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The Danquah Institute, an Accra-based policy think tank, has called on the collective leadership of the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union to actively show, with urgency, leadership and concern in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “Such a priority engagement could boost ongoing domestic efforts at finding a democratic solution to the pending constitutional crisis in the biggest black nation in the world,” the think tank argues, adding that the situation is threatening Nigeria’s democracy and the stability of the region. After a longer history of instability, coups, military dictatorship and controversial elections, Africa’s most populous nation is struggling to contain the ramifications of a seriously ill, and absent, president.
Under her Model Petroleum Agreement (MPA), Ghana, a newcomer in the global oil industry has adopted the Royalty Tax System to govern the fiscal regime for the country’s petroleum sector. Even before production tentatively begins in 2010 when the agreement would be put to test, critics say that Ghana would obtain greater financial benefit under the terms of a production-sharing contract (PSC). This paper discusses Ghana’s MPA and contrasts this to the argument that the country would benefit from using PSCs. The paper describes the MPA, the advantages and disadvantages of an R/T system and those of the PSC System. The paper exceeds the argument that form matters, and points to the importance of either systems having to achieve a stable consensus between the main parties involved. more >>>
President Akufo-Addo, the Timely President of our Time
Once again, the President has proven to the citizenry, that he is the leader who is determined to lead the country on the trajectory of socio-economic transformation, personal liberties and economic freedoms. Addressing the media at the Jubilee House, the Presidential Seat, on 18th July, 2017, he made it clear of his resolve and drive to bequeath to the current and successive generations, a very robust economy and a prosperous nation. As has been the custom of previous presidents of the country over the years, especially under the Fourth Republic, the President, who was overwhelmingly, voted into office by the electorate in the December 7 polls, and also a firm believer in responsible governance, rendered an account of his stewardship to the people.
The talk in the United Kingdom now is all about electoral reforms. Even though the Liberal Democrat (Lib-Dem) was the only party that campaigned on a platform of introducing proportional representation (PR), the election results which delivered a hung parliament have been interpreted, remarkably, to mean that the British people want a new electoral system, even though only 23% of voters endorsed the manifesto of the Lib-Dems. Both the Labour Party and Conservative Party campaigned for the status quo but, with no single party winning a parliamentary majority, the lure of power has spoken - compelling both major parties to now see the Lib-Dem call for PR as one of outmost national interest. Call it a convergence of national and partisan interest or partisan interest disguised as national interest.
FACTBOX: Political risks to watch in Ghana
The start of commercial oil production in 2010 has helped promote Ghana into the ranks of the world's lower middle-income nations, fuelling hopes of ending a dependence on aid and forging a future as one of Africa's star economies. While President John Atta Mills's government is seen to have done well in knocking public finances into shape since 2008, elections are due in December and the country's deficit is being strained by a high wage and fuel subsidy bill. The Bank of Ghana is tightening monetary policy to fend off mounting inflation pressures and stabilise the sliding cedi currency.
I'd intended to critique President Mills' 'State of the Nation Address' but was not so sure which part of the bacon to slice so went for a spot of foreign material that was at the very top, which reads: “Let me acknowledge our first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, that illustrious Founder of our nation. His selfless leadership serves as a point of reference in our determination to build a better Ghana. Incidentally, this year marks the 100th anniversary of Dr Nkrumah's birth and a as country we should commemorate the event in an appropriate and befitting manner. Among others, we intend to honour Dr Nkrumah's memory with a national holiday to be known as Founder's Day and we will be presenting legislation to Parliament to this effect.”In so doing, Prof Mills has found a 'neat' way to reward his own Nkrumaism but should this be done at the cost of a serious manipulation of history and disregard for Ghana's true story? Should we do so by ignoring the collective sacrifices of the many who fought this fight before and then alongside Nkrumah?
No Ambiguity in NPP Constitution On Election Of Flagbearer
Some highly respected members of the New Patriotic Party have been arguing that the national leadership of the party, in choosing a date for the election of the 2012 presidential candidate of the party, must stick to the letter of the party’s constitution. This is a responsible statement, ordinarily. However, their interpretation of the constitution is that the flagbearer must be chosen in (rather than by) December 2010. Some also argue, with some ostensible generosity, that the National Congress to elect the presidential candidate can be done ‘earlier’ but certainly not earlier than September 2010 because of the time the constitution provides for nominations to be filed. The fundamental canon of interpretation is that where the words of a statute have a plain and straightforward meaning and the words are reasonably capable of only one meaning that one literal meaning must be given. Thus, if a constitution’s language is plain and clear, the duty of interpretation does not arise, and the rules which are to aid doubtful meanings need no discussion.
Is Danquah Institute’s Warning/Threat of Legal Action Against the EC is Folly?
The Danquah Institute is reported to have warned the Electoral Commission not to create new constituencies based on the boundaries of new forty two districts that are soon to be created. The Institute further threatened to challenge the Electoral Commission at the court if the EC creates new constituencies based on the new districts (see “DI Warns: EC Cannot Create New Constituencies Based on New District”, Ghanaweb 19 March 2012). The thrust of their argument were that, the government by creating the new districts is compelling the Electoral Commission to create new constituencies based on the boundaries of new districts.
DI raises issues over STX funding
The Danquah Institute is calling on Government to bring back the US$1.5 billion suppliers’ credit facility agreement with STX (Gh) Ltd for the construction of 30,000 housing units to Parliament since subsequent difficulties with efforts to raise funding and the ambiguity, changes and re-arrangements with sources of funding have altered fundamentally the integrity of the terms and conditions of the agreement which Parliament approved last year. Last year, the Government of Ghana reached an agreement with STX of Korea, through its subsidiary in Ghana, for the construction of 200,000 houses in Ghana within a period of five years at a total cost of US$10 billion.
2012 NPP Manifesto: Transforming lives, Transforming Ghana
This year’s election is a historic moment for Ghana. Ghanaians have a simple choice to make in either moving forward with the NPP or staying with the failed policies and personalities of the NDC administration that have brought them hardships and poverty. We, in the NPP have been in the forefront of Ghana’s development and transformation agenda. Our record of achievement during our time in government points to the fact that we know how to bring prosperity to Ghana and also make our motto of development in freedom a reality for all. Click here for full document of NPP 2012 Manifesto