You are welcome to this Press briefing. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) held its 58th meeting on November 25 to 27, 2013 to review the latest economic developments and the monetary policy stance. I present to you the outcome of the deliberations.

The latest projections by the IMF indicate a pickup in the pace of global activity from 2.9 percent in 2013 to 3.6 percent in 2014, driven largely by the advanced economies with the impulse to global growth expected to come mainly from the United States against weaker prospects in emerging market economies.

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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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Mick MooreTaxation is zipping up the development agenda, but the discussion is often focussed on international aspects such as tax havens or the Robin Hood Tax. Both very important, but arguably, even more important is what happens domestically – are developing country tax systems regressive or progressive? Are they raising enough cash to fund state services? Are they efficient and free of corruption? This absolutely magisterial overview of the state of tax systems in Africa comes from Mick Moore (right), who runs the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD). It was first published by the Africa Research Institute.

Anglophone countries have led the way in reforming tax administration in Africa, considerably more so than their francophone peers. The reasons for this are numerous. Networks of international tax specialists are based mainly in English-speaking countries. Many of the modern systems that promote best practice within tax authorities were developed in anglophone countries, especially Australia. International donors, and particularly the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), have directly and indirectly promoted a lot of reform of national tax authorities. In fact, this has been one of the success stories of British aid.

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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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Other Stories

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.
It would be correct to say that a number of the policies and actions of democratic governments in the world often run counter to the wishes and desires of a great majority of the people in the nation. This is because those policies and actions are adopted by the government and some lawmakers that comprise a relatively few people, thus exclusive of the inputs, preferences, and wishes of a large majority of the people. It is not enough, surely, for the people to be included—and to participate--only in the periodic election of those who are to govern and to make laws for the state. The consequences of the exclusion of large segments of the population from the decisions of the government that affect the lives of the people have been public demonstrations to protest government policy and action and to indicate the preferences of the people. Political conflict, violence, rancor, and misunderstanding have also resulted from the exclusion of the people from decisions and choices of their government.
“He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side; if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion.” John Stuart Mill, On Liberty. Introduction to Gutter FootballYoung and aspiring footballers in Ghana often play an interesting version of the game called “Gutter-to-Gutter”. The ‘goal posts’ are literally two gutters (often wet, slimy, smelly and filthy) on either side of a road, potholed or otherwise. The aim is to play the ball into the gutter goals. Once in a while when a car approaches, the game gets suspended only to resume when the car has driven past, sometimes leaving a mixture of dust and smoke behind it. The most important item in this game is the ball, the “sock ball”.
Voter Registration in Africa
Voter registration is highly complex and is the single most expensive activity within the framework of elections. Voter registration is not just the technical implementation of an activity; it is a holistic political, administrative and practical process. The role of voter registration is especially important when it comes to emerging democracies: it can make or break an election. The quality of the process and the product – that is, the voters’ roll – can determine the outcome of an election and consequently the stability of the democratic institutions in acountry. Click here for full article
A ruling not in the supreme interest of the nation
In a 5-4 ruling, the nine-panel Justices of Ghana’s Supreme Court on August 29 dismissed the petition filed by the NPP, challenging the validity of the Dec 7, 2012 presidential election won by the current president, John Mahama. Nana Akuffo-Addo, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) challenger and petitioner called the president to concede defeat and congratulated him. He also called on his supporters to accept the verdict, though he disagreed with it, and later announced that he was going to take some time off politics to rest.
Providing Homes for the People - How Property-Owning Democracy was Bastardised
March 2009 is ending with agitation over Ga lands and the threat of a similar agitation in the Western Region. In my view all this could have been effectively avoided or neutralised if only the New Patriotic Party was steadfast and more radical in its realisation of the dream of a property-owning democracy.In April 4, 2007, I wrote an article explaining ‘Development in Freedom’ – the slogan of the NPP –– the party of proponents of free market and developmentalism like Danquah, Busia and Dombo That article argues, fundamental to the doctrine of Danquah-Busiaism is the principle that freedom is the primary end as well as the active means to development.
EC to start biometric registration before end of year – Afari-Gyan
Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), on Wednesday announced that the commission would commence biometric voter registration before the end of this year. He, however, dismissed speculations that the EC would use the electronic voting process for Election 2012. Dr Afari-Gyan was speaking on the third day of a public lecture, organized by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences with support from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, in Accra.
Polls open after DR Congo clashes
Polls have opened for the Democratic Republic of Congo's presidential elections, after a run-up marred by violence and logistical delays. The head of the electoral commission said 99% of polling stations were ready and voting would go ahead as planned. At least three people were killed on Saturday, leading to a police ban on final campaign rallies. It is the second presidential poll in DR Congo since the end of 1996-2003 wars which left four million dead.
REJECT CORRUPT POLITICIANS  –Presby Moderator urges Ghanaians
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Right Reverend Professor Emmanuel Martey, has cautioned the electorate not to make the mistake of voting to entrust their destinies and the management of the nation’s resources into the hands of corrupt leaders. Rev Prof Martey has also drawn the attention of the electorate to the fact that Ghana needs leaders who are men and women of integrity to govern the nation, and not leaders who would not care for the wellbeing of the people but rather use the resources and power of the nation to satisfy their selfish interests.
The Danquah Institute has predicted that Government is "very likely" to miss its revised end-of-year inflation target of 14.5%, despite projections by the highly reputable Centre for Policy Analysis (CEPA) that inflation could fall to 14.2% by the end of December. The institute also fears that World Bank prediction that another 500,000 Ghanaians would fall below the poverty line by 2010 “may be alarmingly conservative, considering subsequent unimpressive economic indicators since that prediction was made in June.”