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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

TWO DECADES OF FREEDOM: What South Africa Is Doing With It, And What Now Needs To Be Done
As the 20th anniversary of the birth of democracy in South Africa, on April 27 2014, approaches, it seems a perfect opportunity to take a step back and get a long-range perspective on the important question: “So, what has Nelson Mandela’s South Africa done with its freedom?” Goldman Sachs has produced this report in the hope of contributing to- wards a more balanced narrative on South Africa; one, which in the wake of 2012’s tragic events at Marikana, had become somewhat hysterical, short-term and often negative
GNPC Confuses Ghanaians About Abnormal Jubilee Costs
Rather uncharacteristic of the secretive organisation, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) finally issued a press statement to respond to concerns raised by civil society about Ghana’s underperforming oil industry. While the GNPC is to be commended for its increasing responsiveness and transparency, its grudging tone detracted somewhat from its attempt at responding to its critics and stakeholders.
HON. OSEI KYEI-MENSAH-BONSU TO ADDRESS 3RD LIBERTY LECTURE
The Danquah Institute will on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 hold its 3rd edition of its flagship event, the Liberty Lecture, with the Minority Leader in Parliament, Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu delivering a paper on the theme “The Deficit in Parliamentary Scrutiny in the Fight Against Corruption”. The lecture takes place at the Auditorium of the British Council at 5:00pm.
Release results of 2010 Census by April 30 deadline-Professor Adei
Professor Stephen Adei, former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) has appealed to the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) to abide by its April 30, deadline to release the 2010 Population and Housing Census figures. He pointed out that this would allay fears of the possibility of the results allegedly being inaccurate or doctored and set the limit on the maximum number of voters in any particular locality and the country.
This is a due diligence report from Dun and Bradstreet on a husband and wife company, Opus SRO, a company that parliament has approved loans of 442 million Euros for the financing of the construction of 12 district hospitals, 200 new ambulances, 50 medical mobile clinics, 2 air ambulances and 10 educative mobile vans. Cabinet in its nineteenth meeting held on the 14, 19, 20 October, 2010, granted approval and parliament subsequently passed it on the 16th of November, 2010
The Struggle for Independence and the Unique Role of the United Gold Coast Convention
The independence of Ghana, appeared to be a mirage, until the United Gold Coast Convention was birthed on 4th August, 1947 at Saltpond; thankfully, its formation became the springboard towards our attainment of Statehood. The independence of Ghana was not realized on a silver platter; as a matter of fact, it took years of struggle, pain, disappointment, betrayal, and even deaths before we were able to gain freedom from our colonial overlords—the British. The patriots, who sacrificed their energy, resources, and lives deserve commendation, and must be celebrated.
In the case between the NDC (applicant for the joinder application) and NPP(respondent), the nine-member bench (Mr Justice William Atuguba (presiding Judge), Justice Julius Ansah, Mrs Justice Sophia Adinyira, Ms Justice Rose Owusu,Merr Justice Jones Dotse, Mr Justice Annin Yeboah, Mr P. Baffoe- Bonnie, Mr Justice N. S. Gbadegbe and Mrs Justice Vida Akoto-Bamfo) agreed to the argument raised by the applicant’s lawyers for joinder and granted the application a 6-3 majority decision. This paper provides information on the case and argues why theJudges decision is flawed and totally disconnected with law and jurisprudence.
EC lauds registration exercise
The Electoral Commission (EC) says it is impressed with the level of patronage in the just ended voters registration exercise. According to the Public Relations Officer of the commission, Christian Owusu-Parry, the exercise went on well, having assessed its successes since Sunday.
The Global Financial Crisis: Time to Rethink Africa’s Financing Options.
The global financial crisis occurred against the background of significantly improved growth and macroeconomic performance by African countries as a group over the last decade. GDP growth rates had steadily increased (averaging 6.0% over the last five years), inflation declined to single digits before the fuel and food price crisis in 2008, and external reserve positions improved. These developments were underpinned by structural policy reforms, favourable terms of trade and debt relief. In 2007 for example, the average annual GDP growth rate in Africa was 6.1%. While impressive when compared to the negative growth rates recorded in the 1980s, this was still below the 7% p.a. growth rate required to reduce poverty by half by 2015. By 2007, progress towards attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 was mixed, with the continent as a whole lagging behind the MDGs despite the observed increase in GDP growth. The global financial crisis could therefore not have come at a more inopportune time for the African continent as many countries were just finding their feet and gaining some traction after decades of economic stagnation and macroeconomic instability.
In recent years, neoliberalism has become an academic catchphrase. Yet, in contrast to other prominent social science concepts such as democracy, the meaning and proper usage of neoliberalism curiously have elicited little scholarly debate. Based on a content analysis of 148 journal articles published from 1990 to 2004, we document three potentially problematic aspects of neoliberalism’s use: the term is often undefined; it is employed unevenly across ideological divides; and it is used to characterize an excessively broad variety of phenomena. To explain these characteristics, we trace the genesis and evolution of the term neoliberalism throughout several decades of political economy debates. We show that neoliberalism has undergone a striking transformation, from a positive label coined by the German Freiberg School to denote a moderate renovation of classical liberalism, to a normatively negative term associated with radical economic reforms in Pinochet’s Chile. We then present an extension of W. B. Gallie’s framework for analyzing essentially contested concepts to explain why the meaning of neoliberalism is so rarely debated, in contrast to other normatively and politically charged social science terms. We conclude by proposing several ways that the term can regain substantive meaning as a “new liberalism” and be transformed into a more useful analytic tool. more >>>