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THINK OF the revolutions in the Middle East as Act 1 in a five-act play that may not conclude for a generation or more. Nearly a year since protests in Tunisia ignited a regional wave of reform and revolt, the euphoria and hope of last January has turned to frustration and cynicism as Egyptians battle their military government in Cairo and sectarian war in Syria intensifies.

The Arab world may be heading for an unpredictable and violent Act 2 in 2012.

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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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The Constitution Review Commission (CRC) has recommended that the presidential and parliamentary elections be conducted in November in subsequent election years after 2012 to facilitate smooth transitional processes.

The commission further proposed the expunging of the indemnity clauses of the 1992 Constitution which provide coup makers immunity from prosecution.

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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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Other Stories

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.
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.
London (UK) – 23 April 2011 – The Times - Beneath a dilapidated shack Frank Ofori leaps casually into the entrance of a crumbling mineshaft that plunges 200ft into the earth. With a torch strapped to his head and three sticks of dynamite in his back pocket he begins a ten-hour shift underground in the Kenyase mine camp, 200 miles (320km) north of Accra, where thousands of prospectors risk their lives in the hope of finding gold.
AFRICOM
Furthermore, the U.S. is, understandably, bent on establishing a regional command for Africa, similar to U.S. Forces Korea, with a homeport situated on the African continent to protect their interests. West Africa is its natural home, given the need to protect energy interests in the Gulf of Guinea. Liberia has offered but simply cannot match the kind of convenience available in Ghana. It can be a win-win situation.AFRICOM can protect U.S. investments in our region. But, those investments (regardless of our percentage share of ownership) are also fundamentally our investments – and thus the assistance in their protection will be a welcome boon. U.S. military presence can also help improve the level of military professionalism of our already well-respected troops. It is interesting to note that in the six decades since World War II in which America has maintained a military presence in other sovereign nations, none of the host nations has suffered instability or military takeovers, as the presence of U.S. troops helps entrench the subordination of soldiers to civil leadership. Moreover the presence of U.S. troops boosts social and economic activities in the host countries, too.
May 2012 Synovate Opinion Poll
The following sampling procedure were applied using a fully structured face-to-face questionnaire at household level. The target population covered by our Omnibus survey May 2012 is the general public aged 18 years and above living in Ghana. Each of the 10 regions’ sample was proportionate to its population. Urban/Rural split was 50:50 reflecting the national split as well as gender for Male/Female 49:51 respectively as existed in the sampling frame. Hence our sample is nationally representative and is self-weighting. Click here for details of poll
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.
For How Long Shall We Continue this petrol politics?
Alas the recent uncertainty surrounding the pricing of petroleum products appears being resolved. The NDC led government which won the 2008 elections on the back of some populist promises on petroleum pricing has demonstrated some level of boldness. The new government had tied itself by some of its populist campaign messages to the Ghanaian public and voters that petrol could be sold for less than was being sold at the time (Dec. 2008 GHC3.80).It also campaigned that the cost was unbearable for Ghanaians and promised to reduce it drastically when voted into office. But only five months into the new administration, a gallon of petrol is selling for GHC5.00 while a barrel of crude oil is selling for US$68!
Immigrants and Crime: Perception vs. Reality
Recent events in Arizona show how quickly concerns about possible crimes committed by immigrants can dominate the immigration policy debate. The murder of an Arizona rancher in March became the catalyst for the state legislature passing a controversial bill to grant police officers wider latitude to check the immigration status of individuals they encounter. But do the facts show immigrants are more likely to commit crimes than natives? more >>>
World Bank warns against prospect of $3bn “White Elephant Projects”
The World Bank has urged Ghanaians to expand public discussions on the controversial record loan facility from China to focus more on interrogating the efficient use of the funds and the nature and scope of the projects selected in order to achieve the desired national development results. Speaking at a public forum on the $3 billion Chinese Development Bank loan for infrastructural development, organized by the Danquah Institute, the resident Chief Economist of the World Bank, Sebastien Dessus, warned against the pursuit of “white elephant projects.”
Democracy and Africa’s Search for Development
The clamor for democracy all over the globe is not accidental. Those who go about such business of agitating for democratization are convinced that no society truly desirous of development can ignore democracy. The democratic experiences of the developed countries of the world lend credence to the truth of this claim. However, the reverse seems to be the case in many of the third world countries where there has been a huge golf between the anticipated gains of democracy and the reality on ground. Click here for full report