General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu died last weekend. His death brings to a certain climax the drama of a true, modern Nigerian epic. Olusegun Obasanjo was right this time in describing Ojukwu’s death as “the end of an era.”

At the passing of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu described Zik as “the Alpha and the Omega of modern Nigeria,” just as he characterised Obafemi Awolowo as “the best President Nigeria never had,” thus melding paradox with hyperbole in an equal alchemy of mystery.

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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>>

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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Danquah Institute Calls for Urgency in Local Content Policy for Oil Industry
The Danquah Institute, is unhappy in what it describes as “undue delay” in the making of a local content policy for Ghana’s oil sector. The fellows and researchers of the think tank have, notably, earned international recognition for publishing several insightful articles on the policy direction of Ghana’s oil sector. A press statement issued Tuesday by the think tank, expresses concern that, “Although the country expects to begin producing crude oil next year, the law or policy which should determine the level of participation of Ghanaian companies and individuals into the oil and gas sector is yet to be finalised. In fact there isn’t even an indication of a deadline on this. This we find very worrying.”
The Partnership of Free Speech & Good Governance in Africa
Freedom of speech is not just valuable as a democratic end in itself. It is strongly linked to popular perceptions of both media effectiveness and good governance, according to new data from Afrobarometer, collected during face-to-face interviews with 51,605 people in 34 countries during 2011-13. People who indicate they are free to say what they think also report higher levels of trust in their leaders, lower levels of corruption, and better government performance – especially greater success in fighting corruption. Greater freedom of expression is also linked to mass media that are more effective in keeping a watchful eye on government. These findings can be interpreted in several ways. It is possible that capable, effective and trustworthy governments also grant greater freedoms to their people and their media.
 Charlotte Osei appointed new EC boss
President John Dramani Mahama has, in accordance with Article 70(2) of the 1992 Constitution, appointed Mrs. Charlotte Osei as Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana.
International Corruption: How Ghana Can Collaborate With The United Kingdom And Other Countries To Beat It: aka Thoughts On Prevention And Cure
A statistic: the World Bank estimated that in 2004, 6% of the world’s economy consisted of payments made by way of bribe. 1. I want to begin with an African success story in the fight against corruption. It concerns an all-too typical scenario: a small African state seeks to develop a natural resource project, an infrastructure development of potentially massive significance and benefit to its people. It does not have the construction resources and expertise to develop the project itself, and so it invites tenders and contributions from large Western construction companies. The scale and dimensions of the project are mouthwatering as commercial propositions for the competing companies.
Is Ghana truly the beacon of hope for democracy in Africa?
Ghanaians went to the polls on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th December 2012 to elect an executive President and 275 Parliamentarians for a four year term January 2013 to December 2016. Less than 48 hours after the voting was closed, the caretaker President H.E. John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was declared a winner with 5,574,761 votes representing 50.70% of the valid votes cast (10,995,262) by the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Afari Gyan. According to the EC, the flag bearer and presidential candidate of the NPP got 5,248,898 votes representing 47.74% of the total valid vote cast. The total turnout was 80.15% and the elections was held in 26.002 polling stations across the 10 Regions of the country. For some people in and outside Ghana, including this writer, the result was a big surprise. The Economist Newspaper of 15th December 2012 in a short article over the elections wrote that “Mr Mahama’s victory was surprising”. Reasons for the surprise are explained further in the article.
2012 is not a contest of broken promises but performance
Since Nana Akufo-Addo accused President Mills and his government of creating a poverty-owning democracy and limping from one broken promise to the other, the preferred response of the ruling party is to engage forest of trees photocopying the 2000 manifesto of the New Patriotic Party to make the belated point that the NPP also broke promises in their first term. It is as if election 2012 will be fought on which party broke more of its promises. So low have the standards of governance fallen in Ghana today that the NDC want to make it no longer a positive contest of records of performance but rather a negative contest on broken promises.
No progress in governance across Africa: Ibrahim survey
Progress in governance across Africa has stalled since 2011, with deteriorating safety and lack of economic opportunity overshadowing any gains made on the human rights front especially in resource-rich nations, a survey said on Monday.
De-duplication won’t make register credible – Danquah Institute
Pro –opposition Think Tank, the Danquah Institute says the Electoral Commission (EC’s) decision to use de-duplication processes to rid the voters register of multiple registration will do very little to make the current voters register credible.
Obama announces NEW Africa Strategy
Nearly 3 years ago, I remarked in front of the Ghanaian Parliament that Africa is a fundamental part of our interconnected world. Since that time, we have partnered with leaders, youth, and civil society in Africa to deepen the principles of democracy and human rights, to expand economic opportunity, and to support those who seek peace where war and deprivation have plagued communities. Africa and its people are partners with America in creating the future we want for all of our children—a future that is grounded in growth, mutual responsibility, and mutual respect. Click here for full statement
IBM to open Kenya research lab to tackle traffic jams
IBM and the Kenyan government are to open a tech research hub in Nairobi, in a joint attempt to help solve local issues such as traffic congestion.The US firm already has 11 research outposts around the world. It plans to have up to 50 researchers in the new centre within five years, attracting potential candidates from across the continent.