As the 20th anniversary of the birth of democracy in South Africa, on April 27 2014, approaches, it seems a perfect opportunity to take a step back and get a long-range perspective on the important question: “So, what has Nelson Mandela’s South Africa done with its freedom?”

Goldman Sachs has produced this report in the hope of contributing to- wards a more balanced narrative on South Africa; one, which in the wake of 2012’s tragic events at Marikana, had become somewhat hysterical, short-term and often negative

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The Ministry of Energy has officially laid before Parliament two Petroleum Agreements for ratification following earlier approval by Cabinet. The Agreements are:

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

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Accountability and transparency initiatives hav e taken democratisation, governance, aid and development circles by storm since the turn of th e century. Many actors involved with them – as donors, funders, programme managers, implementers and researchers – are now keen to know more about what these initiatives are achieving.

This paper arises from a review of the impact and effectiveness of transparency and accountability initiatives which gathered and analysed existing evidence, discussed how it could be improved, and evaluated how impact and effectiveness could be enhanced. This paper takes the discussion further, by delving into what lies behind the methodological and evaluative debates currently surrounding governance and accountability work. It illustrates how choices about methods are made in the cont ext of impact assessment designs driven by different objectives and different ideological and epistemological underpinnings. We argue that these differences are articulated as methodological debates, obscuring vital issues underlying accountability work, which are about power and politics, not methodological technicalities.

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Of late Ghanaians have become obsessed with throwing electoral ‘jargons’ around arising from the recent Election Petition in the Supreme Court of Ghana and most people have overnight turned themselves into Electoral Specialists in view of the enormous interest generated during the petition hearing. However, there are still lack of clarity and understanding in some of the widely used electoral terminologies. The Centre for African Democratic Affairs (CADA) a ‘Think Tank’ of Election Experts, has taken upon itself the challenge to critically examine some of the terms that created confusion in the minds of people during the court proceedings. One of such terminologies is over voting whose definition is still ambiguous even after the ruling of the Supreme Court. CADA therefore discusses the term Over Voting in the first of its series.

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Other Stories

Getting the state right : think tanks and the dissemination of New Public Management ideas in Ghana
Private research institutions, commonly referred to as think tanks, are a recent phenomenon in the Ghanaian policy environment. They are part of a growing number of NGOs that have emerged with Ghana’s political liberalisation and are attempting to influence policymaking. These institutions exert a greater influence on policies affecting the functioning of the ‘administrative state ’ than other NGOs. Through their efforts, ideas pertaining to administrative reform appear to have taken root strongly in Ghana. This paper examines the processes and methods that have been adopted by these institutions in developing policies that are being pursued to change the ‘ administrative state ’ in Ghana. It argues that the ability of these institutions to influence policies geared towards changing the administrative state can be attributed to the calibre of personnel as well as the processes and methods they have adopted. more >>>
Mills and Democracy
Unfolding events in neighbouring Ivory Coast are clear manifestations of forebodings of what could happen in Ghana after Mills and his NDC have lost in the Parliamentary and Presidential elections in 2012. Mr Emile Short earlier registered his thoughts and on these likely premonitions in Ghana during and after 2012 with worried reference to events that happened in Rwanda; indeed John Mills and his government’s reactions on the Ivorian situation are clear confirmation of what everybody feels about Ghana during and after 2012.
DI: Use Wulensi by-election as pilot exercise  for biometric register and verification
The Danquah Institute has learnt with some regret the news that the Electoral Commission intends to use the old 2008 voters' register for the upcoming July 31 Wulensi by-election. We write to encourage the EC to have a rethink and proactively take the opportunity that this unexpected by-election represents to use Wulensi as a pilot test for the new technology of using a biometric voters' list and biometric verification system for our general elections.
US election: Mitt Romney's choice as running mate just made the election interesting
Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate for the Republican ticket is proof of the former Bain executive's business pedigree: a smart CEO picks an even smarter chief financial officer. It's also proof, finally, of the former Massachusetts governor's political prowess: the race will now be about something important – a battle of economic ideas, with America's comeback as the ultimate prize promised. And that's good for the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, and the nation.
So Who Are The Real Property-Owning Democrats?
Last week I wrote, "As an ardent believer of a property-owning democracy and a fierce critic of the shameful, lackluster commitment that the NPP showed in realizing this -- its philosophy -- when it was in office for 8 years, my initial reaction was one of great excitement to the news that a public-private-partnership was going to add 200,000 new, decent, affordable homes to the local housing stock. I greeted the news with some chuffy grin of irony: it took a so-called capitalist party to implement a health insurance policy and it is taking a so-called social democratic party to democratize property ownership." The NPP's founding father, the great man, Joseph Boakye Danquah, saw it as the patriotic duty of the party in government “to liberate the energies of the people for the growth of a property-owning democracy in this land, with right to life, freedom and justice, as the principles to which the Government and laws of the land should be dedicated in order specifically to enrich life, property and liberty of each and every citizen.”
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.
Oil Probe and its Business Stifling Effect
Ghana, Oh Ghana. It was believed if any African country had the capability to evade the so-called “oil curse,” Ghana would be that country. How wrong that was. Events leading into, and surrounding our oil discovery, and the government’s handling of the parties involved leave much to be desired such that we in the Diaspora who aspire to encourage our business contacts to consider Ghana as a haven for investment are left wondering if it is worth the effort. And considering that cocoa was brought to Ghana from abroad by a member of the Ghanaian Diaspora, and most if not all major investment initiatives of significance were initiated into the country via the effort of members of the Ghanaian Diaspora, only God knows how others would be encouraged to lead such efforts in the future.
GHANA BEYOND THE SUPREME COURT
What will happen when the Supreme Court rules in the election dispute? Will there be peace or violence? That we were a divided country before December 7th is clear to all—after all, this is the second election in a row that the winner has failed to win 51% of the votes. Unfortunately, the court case following the election has only worsened the divisions and tensions. Of course, it can be argued that if the petitioners had chosen the streets instead of the courts, our plight would be worse. This case, regardless of the outcome, has already undermined quite a few reputations and national assumptions:
Expect fuel price hike soon
A recent decision by an Accra High Court could have misunderstood the use of the Ex-refinery price differential In the calculation of fuel pump prices and this may force Government to raise retail pump prices if the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) loses its appeal and Government is mandated to carry out the court order.
Whether you are FO or not, you had to go through verification – Afari Gyan
Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Kwadwo Afari Gyan, on Monday confirmed that the number of “Face Only” voters (FOs) in the register does not really matter with regards to the issue of voters verified by the biometric device as all voters were verified by the biometric voter verification device. Dr. Afari Gyan made this disclosure which enforces the point made by main witness of the petitioners, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia while being cross examined by lead counsel for the petitioners, Philip Addison.