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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DaMina Advisors Frontier Markets Elections Forecast: GHANA 2012 general elections
Ghana’s December general elections are on course to yield a dramatic surprise outcome. DaMina’s frontier markets elections statistical model and our on-the-ground surveys predicts an outright first round opposition center-right New Patriotic Party (NPP) win, and a return to opposition of the now ruling center-left National Democratic Congress (NDC) after only four years in power. The NPP are also posed to re-capture a majority of the seats in Ghana’s new 275 seat parliament. Click here for full report
Business Re-Engineering In A Global Recession
The causes of the late 2007 Global financial crisis which degenerated into a full blown recession by mid 2008 have been argued and discussed extensively. Whatever the causes, it is a fact that by the middle of 2008, the world economy was engulfed in a severe crisis of confidence. The classic signs of a recession were evident as stock markets crashed. Growth rates plummetted in all major economies and unemployment soared. Companies collapsed and financial markets were in turmoil. As two successive quarters of negative growth in GDP occurred in economy after economy, the academic definition for a recession was fulfilled. The IMF definition of annual growth of less than 3% was also fulfilled by the end of 2008.
The Executive Director of the Danquah Institute has cautioned the general public, especially the two main political parties, against peddling rumours that attack the integrity of the nine justices sitting on the presidential election petition trial. The Statesman has learnt that all manner of unfounded rumours are being peddled about against the judges, including allegations of bribery, as the nation braces itself for the decision of the court, expected to be delivered by 29th August, 2013.
What will happen when the Supreme Court rules in the election dispute? Will there be peace or violence? That we were a divided country before December 7th is clear to all—after all, this is the second election in a row that the winner has failed to win 51% of the votes. Unfortunately, the court case following the election has only worsened the divisions and tensions. Of course, it can be argued that if the petitioners had chosen the streets instead of the courts, our plight would be worse. This case, regardless of the outcome, has already undermined quite a few reputations and national assumptions:
John Mahama defends all-die-be-die in his book and yet condemns Akufo-Addo
In his book, ‘My First Coup D’etat’, President John Dramani Mahama concludes in the last paragraph, “All the decisions I have made in my life were regularly plagued with doubt. It can be challenging to sustain that feeling of hope or the belief that things will turn out for the best. Again and again, I have felt like that boy Dramani, on the bicycle going downhill fast, without any brakes and not knowing which way to turn.” He speaks of his father, a man of royal lineage, a former minister of state and a well-to-do capitalist, having six cars, the best house and providing for all of young Dramani’s needs, including cash to go to the disco.
In a couple of weeks time fuel prices will go up, the PURC may announce new utility prices and with no immediate hope of processing Ghana’s wet gas into fuel for electricity, the bills are likely to go up, as well. Parents, many of them unemployed, may have to find money from any means necessary to pay for their kids’ second term fees. Poverty, unemployment, road traffic, personal insecurity and all the old ills of our impoverished society remain either unresolved or worsening. But, forget about the traffic to buy LPG gas, the traffic to work and back, the traffic to fill job vacancies, the traffic, generally, to getting anything fixed or done in Ghana. The one traffic that appears to excite media and political attention is drug trafficking.
Unlike Danquah Institute (DI) chief Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, I was not the least bit surprised, much less shocked, by the reported backtracking of the Ghana Real Estate Developers’ Association (GREDA) on its initial protest of the NDC-STX $10 billion scam, purportedly aimed at providing affordable housing to middle- and low-income Ghanaian citizens. I wasn’t surprised because in the published statement released by GREDA and signed by its president, Dr. Alex Tweneboah, the national realtors’ organization emphatically let on its rather capricious tentativeness towards the entire saga. In other words while, indeed, GREDA firmly agrees with the think-tank likes of the Danquah Institute and IMANI, to name just a few, as well as other thoughtful and well-meaning individuals, Dr. Tweneboah makes it patently clear in his press release that absent STX, GREDA would be left absolutely clueless in the negotiations process. What the preceding implies is that GREDA’s overriding concern has more to do with the fact that the association had not initially been invited as a junior partner to STX by the government.
GOG has agreed to offer the following terms and exemptions to STX: GOG shall provide a sovereign guarantee to enable the STX E&C Ghana to raise over $1.5 billion as financing for the project. GOG has signed an off-taker agreement to purchase at least 90,000 housing units some of which may be allocated to the security services. GOG shall exempt the STX from tax for its imports of materials and machinery GOG shall exempt the Consortium from corporation tax Click Here for More >>>
Joy FM story on UNDP report was misleading
In the 6.00 pm news bulletin of Joy Fm on Monday, 15th May 2012, the station reported that a UNDP research had cited the Kufuor Administration for neglecting Agriculture and rather spending twice as much on the Military. The said research finding was the African Human Development Report 2012. However, there is no such finding in the African Human Development Report 2012. A review of page 53 of the report, where Joy FM picked its story from, compares “Cumulative Military spending” and “Agricultural Research & Development spending” for the period 2000 to 2008.
Why China Does Capitalism Better than the U.S.
One of the great ironies revealed by the global recession that began in 2008 is that Communist Party–ruled China may be doing a better job managing capitalism's crisis than the democratically elected U.S. government. Beijing's stimulus spending was larger, infinitely more effective at overcoming the slowdown and directed at laying the infrastructural tracks for further economic expansion.