Before I walked into the conference room of The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) that afternoon, I knew very little about the biometric system and its implications for Ghana’s 2012 elections. And though I learnt a lot that day, I am still not one of the self-proclaimed experts of the biometric voter registration system who shout themselves coarse everyday on our airwaves.

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Elections are around the corner in both America and Ghana and the airwaves are filled with spin. In the United States, former pizza mogul Herman Cain’s campaign is over due to accusations relating to womanizing and harassment.

Here in Ghana, every few days, there are accusations about the moral failings of one candidate or another. There are charges of womanizing, homosexuality, drug use and lack of smarts.

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Madam Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to contribute to the motion on the Budget Statement for 2012. The budget is the most important document that governments produce. It is a powerful tool in influencing economic and social development. The budget determines whether there is equitable access to services by different groups of the population such as women, children, the disabled, the poor and other minority groups. more>>

The Executive Director of the Danquah Institute Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko is mocking government’s attempt to reverse the falling standards in education. Results released by the West African Examination Council show that over half of the students who sat for this year’s Basic Education Certificate Exams failed and could not proceed to the Second Cycle Education.

It is reported to be the worst performance in 13 years.

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“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”.
Full Speech: Dzi Wo Fie Asem, Rhetoric and the Politics of Expediency
Over the past two weeks or so when the topic of today’s lecture was announced in the media, many friends and colleagues have called, to express concern, that I had chosen a topic that they wouldn’t have touched with a long spoon. Was this the safest topic I could have chosen? Then came a message from a colleague in the Facebook who said, ‘Prof, are you sure the national security is not going to confiscate your script?’ Then last Sunday, I met another friend after church who promised to attend this talk, but said, “Owo Kwesi, Eye abofra bon, paa!” more>>>
Transforming Third World Cities through Good Urban Governance: Fresh Evidence
Many Ghanaians believe that introducing multi-party elections at the metropolitan, municipal and district levels would ensure the election of competent people to manage the urban or local economy. This belief is premised on the assumption that electorates are informed and would vote for competent politicians. Using the 2008 elections in Ghana, it is argued that only a minority of electorates vote on issues; the majority vote along tribal and party lines; and based on how “humble” a politician is or simply based on monetocracy. This means that introducing elections into the local government system would not necessarily lead to a transformation of the local or urban economy; greater local democracy is not the answer to the housing problem, sanitation crisis, unemployment burden and the poverty challenge. There may be the need for a new form of local democracy. Keywords: Democracy, Urban, Governance, Ghana, Elections more >>>
Report On The Presidential Election Petition In Ghana – 23 February 2013
The international community, generally, endorsed Ghana’s 2012 elections as “free and fair.” Ghana, the continent’s star of democracy, had done it once again for Africa. John Mahama, the declared winner, was duly sworn in without any violent protests on January 7, 2013. But, the country’s biggest opposition party filed a petition in Ghana’s supreme court, (the first of its kind in the country’s history), challenging the presidential results. It is noteworthy that since the first election of Ghana’s Fourth Republic in 1992, 2012 was the only other time that a majority of the political parties (5 out of 7) that participated in the contest had come out to raise major concerns about the conduct of the polls. Indeed, the second runner-up and leader of the Progressive People’s Party, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, is on record as saying, "I have been involved in elections since 1992 and this is the worst in terms of credibility." See link: http://www.theafricareport.com/News-Analysis/ghana-election-results-another-party-backs-npp-fraud-claims.html
Zuma warns on Africa’s ties to China
Jacob Zuma, the South African president, has warned that the unbalanced nature of Africa’s burgeoning trade ties with China is “unsustainable” in the long term. The South African leader was speaking to the China-Africa Forum in Beijing just after China’s president pledged $20bn in loans to Africa, doubling the amount Beijing agreed to give Africa three years ago at the same forum. “Africa’s commitment to China’s development has been demonstrated by supply of raw materials, other products and technology transfer,” Mr Zuma said. “This trade pattern is unsustainable in the long term.
Oil and the 2012 Budget Statement – Reflections on the Ghanaian Economy
Budgets have become annual rituals and have defined the directions of the economy. It therefore does not evoke the level of interests it did in the past. However, the last two Budget Statements of the Government of Ghana have been significant for two reasons. First, the introduction of oil revenues to the budget has raised expectations of Ghanaians for improvement in their living conditions and whether oil could provide that boost is a function of its management which the Budget has responsibility for. Click here for full article
"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Anconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?
Africa's spectacular growth jeopardised by rising inequality, new report warns
Africa's impressive growth during the financial and economic crisis of the last five years will be put at risk unless action is taken to combat rising inequality, according to the annual health check on the continent from a panel led by the former UN secretary general Kofi Annan. The report from the Africa Progress Panel found that African countries were growing consistently faster than almost any other region, with booming exports and more foreign investment.
IMF Concludes Article IV Consultation Mission to Ghana
A mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by Christina Daseking, visited Accra during April 2-12, 2013, to conduct discussions for the 2013 Article IV consultations. The mission met with President Mahama, Vice-President Amissah-Arthur, Finance Minister Terkper, Bank of Ghana Governor Wampah, other senior officials, members of parliament, and representatives of the private sector, think tanks, trade unions, and civil society. At the end of the mission, Ms. Daseking issued the following statement: “Economic growth continued at a robust pace of 8 percent in 2012 amid rising fiscal and external imbalances. A growing public sector wage bill, costly energy subsidies, and higher interest cost, pushed the fiscal deficit to about 12 percent of GDP. The external current account deficit also widened to 12 percent of GDP, while unadjusted fuel and energy prices and a tightening of monetary policy helped keep inflation in single digits.
The system called biometric
Before I walked into the conference room of The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) that afternoon, I knew very little about the biometric system and its implications for Ghana’s 2012 elections. And though I learnt a lot that day, I am still not one of the self-proclaimed experts of the biometric voter registration system who shout themselves coarse everyday on our airwaves.