1. Skip to Menu
  2. Skip to Content
  3. Skip to Footer>

Newsflash

  • 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.

  • GHANA MUST WAKE UP, SHOUT FOR A NEW REGISTER AND SHAKE UP THE EC -

    FITCH Rating’s latest report on Ghana lays particular emphasis on the importance of Ghana’s democracy and stability to the country’s economic prospects. Whiles it gives a negative outlook based on how the economy is being run, Fitch makes the point that Ghana’s credit rating has not, however, fallen below ‘B’ because of the country’s “strong governance record and recent democratic history,” and that, this is “reflected in Ghana’s ability to attract foreign direct investment, which at 7% of GDP is well above that of Nigeria, Gabon, Zambia, Kenya and Angola.”

  • Danquah Institute Reacts to Bogus Polls On NPP General Secretary Race -

    The attention of the Danquah Institute has been drawn to a story making the rounds on social media and now on www.ghanaweb.com, as well, titled “Danquah Institute predicts 64.7% win for Kwabena Agyepong.”

  • The Monetary Policy Committee - November 2013 -

    You are welcome to this Press briefing. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) held its 58th meeting on November 25 to 27, 2013 to review the latest economic developments and the monetary policy stance. I present to you the outcome of the deliberations.

    The latest projections by the IMF indicate a pickup in the pace of global activity from 2.9 percent in 2013 to 3.6 percent in 2014, driven largely by the advanced economies with the impulse to global growth expected to come mainly from the United States against weaker prospects in emerging market economies.

  • Africa’s tax systems: progress, but what is the next generation of reforms? -

    Mick MooreTaxation is zipping up the development agenda, but the discussion is often focussed on international aspects such as tax havens or the Robin Hood Tax. Both very important, but arguably, even more important is what happens domestically – are developing country tax systems regressive or progressive? Are they raising enough cash to fund state services? Are they efficient and free of corruption? This absolutely magisterial overview of the state of tax systems in Africa comes from Mick Moore (right), who runs the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD). It was first published by the Africa Research Institute.

    Anglophone countries have led the way in reforming tax administration in Africa, considerably more so than their francophone peers. The reasons for this are numerous. Networks of international tax specialists are based mainly in English-speaking countries. Many of the modern systems that promote best practice within tax authorities were developed in anglophone countries, especially Australia. International donors, and particularly the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), have directly and indirectly promoted a lot of reform of national tax authorities. In fact, this has been one of the success stories of British aid.

  • TWO DECADES OF FREEDOM: What South Africa Is Doing With It, And What Now Needs To Be Done -

    As the 20th anniversary of the birth of democracy in South Africa, on April 27 2014, approaches, it seems a perfect opportunity to take a step back and get a long-range perspective on the important question: “So, what has Nelson Mandela’s South Africa done with its freedom?”

    Goldman Sachs has produced this report in the hope of contributing to- wards a more balanced narrative on South Africa; one, which in the wake of 2012’s tragic events at Marikana, had become somewhat hysterical, short-term and often negative

  • Shifting Power? Assessing the Impact of Transparency and Accountability Initiatives -

    Accountability and transparency initiatives hav e taken democratisation, governance, aid and development circles by storm since the turn of th e century. Many actors involved with them – as donors, funders, programme managers, implementers and researchers – are now keen to know more about what these initiatives are achieving.

    This paper arises from a review of the impact and effectiveness of transparency and accountability initiatives which gathered and analysed existing evidence, discussed how it could be improved, and evaluated how impact and effectiveness could be enhanced. This paper takes the discussion further, by delving into what lies behind the methodological and evaluative debates currently surrounding governance and accountability work. It illustrates how choices about methods are made in the cont ext of impact assessment designs driven by different objectives and different ideological and epistemological underpinnings. We argue that these differences are articulated as methodological debates, obscuring vital issues underlying accountability work, which are about power and politics, not methodological technicalities.

  • ADVISORY NOTES TO PARLIAMENT ON THE PETROLEUM AGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA, AGM PETROLEUM AND COLA NATURAL RESOURCES -

    The Ministry of Energy has officially laid before Parliament two Petroleum Agreements for ratification following earlier approval by Cabinet. The Agreements are:

    1. Petroleum Agreement among Government of the Republic of Ghana, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, GNPC Exploration and Production Company Limited and AGM Petroleum Ghana LTD in respect of the South Deepwater Tano Contract Area (and shall be called AGM Contract for the purpose of this Analysis).

    2. Petroleum Agreement among Government of the Republic of Ghana, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Cola Natural Resources and Medea in respect of East Cape Three Points Contract Area (and shall be called Cola Contract for the purpose of this analysis).

    This Advisory Notes is provided to members of Parliament to enrich debate during the consideration of the Agreements. The Notes are based on analysis by the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) of the Negotiated Agreements and the memoranda accompanying them. These Notes do not cover most of the subjects in the two Agreements as most of them have common provisions. The focus of the analysis therefore covers subjects that show material differences between the Agreements for the purpose of enriching the debate in parliament.

  • CADA DISCUSSES OVER VOTING -

    Of late Ghanaians have become obsessed with throwing electoral ‘jargons’ around arising from the recent Election Petition in the Supreme Court of Ghana and most people have overnight turned themselves into Electoral Specialists in view of the enormous interest generated during the petition hearing. However, there are still lack of clarity and understanding in some of the widely used electoral terminologies. The Centre for African Democratic Affairs (CADA) a ‘Think Tank’ of Election Experts, has taken upon itself the challenge to critically examine some of the terms that created confusion in the minds of people during the court proceedings. One of such terminologies is over voting whose definition is still ambiguous even after the ruling of the Supreme Court. CADA therefore discusses the term Over Voting in the first of its series.

  • 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.


Warning: Parameter 1 to modMainMenuHelper::buildXML() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/danquahi/public_html/libraries/joomla/cache/handler/callback.php on line 99

The Case For Free SHS

PDF Print E-mail

 

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.

Some have questioned his timelines even while conceding grudgingly that there is merit in the proposal. Indeed, the NDC have suggested that free SHS is an idea whose time will come after twenty years. Indeed, the NDC’s position has evolved from outright opposition to the scheme to raising questions about its soundness.

Some have equated “free” with “mediocre” despite the knowledge that even the best educational institutions in the world grant “free” acess to the deserving poor. Perhaps those equating “free” with mediocrity are missing the fact that they are questionning the quality of the education received by many prominent Ghanaians, including President Mahama.

The debate on free SHS shows that politics does indeed breed strange alliances and associations.

Think about it. Here is the son of privilege, Nana Akufo-Addo, who never worried a day in his life about school fees, making the case that the poor deserve free education. And there, on the other side are many beneficiaries of free education, making the case that free SHS is at worse a dangerous idea or at best a good idea whose time has not come. I am still trying to explain to myself why the NDC, the party that purports to care for and about the poor, has problems with a policy designed to lift many of the poor out of poverty. Might the politcal opportunism be on their part instead of on the part of the NPP?

As for the supposed argument between “quality” and “free”, it matters only to the elite. To the child who is given a chance for free education against no education, the choice is rather easy. Any education is better than no education.

To be candid, Nana Addo and the NPP have not been perfect messengers for this issue. First, there was the “costed”, “costing” and “not-costed” debacle on the BBC. Then there were the contorted explanations about the costs that showed some confusion with the soundness of the numbers. Then there was the linkage of the payment with “judgement debts”.

Despite all these shortcomings, the free SHS proposal deserve the commendation and support of all Ghanaians—for a number of reasons.

First, it shows all Ghanaians that depite the big words, the apparent distance and the perceived arrogance, Nana Akufo-Addo does care about the poor. We should see his commitment to this issue as a window into his soul and embrace him and his cause.
Second, we should ponder how many things we would achieve if we subject everything to cost analysis before embarking on it.
If Nkrumah had costed the struggle for independence, he would never have demanded “Freedom now!”

If he had costed free education for the north, he would never have implemented it and many of those opposing free education in big english would be illiterates today.

If Rawlings had costed the extension of power to the North, most of that place would still be in darkness and if Kufuor had costed the search for oil, we still would be without oil.

Third, while the students and their families will benefit from free SHS, the biggest beneficiary will be Ghana. The educated will help us transform Ghana by helping provide the skilled manpower that we need.

Finally, the introduction of free SHS will require the building of new classrooms, new schools and related infrastructure, in addition to requiring the training of thousands of new teachers. This will require thousands of masons, plumbers, electricians and brick-layers. In short, it will be one of the biggest jobs-initiatives in our nation’s history.

As for whether we can pay for it, the answer is “Yes, we can!” It is a question of priorities. The nation that can pay MP’s 80 thousand Ghana cedis after each term, in addition to loans for cars, build Presidential palaces and buy luxury planes for Presidents while paying questionable gargantuan sums to private individuals can indeed pay for free SHS. That is, if it has the will. This is not a financial issue. It is a moral issue.

Despite the forgoing, the best argument for free SHS, to me, is my life story.

I had passed the common entrance examination but was in danger of staying at home because my single illiterate mother could not afford the school fees. Out of desperation, I walked into the office of the headmaster of Osei Kyeretwie Secondary school, Mr. G.R. Bray, to ask for a scholarship. After listening to me for a while, he asked me to come back with a parent. My poor mother was so scared of the financial commitment that she initally refused to go with me to the headmaster. She relented after I cried all night.

The next morning, in the headmaster’s office, after I had repeated my story, the Headmaster uttered the words that would change my life.

He told my mother in Fante, “Ka woakoma to woyam. Aban befa woba no ho ka nyinaa. Oboko school FREE!”

From there, by the grace of God and my country, I went on to Presby boys--- Free; then to the University of Ghana Medical School--- Free before going on to University of Toronto and the Medical College of Wisconsin. The last two were also free. And by the way, the education that I got was top quality all the way. That made me qualified to practice as a Doctor in the United States and to train future Doctors here. Without that offer of free education from my headmaster, Mr. G.R. Bray on behalf of a generous and visionary Ghana, today, I would not be who I am. That is why I am irrevocably for free education. Opposing free SHS would be the equivalent to turning round and removing the ladder that I climbed to success so that others would be denied the chance to climb up. I would be ungrateful and ungenerous if I did that. That is why I support free SHS without equivication and indeed, with passion.

My fellow Ghanaians, I know there are thousands and maybe even millions of you out there with stories like my own. In the next two weeks, let us thank Ghana—by supporting free SHS.

While my account is historical, today, there are many boys and girls whose future are at stake. Last night, I learnt from Hon. Kennedy Agyapong that in the last two weeks, he has paid the fees of 46 students who had qualified for SHS but could not afford to take up the places offered to them. I have heard similar stories from many others and I have paid a few of such fees myself.
Let us hear the cry of poor parents and desperate boys and girls and give them and education a chance.
Let us move forward—together.

Arthur Kobina Kennedy



Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites