NPA’s Arrogance or Economics?

On the eve of the New Year, 2015, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) announced a reduction in ex-pump prices of petroleum products by 10% across board. This was not without drama. Most of the headlines that followed the announcement pointed to price reduction under duress. A number of civil society organizations and political parties put pressure on NPA to reduce the prices due to reasons such as the oil price crush and relative stability in the value of the local Ghanaian currency. Some of the organizations threatened public demonstrations against NPA and the Government; a situation that was expected considering that petro-politics is a feature of petroleum pricing in most parts of the world.

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FITCH Rating’s latest report on Ghana lays particular emphasis on the importance of Ghana’s democracy and stability to the country’s economic prospects. Whiles it gives a negative outlook based on how the economy is being run, Fitch makes the point that Ghana’s credit rating has not, however, fallen below ‘B’ because of the country’s “strong governance record and recent democratic history,” and that, this is “reflected in Ghana’s ability to attract foreign direct investment, which at 7% of GDP is well above that of Nigeria, Gabon, Zambia, Kenya and Angola.”

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Public policy and governance think tank, the Danquah Institute has expressed grave concern about the Electoral Commission's decision to register all persons in the country who, simply, are in possession of identity cards issued by the National Health Insurance Authority.

At a press conference organised by DI last week, a fellow of the institute, Mr. Boakye Agyarko, explained that “one of the objects of the National Health Insurance Authority” as captured on the NHIA’s website which states that “persons not resident in the country but who are on a visit to this country” can obtain NHIS cards is deeply worrying.

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The attention of the Danquah Institute has been drawn to a story making the rounds on social media and now on www.ghanaweb.com, as well, titled “Danquah Institute predicts 64.7% win for Kwabena Agyepong.”

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Barack Obama on Africa's fragile foundation
US President Barack Obama is prepared to broker peace and power-sharing agreement in South Sudan.
Democracy and Africa’s Search for Development
The clamor for democracy all over the globe is not accidental. Those who go about such business of agitating for democratization are convinced that no society truly desirous of development can ignore democracy. The democratic experiences of the developed countries of the world lend credence to the truth of this claim. However, the reverse seems to be the case in many of the third world countries where there has been a huge golf between the anticipated gains of democracy and the reality on ground. Click here for full report
Vigilance is the Motto for December 7
Next week Ghanaians will go to the polls to choose who they want to lead them for the next four years. The patriotic call to all communities across the country is simply this: Take it upon yourself, peacefully and legitimately, to protect your ballot, to protect your mandate, to protect your democracy, and to protect your nation. We of the Danquah Institute would be remiss if we claimed not to share the same concern about the politics in Ghana becoming as divisive as they have been over the last several months. However, the Danquah Institute stands together with those tirelessly working to maintain peace and ensure that Ghana remains a free and fair democracy.
Press release on Thursday public forum on Govt/STX Korea Housing Deal
Danquah Institute(DI), The Imani Centre and The World Bank are organizing a public forum to probe Government’s US$1.5 Billion Supplier’s Credit Facility Agreement for Housing with STX Korea, a construction firm from the Republic of Korea. Tuesday June 01, Accra– Danquah Institute (DI), a leader in policy advancement, advocacy and research in collaboration with the World Bank and Imani Centre will on Thursday 3rd June hold a public forum at the British Council Hall on the feasibility of the agreement between the Government of Ghsna and STX Korea for the construction of 200,000 housing units for $10 billion.
Ghana loses $1bn a year in petroleum revenue
The Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Otchere-Darko, has stated that industry experts estimate that every day that Ghana either flares gas or is unable to utilise the associated natural gas from Jubilee for power translates into $1.2 million a day in lost revenue. “This means that for this year the avoidable delays in the development of the gas infrastructure will cost the country a minimum of $638 million”, Gabby said.
PRESIDENT MAHAMA MUST EXPLAIN THE SEIZURE OF GHANA’S GOLD IN TURKEY
The Danquah Institute is deeply concerned about news from Turkey and in the international media to the effect that 1.5 tons of Ghana’s gold, which was said to be heading for the Islamic Republic of Iran, was seized in Turkey. The 1.5 tons of gold, worth some $80 million, is said to be “Ghana’s financial commitments to Iran” over a transaction, details of which are not known to the public. Interestingly, this seemingly curious transaction took place over the election period and at the time of the transition. What is also curious is the choice of the President to travel to Turkey around the time of this unspoken crisis and yet this issue has not featured in any official communication about the Presidential trip.
In a provocative lecture delivered to Pennsylvania University students and professors last Monday (on the eve of Founder's Day in Ghana), Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko described Ghana's first President as the "personification of the African tragedy of the 20th century." He said, it was ironic, but pregnant with subconscious meaning that BBC listeners voted Kwame Nkrumah as Africa's man of the Millennium in December 1999.
On June 26, 2013, Justice Atuguba, the presiding judge of the 9-member panel used the Court as a vehicle to accuse Samuel Awuku of engaging in an ill- defined, improper conduct. The said conduct appears to be related to comments that Mr. Awuku made on air, during a political discussion. In particular, he is said to have criticized the panel for “being selective and hypocritical,” in citing a Daily Guide reportage of the Court’s proceedings. Mr. Awuku subsequently appeared before the panel and after a short hearing, in which he apologized for his comments, the panel banned him from making further appearances in the Court. As far as I could tell, Mr. Awuku was not represented by counsel. Nor was he accused of a specific offence (as far as I could tell).
Press reports on President Mills' death
Ghana has seen a smooth transition of power after the sudden death of its president, but as the nation mourns attention is already turning to who will replace him as the ruling party's candidate in a December vote. Vice-President John Dramani Mahama was sworn in hours after the announcement of the death through sudden illness on Tuesday of 68-year-old President John Atta Mills.
Site for Upper West Regional hospital covered by weeds
A visit to the proposed site for the construction of the Upper West Regional Hospital, in Wa, by Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and a team of media men indicates that nearly two years after the sod was cut for construction of the Hospital to begin, not even a single block has been laid on the site.Despite assurances by President Mahama almost three months ago that funding had been fully secured for construction of the hospital to begin, and the project completed within a few months, the site for the proposed hospital has been completely taken over by weeds.