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Newsflash

  • 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

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  • 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.”

  • 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

Vigilance is the Motto for December 7

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Next week Ghanaians will go to the polls to choose who they want to lead them for the next four years. The patriotic call to all communities across the country is simply this: Take it upon yourself, peacefully and legitimately, to protect your ballot, to protect your mandate, to protect your democracy, and to protect your nation. We of the Danquah Institute would be remiss if we claimed not to share the same concern about the politics in Ghana becoming as divisive as they have been over the last several months.  However, the Danquah Institute stands together with those tirelessly working to maintain peace and ensure that Ghana remains a free and fair democracy.

No matter the outcome calm must prevail and we must return to living our lives in peace with each other. NDC, under Jerry John Rawlings, with the late John Evans Atta-Mills as its Presidential Candidate, did well to the admiration of all to accept defeat and hand over peacefully in 2000.  The NPP also has an admirable history of not just committing to peace with words, but also with actions, even when their opponent win with a razor thin margin as occurred in December 2008.  So, in Akufo-Addo and the NPP, Ghanaians have a track record from which to draw considerable comfort. Can we say the same would happen if John Mahama or the NDC were to lose next week?  Their record speaks for itself and all Ghanaians must not tolerate any kind of impropriety, unfairness, or cheating in this election.  We are a democracy and the people must be allowed to speak without threat of violence or danger.  Should any of these issues arise on Election Day, whoever is in power must prosecute the offenders with equal application of the law, no matter what party they support.  Violence and unequal application of the law cannot be tolerated in a free society.

Ghana has built a reputation as an example for peace on the African continent, thanks in large part to the hard work the NPP has done.  This not only enhancing the quality of life for Ghanaians but it enhances our security and our economy. Even the mere suspicion of impropriety in our election next week would undo all of this progress we have made as a nation.

Nana Akufo-Addo addressed all of these things in his address at Institute of Democratic Governance event in Kumasi this week.  Criticism immediately followed, suggesting that Nana’s mention of the President’s record in the by-elections was out-of-place at what was intended to be a national peace rally and coming together in a positive spirit.

But the stakes are too high to remain silent, and Nana did right by his own supporters, and in fact by all Ghanaians by challenging President Mahama to back his rhetoric with real action.

We have come very far as a nation and are regarded as a jewel on the African continent for the sustained progress we have made over the past 2 decades.  The election of 2008 proved this, when Nana Akufo-Addo, the Presidential Candidate of the NPP, conceded immediately after losing by the slimmest of margins.  For him, and for his party, protecting the peace and the sanctity of our democratic institutions was important than gaining access to power.

Unfortunately, we cannot say the same about the ruling party today, in 2012.  President Mahama specifically has not matched his sweet words on the topic of peaceful elections with real and tangible deeds.  The ruling NDC faction instead has given Ghanaians plenty of reasons to question their attitude towards the fundamental building block of our nation:  peace.

There have been several incidents wherein the NDC government, during elections in three constituencies since they have been in power, refused to investigate, condemn, acknowledge, or even express sympathy for acts of violence by NDC activists upon NPP supporters.  These incidents, needless to repeat the details of, were witnessed by police and caught on video, but yet even today there is no substantial action from the NDC government, let alone the President himself.  Simply put, the rule of law has not been allowed to work in these instances. While we may naturally have a difference of opinion on issues as members of rival political parties, we are still all Ghanaians and we should treat each other with dignity and respect, without regard to political affiliation.  Partisanship and justice are not ideals that belong together, but the NDC seems to believe they do.

While servicing as Vice President, John Mahama was Chairman of the National Police Council, where he did nothing to condemn or even show disapproval of these incidents.  It is blatantly unacceptable for an elected official holding high office to tacitly endorse violence in the name of political ambition. This trend of inaction continues to this day as he sits in the office of President and has continued this culture of validating political violence.  As the saying goes: silence is approval.

The reality is this. Unlike Nana Akufo-Addo, John Mahama has no track record of adopting the gentlemanly course of gracefully accepting defeat after losing an election, simply because he has never tasted defeat at the highest level of political competition where the stakes are most high. Given his recent implied complicity with the aggression upon his fellow Ghanaians, how can we trust that John Mahama’s rhetoric calling for peace will match his action when the votes are tallied and he comes up short?  The record so far shows that he and his government are unable to carry out their duties as elected officials in a professional and nonpartisan manner.  We cannot afford a ruling party whose key leaders stick their heads in the sand or look the other way while others are brutalized by violent supporters of his own party.

In a democracy - a constitutional republic like Ghana, voters go to the polls to choose leaders who will make decisions that impact their lives.  But if those leaders have not demonstrated that they will compete fairly, and have not sufficiently demonstrated a commitment to peaceful, free and fair elections, then the rest of the discussion on the issues is moot.  What good will it do to discuss which candidate is more passionate about free SHS, which candidate will restore an NHIS on the verge of collapse, or which candidate will transform Ghana’s economy into a modern, industrialised one if the election will be marred by violence on the part of those so desperate to cling to power that they will even provoke violence to achieve their selfish goals? I applaud Nana Akufo-Addo for holding John Mahama’s feet to the fire. Leadership is about accountability

So let us go and vote, and may the best man win.  But let all Ghanaians be mindful: vigilance is the price of freedom, and vigilance is the NPP motto for December 7. Let vigilance be the motto for all well-meaning Ghanaians on December 7. If that happens, we are guaranteed a peaceful, free and fair election because the sum total of well-meaning Ghanaians far outnumber that of the rest.

 

The author is the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute.

 



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