2013 ushered in the most significant change in the United States’ Africa policy since the passing of PEPFAR 10 years ago. The unveiling of investment-focused initiatives—Power Africa and Trade Africa—reflects not just a change in how the Obama administration views the continent, but also how foreign investors have prioritized it. But policy rarely achieves its objectives without equal attention to implementation. A number of implementation barriers—old regulations and new policies working at cross-purposes, and limited on-the-ground capacity—threaten to undermine America’s new approach to the continent in 2014. If 2013 was marked by change in U.S. strategy towards Africa, 2014 will be marked by the recognition that 90 percent of the success of that strategy is implementation.

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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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The Let My Vote Count Alliance has taken due notice of the decision by President John Dramani Mahama to appoint Mrs. Charlotte Osei, 42, as Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana. We wish to greet her with this clarion message: NO NEW REGISTER NO VOTE IN 2016!

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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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Other Stories

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?
DI damns GTV’s shameless pro-NDC bias in election season
Ghana Television (GTV) in this election period has chosen to ignore all other Presidential Candidates to become a propaganda mouthpiece for the ruling party. This must be highlighted and stopped now as the campaign heats up. With less than four months to the December 7 general elections, the presidency must not be exploited as a PR pretense to offer to offer unfair airtime to one party against all others. The public broadcaster should be conscious of its responsibility to offer fair coverage to all contenders. GTV, expectedly, has been following religiously the activities of our new President, H.E. John Dramani Mahama, bringing them to the living rooms of Ghanaians and it has been doing so by devoting an inordinately large chunk of its news coverage on every political activity of the President.
FIFTY years ago, per capita gross domestic product (GDP) in South Korea was twice that of some African countries. Last year, it was nearly 40 times higher. But in the past decade sub-Saharan Africa was the third-fastest-growing region in the world, after China and India. How does Africa build on this and close the gap for good? A big part of the answer is free trade within Africa. Freer trade in Asia gave Korea space to grow. African countries have not exploited opportunities to trade with each other.
Supreme Court Battle between Nana & Mahama begins today
Having considered and ruled on more than 20 interlocutory applications filed by the various parties in the election petition brought before it by the 2012 New Patriotic Party flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; his vice, Mahamudu Bawumia and the party’s chairman, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, the nine-member Supreme Court panel, presided over by Justice William Atuguba, will today begin hearing of the substantive case. During its last adjourned hearing on April 2, the court directed the respondents in the petition to file their written affidavits within five days from service of petitioners’ affidavits on them.
Mustapha Hamid appointed Executive Director of Danquah Institute
The Board of Governors of the Danquah Institute have appointed Mustapha Abdul Hamid as acting Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, the Accra-based policy and governance think tank. Mustapha Hamid takes over from Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko who is leaving the country to undertake research work abroad.
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report
Since its inception in 1997 by scholars at Babson College and London Business School, GEM has developed into one of the world’s leading research consortia concerned with improving our understanding of the relationships between entrepreneurship and national development. This is the 10th annual GEM Global Report. Over the past decade, harmonized data on entrepreneurial attitudes, activity and aspirations have been collected to provide annual assessments of the entrepreneurial sector for a wide range of countries. more >>>
GHANA’S TROUBLED ECONOMY Where are the remedies?
On Tuesday, March 5, 2013 the Minister of Finance came to Parliament to deliver the NDC administration’s Budget Statement and Economic Policy for the 2013 financial year. It was a hogwash of assorted patchworks and propaganda. But it was presented as a set of remedies to give the nation a breakthrough, a new beginning and to provide a bail out from the myriad of problems including the huge public debt; the lamentable fiscal deficit, the humongous arrears, unbridled overspending, worsening unemployment, deteriorating utility services, and failing social services. Somehow, government managed to hope that the 2013 budget statement and economic policy would propel real national development in the various sectors.
The Mind of Empire: China’s History and Modern Foreign Relations
With an economy and population that dwarf most industrialized nations, China is emerging as a twenty-first-century global superpower. Even though China is an international leader in modern business and technology, its ancient history exerts a powerful force on its foreign policy. In The Mind of Empire: China’s History and Modern Foreign Relations, Christopher A. Ford expertly traces China’s self-image and its role in the world order from the age of Confucius to today. Ford argues that despite its exposure to and experience of the modern world, China is still strongly influenced by a hierarchical view of political order and is only comfortable with foreign relationships that reinforce its self-perception of political and moral supremacy. Recounting how this attitude has clashed with the Western notion of separate and coequal state sovereignty, Ford speculates–and offers a warning–about how China’s legacy will continue to shape its foreign relations. more >>>
Invitation from Danquah Institute - Public Lecture on International Corruption
The Danquah Institute has invited the world renowned international criminal law expert, John Hardy QC, to deliver two lectures on international corruption and money laundering next week. We are extending an invitation to you to attend these lectures which we consider as important to our national development efforts. The theme of the first lecture is: “PROTECTING GHANA AND GHANA’S EMERGING FINANCIAL OFFSHORE CENTRE STATUS FROM MONEY LAUNDERING”. Venue: BRITISH COUNCIL on TUESDAY, MARCH 9, at 9.30AM. more >>>
Looking back and forward: the world’s financial system
The financial system is the nerve centre of the modern economy. Banks pool the capital of savers and lend it to companies at longer maturities, allowing them to invest in new initiatives for continuous expansion. They provide cash machines, credit cards, debit cards and so on allowing the vast majority of commercial activities to take place. The capital market allows companies to raise capital at a reduced cost, enabling risk to be effectively managed. The financial freeze starting September 2008 was accompanied with a corresponding held up in all these commercial activities, plummeting national economies and the world economy at large into the biggest recession since the end of World War II. Recent economic reports across the world’s heavy economies suggest the world economy is steadily responding to growth. Britain is the latest to have announced its economy is officially out of recession. German and France were first to have recorded positive growth figures. America so far has been cautious about its figures but for the first time over a year the American economy has recorded an expansion. The message coming out so far is good taking into account the fact that the world economy came to near collapse.