We invited the media today for this news conference because we find it strange and potentialy dangerous that the most reasonable solution that was tabled by the VCRAC Crabbe panel for giving Ghana a credible register for credible elections in 2016 appears to have been totally ignored by the Electoral Commission. We, therefore, want to draw attention to this and ask you, journalists, the Fourth Estate of the Realm, to demand urgent answers from the Electoral Commission on the fate of the wise proposal from the EC’s own panel of experts for the introduction of validation for the voters’ register. Full Publication

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We study election fraud in a competitive but not fully consolidated multiparty democracy. Results from a randomized field experiment are used to investigate the effectiveness of newly-introduced biometric identification machines in reducing election fraud in Ghana’s December 2012 national elections. We uncover a non-random pattern to the frequent breakdowns of the equipment. In polling stations with a randomly assigned domestic election observer, machines were about 50 percent less likely to experience breakdown as they were in polling stations without observers. We also find that electoral competition in the parliamentary race is strongly associated with greater machine breakdown. Machine malfunction in turn facilitated election fraud, including overvoting, registry rigging, and ballot stuffing, especially where election observers were not present. Our results substantiate that partisan competition may promote election fraud in a newly-established competitive democracy. They also show that domestic election observers improve election integrity through direct observation and also thanks to their second-order effects on election administration. Full Publication

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Barrister Mike Igini was, until recently, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, for Cross River and Edo States respectively. In this interview, he bares his mind on the use of the card  reader  for the 2015 general elections. Excerpts:

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No society has been able to sustainably develop its human and physical resources to affect the most of its people without a strong values system. The competition of Ideas they say are the vehicles of transformation but even that requires values to guide it. The Danquah Institute recognizes that a society without values is one in retrogression.  The Institute therefore places high premium on the interactions and exposures that help to build confident and patriotic citizens with integrity.

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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.
Has Mills lost touch with honesty?
President Mills returned from New York on New Year’s Eve to say that his Christmas trip was so successful that he had “killed two birds with one stone.” He didn’t exactly manage Zita Okaikoi’s feat of “killing two stones with one bird” on her trip to New York, where she had a baby and attended to some tourism duties. Our President, essentially, took an early holiday in New York in order to work during the Christmas break in New York. Bless him! Koku Anyidoho, reportedly, briefed journalists at the Kotoka International Airport on Christmas Eve, the day of Mills’ surprise departure, saying that the President was returning to America, a week after his last trip there, to follow-up with some US investors he met at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
De-duplication won’t make register credible – Danquah Institute
Pro –opposition Think Tank, the Danquah Institute says the Electoral Commission (EC’s) decision to use de-duplication processes to rid the voters register of multiple registration will do very little to make the current voters register credible.
Sim Card Registration against Human Liberties
The plan by the Mills-led National Democratic Congress government to acquire telecommunication monitoring equipment to monitor calls in the country is against human dignity and privacy. It also constitutes unnecessary control and curtailment of the rights of the citizenry.These were the sentiments expressed by Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and Franklin Cudjo, Executive Director of Danquah Institute and Executive Director of IMANI Center for Policy Education respectively when they addressed participants at a seminar on Liberalism and Liberal Solutions on Thursday.
There is no way to miss the point of yesterday’s midterm elections. The American people are deeply frustrated with how they are being governed. The political debate is at an all-time partisan low and the public over the last three election cycles are calling for something, almost anything, to change that. They want to see progress on the economy, on job creation, on taxes, and on the federal budget deficit. No matter how voters cast their ballots these are the issues that voters want their representatives in Congress to address. Now. This overarching voter mandate to “fix it” delivers with it a set of responsibilities to the incoming Republican leadership of the House of Representatives and their strengthened minority counterparts in the Senate as well as to Democratic leaders in the Senate and President Barack Obama and his administration. For the Republicans this means they need to become partners in governing our nation. They can no longer be the “party of no” after yesterday’s vote. Republican leaders must craft serious legislative proposals to match the serious problems our country faces today and in the future.
Africa's spectacular growth jeopardised by rising inequality, new report warns
Africa's impressive growth during the financial and economic crisis of the last five years will be put at risk unless action is taken to combat rising inequality, according to the annual health check on the continent from a panel led by the former UN secretary general Kofi Annan. The report from the Africa Progress Panel found that African countries were growing consistently faster than almost any other region, with booming exports and more foreign investment.
Thabo Mbeki letter to Jan Ping
Your Excellency,I have the honour to convey my compliments and to request your indulgence to spare some of your valuable time to consider the humble suggestions relating to Côte d’Ivoire as contained in this letter.Understandably, the efforts of the AU and ECOWAS to resolve the current Ivorian political crisis have focused on settling the issue of who should assume the Presidency of the country. read more >>>
2012 Oppenheimer Speech by 2012 NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo
I am very honoured and, dare I say it, highly delighted to have been invited to give this year’s Oppenheimer Lecture at this prestigious body, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and I am particularly grateful to the Director General, our chairperson, Dr John Chipman, for that. The honour and delight have, however, been somewhat undermined by a nagging anxiety about my ability to follow successfully in the footsteps of the eminent Africans who have preceded me on this podium
Multi-biometric identification helps ensure a fair and efficient election process in Kenya
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.
We have prepared this report in the belief that it will help bring about policies and decisions that will ensure that Ghana’s emergence as a middle-income economy is not held back by the energy sector, as at present. We recommend that the Government make a concerted effort to “think big” and provide more direct and proactive leadership to the energy sector, given its centrality to boosting economic growth. This report was prepared during a period of electricity shortages and rolling power blackouts. The current power shortfall is particularly serious for two reasons: the frequency of these episodes is increasing—the previous blackout was just 5 years ago—and the economic damage inflicted is greater, because Ghana’s economy has evolved to become ever more dependent on reliable electricity supply.