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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Monetary Policy Committee Statement: February 2012
The Committee has assessed developments in the economy for 2011 and I am happy to present highlights of recent economic developments and their implications for macroeconomic stability and growth, leading to the positioning of the Monetary PolicyRate. Recent policy discussions have centred on the Euro zone crisis and the challenges it poses for global economic recovery, a crisis that has pushed the global economy into a difficult phase of significant downside risks. Click here for full report
Insight: Top palm oil producer Indonesia wants to be more refined
For decades, Indonesia has shipped out tanker loads of raw palm oil for processing into higher value cooking oil and margarine in Rotterdam, Mumbai and Kuala Lumpur. Now, the world's No. 1 producer of the edible oil is seeing a more than $2.5 billion wave of investment to build a refining industry that will double its capacity and mean it could supply the entire needs of Asia's top food consumers - India and China. The transformation - driven by Indonesia's move to slash export duties for processed oil last October - will heat up competition with rivals such as Malaysia and send ripples through the palm oil market as new supply pressures prices of traded refined products such as palmolein, used as cooking oil.
Oil production stagnates at 70,000 bpd, falling 50,000 bpd short of 2011 targets as Tullow Oil deploys capital to elsewhere in Africa.
Tullow the operator of Ghana’s Jubilee oil field has fallen six-months short of its own year-end 2011 projections to bring oil production up to 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 20,000 bpd in January 2011. In late 2010, before production started at the nascent oil fields, the Anglo-Irish company promised to start production at around 20,000 bpd and ramp up to about 70,000 bpd by mid-2011, and then to 120,000 bpd by the end of 2011. However by mid-2012, Ghana’s oil production is still less than 80,000 bpd. Tullow now promises that Ghana’s oil production will be ramped up to 120,000bpd by 2013, but with lax oversight by the NDC government, that target may prove to be a chimera.
STATUS OF ELECTORAL REFORM IN GHANA A Report by the Danquah Institute
In recent months, political parties in Ghana including the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the Progressive People’s Party, religious groups, the media and civil society groups such as the Let My Vote Count Alliance have made the case for urgent and honest electoral reform in the lead up to the November 2016 elections.
The Case For Free SHS
University of Cape Coast—Cape Coast. Over the last year, I, and indeed all Ghanaians have watched as Nana Akufo-Addo, the NPP Presidential candidate has taken his free SHS proposal across the length and breadth of this country. Some have questioned his rationale for it and accused him of political opportunism. Some have questioned his ability to pay for it and the fuzziness of his math in calculating the cost.
Amending The Constitution Of Ghana: Is The Imperial President Trespassing?
In January 2010, Ghana‘s President John Atta Mills appointed a commission to review and propose amendments to the country‘s current constitution, in force since 1993.1 The ―constitutional instrument establishing the commission tasked the nine-member body2 to ―ascertain from the people of Ghana, their views on the operation of the constitution, and in particular its strength and weaknesses, articulate the concerns of the people on amendments that might be required for a comprehensive review and make recommendations to government for consideration. A Ministry of Justice document setting forth the administration‘s agenda for constitutional reform identifies about forty specific provisions and omissions in the constitution as likely candidates for review and amendment, and the commission is directed to consider these pre-identified issues in its review. By its terms of reference, the commission‘s final work product must include ―a draft Bill for possible amendments to the constitution. more >>>
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.”
A strong Parliament is key to fighting corruption - Minority Leader
The Minority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, has stated that strengthening Parliament’s financial oversight responsibilities is critical to combating corruption. He noted that “the evil enterprise of corruption which has become cancerous in Ghana”, explaining that Parliament has no option than to demonstrate extreme concern about the problems and threats that corruption poses to the stability and security of the country. He said corruption undermines state institutions and the values of democracy, as well as cultural and traditional values and the justice system. According to him these work against sustainable development and the rule of law.
I would like to thank all of you for making the time from your busy schedules to be present at this year’s Ferdinand Ayim Memorial Lecture. This is my first major public statement since being selected by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (with the support of the National Council of the NPP) as his running mate for the December 2012 Presidential elections. I want to take this opportunity to express my profound gratitude and appreciation to Nana Akufo-Addo for the honour of reaching out again to select me to serve as his running mate, and Insha-Allah, as the Vice-President of the Republic, under an Akufo-Addo presidency. Click here for full speech
Stakeholders endorse Indian Electronic Voting Model
Stakeholders at the recently held conference on Biometric Voter Registration and E-Voting in Ghana overwhelmingly endorsed the Indian model of Electronic Voting as the model that is adequately suited to the Ghanaian terrain should Ghana decide to introduce technology into her elections. This was made known at the just ended 2-day conference organised by the Danquah Institute, a policy think tank based in Accra. The Conference drew participants from government, political parties, the Electoral Commission, civil society organisations, media houses, local and international experts on e-voting systems, development partners and Ghanaians interested in this subject area.