also reduces GNPC to an independent commercial operator and therefore has to compete with the foreign oil companies for oil blocks declared open by the Minister of Petroleum even if it has the resources to do so, otherwise the Minister would have to exercise the numerous discretionary powers conferred on him to allocate a block to it.

The Bill also contravenes the following:

a. UN Resolution on Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources GAR 1803 of 1963 reprinted in GAR 3171 of 1963

b. The Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of State GAR 3181 of 1974.

Ghana surprisingly is a signatory to all these UN Conventions and Resolutions. Ghanaians would eventually lose ownership rights and permanent sovereignty over their oil and gas riches to foreigners as happened to gold and other minerals.

The above observations and implications are not written in black and white in the Bill for one to see, but are inherent in it. One needs to understand the principles underlying the various fiscal arrangement or regime to be able to understand and decipher these effects.
Unfortunately, the Petroleum Minister and other panel members do not seem to realise these ills inherent in the Bill that do not protect the interest of the people of Ghana. They are rather focused on how the foreigners’ interests are well protected.


The fiscal Regime or Arrangement determines the type of contract the government enters into with the foreign oil companies (FOC) on behalf of the citizens to exploit their oil and gas resources.

The fiscal provisions therefore become the heart of any Petroleum Exploration and Production Law because they determine the type of contract signed and how the oil revenue is shared between the resource owners, that is, the citizen and the FOC.

In this Part we shall refer to specific clauses in the Bill and how they directly impact on Ghana, whether fairly and adequately.

Clauses 3-4

These clauses are awkward. Ghana, a novice in the Upstream Oil Industry, is inventing a new wheel by vesting management and control of oil and gas resources in the State, i.e., the Minister of Petroleum, contrary to established global standard and practice. Oil and Gas resources being strategic national assets, management and control are vested in the National Oil Companies (NOC) of host countries. In PNDC Laws 64 and 84, GNPC was fully vested with the management and control. The Bill now seeks to take away these powers and vest them in the Minister of Petroleum.

Clause 5

No progressive country in the 21st Century in the developing world is conducting petroleum activities under licence with the implication of transferring ownership of petroleum resources to private individuals and foreigners in the name of attracting investments into the sector, contrary to global standards and practice. Ghana, the 35th country into oil and gas in Africa, is moving in the opposite direction – the Black Star of Africa indeed!

Clause 10 sub-14 (a)

This sub-clause contravenes the UN Resolution on Permanent sovereignty over Natural Resources. The sub-clause also places a cap to limit our 100% ownership of our property under the Constitution.

Clause 10 Sub 14 (b) (i) (ii)

The financial obligations that these sub-clauses would place on Ghana are so huge that the burden on the limited resources available to meet our infrastructural deficits cannot be under-estimated if we have to adopt this Hybrid System. Due to limited resources available to the State, the State cannot take up large shares in the projects which will result into loss of huge oil revenues to the foreign oil companies. Ghana under the Jubilee Agreement would have to pay the lead operator Tullow over US$2 Billion for participating in the project within the next 10 years. Understandably, PETRONAS, the Malaysian Oil Company in 1974 shied away from this system and chose PSA.

Clause 20

This clause waters down clause 13 of PNDC law 84 and is contrary to current international practice which makes review in Petroleum Agreements mandatory every five or seven years. The wording of the clause does not make review mandatory.

Clauses 85-89

The fiscal provisions in essence are skewed towards collection of taxes which in practice are difficult to collect from multinationals. The foreign oil companies earned US$13.329 Billion gross revenue in five years of operations at the Jubilee Fields which should attract US$3.553 billion in taxes but ended up paying under US$500 million for both taxes and surface rentals. They did not pay any tax over the last 2 years because they claimed they were making losses. As pointed out in the Auditor General’s Report, the required oversights had so not even been activated. A PSA avoids much of those hassles.
To say the Ghana Hybrid System can achieve the same or better results than the time tested PSA which the existing Laws support is a deceit and preposterous.

To back our position that the PSA is by far rather superior to the Ghana Hybrid System, GIGS used the meticulous analysis of the official Quarterly Petroleum Receipts and Distribution Reports released by the Ministry of Finance from 2011-2015, under the so-called Ghana Hybrid System which is without any legal framework backing it, Ghana the Sovereign owner of the oil resources received 28,117,764 barrels valued at US$2,650,352,317, representing 16.59% of total production revenue.

With taxes and surface rentals paid by the FOC added, Ghana earned a total of US$3,111,613,783 representing 19.40% of total production revenue of US$15,980,235,948 as ‘’ Government Take’’.

During the same period, the FOC received 144,417,622 barrels, worth gross value of US$13,329,883,363 representing 83.41% of total production revenue.

After payment of taxes and surface rentals, they had a net gross of US$12,868,622,165 representing 80.60% of total production revenue.

If Ghana had adopted the world standard PSA which existing Laws PNDC 64 & PNDC 84 support, adopted by even South Sudan, the newest country in the world, Niger, Chad, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Nigeria, Angola, Malaysia, Cameroun, Indonesia and more than 80 other countries, Ghanaians as sovereign owners of the oil should have received 101,941,628 barrels valued US$9,608,909,293 representing 60.10% of total production revenue as ‘’Government Take’’.

Even if Ghana had adopted PSA and opted for ‘’ Profit Oil’’ only, without Royalties, Surface Rentals and Corporate Taxes and Participating Interests, Ghana would have lifted 81,207,449 barrels valued US$7.662 billion in the first five years representing 47.70% of total production revenue as ‘’Government Take’’.

The argument by Mr. Mutawakilu that we did not know the cost of exploration, development and production of Jubilee Fields is laughable. What Ghanaians did not know but we know from Day (1), when the Jubilee partners entered the field, to the last day in 30 years when the field is supposed to be exhausted, about US$10 billion will be spent on the entire project. Approximately about US$6 billion for exploration and development of Phase-1 and Phase-2 and about US$4 billion as operating and technical costs would have been spent. However, from our analysis and computation a net gross of US$12.868 billion was earned representing 80.60% of total production revenue in 5 years while Ghanaians, sovereign owners of the oil, earned US$3,111,613,783, i.e., 19.40%, as Government Take representing Royalties, Carried and Participating Interests, Corporate Taxes and Surface rentals.

The unsupported claim by Dr. Amin that Ghana is currently earning 54% as Government Take from the Jubilee Fields and the new agreements signed under NDC would generate 75% as Government Take under the Ghana Hybrid System is a public intellectual deceit to the highest order. Our analyses do not support his claim; both Jubilee and TEN are likely to yield between 20%-30% as Total Production Revenue each as Government Take.

This is the system the Ministry of Petroleum, Petroleum Commission, Energy Commission, GNPC and our Representatives in Parliament say is good for Ghana even though they are aware the Ghana Hybrid System would make Ghana earn less than 25% of Total production Revenue as Government Take. And this is supported strongly by ACEP, NRGI, CSO PLATFORM on Oil and Gas, IEA, IMANI, PIAC and others who are heavily funded by the World Bank, Oxfam America, Star Ghana, DFID and the Oil Companies through their so-called Corporate Social Responsibility Fund to deceive and brainwash all sectors of the Ghanaian public, including the seat of Government and Parliament, to believe that what Ghana is doing is the best and modern system. From the analysis above, the two (2) systems cannot produce same results.

In conclusion, the Ghana Institute of Governance and Security (GIGS) joined by the Fair-Trade Oil Share-GH PSA Campaign Team are opposed to the fiscal provisions and other related provisions contained in the Bill/Law which we have considered very inimical to the interest of the people of Ghana, both the present generation and future ones yet unborn. The statement and claim by the Minister of Petroleum that the Bill or the Law will be robust to protect the interest of Ghana is false and a public deceit to the highest order. The whole Petroleum Ministry and others who were in charge of handling this issue from the NPP administration to the current NDC administration should be charged with the offence of causing financial loss to the State, representing Ghanaians."

End of second culled piece by Solomon Kwawukume of the Ghana Institute of Governance and Security.

Solomon is a senior GIGS  Research Officer (Oil & Gas)  and National Coordinator - FTOS-GH PSA Campaign.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

How Ghana Can Benefit From Arizona University's College Of Engineering's Toxin-Free Gold Mining Inventions

I had a phone call yesterday, from a complete stranger, who after berating me for "disrespecting" the Hon. Mahama Ayariga, asked me why instead of criticising the "hard-working" minister for environment, science and technology, did I not rather bring to the attention of the authorities  in Ghana, safer methods of mining gold.

God give Ghana's environmental activists patience: The future of our country, and the well-being of future generations  is being compromised - by greedy, selfish and well-connected  individuals, who don't care one jot about the effect of their actions on their fellow humans - and we are supposed to applaud those leading our country, who are all shirking their collective responsibility to stop the egregious criminality that is destroying forests, poisoning soils, streams, rivers and groundwater sources across our homeland Ghana? Amazing.

Once in power - after deceiving the electorate with empty promises to cast votes for them - do the hard-of-hearing members of our political class ever heed good advice offered freely to them, by patriotic citizens who care about our nation's future, and, in their own small way, seek the welfare of its hapless people?

Has this blog not already mentioned the University of Arizona's College of Engineering's new mining-sector inventions and the implications they hold for Ghana's gold mining industry in a number of past blog posts- and suggested that Ghana collaborates with Abraham Jalbout's MetOxs Electrochemical?

So why condemn a penniless and sick old man - who is frustrated by the lack of backbone being shown by officialdom - for criticising those in power who instead of fighting them,  are rather throwing their arms up in the air, in despair, as wealthy criminals (who are bribing public officials left, right and centre) destroy our nation's nutural capital with impunity,?

Why not condemn the dishonest public officials, and corrupt politicians, who are beholden to those selfish and greedy criminals, instead, I ask? Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o. Be that as it may, for the sake of future generations of our people, this blog is offering a culled article from the website of the University of Arizona, written by Paul Tumarkin.

His article details inventions by faculty members of the University of Arizona's College of Engineering, which if adopted by the mining industry in Ghana, might possibly provide it with energy self-sufficiency, help make the gold mining sector more sustainable, and, best of all, turn it into a toxin-free industry.

One hopes that the Hon. Mahama Ayariga (and members of his fan club) will read it and ask the government to take steps to invite serial entrepreneur and co-inventor of the University of Arizona's College of Engineering's new mining methods, Abraham Jalbout, to Ghana.

This blog is pretty sure that Jalbout will be keen to come to Ghana if invited by the government, to discuss ways that local mining industry stakeholders such as: the Ghana Chamber of Mines; Minerals Commission; Environmental Protection Agency; the University of Mines, Tarkwa; and leading companies in the industry (large, medium and small), could collaborate with the start-up company, MetOxs Electrochemical, to transform mining in Ghana into a toxin-free undertaking.                       

Please read on:

"Inventions Deliver Cleaner Copper, Energy Capture

A toxin-free method for extracting copper from raw ore and other procedures using molten salts represent an opportunity for a sizable impact in both mining and energy storage.

By Paul Tumarkin

Tech Launch Arizona
Feb. 24, 2016

Arizona long has been a leader in the copper mining industry, but traditional processes for extracting the metal from the ore release toxins into the environment through seepage, air pollution and, in the worst cases, tailings pond failures.

Now University of Arizona College of Engineering professors Dominic Gervasio and principal research specialist Hassan Elsentriecy from the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering have invented a toxin-free method using high-temperature molten salts to extract the metal from raw copper ore.

At the same time, in collaboration with Peiwen "Perry" Li from the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, this team was inventing new ways to utilize these same high-temperature molten salts to recover and store the vast amounts of heat energy created in metal refining and smelting production.

Together, the complementary inventions — seven in all — represent an opportunity to make big impacts in both mining and energy storage.

Funded in part by serial entrepreneur and co-inventor Abraham Jalbout, the team worked with Tech Launch Arizona, the office of the UA that commercializes the inventions stemming from University research, to bring the technologies to the market via a startup company, MetOxs Electrochemical.                                          

Current methods for extracting copper from ore involve chemical processes that produce huge mountains of waste mine tailings and lake-size waste water collections, accumulating high levels of toxins such as arsenic, cadmium and sulfuric acid.

The method of metal refining developed by Gervasio, Elsentriecy and Li — being commercialized via MetOxs — works by heating the ore using molten salts to temperatures exceeding 1,500 degrees Farenheit such that the copper is separated from the ore for easy collection.

The technique is transferrable to any mineral extraction process, which, according to Jalbout, "makes it a game-changer in terms of its robust nature and wide opportunity for implementation and impact."

"What makes this truly unique is use of a very specific salt formula that has the ability to strip the copper from the ore without the use of water and dangerous chemicals," says Bob Sleeper, Tech Launch Arizona licensing manager for the College of Engineering.

As a parallel benefit, the technology also allows for the collection of surplus heat and using it to power steam turbines and generators.

The process is similar — but much hotter — than that used for refining aluminum ore. Prior to this team’s research, such processing was not possible.

MetOxs CEO Jalbout sees great opportunity in the venture and is currently in discussions with multiple companies to scale up the process.

"Our technology represents a change of monumental importance for the viability and sustainability of the mining sector," Jalbout says. "As we have seen in the industrial revolution, this is the new era the industry must strive for."

"MetOxs is on a great path," Sleeper says. "Given what’s currently out there and what they’re bringing to the market, these technologies could really shift the paradigm with cleaner, more efficient methods for both mining and energy storage.""

End of culled piece by  Paul Tumarkin from the website of the University of Arizona.

Friday, 16 September 2016

There Is No Alternative But To Fight Illegal Gold Mining, Illegal Logging And Illegal Sand-Winning

I was flabbergasted to hear that the minister for environment, science and technology, the Hon. Mahama Ayariga, had made a statement recently, which implied in effect that local authorities have more or less lost the fight against illegal gold mining across the country.

Why such defeatism from an important government minister? Is that not pure nonsense on bamboo stilts? Why does that genuis think Ghanaians elected the regime of which he is such a prominent  member, to govern Ghana, in the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections?

And why does the Hon. Mahama Ayariga think that special forces were formed  for the Ghana Armed Forces and the Ghana Police Service, I ask? Does he not realise that the criminal syndicates mining gold illegally, felling trees illegally and engaging in illegal sand-winning across this nation, are literally waging war on Ghanaian society?

It is vital that those who govern this country understand clearly that they have a moral obligation to protect what is left of our nation's natural heritage - so that the younger generation, their children and children's children, can at the very least enjoy the same quality of life, if not better, as  present-day Ghanaians are blessed to have, tomorrow.

That is how the fight against illegal gold mining, illegal logging and illegal sand-winning ought to be seen by officialdom - as urgently needed action to protect the well-being of future generations: and a battle to prevent an apocalyptic future in which vast swathes of the landmass of Ghana become unihabitable.

And at a time when international terrorist groups have extended their footprint to our part of Africa, our ruling elites need to see the connexion between terrorist groups' need for cash and the pillage of natural resources in the nations they target - and how that could lead to possible alliances with the lawless elements in the criminal syndicates  behind most of the illegal sand-winning, gold mining and illegal logging in this country.

Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.

The Hon. Ayariga's defeatist attitude will only hasten the day when terrorist groups finally take up illegal gold mining,  illegal logging and illegal sand-winning in Ghana, to fund their activities in our sub-region.

The question is: Do we all not have a moral obligation to prevent terrorists groups from establishing a foothold in our country by stamping out sundry environmental-crimes - and ensuring that future generations can at the very least enjoy the same quality of life enjoyed by present-day Ghanaians, if not much better?

We have no alternative but to fight those who engage in illegal gold mining, illegal logging and illegal sand-winning - lest they destroy all the  lands on which our food is grown: by poisoning soils, streams, rivers and groundwater sources across Ghana, and end up turning this bountiful and mostly-beautiful landmass we inhabit into a hell on earth in which life for our people becomes unbearable and impossible.

Surely, that unspeakable abomination must never be allowed to occur? Let the Hon. Mahama's regime take a leaf from the book of the Ivorian government next door - which is now evicting cocoa farmers who encroached on forest reserve land, and were warned four years ago to leave, but ignored those warnings.

Today, they are being evicted by force - because the government of the Ivory Coast understands clearly that protecting what is left of that nation's natural heritage is crucial to the Ivory Coast's long-term future. Ghana must adopt the same approach in dealing with the menace of illegal gold mining, illegal logging and  illegal sand-winning. There is no alternative but to fight that scourge and existential threat to our country. We rest our case.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Ghana's Public-Sector Research Institutions Ought To Collaborate With Their Counterpart Research Institutions Overseas

Today, we are posting yet another culled article that we hope will inspire members of our nation's political class. Entitled ''Molten Salts Might Provide Half-Price Grid Energy Storage", it is  culled from the online version of  the MIT Technology Review, and was written by Kevin Bullis.

Years ago, when it was first announced that the Kufuor administration had earmarked US$20 million for the celebration of Ghana's golden jubilee independence day anniversary,  I wrote an article suggesting that instead of frittering away that amount on frivolities, the money would best serve  the long-term interests of our country, if it was given to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSRI), to spend on the research work being carried out for the nation by its poorly-resourced research institutes.

Naturally, this being Ghana, that advice was ignored by those then in power, President J. A. Kufuor's New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration. In the end we all saw how a few well-connected individuals and business entities (the infamous family and friends of the hypocrite-in-chief), benefitted from Kufuor & Co's golden age of business - during which their net worth was transformed and reached stratospheric heights.

As a people, surely, if we are unable to properly resource the various research institutes under the aegis of the CSIR, surely, it makes perfect sense for our nation's politicians to encourage those research institutes to collaborate with their counterpart research institutions overseas, such as the  Pentagon's Advanced Research Projects Agency (APRA)?

Would that not benefit our country tremendously, I ask? Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.

Please read on:

"Molten Salts Might Provide Half-Price Grid Energy Storage

A startup, Halotechnics, is building a pilot electricity storage system that will use molten salt.

    by Kevin Bullis February 27, 2014

As intermittent renewable sources of energy generate more power, they’re straining the grid.

A small startup based in Emeryville, California, will build a pilot-scale energy storage system that could provide a cheaper, more practical way of storing large amounts of electricity and help enable the power grid accommodate large amounts of renewable energy.

Halotechnics has announced a deal with a partner to construct a one-megawatt plant that will store energy in molten salts—a technique previously used to store energy at some large solar thermal plants. The company says it will cost half as much as battery storage, and could compete with the cheapest way of storing large amounts of electricity—pumping water up a hill and using it to drive a turbine as gravity brings it back down.

Molten salt storage is less efficient than battery storage—only about 70 percent of the energy used to heat up the salts becomes electricity again, whereas batteries can be over 90 percent efficient. So Halotechnics will need to offset that inefficiency with low costs. The company’s energy storage technology is made possible using molten salts discovered using a high-throughput screening system built to discover new materials. Energy storage is becoming ever more important as the share of variable sources of energy like solar and wind power increases. The technology is one of several large-scale energy storage technologies being showcased this week at the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy Summit (see “ARPA-E’s Strategy for Survival”) in Washington, D.C.

Cheaper energy storage could also make the power grid more resilient and efficient by giving utilities more flexibility in how they produce and distribute power. Experts in grid energy at the ARPA-E summit say that storage will be central to restructuring the grid in coming decades, but current approaches, such as water storage, only work in certain situations and take up too much space.

Various types of salts are good at storing heat; they can be heated until they melt, and then stored in insulated containers. When the energy is needed, the molten salts can be pumped out to release their heat through a heat exchange system. Molten salts are being employed at solar thermal power plants to store heat from the sun during the day and then generate electricity at night.

Halotechnics is developing a new kind of system that uses a new molten salt chemistry to store energy from any source of electricity. It uses electricity to drive a heat pump, which can take low temperature heat. Halotechnics’s innovation is developing molten salts with the properties that allow them to store heat from off-the-shelf heat pumps. Developing the salts involved the use of a robotic system that combines many different types of salts and tests the properties of the resulting mixture, allowing it to quickly develop mixtures that have different properties.

Halotechnics had previously been focused on developing new energy storage materials for solar thermal technology (see “Cheap Solar Power at Night”). It has a $3.3 million grant from ARPA-E to develop materials that could store heat at temperatures of 1,200 °C, which would make it possible to shrink the number of mirrors used at solar thermal plants to generate electricity. It’s still developing these materials, but solar thermal technology is facing difficult times now that its competitor, photovoltaic solar panels, has fallen in price. Halotechnics’s new plan to store electricity from any source could be easier to bring to market. The company will be announcing the name of its new industrial partner in the coming months."

End of culled MIT Technology Review article by Kevin Bullis.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Has The Time Not Come For Ghana's Politicians To Commit To Building Only Plastic Roads?

Travelling on the very bad countryside  road that goes from Kyekyewre, through  Thompsonakura to Domiabra and beyond on Monday - a pretty bad road made worse by sand-carrying tipper trucks that now regularly ply it - I could not help but recall the recent clash over roads between some of the leading lights of the NDC/NPP duopoly.

It occurred to me - as we waited in the bushy verge of what is a rather narrow road, for a heavily-laden tipper truck carrying sand to pass - that perhaps this would be the perfect time to point out to all the candidates contesting December's presidential election, and the political parties that they lead, that going forward into the future,  Ghana can climate-change-proof all new roads added to the nation's road network, at very little extra cost to taxpayers.

It so happens that a simple and inexpensive technology exists - mixing melted plastic waste with bitumen - that can enable Ghana to  actually construct roads that will remain pothole-free throughout their lifespan. Would that not redound to the benefit of all Ghanaians?

Additionaly, what are known as plastic roads, last three times as long as conventional roads, and bear heavier loads on top of that too. And because plastic is impermeable to water, they are never washed away by flash floods - perfect for a time when extreme weather resulting from global warming now leads to frequent flash floods that destroy miles of sections of Ghana's road network across the country.

One would thus appeal to the leaderships of all Ghana's political parties to commit their parties to implementing a policy of making it mandatory for all roads constructed in Ghana to be plastic roads  (should they win power in this December's polls)  - and that henceforth only road contractors whose employees have been trained in applying plastic road technology will be given contracts to build roads in Ghana.

The Building and Road Research Institute (BRRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) could liaise with their Indian colleagues to bring what is a simple technology to Ghana. Or alternatively, Tata's subsidiary, Jusco, could partner the BRRI to train road contractors in Ghana to adopt the technology.

Yet another simple road construction  idea: Although it has probably never occurred to him before, if all the political parties in Ghana approached Alinko Dangote, the billionaire  Nigerian serial entrepreneur, and put a public private partnership (PPP) idea to him,  to build, operate and transfer to Ghana (after 35 years) concrete motorways from Accra linking all the regional capitals in Ghana, he might take them up on it.

Collecting cash daily from the drivers of vehicles traversing such tolled concrete motorways across Ghana and other nations in the continent, will make Alinko Dangote far wealthier, than any oil refinery he builds in his native Nigeria (or elesewhere) ever will.

In addition to concrete motorways, as stated before, Ghana also desperately needs to develop a national network of climate-change-proofed plastic roads. The question is: Will our hard-of-hearing politicians and the parties they lead be prepared to bring the era of shoddily-constructed roads - from which they earn so much in kickbacks from road contractors - to an end in Ghana?

We are literally throwing away billions of dollars putting up with bad roads in Ghana: A totally unacceptable situation that taxpayers must no longer tolerate.

The money that is currently spent constructing shoddy roads in Ghana, which develop potholes not too long after they are  completed, and which we are all forced to travel on regardless, is really akin to fetching water with baskets - and ought to be brought to an end so as to protect the public purse.

The question is: Will all the  political parties commit to a new policy of constructing only pothole-free and long-lasting plastic roads throughout Ghana, in both urban and rural areas of the nation, should their candidate emerge victorious in the presidential election this December?

One certainly hopes so - for the time has now come for all the political parties in Ghana to commit to doing so. When the era of plastic roads in our country finally comes into being, simple city-living village folk like us will also travel on good roads too, for a change, when visiting rural Ghana.