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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Other Stories

Budget swerves health workers on Single Spine
Yesterday, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Kwabena Duffuor, read his Mid Year Review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy when he presented his Supplementary Budget for the year. Out of the GH¢1.46 billion additional spending he presented to Parliament for approval, only GH¢177.6 was for salaries and wages, increasing the pay budget for 2011 to GH¢3.91bn. However, this is bad news for a high number of public sector workers because it does not even take care of existing salary arrears, let alone take care of the migration of one of the largest public sector employees, health workers.
Parliament approves over $10bn loans in 26 months
Documents available to the New Statesman from Parliament House indicates that from June 2, 2009 to August 26, 2011, Parliament gave its approval to loans, totalling $10.04 billion. This includes 9,379.62 million in US dollars and 439,664 million in Euros. Further checks made by this paper indicates that a total of $18.9 billion worth of loans have been presented to Parliament for approval since President JEA Mills took office in January, 2009.
Akufo-Addo to address inaugural Liberty Lectures today
The Danquah Institute today, August 18, 2012 hold its inaugural annual liberty lecture with the 2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo delivering a paper on the theme “Building a Society of Opportunities in Ghana”. The lecture takes place at the Asante Hall of the Alisa Hotel, North Ridge at 6:30pm, with Nana Akufo-Addo set to deliver his speech at 7pm. more>>>
Postponement of Liberty Lecture
The Danquah Institute regrets to announce that the Liberty Lecture scheduled for this evening has been postponed to Wednesday, August 31, 2011. We regret deeply any inconvenience caused by this postponement.
So where  are the NPP Brains?
On the last day of August, the Danquah institute, of which I am a proud executive member, created an important platform for the leader of Ghana's main opposition party to lay out his vision for the Ghanaian people. He did and about five major radio stations and (Metro TV) carried it live to the hearing of millions of Ghanaians, both at home and abroad. Newspapers and news websites have carried the speech in full (including audio) for those who missed it and others to chew on the details.
Parliament shouldn’t approve $3bn Chinese commercial loan
The Parliamentary Joint Committee of Finance and Poverty Reduction is currently meeting in Koforidua (Tuesday, August 16 – Saturday, August 20) ostensibly to scrutinise, among others, a US$3 billion commercial term loan facility between the Republic of Ghana and the China Development Bank (CDB) to finance a series of projects, including the Achimota-Ofankor Road, a $150 communications infrastructure for the National Security Council, and a $100 million capacity building exercise for Ghanaian SMEs.
Ghana gov’t urged to increase credit ratings
A financial analyst and CEO of SEM Capital, Dr. Sam Mensah, has said that Ghana needs to raise its credit ratings as an alternative to facilitate any form of borrowing especially on the capital market. He made the assertion during a roundtable discussion organized by the Danquah Institute and partnered by the World Bank and Citi FM on the three billion Chinese loan facility, which has been contracted by the Ghana government for various development projects.
Mills must grab ethics with long hand of law
As a Cabinet Minister for seven years and the presidential candidate for the ruling party in 2008, Nana Akufo-Addo served the nation with ad admirable level of over-and-above self-imposed ethical principles. These included, not applying for state lands and even refusing to draw on his allocation of fuel, to which every Minister (and others) was entitled. In fact, the story is told of him getting very furious to come back from a trip abroad on an official duty only to find out that his driver had gone to the Castle to claim fuel on his account.However, rather than praising it as exemplifying the kind of leadership that Ghana needs, this has been subjected to charges of “hypocrisy”, “holier-than-thou”, “shopping your colleagues”, etc., against him. He has been put on the defensive for being extra-ethical! Leading this charge have been two the Spokesperson for Vice President John Mahama, John Abu Jinapor. Also notable are pro-Mills newspapers such as, the Insight and Enquirer.
The new mayor of Accra has given street and pavement hawkers up to June 15, 2009 to relocate themselves to the appropriate spaces provided for them. The Mayor has committed several information vans broadcasting in various languages to the masses throughout the metropolis on his impending intention – RID ACCRA OF FILTH. Can he achieve it? That is the big question! So far, the response from the hawkers appears to be that of obstinate stubbornness – “we won’t leave the streets unless they provide cheaper and affordable spaces for us”. He certainly is not the first Mayor to attempt the feat but I think a clean Accra can be attained.
GHANA BAR ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT’S SPEECH AT THE 2013/2014 ANNUAL CONFERENCE, 16TH SEPTEMBER 2013-HO Nene Abayaateye Amegatcher
Her Ladyship Georgina Theodora Wood, Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Vyacheslav Lebedev, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Russia, Honourable Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Honourable Volta Regional Minister and other Ministers Present, President and members of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs and other Torgbeo and Mamagao, Honourable members of Parliament, my Lords Spiritual and Temporal, Regional Service Commanders, members of the National Executive Committee and Council of the GBA, Distinguished members of the Bar, Invited Guests, the Media, Ladies and Gentlemen.Permit me to add my voice to that of the Honourable Regional Minister and the Regional Bar President to extend a warm welcome to you all for your presence at this Annual Ghana Bar Association Conference in the serene environment of Ho away from the hustle and bustle of the places most of us practice. It is the wish of the Council that each one of us enjoys a welcome change, enjoy a unique learning experience and that together we will leave here more informed, committed and energised to serve our profession and mother Ghana.