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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Other Stories

Government Must Explain Its Commitments To RLG’s $10 Billion ‘Hope City’ PPP Project
The Danquah Institute, like well-meaning citizens and entities in Ghana, is excited by the announcement made by the Chief Executive Officer of rlg communications, Mr Roland Agambire, that it plans to build Africa's tallest building, and ICT infrastructure to create value-adding jobs and put Ghana at the centre of the global ICT market. Even more exciting is the fact that rlg has, by this US$10 billion project, called Hope City, made a huge leap to what it announced earlier in December last year, that it was to begin by January this year the construction of a US$100 million technology park in Ghana. See http://www.ventures-africa.com/2012/12/rlg-to-build-100m-technology-centre-in-ghana/
What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success
Everyone agrees the United States needs to improve its education system dramatically, but how? One of the hottest trends in education reform lately is looking at the stunning success of the West's reigning education superpower, Finland. Trouble is, when it comes to the lessons that Finnish schools have to offer, most of the discussion seems to be missing the point. The small Nordic country of Finland used to be known -- if it was known for anything at all -- as the home of Nokia, the mobile phone giant. But lately Finland has been attracting attention on global surveys of quality of life -- Newsweek ranked it number one last year -- and Finland's national education system has been receiving particular praise
NDC RIGGING MACHINERY IN MOTION …. as DI raises red flags over suspicious NHIS registration numbers
Public policy and governance think tank, the Danquah Institute has expressed grave concern about the Electoral Commission's decision to register all persons in the country who, simply, are in possession of identity cards issued by the National Health Insurance Authority. At a press conference organised by DI last week, a fellow of the institute, Mr. Boakye Agyarko, explained that “one of the objects of the National Health Insurance Authority” as captured on the NHIA’s website which states that “persons not resident in the country but who are on a visit to this country” can obtain NHIS cards is deeply worrying.
Nigeria's Ascendant Oil Industry Faces Host of Pitfalls
Nigeria has decisively reclaimed the mantle of Africa's top oil producer, with rising output and crude prices spurring growth in the continent's most populous country. But the same industry driving the economy—oil—faces a host of challenges. In the next month, Nigeria's national assembly is expected to approve energy legislation that U.S. and European oil executives warn could curtail investment. The presidential election early next year may reignite fresh violence in the Niger Delta, the West African country's main oil region, where Royal Dutch Shell says its pipeline was attacked recently.
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.
Study into Election Statistics provided by Counsel Philip Addison during his Oral Address
On the 7th of August 2013, counsel for the petitioners Mr. Philip Addison brought forth some statistics about the 2012 General Elections. The quote, as published on the website of the Daily Guide newspaper is as follows: “The 1st Petitioner obtained a total of 5,248,898 votes as against a total of 5,248,882 by all NPP Parliamentary candidates, showing a difference of 16. However the first Respondent (Mahama) obtained a total of 5,574,761 as against 5,127,641 by all NDC parliamentarians, showing a whopping difference of 447,120. Download full document here
Hope and Experience: Election Reform through the Lens of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project
The American electoral system is in many respects an outlier among the world’s democracies. The indirect election of its president through the casting of electoral votes by the states, with no federal constitutional standing for the popular vote, is perhaps the most peculiar. Another is the extraordinary range and frequency of elections, matched only by Switzerland’s system. In the realm of election administration, two characteristics stand out: the highly decentralized nature of the system and the oversight and control of the election system by partisan elected officials. more >>>
Al-Qaida’s Appeal:  Understanding its Unique Selling Points
Despite its seemingly extreme ideology and its even more extreme use of political violence, al-Qaida has been able to elicit sympathy and support from a surprisingly large number of people. Suspected al-Qaida members have been arrested in dozens of countries around the world, and opinion polls in both Western and Middle Eastern countries have shown that relatively large numbers of young Muslims express sympathy with al-Qaida. In other words, we have a situation in which al-Qaida has killed civilians on a massive scale, including a large number of Muslims, but still seems to enjoy relatively widespread support. How can we explain this apparent conundrum? This article argues that al-Qaida's continuing appeal is a result of three key factors. First, al-Qaida propagates a simple popular message, which resonates strongly with deeply held grievances in the Muslim world. The organisation strives to follow the popular mood in many respects. Second, al-Qaida has created for itself a powerful and captivating image.
Cedi flashing Signs of Currency Crisis
If the currency crises in Mexico and Russia ring a bell, then watch the new Ghana cedi. The cedi dropped to a record low of GHc1.77 per dollar and the downfall is accelerating with no support in sight. The cedi versus dollar exchange rate shows the cedi has been in a perpetual fall against the US dollar. President John Kufuor’s administration converted the cedi to a new Ghana cedi and delineated four zeros from the old cedi. The change meant ten thousand of the old cedi became one new Ghana cedi.
Balancing Speed With Justice, The Task Before The 9 Justices
There is some considerable weight of apprehension across the country. On the one hand, there are people who are a fearful of trouble were the court to rule against the petitioners and there are those who fear the reaction of the ruling party were the court to rule for the petitioners. But one thing ( I hope) unites all sides of the anxiety chain, they want this case to be disposed off (not ‘speedily’, perhaps, but expeditiously and in the interest of justice). Indeed, such is the level of this apprehension that the Editorial of the Accra Mail last week, ‘Ghana’s Peace & Security in the hands of the NPP’ said, “It may seem all so civilized - that is [NPP] resorting to court action – but many a blood-letter situation has started that way: the refusal to accept election results. Do NPP leaders in their wildest dreams think that Ghana would survive the turmoil of a disruption in the status quo? If that’s their mindset, then their naïveté approaches criminal nonchalance! Reason and wisdom must prevail as they strategise for 2016. They must listen to compatriots like Opanin Adusei, Dr Wereko-Brobby and discontinue this litigation to save our nation the trauma their action is inexorably leading us to.” In a curious twist, Haruna Attah’s paper is asking whether the NPP was ready for the disruption that could occur if the Supreme Court gave a ruling that would disturb the ‘status quo’, meaning a decision which would invalidate the results declared by the Electoral Commission.