The 2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, met with British Prime Minister, David Cameron, MP, last Thursday. Nana Akufo-Addo was in London for the two-day (November 10-11, 2011) 11th Party Leaders’ Meeting of the International Democrat Union (IDU), hosted by the UK Conservative Party.

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Civil unrest in the aftermath of Kenya’s 2007 elections prompted the government of Kenya to completely overhaul its system of managing elections. The IIEC was formed to replace the previous Electoral Commission of Kenya and charged with the mission to institutionalize sustainable electoral processes that would guarantee fair elections.

The mandate of the IIEC covered all aspects of implementing elections including reform of the electoral process; conducting a fresh registration of all Kenyan voters to create a completely new voter register; developing a modern system for collection, collation, transmission and tallying of electoral data and promoting voter education.

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Coup leaders must seize and hold central authority for at least one week to be considered a “successful” coup d’etat. The names of coup “leaders” listed are those named in reports, accusations, and/or subsequent trials. The date of the coup event is the beginning date for successful or attempted coups and the date of announcement for discovered coup plots and coup allegations.

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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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American Clean Energy and Security Act and Its Impact on West Africa
In June 2009, Congress passed the Waxman-Markey Act, also known as the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act. This act sets limits on greenhouse gases (GHG), and could have a very serious impact on African countries dependent on revenues from the production of hydrocarbons in the future. Consequently, crude oil exporting countries would see that demand from the U.S. seriously curtailed, and the U.S. could be out of the world market as an importer of crude oil. With countries like Angola and Nigeria, and in the very near future Ghana, exporting crude oil to the U.S., ACES will certainly have an impact on the economies of these countries. Currently, fossil fuels are the main source of energy production in the U.S. Fossil fuels are the source of GHG and this act allows the U.S. government to set mandates on GHG emissions. U.S. President Obama set reduction of GHG as part of his clean energy policy. GHG released into the atmosphere must be reduced to levels way below the levels seen in 2005. Using 2005 as the baseline, the Obama administration has set targets below the baseline. The key test will be in 2012, when U.S. companies will have to meet emission levels of 3 percent below the baseline. The other targets are GHG levels of 17 percent below the baseline by 2020, and a level 83 percent below the baseline by 2050. These targets apply to individual companies, industry groups and the various regions of the U.S.
Ghana: Assessing Risks to Stability
Ghana's prospects for long-term stability are being undermined by important structural weaknesses. the political system is highly centralised, the executive is excessively powerful, and patronage politics is corroding public institutions. Social pressures are building due to the slow decline of the country's agricultural sector and its inability to provide jobs for its growing workforce. In the next 5 to 10 years, the main threats to Ghanaian stability will stem from the social and macroeconomic impact of its new oil export sector, the influence of drug trafficking on its political system, and youth unemployment. more>>>
Highlights of 2012 Budget Statement
The present number of unanticipated events and further deterioration of the global economic environment could have substantial spillovers to the Ghanaian economy; Preliminary results from WAMI’s half year surveillance report indicates that the overall economic performance in the WAMZ remained strong with real GDP expected to expand by 8.0 per cent in 2011, compared to 7.7 per cent in 2010. Click here for highlights
Mustapha Hamid appointed Executive Director of Danquah Institute
The Board of Governors of the Danquah Institute have appointed Mustapha Abdul Hamid as acting Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, the Accra-based policy and governance think tank. Mustapha Hamid takes over from Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko who is leaving the country to undertake research work abroad.
Afrobarometer Finds Correlations between Freedom to Speak and Good Governance
Citizens' freedom of expression is strongly correlated with effective governments, according to data collected in face-to-face interviews with more than 51,000 Africans in 34 countries during Round 5 of the Afrobarometer (2011-13). Where people feel that they are free to say what they want, they also report that their leaders are more trustworthy and less corrupt than do their peers, the survey shows. Freedom of expression is also consistently linked to better ratings of government performance, especially with respect to government effectiveness in fighting corruption, but also in other sectors such as maintaining roads and managing the economy.
Results from the AFROBAROMETER Round 5 Survey in Ghana
The Afrobarometer (AB) is a comparative series of public opinion surveys that measure public attitudes toward democracy, governance, the economy, leadership, identity, and other related issues. The AB is an independent, non-partisan, African-based network of researchers. The first round of surveys took place in 1999-2001 in 12 countries. The Network is now conducting “Round 5” surveys in up to 35 countries during 2011-2012. Click here for full report
Laurent Gbagbo, Cote d’Ivoire's isolated and besieged strongman, has finally been seized by opposition forces in Abidjan. His arrest follows weeks of bloodletting and mayhem in the West African country, fuelled by Gbagbo's stubborn refusal to accept the verdict of elections held last November and by months of incendiary rhetoric from him and others in his camp, inciting violence upon supposed ethnic outsiders like the elections' internationally-recognized victor, Alassane Outtara, and the U.N. peacekeeping mission in the country. But the game is up now for Gbagbo. Much of the Ivorian army supporting him deserted to Ouattara's side or simply melted away. The latest image of Gbagbo is of him looking rather terrified in a room in the Golf Hotel, Ouattara's Abidjan headquarters, which has been defended by a cordon of U.N. peacekeepers who for months had been under threat of attack from Gbagbo’s militia.
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.
What happens to Africa after the mud walls of dictatorship come tumbling down and the palaces of illusion behind those walls vanish? Will Africa be like Humpty Dumpty who “had a great fall” and could not be put back together by “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men”? What happens to the dictators? When the people begin to beat their drums and circle the mud walls, Africa’s dictators will pack their bags and fly off like bats out of hell. Some will go to Dictators’ Heaven in Saudi Arabia where they will be received with open arms and kisses on the cheeks (Ben Ali of Tunisia, Idi Amin of Uganda, Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan found sanctuary in Saudi Arabia, as will Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Omar al-Bashir of the Sudan and soon.) Others will hide out in the backyards of their brother dictators (Mengistu Haile Mariam of Ethiopia has been holed up in Zimbabwe for the last 20 years; Hissen Habre of Chad remains a fugitive from justice sheltered in Senegal; Mohammed Siad Barre of Somalia lived out his last days in Nigeria as did Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko in Morocco). The rest will fade away into the sunset to quietly enjoy their stolen millions. But few will meet the fate of Jean-Bedel Bokassa, the self-proclaimed Emperor of the Central African Republic (CAR) who found sanctuary in France only to return to CAR, face trial and be convicted of murder; or Charles Taylor of Liberia who found refuge in Nigeria before he was handed over to the International Criminal Court and is now standing trial for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Full Speech: Dzi Wo Fie Asem, Rhetoric and the Politics of Expediency
Over the past two weeks or so when the topic of today’s lecture was announced in the media, many friends and colleagues have called, to express concern, that I had chosen a topic that they wouldn’t have touched with a long spoon. Was this the safest topic I could have chosen? Then came a message from a colleague in the Facebook who said, ‘Prof, are you sure the national security is not going to confiscate your script?’ Then last Sunday, I met another friend after church who promised to attend this talk, but said, “Owo Kwesi, Eye abofra bon, paa!” more>>>