We invited the media today for this news conference because we find it strange and potentialy dangerous that the most reasonable solution that was tabled by the VCRAC Crabbe panel for giving Ghana a credible register for credible elections in 2016 appears to have been totally ignored by the Electoral Commission. We, therefore, want to draw attention to this and ask you, journalists, the Fourth Estate of the Realm, to demand urgent answers from the Electoral Commission on the fate of the wise proposal from the EC’s own panel of experts for the introduction of validation for the voters’ register. Full Publication

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Barrister Mike Igini was, until recently, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, for Cross River and Edo States respectively. In this interview, he bares his mind on the use of the card  reader  for the 2015 general elections. Excerpts:

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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

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Transcript  of Yaw Boateng Gyan’s Tape
“When I return, I hope the work that I expect you to do, is done. I intend to get a pick up vehicle. Kwasi says he has to travel to Sunyani for his brother’s engagement and a funeral and so he’s gone. I’ll get a white land cruiser and a pick-up. If you work together, it’s fine. If you work individually, it’s fine. Then, you go and gather information, as many information as possible and when you go, coach the regional organizers.
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
The BOG Anti-Money Laundering-CFT Guideline
The world has experienced phenomenal growth of financial services over the last couple of decades. This globalization has led to increased cross-border activities enhancing global financial intermediation. Unfortunately, this development has been accompanied by a spate of transnational organized crime including Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (ML/TF) perpetuated by underground economies. Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing affect whole economies, and therefore impacts negatively on economic, political and social development, posing serious challenges to all countries. Click here for full Report
NGOs warn Ghana will miss MDGs
A coalition of non-governmental organisations in Ghana has expressed fears that the country might fail to attain the Education for All (EFA) target under Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). The coalition said although the country initiated the draft policy of the Complementary Basic Education (CBE) in 2006, available evidence shows that about 25 percent of school going age children was still out of school.
It has emerged that the 442 million Euros (US$585m) loan agreement presented to Parliament last month and yet to be approved for the provision of 200 ambulances and the construction of 12 district hospitals, is with a company in the Czech Republic, Opus 7, that deals in clay, stove lining and masonry cement. Among the more than half a billion dollar loan deal with the Ghana Government, the clay-based manufacturer has offered to build 12 district hospitals at the cost of $40 million each. There are currently 70 districts in the country without district hospitals. The existing quality and capacity of district hospitals suggest that the loan facility, nearly $490 million of which are for the construction of hospitals, could put 70 district hospitals at a unit cost of $7 million or half the number at $14 million per district hospital.
Gabby: Ghana’s 2008 Election was Flawed
The Executive Director of the Danquah Institute has said that the 2008 general elections of Ghana had so many flaws and that he fears the country is not showing any serious interest in putting measures in place to avoid that in 2012. “Even though every vote was seemingly counted not every vote counted in the final analysis. And, if every vote counts then certainly not every vote was properly counted in 2008. Both parties must be blamed; but what are we doing now to cut out that cancer of electoral malpractices from our system for the future? We must wake up now, start thinking and working on it,” he urged all stakeholders.
OIL DEAL FROM EQUATORIAL GUINEA: IS IT 65,000 BARRELS A DAY OR 5,500?
In the last five months alone, President J E A Mills has made two 3-day official trips to Equatorial Guinea and has on both occasions returned to Ghana with news of striking significantly different crude oil deals with his Equatorial Guinean counterpart, President Theodore Nguema Mbasogo. The Danquah Institute is also extremely disturbed by moves by the Government of Ghana to rescue a Korean company that is US$6.3 billion in debt, whilst thousands of Ghanaian companies are also in distress and would require only a fraction of that amount to stimulate them back into productivity and profitability. more >>>
In the case between the NDC (applicant for the joinder application) and NPP(respondent), the nine-member bench (Mr Justice William Atuguba (presiding Judge), Justice Julius Ansah, Mrs Justice Sophia Adinyira, Ms Justice Rose Owusu,Merr Justice Jones Dotse, Mr Justice Annin Yeboah, Mr P. Baffoe- Bonnie, Mr Justice N. S. Gbadegbe and Mrs Justice Vida Akoto-Bamfo) agreed to the argument raised by the applicant’s lawyers for joinder and granted the application a 6-3 majority decision. This paper provides information on the case and argues why theJudges decision is flawed and totally disconnected with law and jurisprudence.
Ghana: Gas for growth
Encouraged by the rapid development of its nascent oil sector – which began production in record time and helped push GDP growth up to 13.6% in 2011 – Ghana is hoping to cash in equally as quickly on its natural gas reserves but is still navigating the sizeable infrastructural hurdles that need to be overcome in the short term. The country’s reserves are currently estimated at 5trn cu ft, which offers significant potential both for industrial usage and domestic consumption. The opportunities the still-undeveloped sector offers are large, which has pushed it front and centre on the government’s policy agenda.
America happy with Akufo-Addo's election petition
United States is pleased with the on-going political situation in Ghana with regards to the current petition challenging the outcome of the December 2012 presidential polls in court.Mr Michael Pelletier, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, African Affairs of the US Department of State, said “it shows that the institutions are working in Ghana and people have confidence in the institutions.”Mr Pelletier said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at the US Department of State building in Washington DC yesterday after meeting with 2013 Spring Professional Fellows to address US-Africa foreign policy issues.