The past eight years have been a disaster for the people of Ghana. Governance standards have slipped and the economy has struggled, making life more difficult for every Ghanaian. Our country, once held up as the gold standard, has fallen markedly behind our peers.

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By the middle of July, the nation expects its sovereign Parliament to debate and vote on the constitutional amendment intended to change the date for holding general elections in Ghana from December 7 to November 7. Since, 1992, when the presidential election was held in November, all subsequent ones were held on December 7. The bill needs both Parliamentary Majority and Minority to agree in order to become law.

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Voter Validation is an exercise aimed at cleaning up the voter register, and is considered to be the only feasible solution at this stage, as a lesser alternative to compiling a whole new register.  The Electoral Commission’s Panel of Experts, the team tasked with making recommendations to Mrs Charlotte Osei and the EC leadership on how to get a credible register for 2016, has told the EC to carry out Validation, because it is at the moment the most viable option for a credible election.

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Other Stories

S&P affirms ratings on Republic of Ghana at 'B/B'
The Republic of Ghana benefits from strong GDP growth, strengthening oil production volumes, and a track record of political stability. However, it continues to suffer from weak fiscal management highlighted by a widening of the fiscal deficit in 2010 and increased supplier arrears. We are therefore affirming our 'B/B' foreign- and local-currency sovereign credit ratings on the Republic of Ghana. The stable outlook balances our view of the country's strong growth prospects and track record of political stability against its weak payment culture and fiscal challenges.
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.
Ruling: Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwah, Dr Edward Omane Boamah vrs The Attorney General and Jake Obetsebi Lamptey
The plaintiffs as per their writ claim as follows:1. A declaration that, by virtue of Articles 20(5), 20(6), 23, 257, 258, 265, 284 and 296 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 1992, the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing in the previous Government of His Excellency, President J.A. Kufuor, did not have the power to direct the sale, disposal of transfer of any Government or public land to the 2nd Defendant or any other person or body under any circumstances whatsoever, and that any such direction for disposal, sale or outright transfer of the said property in dispute or any public land to the 2nd Defendant was unconstitutional and illegal. Click here for Justice Atugubah's ruling Click here for Justice Brobbey's ruling Click here for Justice Dotse's ruling
The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. ~ William Butler Yeats Do politicians ever think of the kind of life the average Ghanaian 'worker' lives? Not even the unemployed - the one who has a job -- any kind of job. Take the mother who operates a small table-top 'shop' or any mother who buys and sells, micro scale -- hours upon hours a day, rain or shine, with a baby tied to her spine. She does so giving 24-hour care to her toddler; if she's lucky her 8-year-old daughter may come and help her out, while she takes time off to cook for other members of the family and back to selling; in the heat, fighting off flies amid the fumes and vrooms of modernity.
Full Speech: Dzi Wo Fie Asem, Rhetoric and the Politics of Expediency
Over the past two weeks or so when the topic of today’s lecture was announced in the media, many friends and colleagues have called, to express concern, that I had chosen a topic that they wouldn’t have touched with a long spoon. Was this the safest topic I could have chosen? Then came a message from a colleague in the Facebook who said, ‘Prof, are you sure the national security is not going to confiscate your script?’ Then last Sunday, I met another friend after church who promised to attend this talk, but said, “Owo Kwesi, Eye abofra bon, paa!” more>>>
Address by K. B. Amissah-Arthur, Governor of The Bank of Ghana at the Launch of the Guidelines on AML/CFT For Banks and Non-Bank Financial Institutions, January 4, 2012.
It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the launch of guidelines on Anti-Money Laundering and the Combating of the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) for our Banks and Non-Bank Financial Institutions. This document has been jointly prepared by the Bank of Ghana and the Financial Intelligence Centre. This event follows on the launch of AML/CFT guidelines for capital market operators by the Securities and Exchange Commission on 20th December 2011.
Biometric Identification Machine Failure and Electoral Fraud in a Competitive Democracy
We study election fraud in a competitive but not fully consolidated multiparty democracy. Results from a randomized field experiment are used to investigate the effectiveness of newly-introduced biometric identification machines in reducing election fraud in Ghana’s December 2012 national elections. We uncover a non-random pattern to the frequent breakdowns of the equipment. In polling stations with a randomly assigned domestic election observer, machines were about 50 percent less likely to experience breakdown as they were in polling stations without observers. We also find that electoral competition in the parliamentary race is strongly associated with greater machine breakdown. Machine malfunction in turn facilitated election fraud, including overvoting, registry rigging, and ballot stuffing, especially where election observers were not present. Our results substantiate that partisan competition may promote election fraud in a newly-established competitive democracy. They also show that domestic election observers improve election integrity through direct observation and also thanks to their second-order effects on election administration. Full Publication
Critical News: What happened to Us?
It is over. With a finality that left us numb and confused, Thursday morning, prepped for the 10am start, like many other Ghanaians I had a good breakfast with family, our mindsets tuned to a historical upheaval of one sort or another and we weren’t disappointed. We had a historical event, it ended so quickly even the Petitioners and Respondent lawyers did not understand the verdict. Watching aghast, both sides tried to digest the decision, neither the NDC nor the NPP realizing it was over. So not seeing the NPP roaring a win, the NDC figured they had won and started waving white handkerchiefs. Were Ghanaians disappointed? What happened to us? Accra went mute, Kumasi shut down, Takoradi just closed shop and the NDC party itself could only celebrate at their Headquarters. The streets went silent and traffic flowed in an uneasy stream, reflecting Ghanaians’ response to the judgment.
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 >>>
ADVISORY NOTES TO PARLIAMENT ON THE PETROLEUM AGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA, AGM PETROLEUM AND COLA NATURAL RESOURCES
The Ministry of Energy has officially laid before Parliament two Petroleum Agreements for ratification following earlier approval by Cabinet. The Agreements are: Petroleum Agreement among Government of the Republic of Ghana, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, GNPC Exploration and Production Company Limited and AGM Petroleum Ghana LTD in respect of the South Deepwater Tano Contract Area (and shall be called AGM Contract for the purpose of this Analysis). Petroleum Agreement among Government of the Republic of Ghana, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Cola Natural Resources and Medea in respect of East Cape Three Points Contract Area (and shall be called Cola Contract for the purpose of this analysis). This Advisory Notes is provided to members of Parliament to enrich debate during the consideration of the Agreements. The Notes are based on analysis by the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) of the Negotiated Agreements and the memoranda accompanying them. These Notes do not cover most of the subjects in the two Agreements as most of them have common provisions. The focus of the analysis therefore covers subjects that show material differences between the Agreements for the purpose of enriching the debate in parliament.