Tuesday, 29 November 2016

A Rare Gem Tigo Ghana Ought To Earmark For Accelerated Promotion

Every older generation Ghanaian, who is a patriot and loves this country passionately, invariably cares a great deal about the future of our homeland Ghana's younger generations.

That concern for the welfare of our nation's young people makes such older generation Ghanaians take an interest in brilliant young people they come across - as it is they who will take up the mantle of leadership: and shape the destiny of Ghanaians in the coming decades.

A personal concern of mine is that my generation does not compromise the future of our nation's younger generations, by our actions and inactions.

In light of that, I have an abiding sense of shame that my generation has been responsible for the trashing of what is left of Ghana's natural heritage.

The incontestable evidence is  the decimation of our  nation's forests by illegal loggers and dishonest legally registered timber companies, and the poisoning of soils, streams, rivers, as well as the groundwater table across vast swathes of the Ghanaian countryside, by both illegal galamsey miners and legally registered gold miners.

Today, it is now clear to me that I  obviously did not do enough to stop a prediction I made in the late 90s coming true: that  our nation would be importing timber within a decade and a half if we did not halt the gang-rape of our forests by  greedy and selfish individuals.

And it is also obvious that despite all the noise one makes, one is failing to make an impact in ending the impunity of the wealthy criminals behind most of the illegal gold mining in Akyem Abuakwa, in particular, and across Ghana generally.

(Yet, it has become pretty obvious that a major consequence of the egregious destruction of the natural environment, across the nation, is that it will lead inexorably to Ghana becoming a water-distressed country in less than a decade and a half, if it is not halted now.)

For that reason, and as a way for me to make amends for that abject failure in my writing on the subject not having any impact whatsoever on halting environmental degradation in Ghana, I have always sought to befriend the brightest and the best of younger generation Ghanaians I come across, and share what little experience and knowledge I have, with them.

(My hope being that those of them who are caring individuals will see that being compassionate does have its own rewards - it helps make life a little more bearable for the vulnerable in Ghanaian society: and contributes to making ours a more caring nation, the citizens of which live in harmony with each other, and with Mother Nature.)

About a couple of months ago, for example,  I came across an amazing young man, Mr. Bright Kofi Hagbevor, a Tigo employee at the Mallam junction Tigo customer centre - a real gem of an employee for any company that actually cares about the well-being of its customers.

To my amazement, he went to great lengths to ensure that I could access a Tigo mobile app fintech service, which I was having a little local difficulty with, so to speak.

After listening to my problem, he actually left his desk, went with me across the Mallam-Kasoa highway,  to a cross-platform mobile money  agent opposite the Tigo customer service centre, to take particulars from the agent, whom I had gone to, to gain access to some mobile wallet cash.

He then returned to the Tigo customer service centre across the road to key in the information obtained from the agent into his computer.

Having done that he then crossed that busy road yet again, to  the opposite side, and came back to the agent and gave him the information that finally resolved the matter for me.

Surprisingly, he refused a tip I offered him - and instead apologised profusely to me that I had had such a difficult time: and said I was always welcome to their Tigo customer centre if I needed any issues resolved.

In a nation that is a byword for poor customer service - in which many of those who serve the public often treat customers with utter disdain, when approached,  especially if those customers don't look prosperous enough - Tigo Ghana definitely ought to earmark Mr. Hagbevor for training that will fast-track his rise to the top in the company.

He is an excellent ambassador for Tigo - and certainly  has leadership qualities that will help Tigo Ghana enhance its brand yet further, going forward into the future. This blog wishes Mr. Bright Kofi Hagbevor well. He is a rare gem Tigo Ghana ought to earmark for accelerated promotion. He is also a credit to his family and his generation.

Monday, 28 November 2016

President Mahama's Administration Has A Fiduciary Duty To Cancel 'Agreement' Between Woyome's Anator Holding Company Limited And The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority

The minister for transport, the Hon. Fifi Kwettey, must move swiftly to cancel the so-called 'agreement' purportedly entered into between his predecessor, Dzifa Attivor, and Alfred Agbesi Woyome, on 28th August, 2015.

Ghanaians ought to be grateful to the activist group, OccupyGhana, for unearthing this dubious and shameful deal - which is a clever attempt to get Woyome to successfully take advantage of a state-owned entity's sundry  revenue streams to facilitate his return to financial viability again.

The said  'agreement' apparently covers an MoU between Woyome's Anator Holding Company Limited, and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority - to, of all things, build deep sea ports, industrial parks and green cities. Wonders. Imagine that.

That sod has such barefaced cheek. Under no circumstances must Woyome be allowed to lead Mother Ghana up the garden path, yet again, by the the top echelons of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC). Ever.

Have those responsible for this shabby deal with Woyome  no sense of shame at all? Why sanction such a  commercial monstrosity, I ask? This abominable, unspeakable and unpardonable outrage cannot go ahead - and must not be allowed to go ahead.

One now understands the fears of the former transport minister, Dzifa Attivor, that National Democratic Congress (NDC) members like herself, would be jailed, if the New Patriotic Party (NPP) comes to power in 2017.

Perhaps she said so, because unbeknownst to most Ghanaians, she  had already midwifed a deal that made possible the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and Anator Holding Company Limited - on top of her unethical dealings with Smarttys Management and Production Company that led to the bus-branding scandal: a scandal over which she voluntarily resigned from her ministerial position.

Anator Holding Company Limited apparently belongs to the scoundrel Woyome. It is clearly the rip-off-vehicle of choice that he is now deploying, in his latest attempt to manipulate politicians in power, to enable him rip-off Mother Ghana, yet again.

Yes, it is true that no one can stop any businessperson from carrying out legitimate business in Ghana, as long as he or she follows all laid down proceedures, rules and regulations governing the sector of the economy they register their businesses to operate in.

However, any politician who is principled and honest, approached by Woyome to sanction a deal between a company owned by him, Anator Holding Company Limited,  and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, would flatly turn down that absurd  request, on the spot.

The 28th  August, 2015, so-called 'agreement' purportedly signed by Dzifa Attivor, and Alfred Agbesi Woyome, is a classic example of how our vampire-elites exploit our nation, when in power - in sundry "Chopping-Ghana-small" rip-off 'agreements' with regime-cronies that are not in the nation's best interests.

The hard work of the management and staff of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has turned  their organisation into a thriving public-sector entity, which is globally competitive, and generates considerable annual revenues for our nation.

They must not besmirch that well-deserved  reputation, by becoming entangled with Woyome, at the behest of crooked and unpatriotic politicians.

If Alfred Agbesi Woyome wants to build deep sea ports, industrial parks and green cities, no one can stop him from so doing - however,  he must source project funds and look for partners to realise his personal dreams, by himself: not through state-owned entities.

Under no circumstances must Woyome be allowed  to ride  on the coattails of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority - and use its well-earned reputation and goodwill to approach banks across the globe to source funds  for his grandiose schemes.

That is why the Hon. Fifi Kwettey must move swiftly to cancel what is said to be a non-binding  28th August, 2015, 'agreement' signed by his predecessor, Dzifa Attivor, and Woyome, reportedly Anator Holding Company Limited's  executive chairman. Immediately.

That scoundrel Alfred Alfred Agbesi Woyome, is definitely not a businessperson the Republic of Ghana must enter into a business arrangement of any sort, with, ever. Period.

Those currently in charge of the administration of our country have a fiduciary duty to cancel the 'agreement' between  Anator Holding Company Limited and the Ghana Ports and Harbours  Authority, immediately. Nothing that could endanger and encumber any of the revenue streams of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority must be permitted by our nation's leaders - as it will endanger Ghana's public finances.

At all costs they must  prevent Woyome from approaching any banks (both in Ghana and overseas) to provide that chancer - either in his personal capacity, or on behalf of his company Anator Holding Company Limited - with a loan of US$8.5 million for "feasibility studies", as part of a larger sum to fund projects: doubtless using the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority's varied revenue-streams as collateral.

As an alternative, would it not be far better, for example, for the government of Ghana, to approach the Japanese government, directly, on behalf of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, and offer it the opportunity to enhance Japan's natural disaster resilience strategy yet further - to protect its national economy - by partnering the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority  to build deep sea ports, industrial parks and green cities in Ghana, as earthquake and tsunami insurance: to enable Japan  continue exporting its manufactured products to the world even when severe natural disasters strike it and virtually shut down its manufacturing sector?

This blog has suggested such disaster-resilience  partnerships between the Republic of Ghana and Japan in a number of past blog posts. Woyome cannot therefore possibly  claim it as his patented idea - and seek to prevent the Ghana Ports and Harbours from making such a proposal to the government of Japan, through the government of Ghana.

Woyome is welcome to take the idea to Japan and sell it to the captains of Japanese industry - to  try and get them to partner his new vehicle Anator Holding Company Limited. And this blog offers it to him free of charge - but on condition that he steers clear of all public-sector entities and does not involve the government of the Republic of Ghana, in pitching his ideas there: or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

In light of public disenchantment with the payment of GHc51.2 million to Woyome as 'judgement debt' President Mahama's administration must understand clearly that it has a fiduciary duty to cancel the purported 'agreement' between  Woyome's Anator Holding Company Limited, and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.

Let them leave Woyome to his own devices - and ask him to personally fund his own deep sea ports, industrial parks and green cities, without entangling state-owned entities in any of his dubious schemes. Ordinary Ghanaians are fed up with Ghana's vampire-elites' "Chopping-Ghana-small" deals. Enough is enough. Full stop. End of story. Haaba.

Hmm, Ghana - enti yeweiye enei? Asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

If It Wins Power How Will The NPP Fund Its Many Campaign Promises - In A Nation Drowning In Debt?

As Ghanaian political slogans go, "One village, one dam" and "A million dollars each year for every constituency in Ghana",  are hard to beat. Very clever marketing narratives, indeed. Literally.

The question is: How many villages are there in Ghana precisely - and will they all actually have dams built in them: as that New Patriotic Party (NPP) election campaign slogan marketing it to voters seems to imply?

And have those who came up with the idea already worked out the amount of money needed to build  all those dams - and where exactly will the funds to build them be sourced from? Will annual tax increases pay for the maintenance of those dams, for example?

And what time-frame is envisaged by the NPP,  for the construction and completion of dams in all the villages located on the surface of the Ghanaian landmass - from the date when its presidential candidate is sworn into office as Ghana's next President on 7th January, 2017: if  he wins the 7th December presidential election, that is?

One also wonders whether the genuises in the NPP who dreamt up the idea - of forking out one million dollars to each constituency from Ghana's oil revenues annually - intend to use the participatory-budgeting model, whereby all the residents of each constituency, in the country, meet to discuss and decide how to utilise their one million dollars, upon its receipt each year?

Or is it the case that the disbursement  and utilisation of the funds will be egregious examples of the opaque  NDC/NPP duopoly's pork-barrel machine politics in which local party bosses dispense patronage -  designed to create wealthy contractors who supply goods and services to the public sector at profiteering-prices: who will fund party activities?

We live to see the actual outcome of that particular NPP power-grab-wheeze.

Some of us have not forgotten that when it suited the perfidious Kufour & Co - at the time their regime was giving away Ashanti Goldfields for private-greed-reasons - they justified that betrayal of the masses of the Ghanaian people by saying their regime did not believe in governments running businesses (its response to those critising Ghana ceding its golden share in Ashanti Goldfields when it was taken over by AngloGold).

So why is the NPP now proposing to build "one factory in every district in Ghana"? The question is: Does the NPP have a list of all the factories it intends to build across Ghana - "one in every district" of our Republic? Presumably it does - or it wouldn't make it a campaign promise, would it?

Will feasibility studies be conducted before they are built - and who will pay the consultants undertaking them, one wonders? Is that yet another ruse to create an avenue for the enrichment of a powerful and greedy few?

For example, who exactly will appoint the board of directors and managers who will run those factories - and will  such appointments be based on experience,  track-record, competence and qualifications only? And where exactly will the capital for those factories come from, one wonders?

Above all, will those positions be advertised nationwide - or is the idea indeed a clever scheme to provide employment for NPP members across the country: as some of the cynics and conspiracy theorists in our midst insist is the case?

There are far too many contradictions in the case being made by the NPP's leaders to be given the mandate to govern Ghana again.

How can they reconcile proposing tax-cuts, whiles making promise upon promise to spend vast amounts of taxpayers' money on all manner of promised initiatives and sundry policies?

Under the next NPP regime, taxpayers will apparently be bailing out greedy individuals in the Brong Ahafo Region, who lost money when they fell for what amounted to a something-for-nothing ponzi scheme, by the defunct savings and loan company,  DKM.

Furtheremore, taxpayers will also pay for the government to provide "low electricity tariffs"; pay for government to "lower the price of fuel" for vehicles;  pay for the provision of allowances to groups of public-sector professionals, such as nurses and teachers; provide free senior high school education; pay for free healthcare;  pay for the building of auditoriums across the country to serve as creative arts performance venues; pay for salary increases for all manner of public-sector employees holding Mother Ghana hostage through strike actions; etc., etc. Ebeei. Haaba. How extraordinary.

As someone who believes that the most effective means of fighting high-level corruption in Ghana, is to force politicians to publicly publish their assets and those of their spouses, as well as publicly publishing all the sources of their parties' election campaign funds, I simply don't trust most of the members of our nation's political class.

It is therefore pretty  hard for one to resist the view that those who now dominate the NPP have adopted a deliberate policy of making empty promises - just to enable their party  win power.

Who has ever heard the loquacious Dr. Bawumia discussing how to grow a debt-distressed economy - in a nation that foolishly spends nearly 70 percent of its total tax revenues paying mostly unproductive public-sector employees: who are  forever embarking on strike action for yet more pay and allowances, instead of earning their salaries?

Yet, it is an issue that needs addressing by feckless and amoral politicians making endless pledges to spend  taxpayers' money in order to win the votes of people who seldom do any critical-thinking  - and whose motto, when it comes to politics, is invariably: "My tribe, my party, right or wrong!"

Finally, if it wants to convince skeptics like myself that it is not simply making empty promises in order to win power,  the NPP must state clearly and unambigously, how, if it wins power in the December presidential and parliamentary elections, it intends to fund its many campaign promises.

The question we must all ponder over  is: Is the harsh reality facing Ghanaians, not the brutal fact that this is a country with productivity challenges, which is also addicted to the importation of cheap and  shoddy goods from abroad, which, alas, is also lumbered with a massive debt:  that needs servicing regularly regardless of the nation's circumstances - such as this being an African nation drowning in debt that is also dominated by a super-ruthless vampire-elite?

Hmm, Ghana, enti yewieye paa enei? Asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.

Friday, 25 November 2016

We Commiserate With The Late Kwabena Boadu's Family And New Patriotic Party Colleagues

The death has been announced in Wa, the capital of the Upper West Region, of Mr. Kwabena Boadu, an aide to Dr. Mahamdu Bawumia. It is always sad when the lives of brilliant young people end suddenly in rather tragic circumstances.

There is no question that the brightest and best of Ghana's younger generations hold the key to the destiny of our nation - going forward into the future.

That is why older generation Ghanaians must cherish such bright young minds - and encourage and mentor them to serve our country and protect its best interests at all material times: whatever their political leanings

From all accounts, the late Mr. Kwabena Boadu - a strategist who served as a special assistant to Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia,  the running mate of the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party's (NPP), Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo - was a brilliant young man who apparently had a very bright future ahead of him.

It is unfortunate that his life has been cut short so painfully, and tragically, as the NPP election campaign that he is said to have contributed so significantly to, finally draws to an end, in less than a fortnight - with votes being cast on 7th December, 2016.

Media reports have it that he was electrocuted in the bathroom of a  hotel room he spent the night in, during an election campaign trip, up north, to Wa, the capital of the Upper West Region, with Dr. Bawumia.

The question we must pose is: To ensure that  Kwabena Boadu does not die in vain, should the relevant regulatory authorities responsible for the inspection and certification of the electrical wiring of buidings, nationwide, not carry out a thorough investigation into why a guest in that particular  hotel was electrocuted?

One also hopes that the property is insured by its owners, to ensure that adequate compensation  is paid out to the surviving family members who are next of kin of those who lose their lives through such fatal incidents, when lodging there.

May Kwabena Boadu's soul rest in peace. He will doubtless be in the thoughts of many Ghanaians today - who will put aside party rivalry and look instead to our common humanity for solace.

Many will doubtless also mourn with his family and party colleagues - and share their pain that he has passed away at such a young age.

Alas, death awaits all of us - whatever our station in life happens to be. That journey into the known unknown is one that we are reminded of whenever we hear of the passing away of others.

Very much aware of that cold and lonely end we will all face, one day, too, this blog commiserates with the late Kwabena Boadu's family and party colleagues. On a purely human level we do indeed share their loss: political differences notwithstanding. May he rest in peace.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

For Mother Ghana's Sake Wise Voters Must Reject Both Presidential Candidates Of The NDC/NPP Doupoly

With just a little over two weeks to go for the December 7th presidential and parliamentary elections, it ought to be pretty clear to all discerning Ghanaians, by now, that the elections have literally become a matter of life and death, for the constituent parties that make up the corruption-riddled NDC/NPP duopoly.

The question is: Will voters put the well-being of our homeland Ghana above narrow-minded tribalism and mean-spirited partisanship - and vote for the most suitable candidate to govern our nation amongst those vying for the presidency in the December presidential  election: Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom?

It is extraordinary that so many Ghanaians still do not realise that essentially, both the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the main opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), are political machines structured to exploit political power mostly for the benefit of our ruthless vampire-elites. They are two sides of the same debased coin. Literally.

The plain truth, is that as a result of the machine-politics they practice, the two constituent political parties that make up the NDC/NPP duopoly, are beholden to the very vested interests profiting mightily from the high-level corruption enabling them suck untold wealth out of our national economy, year after year - regardless of which of the two parties is in power at any given point in time.

The question is: Could that wealth being extracted from our  Byzantine system through high-level corruption not be used to improve the living standards of ordinary people throughout Ghana - if only we could rid ourselves of the malevolent NDC/NPP duopoly as well as those vested interests sucking the very lifeblood out of Mother Ghana?

It is a fact that amongst all the candidates standing in this year's presidential election, it is only Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, who is immune to the blandishments of the super-wealthy crooks (local and foreign), who are purloining our nation's wealth through high-level corruption.

That is why he is the only presidential candidate to  commit to instituting probes into all the regimes that have held power since the 4th Republic came into being - without exception. It matters not a whit to Nduom who will be caught in that anti-corruption dragnet when investigations into past corruption commence when he becomes Ghana's next president in January 2017.

Unlike President Mahama, and Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo - the candidates of the political parties that make up the NDC/NPP duopoly - Nduom does not desperately need anyone's money, to campaign for the presidency, with.

He has enough resources of his own - ensuring his financial independence in the quest for the presidency: a situation that frees him from being caught up in the clutches  of the vested interests brutally gang-raping Mother Ghana.

The tragedy for our country, is that those well-connected  thieves robbing our nation blind, have succeeded in ripping Mother Ghana off, over the years since the 4th Republic came into being in 1992 - with the active connivance of the constituent political parties making up the corrupt NDC/NPP duopoly: which are both beholden to them.

Let every voter tempted to vote for the NDC/NPP duopoly's presidential and parliamentary candidates ponder why the leading lights of both parties persistently refuse to publicly publish their assets (and those of their spouses), as well as publicly publish all the sources of their parties' election campaign funds, voluntarily.

The question there is: Why, if persistent high-level corruption is the biggest drawback to Ghana's transformation, are the NPP's John Boadus,  Freddie Blays, Dr. Bawumias, Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos - and the rest of that negative crowd forever talking down the enterprise Ghana's prospects - so adamant that they will never publicly publish their assets and those of their spouses, voluntarily?

Is such public publication of their personal assets, and those of their spouses, not the  best way they can prove to Ghanaians - in practical fashion - that unlike the NDC (whose leading members they daily accuse of being corrupt), they have no hidden wealth-creation agenda of their own, crafted to enable them amass wealth by stealth whiles in office, if they are voted into power in the December 7th elections?

And is it not  an absolute disgrace that the Ghanaian media -  large sections of which are irresponsible,  unethical and infamous for selling their collective consciences - fail to highlight this refusal by the sly and hypocritical John Boadus, Freddie Blays, Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos, Sammy Awukus and their fellow travellers in the NPP's upper echelons, to voluntarily publish their personal net worth, and that of their spouses, publicly?

If those greed-filled and shameless dissemblers  have nothing to hide, why do they not also publicly publish all the sources of the NPP's election campaign funds, voluntarily? Will that not put clear blue water between their confounded party and the NDC?

Enough is enough. We must get rid of the hypocritical NDC/NPP duopoly and end the alternating musical-chairs-Kokofu-football-politricks that secures them dominance of our nation's politics.

Ghana needs a fresh start. If we are to prosper as a people, the necessary conditions must be created, for all those who are self-employed and running their own enterprises (large and small) to thrive.

It is only a President Nduom - leading a government of national unity made up of the most honest and brilliant Ghanaians from across the political spectrum - who has the practical experience  and discipline needed to create the necessary conditions that will enable Ghana's private-sector to thrive.

That is why at this particular juncture of Ghana's history, it makes perfect sense to elect as President, someone like Nduom, who despite the difficult economic conditions prevailing  in the country, has actually succeeded in creating significant wealth - that remains in Ghana instead of being sent abroad into secret offshore bank accounts - and through the subsidiaries of his holding company, Groupe Nduom, has generated thousands of  well-paid jobs across the country.

In light of all the above, wise Ghanaian voters, especially our nation's educated younger generations,  must vote for Nduom and reject the NDC/NPP duopoly's two presidential candidates - who lead violence-prone political parties dominated by amoral and aggressive individuals prepared to see Ghana descend into violence and chaos: if that will enable their parties' to secure victory on polling day. Enough is enough. Period.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Ghanaian Politicians Ought To Leverage Some Of The Very Sensible Ideas of Ginni Rometty IBM's Chairperson, President & CEO

Today, this blog is publishing an open letter penned by  IBM's widely-respected Chairperson, President and  CEO, Ms. Ginni Rommety, to U.S. President-elect, Donald Trump, on the way forward for the U.S.

Our hope, in so doing, is that those in the top echelons of our nation's political parties, will take note of its contents - and leverage some of her eminently sensible ideas in their plans for our homeland Ghana.

Above all, we do hope that  it will lead to a conversation amongst Ghana's younger generations,  about how best they can protect their collective future, and the roles they can play today, individually, in shaping that future.

Ginni Rometty's open letter to U.S. President-elect, Donald Trump, is culled from the IBM Policy website.

Please read on:

"IBM CEO Ginni Rometty's Letter to the U.S. President-Elect

Washington, D.C. - IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty this week sent the following letter to the president-elect of the United States:

International Business Machines Corporation
Office of the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
One New Orchard Road
Armonk, New York 10504-1783

November 14, 2016

Mr. Donald J. Trump
Office of the Presidential Transition
1800 G Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20006

Dear Mr. President-elect:

Congratulations on your election as the 45th president of the United States.

Last Tuesday night you spoke about bringing the country together to build a better future, and the opportunity to harness the creative talent of people for the benefit of all. I know that you are committed to help America’s economy grow in ways that are good for all its people.

I am writing to offer ideas that I believe will help achieve the aspiration you articulated and that can advance a national agenda in a time of profound change. I do so as the leader of the nation’s largest technology employer, its leading patent creator, and the company that for more than 105 years has believed that prosperity and progress can be achieved by unleashing the potential of all people. Permit me to offer a few specific suggestions:

Creating “New Collar” Jobs

Getting a job at today’s IBM does not always require a college degree; at some of our centers in the United States, as many as one third of employees have less than a four-year degree. What matters most is relevant skills, sometimes obtained through vocational training. In addition, we are creating and hiring to fill “new collar” jobs – entirely new roles in areas such as cybersecurity, data science, artificial intelligence and cognitive business.

You’ve spoken about the importance of vocational education, and we agree. IBM has championed a new educational model for the United States – six-year public high schools that combine traditional education with the best of community colleges, mentoring, and real-world job experience. The first of these schools opened with IBM’s support 5 years ago in New York; we have hired some of the first graduates. There will soon be 100 such schools across the country. With your support, we could do much more. Let’s work together to scale up this approach of vocational training, creating a national corps of skilled workers trained to take the “new collar” IT jobs that are in demand here in America.

Building Intelligent, Secure Infrastructure

You’ve said we need to invest in America’s infrastructure, and we agree. As we build big, let’s also build smart. The country should focus on infrastructure investments that incorporate Internet of Things (IoT) technology and artificial intelligence to improve performance. And as infrastructure gets smarter, it also increases the need for cybersecurity, so that vital networks cannot be compromised. We recommend that your infrastructure package include incentives for states and localities to build intelligent – and secure – roads, bridges, buildings, and other public facilities.

Healthcare: Applying Lessons from Private Sector Experience

IBM operates one of the largest employer-sponsored health plans in the United States. In 2009, IBM offered 15 specific ideas for how America could save more than $900 billion over ten years through common-sense reforms to the healthcare system, leveraging lessons learned in the private sector. These included using data analytics to reduce fraudulent Medicare claims, improving the exchange of healthcare information among providers, and leveraging the government’s purchasing power to lower the cost of drugs and care. IBM will update its recommendations for the healthcare system and hopes to work with Congress and your HHS Secretary to drive better healthcare at lower cost.

Using Data to Fight Government Waste and Inefficiency

Eight years ago, IBM helped lead an effort to identify $1 trillion in savings the federal government could achieve through using advanced data analytics, data center consolidation, and the use of cloud technologies to improve the cybersecurity of key government systems. As part of the Technology CEO Council of which I am a member, we will prepare an updated set of recommendations for how you could use technology and fraud analytics to save the government more than $1 trillion.

Bringing Money Home to Invest in America

IBM supports your proposal to make American’s tax system more competitive. Many billions of dollars of American companies’ earnings do not come home because of an outdated and punitive tax system. Your tax reform proposal will free up capital that companies of all sizes can reinvest in their U.S. operations, training and education programs for their employees, and research and development programs. We will support the efforts of your administration and Congress to pass tax reform early in 2017.

Taking Care of Our Veterans – With the World’s Best Technology

All of us at IBM share your gratitude and devotion to the men, women and families who serve our country. More must be done to give our vets the best medical care possible. So we recently announced a pilot program with the Department of Veterans Affairs to help its oncologists treat 10,000 veterans through the power of precision medicine and genomic analysis powered by IBM’s cognitive computing system, Watson. We hope to work with your VA Secretary to expand this collaboration.

Mr. President-elect, IBM’s roots are in the United States. We are investing, hiring, and continuing to reinvent our company for long-term competitiveness. At more than 50 major locations across the country, we hired more U.S. employees last year than in the previous five years. We are opening new innovation centers and business units across the country. We are proud of the work we do here in the United States, just as we are proud of the work we do in more than 175 countries around the world.

In the years ahead there will be issues on which we agree, and issues on which we do not. But as you prepare to take office as our new president, I hope the ideas I have offered in this letter represent ways that we can work together to achieve prosperity that is broadly shared in our society.


Ginni Rometty
Chairman, President and CEO, IBM"

End of Ginni Rometty's open letter to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, culled from the IBM Policy website. 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Disgraceful Confrontation In Front Of The Home Of The NPP's Presidential Candidate Must Be Condemned In No Uncertain Terms

A most shameful and violent incident occured on the morning of Sunday, 13th November, 2016, in front of  the principal private residence of Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, at Nima.

Incredibly,  according to news reports, in a confrontation between supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the main  opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Nima home of the presidential candidate of the NPP, ended up being pelted with stones and empty glass bottles.

The NDC supporters involved in that early Sunday morning affray -  between supporters of the two biggest political parties in Ghana - had been participating in what was apparently supposed to be a healthy-lifestyle power-walkathon.

The question is: Why did the geniuses who organised it not choose a different route - one that would not have taken them past Nana Addo's residence?

The resulting outrage that occured on Sunday morning, because myrmidon-supporters of the NDC and NPP clashed around the home of Nana Addo, ought to be condemned in no uncertain terms. Such irresponsible and barbaric confrontations ought to have no place in our nation's politics.

Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo  has been in the trenches, in all the battles that have been fought by patriotic individuals, to restore and protect the  freedoms of ordinary Ghanaians from military dictatorships, over the decades.

He does not deserve such treatment. And neither does any other Ghanaian citizen, deserve such treatment, for that matter.

That unfortunate occurence, at Nana Addo's Nima residence, also highlights the daftness and folly of the NPP's continued refusal to allow the security agencies to protect its leaders - as is the case in all the major democracies of the West in an age of global terrorism.

It is that antipathy towards the security agencies by those who handle security matters for the NPP that no doubt made the Ghana Police Service's Nima Divisional Police Command initially hesitant, in  deciding to intervene to contain the uncalled for  violence - lest they be accused by the same NPP of being behind the violence that occured around Nana Addo's Nima residence.

The NPP cannot eat its cake and have it in the matter of the protection of its leaders - it either opts to handle its own security and accepts the consequences of that blinkered policy:  or opts to collaborate with the  state security agencies to ensure the protection of its leaders at all material times.

Its current stance on this issue is shortsighted and extremely foolish.

Be that as it may,  the point needs to be made that political violence has no place in 21st century Ghanaian politics. We are a civilised people after all, are we not?

That is why those who threw stones and bottles, into the compound of the Nima residence of Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, last Sunday morning, must not be left unpunished. They must all pay for the egregious crimes they committed that morning.

It is totally unacceptable that such a provocative incident - resulting from  the sheer stupidity of a number of undisciplined individuals, amongst the memberships and supporters of both the NDC and NPP, could occur in what is a democracy supposed to be underpinned by tolerance.

Nothing can justify what happened that morning. Naturally, we will all get to know the exact chain of events that morning,  in due course, after police investigations into that outrage  are completed. Violent individuals and and violence-prone groups of party supporters must never be allowed to hold our nation to ransom, ever.

That is why it is important that the leadership of the NDC visits the family of the presidential candidate of the NPP, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, today, at their Nima home - which was so shamefully violated by the morons who attacked it -  to sympathise with them and to offer them their moral support. 

And, from that selfsame Nima residence of Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo,  the NDC's leaders must issue a public apology on their party's behalf, for the psychological effects of the atrocious actions of the lawless elements amongst their party's supporters, on Nana Addo and his family. They will find that it will earn them the respect of discerning and independent-minded Ghanaians.

The NDC's leaders must condemn, in clear and unambiguous language, the uncivilised fools who disgraced their party, by acting so irresponsibly and shamefully.

Those who took part in that abominable and unspeakable act of madness - from both political parties - ought to be quickly identified, arrested, charged by the police, and swiftly prosecuted.

Hopefully, they will then be jailed by the law courts, for their reprehensible and  irresponsible actions and inactions - which could have sparked violence right across the nation.  We must never tolerate such barbarism in our nation's politics.

The Ghana Police Service must appeal for evidence - such as video and photographs - from the general public. It will help speed up investigations into the matter.

It will enable them to quickly identify those who hurled dangerous objects into the compound of the NPP's presidential candidate's Nima residence, and also tore NPP banner election campaign advertisments pasted on the fence-wall of the said property.

After receiving and analysing such video clips, and photographs, from members of the general public, who witnessed that abomination, the police must have still images from the videos and photographs of the perpetrators, published in all the newspapers.

The videos and photographs  must also be shown by all the television stations currently operating in Ghana. The Ghana Police Service must then ask all those subsequently identified by the public, to report to the CID headquarters, immediately.

It is totally unacceptable for the homes of the leaders  of Ghana's political parties to be attacked by unruly supporters of  rival political parties

Above all, the NPP security guard, on duty at Nana Addo's home  that Sunday morning, who allegedly pointed a gun at the commander of the anti-terrorism unit of the Ghana Police Service, then pionted it in the air, fired it, and pointed it back again at the commander of the ant-terrorism unit, ought to be arrested immediately, and processed for court as soon as practicable.

If that had happened in the UK, or the US, he would have died on the spot in a hail of bullets fired simultaneously by officers of their police  anti-terrorism units. And quite rightly too. He is a  barbarian, a bloody fool and an arrogant thug. Period.

Such gross disrespect shown to the men and women of the security agencies, who daily risk their lives to keep all Ghanaians safe, is simply intolerable - as was the violence shown by the irresponsible supporters of both the NDC and NPP around Nana Addo's residence at Nima.

 Ghanaian society ought to show its distaste for such egregious acts of violence, and make that abhorrence of political violence absolutely clear to supporters of all the political parties in this country - by demanding the prosecution of the perpetrators.

The time has now come for Ghana's political parties to collaborate with the security agencies to take the necessary steps needed to ensure that the homes of all presidential candidates are designated as security zones.

Public access to such homes ought to be restricted - and entry to them allowed for  a select and approved number of individuals only.

The point also needs to be made that in our Republic, leading our country is not the birthright of any politician - such that  our beloved country must be turned upside down by his or her supporters if they do not win presidential elections.

Both President Mahama and Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo will doubtless concur to that. As will all the other candidates vying for the presidency in this December's presidential election.

After all, to stop their country slipping into chaos and violence, ordinary Ghanaians might very well decide to vote overwhelmingly for Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom - who wants to form a government of national unity, made up of the most honest and brightest Ghanaians, irrespective of their political backgrounds - to become Ghana's next President.

Finally, whatever the immediate cause was, the confrontation between supporters of the NDC, and NPP, in front of the Nima home of the NPP's presidential candidate, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, last Sunday morning, ought to be condemned in no uncertain terms - by all who actually care about the stability and long-term future of our homeland Ghana. Nothing can justify it. Period

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Original Thinking And The Ability To Do Lateral Thinking Vital For Making Ghana A Better Place For All Its Citizens

 "It is the power of thought which gives man the mastery over nature."
              - Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875).

Our homeland Ghana has a very bright future - despite its many challenges - because the vast majority of its younger generations are exceptionally talented in many fields of human endeavour.

That ought to be pretty  obvious to all those who are clear-sighted, and far-sighted, enough, to recognise the possible potential impacts of the dynamism and amazing intelligence, of our country's educated younger generations.

One's hope, is that our nation's political class will be able to have the nous and gumption, needed to leverage the innovative and disruptive technologies, which  are changing the world for the better - and use them to help transform Ghanaian society into a prosperous one.

Towards that end, this blog is throwing a challenge to the leaderships of all the political parties in Ghana: Why do they not think creatively and make our country a global leader in the adoption of some of the world's most disruptive technologies - such as the use of self-driving vehicles - on a wide scale?

In the case of self-driving vehicles, for example, this blog is of the humble view that our ruling elites must be bold to approach companies like Uber; Lyft; Juno; Didi Chuxing; Google;  Ford;  Mercedes Benz;  BMW; Apple;  and Tesla, with a mutually beneficial proposal.

Surely, those companies could be persuaded by our leaders to form a consortium to undertake a feasibility study, on the viability of building  purpose-built concrete motorways from Tema to Paga, and from Aflao to Elubo, for the exclusive use of self-driving commercial vehicles - if the carrot for them will be that Ghana will make income from self-driving commercial vehicles using those motorways, tax-free?

And why do our ruling elites not also put the idea to Facebook that it could  partner Ghana in developing a national ID system using its DeepFace artificial intelligence software and bought-in proprietary  blockchain technology from  industry-class-leading companies such as Blockchain Technologies Corp?

The idea there is to issue all who reside in Ghana with hack-proof digital IDs that work like Facebook's users' "pages" that will enable them to have real-time, two-way conversations with state institutions, such the security agencies; the Ghana Revenue Authority; the National Health Insurance Authority; second-cycle and tertiary educational institutions;  etc., etc.

And could they also not put the idea to Mr. Aliko Dangote, the Nigerian tycoon, that he could develop a new lucrative business, building tolled concrete motorways from Accra to all the regional capitals - and charge motorists to use same for 25 years: after which his company will share the toll revenues on a 50-50 basis with Ghana in perpetuity - till the very end of time? Literally?

And if some of our oil money is used as helicopter-money to empower  entrepreneurs producing  sundry handmade products, with fair-trade value-chains, to access global e-commerce platforms, such as Etsy and Shopify, would that not create wealth and enable hundreds of thousands of SMEs - such as the truly-amazing Fiinas Decor, opposite Kasoa's Pink FM building, which has a training school that trains gifted but disadvantaged young adult females - to create jobs galore?

And since the only way to ensure that Ghanaians can have affordable electricity, is to have 100 percent renewable energy powering our country, why do our leaders not ask the VRA and GNPC to form a consortium with energy companies such as the U.S. energy storage company,  Aqueon, and the world's biggest wind turbine manufacturing companies, Goldwind from China, and Denmark's Vestas,  to produce 10,000MW of  renewable energy, from what will be the world's biggest offshore wind energy farm - with funding from a partnership with Alphabet, Google's parent company?

Ghana indeed has a very bright future - its myriad of problems not withstanding. All that our educated urban elites need - to help them make Ghana a better place for all its citizens, today, and tomorrow - is the gift of original thinking, and the ability to do some  lateral thinking, on their feet.

Naturally, many will doubtless say that the above-mentioned ideas are zany and not worth considering. That is their opinion. Sodden negative-spoil-sports who never see the silver lining in dark clouds. Pity.

The question there is:  As a people, what have we got to lose, by approaching those potential win-win nation-building partners mentioned above, and  having a conversation based on those ideas with them?

In life, is it not  those who dare dream, and fight hard to actualise those dreams, who  invariably win life's many battles? So one's prayer, is that our educated urban elites will be gifted with the ability to do some original thinking, and be able to think laterally, on their feet. Always.  Amen.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The Case For An Nduom Presidency Is Indeed Compelling

One doubts very much whether there is any  discerning Ghanaian citizen alive today - who is a patriot and nationalist who actually cares about the future of this country - who does not feel that there is  a compelling  case for an  Nduom presidency.

The current political system, in which political parties focus exclusively on sharing the spoils of office, and dispensing patronage when they win power, ignores Ghanaian society's real needs, and fails to protect the national interest when it matters most.

To elect either of the two candidates representing the two constituent political parties making up the corruption-riddled NDC/NPP duopoly - that currently dominate our system - in this December's presidential election, will be to put the future of our country at risk.

Let us be brutally frank: Those two main political parties that have governed Ghana since the confounded 4th Republic came into being, are structured to sell Mother Ghana short - both when in power as ruling parties and whiles in the political wildernes as main opposition parties - in order to fund their activities.

And their long-term strategies for winning power, when in the political wilderness, is for the extremists in their midst to divide ordinary Ghanaians, and actively sabotage the nation-building effort, through slash-and-burn-politricks:  of the Kokofu-football-politricks kind.

Unfortunately, the plain truth, is that for financial reasons, both the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), and  the biggest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), are beholden to the selfsame vested interests sucking the very lifeblood out of  Mother Ghana, through egregious high-level corruption.

That is why an Nduom presidency will be a fresh-start-opportunity for  the enterprise Ghana: He neither needs money from vested interests to fund his political party's election campaigns and day-to-day operations, nor fund his individual needs and that of his extended family clan. To which one says: Thank God for small mercies. Hallelujah. And, Amen.

If Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom is elected president, it will mean that for the very first time since the 4th Republic came into being, we will have a visionary and incorruptible leader, who actually understands clearly - from a practical standpoint - why Ghanaian entrepreneurs ought  to be assisted to seize the commanding heights of our national economy, by  using the purchasing power of the Ghanaian nation-state to achieve that goal.

An honest businessman, who pays all his taxes, and creates substantial wealth that remains in Ghana - instead of flowing out of the country into secret offshore bank accounts - and also provides thousands of well-paid jobs for young people in a very difficult economic climate (a Byzantine system not withstanding), is the perfect leader for our nation, at this critical juncture of its history.

A man  of unquestioned integrity,  who operates a business empire that is underperpinned by corporate good governance principles, Nduom wants to give back to society - by leading a government of national unity to move the nation forward.

He plans to do so, by  harnessing the talents of the most honest of Ghana's brightest and best minds - regardless of their political affiliations - to help transform Ghana into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia.

For such a noble and patriotic reason alone,  Nduom most certainly deserves to lead our homeland  Ghana as its next president - to be sworn into office on 7th January, 2017: after a surprise Trump-like win in this December's presidential election.

The case for an Nduom presidency after the December presidential election is indeed compelling: As a creator of wealth and jobs he is peerless. None of those vying for the presidency has a track record that comes anywhere close to that of Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom's legacy (as a  dynamic businessman succeeding in an environment many flounder in).

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Are There Dark Forces Trying To Prevent Dr. Nduom From Standing In The December Presidential Election?

The shocking news that the Electoral Commission (EC) has pointed out a further 105 errors in Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom's nomination forms, which apparently ought to be rectified by the close of today's working day, is rather baffling.

If press reports are to be believed, then one hopes that the decision by the Progressive People's Party's (PPP) presidential candidate, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom,  to head for the law courts again - as a result of that strange EC announcement of a discovery of 105  new errors on Nduom's nomination forms - will bear fruit for him.

What exactly is the point in the EC pointing out yet more errors in Dr. Nduom's nomination forms - up from just one error to as many as 105 new errors? It is a development that by any measure is indeed astonishing - and very disturbing in a nation striving to make its citizenry have confidence in all its key institutions of state.

There are many independent-minded, and principled Ghanaians, who are of the view that the EC's new stance, is tantamount to shifting the goal posts - in order to keep Nduom from running for president this year.

For such fair-minded Ghanaians - some of whom have condemnded the more immoderate critics of  the chairperson of the EC, Madam Charlotte Osei, in the past - the EC's new stance amounts to discriminating against Nduom.

It is hard to disagree with those who posit that the EC is exploiting the judgement  pronounced by the Supreme Court yesterday - in the appeal it filed asking the Supreme Court to nullify the High Court ruling asking it to allow Dr. Ndoum to rectify the single mistake on his nomination forms, which led to his disqualification - from standing as a candidate in this December's presidential election.

In pointing out a further 105 "mistakes" it says it  has discovered on Nduom's nomination forms, is the EC not running the risk of being accused by fair-minded Ghanaians,  of going fishing for yet more excuses - in order to enable it justify denying Dr. Nduom the opportunity to contest this year's presidential election?

in a sense, what the EC has done, in the case of Nduom, can be construed by some as evidence of a conspiracy against Nduom. If that is indeed the case, the question then is: Why is the EC so determined to keep Dr. Nduom out of this year's presidential election?

This blog is of the considered view that the EC is damaging its global image - and harming its international reputation as an African electoral body noted for fairness in conducting elections in Ghana - in being so intransigent  in the case of Dr. Nduom's candidacy.

The question we must ponder is: Perchance, does the EC's posture - in its attitude towards Nduom - result from pressure on it by  shadowy figures manipulating the system in order to prevent Nduom from contesting the December presidential election at all costs?

As patriots who love  Mother Ghana, dearly, this blog is of the humble view that Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom is the best candidate, for our country to elect as Ghana's next leader, in the December presidential election - because he dwarfs all the other candidates in terms of their abilities to create wealth and jobs in a very difficult economic environment.

All patriotic Ghanaians, who are indepedent-minded, and fair-minded, must not allow dark forces operating from  the shadows to continue manipulating the system, to prevent Dr. Nduom from contesting the December presidential election.

For the sake of today's younger generation  of educated (and not-so-well-educated) Ghanaians,  and to protect the well-being of future generations of our people,  we must all do everything possible to stop those evil dark forces operating from the shadows, from succeeding in their aim of eliminating Nduom from our nation's politics.

In a nation in which millions worship daily at the alter of the Cult-of-the-mediocre, Nduom - who wants to unify Ghanaians and turn our system into a meritocratic one in order to transform Ghana into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandanavia - is a national treasure we must  cherish and honour.

To protect their own individual futures, younger generation Ghanaians must awaken to the dangers our nation faces, if our homeland Ghana continues to be dominated by the kleptocratic NDC/NPP duopoly - made up of the no-longer-fit-for-purpose, corrupt and opaque National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the equally corrupt and opaque, no-longer-fit-for-purpose New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Ghana does not need the outmoded scorched-earth-politricks,  in which extremist politicians in the political wilderness actively sabotage the nation-building effort, as a strategy to effect regime-change. Its practioners in the NDC/NPP duopoly are even prepared to let Ghana burn if that is what will win them power.

All Ghanaians who can think for themselves, ought to join the fight to put an end to the outmoded and corruption-riddled  machine-politics, of the NDC/NPP duopoly. It is slowly destroying our homeland Ghana.

That is why educated younger generation Ghanaians must join their peers who can see the golden opportunity an Nduom presidency represents for our benighted country - and fight to stop the dark forces trying so desperately hard to eliminate the honest, brilliant, harworking, principled and visionary Nduom from  our nation's political landscape.

Hmm, Ghana - enti yewieye pa enei? Asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa!

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Why Ghanaian Voters Must Reject The Machine-Politics Of The Corruption-Riddled NDC/NPP Duopoly

As a patriot and pan-Africanist, who loves his country passionately, it is incredibly frustrating watching our country blithely sleepwalking to yet another four-year-disaster, which is now in the making.

It is all so befuddling: Why  are voters allowing themselves to be tricked into substituting one corrupt  political machine, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), for yet another set of empty-promise-making politicians, from an equally corrupt political machine, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP)?

The question is: At this stage of the game, why is it still not obvious to ordinary Ghanaians that it is dangerous - in a nation in which corruption is endemic - to elect sly politicians riding the crest of an anti-corruption wave now sweeping across the country, who refuse to publicly publish their own assets, and those of their spouses, as well as publicly publish all the sources of their party's election campaign funds?

What are the ends for which  the John Boadus, the Freddie Blays, the Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos, and the rest of them, seek political power, one wonders?

Do they genuinely want to come and serve Ghanaians on a sacrificial basis, as a giving-back-to-society public-service gesture, or do they have secret individual agendas to come to power and amass wealth whiles in office - as so many NDC members are alleged to have done?

Why do the NPP's leading lights refuse to publicly publish their assets, and those of their spouses, as well as publicly publish the sources of their party's election campaign funds - when they constantly  accuse their opponents of being corrupt: and posit that high-level corruption is the biggest drawback to the economic transformation of our country?

What have they got to hide? If ordinary people had had the presence of mind to demand that of John Dramani Mahama & Co, before they first came to power, would we be where we are today - collectively Iamenting the brutal gang-rape of Mother Ghana, by wealthy and well-connected crooks?

It is amazing that it  has not yet dawned on ordinary Ghanaians that if the John Boadus, the Freddie Blays, the Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos, and the rest of them, are adamant that they will neither publicly publish their own assets - and those of their spouses - nor publicly publish all the sources of their party's election campaign funds, then, clearly, they most definitely do not deserve to be given the mandate to govern the Republic of Ghana, yet again.

And do younger generation Ghanaians not realise that in the ICT era of disruptive technologies, they do not have to tolerate such politicians, and political parties - simply because they do not have to rely on governments of the day to create jobs for them?

Does the technology not exist for younger generation Ghanaians of today to actually create their own e-commerce businesses, on online global trading platforms such as Shopify and Etsy,  and fund their own creative projects, by leveraging online crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter,  GoFundMe and Indiegogo, with their mobile smartphones and tablets?

Let no one deceive them: To progress in life, clued-on young people  today, do not have to rely on feckless politicians promising to create jobs - in a nation that foolishly spends nearly 70 percent of its total tax revenues paying non-productive public-sector employees who are always embarking on strike action.

Young people must get this straight: The only way for Ghana to become a prosperous society, and be transformed into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia,  is by limiting the size of government, abolishing personal income tax and making Ghana the nation with Africa's lowest corporate tax rate.

Ditto lowering interest rates to less than 3 percent, making the whole of the agricultural sector - not just cocoa farming - and the ancilliary input businesses in the sector's value-chain, tax free. That is what has made cocoa farming in Ghana sustainable and enabled it to remain a  mainstay of our national economy for decades.

It is creative measures like that which will attract patient investors and impact investors, as well as high net worth entrepreneurs from all over the world to our shores, to set up residence here and live here for at least part of the year, in order to take advantage of the fact that income is not taxed here, and that Ghana also has a low corporate tax rate regime, on top of that.

That is how to harness the intelligence and energy of dynamic human beings to create wealth and jobs in the real economy. Period.

The irritating thing about the philistines who want to govern our country, is that they know the price of everything under the African sun. Yet, they haven't the faintest idea about the value of protecting what is left of our natural heritage - at a time when global climate change is impacting this country so negatively.

Who has ever heard the ever-whining Bawumias talking about climate-change-proofing Ghana's infrastructure, such as  roads, creatively - by building only plastic roads: made by mixing plastic waste with bitumen to build roads that last three times as long as conventional roads; bear  heavier loads; remain pothole-free throughout their long lifespan; and are never washed away by flash floods because plastic is impermeable to water?

Do the doom-mongering Dr. Bawumias not understand the absurdity and futility of pursuing GDP growth, without ever examining what actually constitutes that growth? If they did, they would not give hope to those busy destroying what is left of our natural heritage, and brutally gang-raping Mother Nature, by assuring them that they will "legalize galamsey."

Should all those selfish criminals engaged in illegal gold mining, not rather be prosecuted and jailed, instead of being promised that their criminal activities will be legalised, when the NPP wins power after the elections, I ask?

Are they not decimating the cocoa industry - the very lifeblood of our country and mainstay of the national economy - before our very eyes: as complacent officialdom watches on helplessly with their hands handcuffed by our greedy vampire-elites in the feeble national battle  against illegal gold mining?

The question is why do geniuses like the Bawumias not make that connexion? Is it not because the two corruption-riddled entities that make up the NDC/NPP duopoly are beholden to the wealthy criminal syndicates that sponsor and benefit from most of the illegal gold mining  destroying what is left of our nation's natural heritage with such impunity?

It is their lack of creative thinking that makes genuises like the Bawumias look only to the financial contribution "galamsey" makes to the national economy, and overlook the egregious harm it does to what is left of our natural heritage - the societal underpinning on which the quality of life of all Ghanaians depends:  and the protection and conservation of which will ensure  sustainable economic development that will redound to the benefit of present and future generations,  by providing green pillars to underpin our national economy.

Who has ever heard the loquacious and negative Dr. Bawumias  (imprisoned in the cognitive-straightjacket of "chew-and-pour" rote-learninge) ever talking about global climate change and the imperative need to protect our forests?

And why give Ghanaians false hope about providing them with affordable electricity, when blockheaded  politicians neither have the  nous nor gumption, to focus on planning to switch to 100 percent renewable power with storage, to create off-grid micro-grids nationwide for businesses,  communities and households, to power our national economy - all paid for with helicopter-money from our oil and gas deposits: instead of handing over a million dollars of oil money to each parliamentary constituency annually to be frittered away by cash-hungry political party foot-soldiers?

And who has ever heard the Bawumias - who sadly neither ever do any original-thinking nor lateral thinking -  talking about much-needed land reform,  in which the state takes over all land held in trust by Chiefs for their people, compensates them with long-term government paper - that can be discounted for cash immediately - and redistributes same to tenant farmers and  all those wanting to invest in the agricultural sector nationwide?

Is that not what is actually needed to modernise farming in Ghana? And they want to be given the mandate to govern this country again - when a doer and high-achiever like Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, with a solid track-record of creating wealth that remains in Ghana, who is generating well-paying jobs galore in his private capacity  is offering himself for the presidency? Please.

Yes, Ghanaians need to vote out the corruption-riddled NDC, which has failed to retrieve taxpayers' GHc51 million from that scoundrel Woyome,  from power. However, to replace the corrupt NDC political machine, with the equally corrupt NPP political machine, as the next governing party, will be extremely unwise and perverse on the part of voters. And the height of folly.

Have voters forgotten so soon how unfair it was that as much as U.S.$350 million  went to the E. O. Group, when Tullow Oil bought out stakes Mr. Owusu and Mr Edusei (whom the conspiracy theorists in our midst claim were apparently fronting for our former hypocrite-in-chief - according to bush-telegraph sources at the time) 'owned' in oil blocks off our nation's shores - stakes that should gone to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) in the first place, but somehow ended up being given to the opaque and shadowy E. O. Group, during the golden age of business for the perfidious Kufuor & Co?

Was that not handy cash, which should have gone to the national treasury, if the NPP regime at the time had not been so very corrupt?

Does U.S.$350 million not dwarf GHc51 million? So why does the mostly-crooked  and conscienceless Ghanaian media, never make that point too, when baying for the blood of the  super-scoundrel Woyome, one wonders?

If voters make the ghastly mistake of voting yet another NPP  regime into power again, this blog confidently predicts that if elected as the next governing party, in the December presidential and parliamentary elections, paradoxically - because it is now led by a financially incorruptible  politician, the selfless Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, who is in politics to serve, not enrich himself - the next NPP regime will end up becoming the most corrupt administration, ever,  in the chequered history of the confounded 4th Republic.

The blunt refusal by the John Boadus and the Freddie Blays, to publicly publish their assets, and those of their spouses, as well as publicly publish all the sources of the NPP's election campaign funds, is the writing on the wall. Voters had better read their tea leaves properly - and revise their notes accordingly.

The refusal to let Ghanaians know the extent of  their personal net worth - and that of their spouses - and to publicly publish all the sources of their party's election campaign funds, is a harbinger of the egregious high-level corruption to come, when the NPP is elected to power to govern Ghana again after 7th, January, 2017.

If they continue to refuse to publicly publish their own personal assets, and those of their spouses, as well as publicly publish all the sources of their parties' election campaign funds, Ghanaians must  must reject both the NDC and NPP political machines, and the sly and ruthless politicians who run them - otherwise they will only be replacing one kleptocratic group of slippery politicians with another kleptocratic group of empty-promise-making politicians.

For their own good, and to protect their own individual futures, younger generation Ghanaian voters in the December presidential and parliamentary elections, must reject the nation-wrecking machine-politics of the  corruption-riddled NDC/NPP duopoly.

(Incidentally, Dr. Paa Kwesi  Nduom, who was easily the most transparent party leader, amongst the candidates who stood in the 2012 presidential election, is the best bet for Ghana's younger generation. Let them pray that the Supreme Court orders the Electoral Commission to reinstate his candidacy. Amongst all those vying for the presidency,  he is the only candidate who can actually transform Ghana - by forming and leading a government of national unity, made up of the smartest and most honest Ghanaians, from across the political spectrum  - not the corrupt NDC/NPP duopoly and their outmoded,  divisive machine-politics.)

Hmm, Ghana - enti yewieye paa enei: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa!


Friday, 4 November 2016

The Brains Behind The Attempt To Plant Improvised Explosive Devices In Kumasi Must Be Apprehended Quickly

The botched attempt to blow up targets, in part of a residential area in Kumasi, where a building said to be serving as a national security communications hub, is located, is a serious and disturbing development.

Investigations into the incident are ongoing. Under no circumstances must the investigators allow those behind this monstrous and abominable attempt to terrorise Ghanaians, to get away with  what, had their plan succeeded, would have been an unspeakable, unpardonable and barbaric crime.

Above all, one hopes that it will not be turned into a political football by irresponsible politicians, unethical journalists and conscienceless media entities, which place mercenary-partisanship above unalloyed patriotism.

This is a matter that calls for patriotism not partisanship - for it involves the safety of the Republic: which ought to be a matter of concern to every responsible Ghanaian citizen.

And the indiscriminate nature of terrorist attacks, make all of us potential victims of the unhinged cowards, who seek to impose their will on whole societies, through acts of terrorism.

That is why there should be no hiding place for terrorists in Ghana. They pose an existential threat to our democracy, and to the long-term future of our  vibrant and liberal African society.

Naturally, at this stage of the investigations, it is not certain which particular building (or buildings) in the area, those who made and tried to plant what are said to be improvised explosive devices (IED), were actually targeting.

To enable them quickly unravel and apprehend the brains behind this outrage, it is vital that those handling the investigations, collaborate with all our external allies, in the fight against global terrorism.

There are secret  military satellite images of the area - that can clearly show the faces of the two suspects who fled the area on a motorbike when approached by police officers -  that can help identify them,  in existence.

(Incidentally, they can also rely on the UK's privately-owned Air and Space Evidence Limited for same - for an expenditure in fees of a few hundred pounds sterling.)

To obtain those secret  military satelitte images, it is up to the regional authorities in the Ashanti Region, to get our military high command to approach their US, UK, French, Russian and Chinese counterparts.

That can be done through our defence and foreign ministers approaching their  opposite numbers in those nations.

At all costs, those behind this dangerous new development, must be apprehended, investigated, tried and given lengthy prison sentences, with hard labour as an additional sentencing option.

They must not be allowed to get away with attempting to terrorise our homeland Ghana, and cause panic and fear amongst its gentle and peace-loving people. We rest our case.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Ghana's Political Class Must Work Together To Make Mother Ghana Prosperous

That our nation's political class ought to work together, if our nation is to be transformed, is pretty obvious to many discerning and patriotic Ghanaians.

Clearly, as a people we will never progress, if our country continues to remain so divided - as extremists amongst those in the political wilderness will always sabotage the  party in  power: to bring about regime-change.

Alas, in the end, it is ordinary people who suffer. Their living standards invariably plummet, as the national economy is damaged by the nation-wrecking-agenda of  extremist politicians, whose constant talking down of the country's prospects, create a crisis of confidence that deters investors.

It is in that light that some discerning minds aver, that it is self-evident, that the polarisation of Ghanaian society is a huge drawback, for our country's forward march towards a prosperous future - for all its people.

It is a clear and present danger, to the sustained collective effort needed, today,  to ensure the long-term stability of our nation - because it is an impediment to the creation of a conducive political climate: that will enable the transformation of our nation to take place.

The question is: If members of our nation's political class are creative enough, could they not build on the cooperative spirit that  mostly informs the work of the Inter-Party  Advisory Committee (IPAC) - the vehicle that they use for their interactions with the Electoral Commission (EC)?

It would definitely benefit our homeland Ghana, if our nation's  political parties learnt from their experiences, in regular IPAC collaborations over the years, and built on it.

For example, could the political parties not  use the IPAC model to set up a new nation-building collaborative platform, which will enable the most patriotic and honest  ones amongst them, to work together, to protect the national interest - and promote the welfare of ordinary people - at all material times? Food for thought.

If such an inter-party nation-building platform existed, could they not invite stellar job creators for young people, from around the world, such as the Sama Group's founder, Leila Janah, and the founder of Solar Sisters, Katherine Lucey, to Ghana, and collaborate with them to leverage the existing structures for youth employment across the country, to create jobs for the many educated young people, who are unable to find employment?

Leila Janah leverages her Silicon Valley contacts to provide relatively well-paid digital work - such as data entry jobs - for young people in Kenya's slums, including even those with no formal education: who are given computer training for that purpose.

She also owns a high-end cosmetics company, Laxmi, which is also a social enterprise that has a fair-trade value-chain, which creates wealth for poor women in the developing world.

Laxmi, for example,  could partner women's groups in the north, which produce shea butter; organic neem seed oil; organic moringa seed oil; and organic baobab seed oil.

If an inter-party nation-building platform existed, would they not be willing and keen  to invite Leila Janah to Ghana, now attention has been drawn to her job-creating social enterprise business models?

And could that not lead to the creation of  thriving local green economies, throughout the north of Ghana, for example  - with groups of women  exporting organic cosmetic products globally, in partnership with Laxmi?

And would disadvantaged youth in both urban and rural Ghana not find work in the global digital economy, through the Sama Group?

Katherine Lucey's Solar Sisters'  business model,  relies on sponsors to empower her social enterprise, which gives out robust and well-made solar lamps, on credit, to women, who then pay for them after selling those  lamps.

The polarisation of Ghanaian society as a result of divisive Kokofu-football-politricks, is doing great harm to our nation. Everywhere one looks, there are pressing problems that need collaboration between  political parties, and cross-spectrum cooperation with each other, by politicians, if they are to be resolved.

Yet, scorched-earth-politics, in which hardline opposition  politicians work hard day and night to sabotage the nation-building effort, and bring about regime-change that way, continues apace, regardless.

That is no way to create prosperity anywhere in this world. We cannot continue along that thorn-strewn path and expect our country to become prosperous.

The time has therefore now come for the most honest and patriotic of our nation's politicians - from across the spectrum, who put the interests of our nation, and the welfare of all its people, above party advantage and self-interest - to come together to work to make Mother Ghana prosperous.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Should Ghana Not Shift Its Focus To Renewable Energy To Power The National Economy In The Long-Term?

It is extraordinary that so many of the members of our nation's political class, and virtually all the entities on today's Ghanaian media landscape, do not seem to understand the necessity of  making it a national goal, to aim for our homeland Ghana to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, in the shortest possible time practicable.

If we continue to delude ourselves that the availability of natural gas deposits off our nation's shores, will guarantee base-load power for decades to come, we will wake up one day, to discover that money to purchase natural gas to fuel our thermal power plants, is simply unavailable, from the national treasury.

With the rapid advances being made in storage technologies, surely, both the Volta River Authority (VRA), and the Bui Power authority (BPA), ought to work out a long-term plan, to merge with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), and form a consortium with global class-leading Norwegian and Chinese wind power companies, to build the world's biggest wind power farm off our shores, to generate 10,000MW of electricity for our homeland Ghana?

Aquion Energy has utility-scale non-toxic batteries that will be a perfect fit for such a project.

To serve as an inspiration for the leaders of all our nation's political parties; the more responsible sections of the Ghanaian media; and players in the power sector of our national economy, today, this blog is posting a culled RenewEconomy article, written by Giles Parkinson.

We hope it will inspire some creative thinking amongst our educated urban elites, on the subject of powering Ghana with 100 percent renewable energy,  in the not too distant future.

Surely, cash-guzzling fossil-fuel-powered thermal power plants, no longer make economic sense for an emerging, aspirational African nation and its hardworking ambitious citizens?

Please read on:

''Queensland’s first large-scale wind farm reaches financial close

By Giles Parkinson on 2 November

The first large-scale wind farm to be built in Queensland, the 180MW Mount Emerald project near Mareeba, has reached financial close and will begin construction next month.

The $380 million Mt Emerald wind farm, to be built by RATCH-Australia, is receiving finance from ABZ, NAB, Societe Generale and the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFJ).

Earlier this year, it received a power purchase agreement from regional utility Ergon to buy all its output until 2030, to help the network and energy retailer meet its renewable energy targets.

Queensland currently has just 12MW of wind energy (out of a national total of 3,500MW), located at small wind farms in Ravenshoe and Thursday Island, although projects such as Windlab’s Kennedy wind park and Infigen Energy’s Forsayth wind project are also in the pipeline.

qld solar

The Queensland government’s advisory panel envisages around 2,200MW of large-scale wind power in the state if the Labor government goes through with its 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.

Mt Emerald is one of the first big wind projects to be built anywhere in Australia in recent years following the Coalition government’s attack on the large-scale renewable energy target and its decision to cut it from 41,000GWh to 33,000GWh.

Other wind farms have also been built, or are under construction, such as Ararat, Hornsdale, Coonooer Bridge, Sapphire and Crookwell, but these have been built with 20-year contracts issued by the ACT government under its policy to reach 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020.

The only other large-scale wind farm to begin construction under the RET, the Goldwind White Rock project in northern NSW, is being built without yet receiving a contract or off take agreement from a major retailer.

The lack of investment in large-scale renewable energy, because of federal policy uncertainty, has helped push prices of large-scale renewable energy certificates to near their “penalty” price of $92/MWh.

The Mt Emerald wind farm will use 53 Vestas turbines, and will be built by subcontractors Consolidated Power Projects (CPP) and Civil & Allied Technical Construction (Catcon). All the equity in the project will be provided by Ratch. The Bank Group was advised by Herbert Smith Freehills.

“This has been a huge team effort from many different parties over a long period, and we are proud to be delivering a project which is not only low carbon but which will meaningfully add to North Queensland’s energy security,” Ratch business development manager, Anthony Yeates, said in a statement.

“This significant milestone means we can finish off the planning and get on with construction of this project.”

Minor works, geotech studies and site survey work are scheduled to begin in December, with full construction likely to begin ramping up from March 2017 after the wet season. The wind farm is expected to be operational by September 2018.

The project will provide up to 150 construction jobs, while 15 permanent jobs would be created to operate the wind farm."

End of culled RenewEconomy article by Giles Parkinson.

Is The System Being Manipulated To Keep Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom From Contesting This Year's Presidential Election?

Many Ghanaians appear to be puzzled by the apparent determination of the Electoral Commission (EC), to maintain the  decision it made to disqualify Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, from contesting this year's presidential election.

The question that such Ghanaians ponder over is: Is the system being manipulated from the shadows by unseen hands to stop Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom from standing in this December's presidential election?

Many religiously inclined people often say that God works in mysterious ways. What is currently happening to Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom is certainly mysterious.

However, whether the impediments being strewn along Nduom's path to the presidency, are the handiwork of God, or not, is beyond the understanding of simple minds like mine, alas.

But who knows: Perhaps we are seeing "Sumsumu signs" that for Nduom, too, it will be third time lucky, in the 2021 presidential election - when he will be wiser, older and even wealthier than he is today: having then spent the previous four years building yet more businesses and creating thousands more additional jobs?

Be that as it may, one's humble advice to the leading lights of the Progressive People's Party (PPP), is that rather than becoming despondent - as a result of the latest development - they must rather focus on taking advantage of the widepread interest being shown in Nduom's story by millions across the nation.

It is valuable free publicity that they ought to leverage positively.

This is the perfect time for them to ram home the message that Nduom is the most pro-business politician in Ghana today,  and  definitely the nation's most transparent political party leader - and that if elected president  he will become the most effective leader that Ghana has ever had since President  Nkrumah's overthrow in 1966.

They must also remind Ghanaians that it is obvious that Nduom, who is a gentle, kind, humble and truly-honourable man, is feared by all those who have participated in the brutal gang-rape of Mother Ghana, since the 4th Republic came into being - because he is committed to, and determined, to probe all the regimes, which have held power in our homeland Ghana, since 1992.

It is vital that ordinary Ghanaians are made to understand clearly that Nduom is the only presidential candidate committed to investigating all the regimes that have held power since the 4th Republic came into being - as that is the path to ensuring true accountability in Ghanaian politics.

The PPP's leaders must also make the point that unlike the other presidential candidates, a President Paa Kwesi Nduom, as a matter of principle,  and personal conviction, will lead a  government of national unity - which will consist of the most honest and smartest Ghanaians, irrespective of age and political leanings: because he is of the considered view that a divided nation seldom prospers.

Above all, they must make the point that Nduom understands perfectly, that no district in Ghana will  ever prosper, if the present district-level system persists - and will therefore change it to make district-level officialdom more responsive to the needs of local communities.

The PPP's leaders must remind Ghanaians, as they continue to criss-cross the nation, that it is Nduom's firm belief that the needs of local communities across Ghana will only really matter, and be met, when people living in each district of the Republic of Ghana, are able to elect district chief executives.

Let them pose this simple question to ordinary  Ghanaians in rural Ghana: If district chief executives are elected under an Nduom presidency, will they not serve the interests of their districts, and work hard to meet the needs of grassroots people - instead of serving the interests of the political parties of sitting presidents who appoint them: as has been the case since the 4th Republic came into being?

The PPP's leaders must also drive home the point that as long as both the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the largest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), continue to hide the sources of their election campaign funds, and refuse to publicly publish the assets of their leading lights, and their spouses, high-level corrruption in Ghana will never cease, but will rather  get worse after January 7th 2017, if either of those two parties wins power in the December election.

Above all, let the PPP's leaders shout out loudly from rooftops across the nation, stressing the point to Ghanaians that based on their personal records of creating wealth, and jobs, Nduom is the best qualified amongst all those vying for the presidency - and that he is the only one amongst them who can transform Ghana into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia.

Finally, as things now stand, it is the humble view of this blog, that it is pretty hard for any discerning and patriotic citizen of Ghana, to resist the temptation to agree with the conspiracy theorists in our midst, who assert that the system is being manipulated, from the shadows, to prevent Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom from standing as a candidate,  in the December presidential election. Pity.

Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o: Asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa?