Apart from the $3 billion China Development Bank (CDB) loan approved last August, the Mills administration has lined up some 30 fresh loan agreements for parliamentary approval before the 2012 general elections.

Analysis done by The Globe newspaper puts the total value of these new loan facilities at more than US$ 4 billion.

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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.

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Throw a dart at a map of Europe now and it takes expert aim to hit a country run by a left-of-center government, especially after Spain's Socialists were emphatically drubbed out of power over the weekend. Although the shift to the right began years ago in such heavyweights as France and Germany, it is now all but complete three years into the continent's grinding debt and economic crisis. Why?

When times get tough – when "the cows get thin" as the Spanish say – political experts say edgy voters seek comfort with conservatives.

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Egyptians are voting in the opening stage of the first elections since former President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February. As dawn broke, people were already queuing to cast their ballots outside polling stations in the capital, Cairo. But protesters who want the vote to be postponed still occupy Tahrir Square.

The head of the country's military council, which took over after Mr Mubarak was unseated, has said the country is "at a crossroads".

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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.
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.”
Statement at the Conclusion of an IMF Mission to Ghana
A mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by Christina Daseking, visited Accra during May 16-29, 2012, to conduct discussions for the sixth and seventh review under the IMF’s Extended Credit Facility. The mission met with President John Evans Atta Mills, Finance Minister Kwabena Duffuor, Bank of Ghana Governor Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, other senior officials, members of the Economic Advisory Council, and representatives of the private sector and civil society.
Diaspora and drug trafficking in West Africa: A case study of Ghana
In a recent, important article on West African Criminal Networks in southern Africa, Mark Shaw highlighted the need for academic research – despite the difficulty in researching crime – to provide a fuller understanding of African criminal networks, ‘not least to provide an independent and strategic overview of developments and the identification of trends’. Much of the existing literature on the trafficking of illicit narcotic drugs (cannabis, heroin, and cocaine) has been from a policy perspective, funded by agencies in consumer countries in the West. more>>>
The closest of shaves
Prime Minister Raila Odinga is challenging Uhuru Kenyatta’s narrow win in court after a spate of technical failures at the electoral commission Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidential victory leaves Kenya still a divided nation. He achieved it by engineering a partnership between his fellow Kikuyu and the Kalenjin of his running mate, William Ruto, in the Jubilee Alliance. Locally, the big losers are the rival candidates, Raila Odinga and Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka. Those Western countries which opposed the candidacies of Kenyatta and Ruto now face the problems of dealing with a President and Deputy who are charged with crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Election petition verdict was “corrupt judgment” - Gabby
A leading member of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko says Thursday’s verdict on the election petition case was a “farcical” and “corrupt judgement”. “This was a corrupt judgement, and I say so without apologies”, the Danquah Institute Executive Director wrote on his facebook wall. Mr. Othcere-Darko, a cousin to the 2012 presidential Candidate of NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said the judgment by the nine-member panel of the Supreme Court was “potentially dangerous to our democracy”.
Dr J B Danquah, Ghana's President we never had (Part 1)
The image and memorabilia of some very prominent patriots who have spent the whole of their time struggling for the ideals of good governance and self-government have been pushed under the carpets of some so-called new era politicians. As to who did what in the past, bringing about the present that they have come to inherit, that will lead us into the future is not their concern.
STRENGTHENING PARLIAMENT IS KEY TO FIGHTING CORRUPTION -Says Minority Leader
The Minority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, yesterday stated that strengthening parliament’s financial oversight responsibilities is critical to combating “the evil enterprise of corruption which has become cancerous in Ghana.” He further noted that corruption hurts the poor disproportionately, by diverting scarce funds intended for development, undermining government’s ability to provide such basic services as potable water, schools, shelter, clinics, toilet facilities, farming inputs to the populace and thus aggravating inequality and injustice and thereby discouraging foreign aid and investment.The Minority Leader made the observation when he delivered the 2013 Liberty Lecture at the Auditorium of the British Council on the theme: “The Deficit in Parliamentary Oversight in the Fight against Corruption.”
Is the Constitutional Review Commission Constitutional?
Two USA based Ghanaian constitutional scholars have questioned the constitutionality of the on-going constitutional review exercise. In an article to appear in African Journal of International and Comparative Law, the scholars argue that (i) the President has no power to appoint a commission to review the Constitution; (ii) only Parliament has the power to amend the Constitution; (iii) that any and all initiatives to amend the Constitution must originate from parliament; and (iv) a wholesale review of the Constitution by a Commission, as is currently being done, is alien to the Constitution. The scholars conclude that the current constitutional review exercise set a dangerous precedent and, therefore, calls for the immediate dissolution of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC). more >>>
In the aftermath of the 2008 presidential elections, no question haunted NPP leaders and supporters more than why and how Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, the party’s presidential candidate, lost the elections to John Atta Mills, the then NDC candidate, who had been written off by most political analysts. Did the NPP primary season inflict irreparable harm on Akuffo Addo? Did President Kuffuor do enough for the campaign? Did the campaign team spend too much time on big rallies, which attracted curious people, instead of building grassroots organization? Did the campaign team waste valuable time in areas that the candidate had no chance of winning? Was the campaign too slow in responding to allegations by the NDC? Did NDC steal the verdict again? In “Chasing the Elephant into the Bush,” Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy attempts to address some of these questions.