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Newsflash

  • MS NEW EC BOSS, NO NEW REGISTER, NO VOTE! -

     

     

    The Let My Vote Count Alliance has taken due notice of the decision by President John Dramani Mahama to appoint Mrs. Charlotte Osei, 42, as Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana. We wish to greet her with this clarion message: NO NEW REGISTER NO VOTE IN 2016!

  • Charlotte Osei appointed new EC boss -

    President John Dramani Mahama has, in accordance with Article 70(2) of the 1992  Constitution, appointed Mrs. Charlotte Osei as Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana.

  • REPORT OF THE ELECTORAL REFORMS COMMITTEE SUBMITTED TO THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA -

    We, members of the Electoral Reforms Committee wish to thank the almighty God for the strength, health and travelling mercies granted us throughout our various meetings, discussions and retreat sessions held outside Accra in executing our mandate as spelt out in our Terms of Reference. We thank the Chairman and Members of the Electoral Commission for giving us the opportunity to serve mother Ghana.

    To Mr Gabriel Pwamang the consultant to the Committee, we say: “...we are grateful to you for your assistance and for bringing your competence, expertise and legal acumen to bear on the work of the Committee.” Read more >>>

  • COMMEMORATION OF THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF DR. J. B. DANQUAH -

  • Foresight Africa: Implementing a New U.S.-Africa Policy -

    2013 ushered in the most significant change in the United States’ Africa policy since the passing of PEPFAR 10 years ago. The unveiling of investment-focused initiatives—Power Africa and Trade Africa—reflects not just a change in how the Obama administration views the continent, but also how foreign investors have prioritized it. But policy rarely achieves its objectives without equal attention to implementation. A number of implementation barriers—old regulations and new policies working at cross-purposes, and limited on-the-ground capacity—threaten to undermine America’s new approach to the continent in 2014. If 2013 was marked by change in U.S. strategy towards Africa, 2014 will be marked by the recognition that 90 percent of the success of that strategy is implementation.

  • Statistical Proof of Ghana's Bloated Voter Register -

    This is the Age Distribution of Ghana’s 2010 population of 24.391 million.

    This number includes all persons domiciled in Ghana as at 2010 regardless of citizenship.

    Although the elections were held in 2012, the voter register was compiled at a time when these were the population distribution

    Read More

     

  • NPA’s 10% reduction in Petroleum Prices – “Too Little” or “Too Late”? -

    NPA’s Arrogance or Economics?

    On the eve of the New Year, 2015, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) announced a reduction in ex-pump prices of petroleum products by 10% across board. This was not without drama. Most of the headlines that followed the announcement pointed to price reduction under duress. A number of civil society organizations and political parties put pressure on NPA to reduce the prices due to reasons such as the oil price crush and relative stability in the value of the local Ghanaian currency. Some of the organizations threatened public demonstrations against NPA and the Government; a situation that was expected considering that petro-politics is a feature of petroleum pricing in most parts of the world.

  • 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.”


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The Case For Free SHS

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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



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