The voting season is here once again. Between 2010 and 2012, voters in 10 out of the 11 Great Horn of East Africa (GHEA) countries will go to the polls. The only place where the election train will not stop is Eritrea where elections have been postponed indefinitely since 2001.

Who is riding the election train? Will it arrive at a place of increased citizen engagement in the development process? Will it lead to political and economic maturity? Or will the region end up with heightened conflict and polarized polities?

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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.

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The paper problematises the issues of democracy and good governance in Africa and analyses their future prospects especially in the 21st century. Liberal democracy and good governance, beside market reforms are the new puzzle words on the global agenda. Indeed, the three issues appear to be organically linked in the present context, with the hegemony of the liberal capitalist ideology in the international arena.

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The Republic of Ghana benefits from strong GDP growth, strengthening oil production volumes, and a track record of political stability. However, it continues to suffer from weak fiscal management highlighted by a widening of the fiscal deficit in 2010 and increased supplier arrears.

We are therefore affirming our 'B/B' foreign- and local-currency sovereign credit ratings on the Republic of Ghana. The stable outlook balances our view of the country's strong growth prospects and track record of political stability against its weak payment culture and fiscal challenges.

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The talk in the United Kingdom now is all about electoral reforms. Even though the Liberal Democrat (Lib-Dem) was the only party that campaigned on a platform of introducing proportional representation (PR), the election results which delivered a hung parliament have been interpreted, remarkably, to mean that the British people want a new electoral system, even though only 23% of voters endorsed the manifesto of the Lib-Dems. Both the Labour Party and Conservative Party campaigned for the status quo but, with no single party winning a parliamentary majority, the lure of power has spoken - compelling both major parties to now see the Lib-Dem call for PR as one of outmost national interest. Call it a convergence of national and partisan interest or partisan interest disguised as national interest.
The Supreme Court Showed Its Timidity In The Mornah Case
It appears whiles freedom fighters like Aung San Suu Kyi are calling for the judiciary, as an institution, to be “strengthened and released from political interference”, our courts in Ghana find it ok to park the wheels of justice on the compounds of the legislature, expecting to be towed out of there at the pleasure of the executive. If ever there was a farcical case that the Supreme Court was ever called upon to exercise its constitutional powers in order to assert the independence of the judiciary in line with the doctrine of the separation of powers, and stay off any undue reach of the hands of the other two arms of government to frustrate the administration of justice, then the Bernard Mornah case was it.
Cabinet Memo on $3bn Chinese Loan
Colleague Cabinet members are respectfully requested to consider and approve a US$3.0 billion Term Loan Facility between the Republic of Ghana (represented by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning [MOFEP]) and the China Development Bank (CDB) to finance infrastructure development projects under the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA). Colleagues are also being respectfully requested to approve the full or partial use of the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) under the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815) to support repayment of the Facility, under an Escrow mechanism agreed with the Chinese authorities.
Outlawing Criminal Libel Laws in Ghana
I am honoured by the invitation to participate in this important colloquium on the twin themes of “African Constitutionalism: Present Challenges and Prospects for the Future” and “African Constitutionalism and the Media”, important, at least, for those of us who believe that entrenching the principles of democratic accountability, respect for human rights and the rule of law at the very centre of Africa’s body politic is critical to Africa’s chances of meaningful development in this 21st century. Decades of authoritarian rule across the continent in the post independence era not only subverted the promise of the independence movement that freedom would result in good governance, progress and prosperity, but also led to the systematic worsening of the already low living standards of the African people.
Supreme Court corrupted the Constitution
The Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko says he does not intend to apologise to the Supreme Court for his description of the Court’s election petition verdict as ‘corrupt’. The comment which followed the verdict that upheld the validity of President John Dramani Mahama’s election in the 2012 presidential election, has widely been deemed contemptuous.
After experiencing inflation of 40.5% plus in 1999-2000, inflation in Ghana is currently 9.08%. The current government is boasting that it has consistently brought inflation down from the highest of 22% from mid 2009. The NPP administration naturally credited itself for bringing inflation down from 40.5% to the 18% in 2008 when they left power. In this paper I intend to look at the policies both administration worked on to bring down the figures. In the developed economies, sound monetary and fiscal policies are the most important tools for maintaining low inflation. The central bank’s monetary policy committees are given an inflation target by the government. The first step is for the central bank to try and predict future inflation. They look at various economic statistics and try to decide whether the economy is overheating. If inflation is forecast to increase above the target, the central bank will increase interest rates. Most central banks have used interest rates to try and achieve inflationary target.
Statement By The NPP 2012 Presidential Candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, On The Filing Of The Supreme Court Petition - “Every Vote Must Count”
As our Chairman has indicated, a few minutes ago, a petition was filed at the Registry of the Supreme Court, challenging the validity of the result of the presidential election as declared by the Electoral Commission, through its Chairman, on December 9th, 2012.On 10th December, 2012, the Chairman issued C.I. 80 setting out “The Declaration of President-Elect Instrument 2012” in which the NDC presidential candidate, John Dramani Mahama, was declared the first-round winner of the election. C.I 80 was notified in the Gazette on 11th December, 2012.
Halt E190 and Hangar Deal for Proper due Diligence to be done
The Danquah Institute is calling on the Presidency to, as a matter of urgency suspend the acquisition of one (1) Embraer 190 aircraft at a financing cost of $105 million including the construction of a hangar at the cost of $17 million for the Ghana Air Force, to be financed by commercial loans. This is to enable an independent due diligence check to be carried out, in order to properly assess the value-for-money aspect of the two transactions and consider the appropriateness of the two acquisitions per their stated purposes as provided by Government.
PROPERTY OWNING DEMOCRACY –  THE IDEOLOGICAL ROAD MAP TO ECONOMIC SELF-RELIANCE
These are the “days of confused thinking in the field of social doctrine.” – Archbishop Amissah, The Catholic Voice, March, 1962, p. 42 Ladies and Chairman, I find it daunting, even more descriptively, I find it intimidating to be invited by intellectuals of your practical experience and caliber to attempt to address this theme: Property Owning Democracy: the ideological Road Map to Economic Self-Reliance. I am intimidated because since J B Danquah articulated the concept but compendiously in 1960 for the United Party (UP), only a handful of people have dared define it in a Ghanaian setting. Perhaps, that is not strange because since then multi-party democracy has had only a total of 25 years to sow seeds and take root in Ghana. Thankfully, we have over the last 18 years witnessed the longest period of sustained political stability, legal certainty and predictability since independence in 1957. Thankfully, the concept has been, in principle, adopted by the Fourth Republican Constitution, the prevailing basic law of our country. Article 18 (1) stipulates, “Every person has the right to own property either alone or in association with others.” Thus, the Constitution of the Republic even endorses the concept of a property owning democracy. The opportunity and challenge, however, is what the concept of a property owning democracy seeks to address: how to provide an environment which creates opportunities for every person to exercise his or her right to own property either alone or in association with others by their own free will. Thus, Article 36(6),(7) state: “The State shall afford equality of economic opportunity to all… [and] shall guarantee the ownership of property and the right of inheritance.”
What does Kenya want?
With both the West and East now courting Nairobi, President Kenyatta must decide how to do business with allies both old and new.