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VIPsight

Corporate Governance – portrayed in the individual cultural and legal framework, from the standpoint of equity capital.

VIPsight is a dynamic photo archive, sorted by nations and dates, by and for those interested in CG from all over the world.

VIPsight offers, every month:
transparent and independent current information / comments / facts and figures on corporate governance locally and internationally,

  • written by local CG experts,
  • selected and structured by the Club of Florence,
  • financed by its initiator VIP and other sponsors with a background of “Equity and Advisory” interests.
     

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VIPsight International


Welcome to VIPsight Africa - Ghana

 

Author

 
Chris Kwabena Oteng  

 

20 April 2015

NIGERIA SNEEZES AND GHANA CATCHES A COLD?

We all thank God for His Mercies and Grace in seeing us through a successful end to the Nigerian electoral fortunes and exercise to elect a new President for that country through the electoral ballot box?! Again, this is the first time in the political history of Nigeria that a change of governance using the ballot box to change a ruling President with an opposition Presidential candidate Nigeria like Ghana has a chequered political history replete with coup de tats vis-à-vis civilian political regimes to this end. We congratulate our fellow Nigerian brethren for a job well done!

More importantly, I want to surmise; in that, the Nigerian political system has learnt a lot of political lessons and experience from the Ghanaian masterpiece in conducting free; fair and transparent general elections with six major general elections since the year 1992 – every four years to date. The political calendar is scheduling us for another general elections in the year 2016?

Political tensions were high throughout the West African sub-region as Nigeria went to the electoral polls to vote to elect a new President for a number of reasons. Chief amongst which are for economic reasons vis-à-vis the size of the population of Nigeria is dominating the whole of the West African sub-region: that should there be some kind of confusion in that country, the spill over effect from that country would be hard to contain politically and economically? Seriously speaking Ghana would be worst affected in that event. Because, both countries are surrounded by French speaking countries with English bounding Ghana and Nigeria together. Businesses would suffer and the cost involved is uncountable, to say the least?

Now the political heat has condescended on Ghana to prove another point next year. Ghana as a country would have to

Would have to go to the electoral polls to appoint a new crop of political administrators to govern this country in the year 2016 for another four year term of office; so to speak? Interestingly, our electoral commissioner goes on official retirement from office in June, 2016 – that is this very year. Arguably a new one would have to be found and appointed to office to handle the upcoming general elections in Ghana. Already, there is much talk and debate in the air as to who to appoint? The question being asked in political circles is whether that person so appointed would a be able to handle this office on a neutral basis, free of any kind of indictment? In Ghana, everything within the political realm is viewed through the coloured lens of either you are on the side of the ruling political party and/or you are working for the opposition parties?

 

29 May 2013

FIFTY YEARS OF COOPERATION FROM OAU TO AU

The journey to bring together all the peoples; countries and the total leadership found on the African continent begun on May 25, 1963 in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.

A consensus for this kind of undertaking was achieved with the active participation of leaders of some post colonial countries like Ghana; Ethiopia; Egypt, etc which had already become independent and with full sovereignty. All said and done, the push was for the whole Africa continent to become independent of any colonial rule for that matter; and, as such a political union was mooted into the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was founded to realize this agenda has been achieved with 53 out of 54 countries on the African continent now independent and practicing democracies; promoting the rule of law and good governance for its masses of people and citizens; so to speak. The Sahrawi Arab Republic being the only exception, for that matter.

It is interesting to note, in that; about two decades ago – the OAU as a political umbrella for African countries metamorphosis into the African Union with a new mission statement to seek the political and economic union and integration of all countries on the African continent. Thus, a President was now being elected for the African Union unlike a Secretary- General for the OAU. More importantly, the AU seeks to work towards harmonizing the political and economic agenda for African countries in the Global arena – so that the positive side of the African continent is portrayed in the Global village as a potential partner for the realization of world development and peaceful co-existence, as well.

In my opinion, the AU after taking over from the OAU may succeed in building political constituencies and is now faced with the challenge of fostering the building of economic constituencies for its members?

Now, the question still remains to be answered if acquiring a political union is the proper approach and trite knowledge for attaining an economic union worthy and befitting the teeming population on the African continent with a growing percentage of its youth looking for a better and higher standard of living in modern times vis-à-vis getting more out of the available natural resources that God has given to the African peoples or vice versa!!

 

 


VIPsight Archives Africa - Ghana

2010 2011 2012

 

20 April 2013

INCREASED WORLD GOLD PRICES AND THE MINING ENVIRONMENT IN GHANA

The engagement of human beings in mining activities the world over and especially in Ghana is well over a hundred years old and dates back into centuries ago?!

However, the regulation of mining activities in Ghana as a distinct area of business enterprise with laws to regulate such activity started in the British Colonial era. Where only underground mining of largely Gold resources was permitted with the participation of foreign well resourced conglomerates undertook with payment of taxes and royalties to the state and national coffers to provide funds for the government to prosecute its development agenda. On the other hand surface mining was prohibited in favor of underground mining which necessitated the use of heavy machinery and equipment with many protections for the environmental top soil cover. Simply put, the indigenous people and society lived off the top soil through farming activities.

But before then small scale mining was being engaged into by the local African communities although illegal was known as ‘galamsey’ – meaning gather them and sell. Consequently, from 1987 this kind of mining activity was legalized by the Government of Ghana with strict conditions to sell their output to the Precious Minerals Marketing Commission (PMMC). There was no conflict whatsoever with the adjoining communities in the mining area but surprisingly with the recent hike in world gold prices – there has been an offset in the delicate balance holding between artisanal miners and their host communities. Unlike the previous arrangement; heavy mining machinery and equipment is now being used in doing artisanal mining locally known as ‘galamsey’ ?

This turn of events has led to scuffles and many conflicts between miners and their host communities in several rural settlements. Since there has been little regard for restoring the top soil and matters bordering on the environmental sanity affecting drinking sources of water and the ability of such rural settlements to engage in farming activities. Thus leading to increased cost of food items and much more so the cost of living in these mining areas.

The influx of foreigners into some of these mining areas

The actively mined areas in Ghana as a result of increased mining activity for especially more gold ounces to take care of the improved world gold prices at it pertains now?

The motley of events happening within the gold mining areas in Ghana has become a social magnetic for attracting both Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians alike to these areas. But explicitly the current mining laws in Ghana forbid foreigners from engaging in artisanal mining activities, per se. Since, involvement in this specific sector is reserved for Ghanaians only. Surprisingly, topping the list of foreigners overflowing into this sector are the Chinese illegal miners. Whose present activities are in contravention of current mining laws and regulations? They have little regard for environmental safety and sanitation. Mine pits and dug-out holes are not covered inasmuch as tasking measures to restore the top soil in these areas to its former state – befitting the return to farming activities as it were.

The above issues has necessitated police swoops to arrest offenders and to arraign them before law courts to seek enforcement of these mining laws in Ghana, as well as environmental laws in Ghana. The question that remains to be answered is would a further hike in world gold prices yield a total collapse in the enforcement of mining laws in Ghana?

 

28 March 2013

INCREASED WORLD GOLD PRICES AND THE MINING ENVIRONMENT IN GHANA

The engagement of human beings in mining activities the world over and especially in Ghana is well over a hundred years old and dates back into centuries ago?!

However, the regulation of mining activities in Ghana as a distinct area of business enterprise with laws to regulate such activity started in the British Colonial era. Where only underground mining of largely Gold resources was permitted with the participation of foreign well resourced conglomerates undertook with payment of taxes and royalties to the state and national coffers to provide funds for the government to prosecute its development agenda. On the other hand surface mining was prohibited in favor of underground mining which necessitated the use of heavy machinery and equipment with many protections for the environmental top soil cover. Simply put, the indigenous people and society lived off the top soil through farming activities.

But before then small scale mining was being engaged into by the local African communities although illegal was known as ‘galamsey’ – meaning gather them and sell. Consequently, from 1987 this kind of mining activity was legalized by the Government of Ghana with strict conditions to sell their output to the Precious Minerals Marketing Commission (PMMC). There was no conflict whatsoever with the adjoining communities in the mining area but surprisingly with the recent hike in world gold prices – there has been an offset in the delicate balance holding between artisanal miners and their host communities. Unlike the previous arrangement; heavy mining machinery and equipment is now being used in doing artisanal mining locally known as ‘galamsey’ ?

This turn of events has led to scuffles and many conflicts between miners and their host communities in several rural settlements. Since there has been little regard for restoring the top soil and matters bordering on the environmental sanity affecting drinking sources of water and the ability of such rural settlements to engage in farming activities. Thus leading to increased cost of food items and much more so the cost of living in these mining areas.

The influx of foreigners into some of these mining areas

The actively mined areas in Ghana as a result of increased mining activity for especially more gold ounces to take care of the improved world gold prices at it pertains now?

The motley of events happening within the gold mining areas in Ghana has become a social magnetic for attracting both Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians alike to these areas. But explicitly the current mining laws in Ghana forbid foreigners from engaging in artisanal mining activities, per se. Since, involvement in this specific sector is reserved for Ghanaians only. Surprisingly, topping the list of foreigners overflowing into this sector are the Chinese illegal miners. Whose present activities are in contravention of current mining laws and regulations? They have little regard for environmental safety and sanitation. Mine pits and dug-out holes are not covered inasmuch as tasking measures to restore the top soil in these areas to its former state – befitting the return to farming activities as it were.

The above issues has necessitated police swoops to arrest offenders and to arraign them before law courts to seek enforcement of these mining laws in Ghana, as well as environmental laws in Ghana. The question that remains to be answered is would a further hike in world gold prices yield a total collapse in the enforcement of mining laws in Ghana?

 

2 February 2013

GHANA’S DEMOCRACY CAPTURES WORLD SPOT LIGHT

There have been about twenty democratic elections in Africa over the past 12 months in 20 countries to underscore the growing acceptance of democratic governance as the best alternative to political administration in most African countries – this year more of democratic elections continue unabated?

My country of Ghana has from 1992 chosen to embark on a course of democratic governance as the most appropriate political alternative to rule its people. Thus the people of Ghana did settle on this undertaking as a result of various political regime changes in the leadership of the country; after independence from the British Empire? Tentatively, the practice of democratic governance and elections in Ghana quickly becoming the benchmark as a gauge to the success or failure of any political elections that is held on the African continent? More importantly, it is also gradually becoming the envy of some developed economies, so to speak! A brand of democratic governance, for that matter? Patently, the full credentials of the Ghanaian brand of democratic governance and elections were on full display on January 7, 2013. Pertinently, this was at the swearing-in ceremony and celebrations of the investiture of His Excellency John Dramani Mahama as the fourth president of the fourth Republic of Ghana. Tentatively, this event captured world attention and spotlight?

All in all, there was a heavy representation of international delegations of international delegations from within and without the African Continent; for that matter. The full compliment of Ghanaian citizens turned out was in full attendance; very colorful, hospitable and supportive of this splendid and important event to usher in a new political administration to govern Ghana for the next four years. All things being equal, the next general elections in Ghana’s democratic calendar are due to be held in December, 2016.

Aside from the ongoing events, the main opposition political party – the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who lost the last general elections in December, 2008 is in court contesting the presidential and some parliamentary seats results? Again no matter what happens; the practice of democracy on the African Continent is come to stay?! Ghana for one, has seen the appreciable increase as pertaining to the practice of democratic governance and elections is increasingly becoming a catalyst for better defining those national issues that affect the progress and development of Ghana; as a country? Astride the evolving nature of democracy as a way of building national consensus in making well informed decisions and the application of real certified solutions in addressing national issues for the public good.

There is no gainsaying this fact; in that, real national development has been on the rise since 1992. For example, the Ghanaian economy has achieved a single digit inflation rate over the last 31 months; to say the least. I will opine to say the increased participation of the various residents on the African continent; and, with the deepening of the democratic dispensation; inasmuch as the adoption of democratic governance as a system for governing the peoples and natural resources of Africa is a sure bet to see and realize the total development of the African Continent?

 

3 January 2013

THE PRACTICE OF DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS IN AFRICA – THE GHANAIAN SCENARIO

The word; term and/or phenomena of the practice of Democracy as a way of political governance from the days of its inception in olden day Greek philosophy which implied the rule by the will of the majority of the populace in whom resides the power of sovereignty has under gone a lot of interpretation from one political jurisdiction to another after Non-Greeks constituents has accepted to practice it as a way of life around the world..

Arguably the continent of Africa had had to endure various definitions of what it entails to describe the kind of political dispensation before and after independence from its colonial rulers? The period immediately following independence from colonial rulers launched-in the era of neo-colonialism! When the elite of the various African countries tried to fill-in the governance gap or void left behind by the departing colonial masters. Those African elite tried to replicate the art of governance practiced by their colonial masters. Whilst trying to please such European governments back in their home countries. All these administration as it were did not truly represent the will and aspirations of the masses of the populace of their various countries but were rather skewed in favor of appeasing these colonial masters; to say the least!

Then the onset of globalization strategy to unite the world into a globe of a small village concept comes into play. Thus globalization strategy has allowed standards. Concepts; Ideas; Practices and Methods to be easily compared and contrasted with the evolution and devolution of the power of the internet technology; as it continues to penetrate the coverage of the global village; and, increasingly becoming our way of life worldwide. Aptly put together, this rendition has helped put the case of Africa and its unfolding events into the limelight of global attention whatsoever? Thus improving somewhat the conception; appreciation and a better comprehension of what Africa on the whole requires of the world for its total development vis-à-vis the sorts of partnership it seeks to create to meet any expectation the world out there may have of it as a strong, growing Continent in diversity both in terms of its resource offerings and population distribution. Comparatively, the growth of the internet technology over the past decade or more has helped provide the peoples of Africa with a multiplicity of platforms to play an advocacy role for comparing notes on the rule of law; administrative governance; Conduct of political election in a democratic atmosphere amongst other issues in the firm interest of Africa and its peoples. Thus within the comity of nations and on a world stage; Africa is continuously been able to present a common front as a political, economic and social union?

Personally, I want to believe Africa stands out to have benefited the most from these evolving engagements in enforcing the credence of the practice of democratic governance on the continent as a political way of life in the building of its various Countries found on the Continent, per se.

To be continued

 

13 December 2012

GHANA HAS DECIDED AT THE POLLS – ELECTED THE FOURTH JOHN AS PRESIDENT IN THE FOURTH REPUBLIC

The Ghanaian electorate went to the polls on the December 7, 2012 to vote to elect the fifth president of the fourth Republic for the sixth parliament for the next four years. Arguably, the general elections was considered free; fair; transparent; serene and one of the best organized general elections in Africa and worldwide by election observers both domestic and international.

This exercise was carried out at the end of a hectic and intense political campaign period which lasted for about four months or more? Again, there were eight presidential candidates in all – seven candidates from seven political parties and one independent candidate to be voted for on elections day. More importantly, all the 275 parliamentary seats were all up for grasps? That is fresh candidates were to be sought for the next four years. When the next general elections would be held in the year – 2016!

Basically, the Ghanaian election was a straight fight between the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as against the other political parties. At the end of the day, the race for presidential office was won by the incumbent – His Excellency John Dramani Mahama. He polled 50.70% of the valid votes cast as against 47.74% of the NPP candidate – Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo.

It is on record voter turnout was 79 percent of the valid registered voters of 14.5 Million Ghanaians eligible to vote. The NDC had 150 parliamentary seats; NPP had 121 of the seats in parliament; the People’s National Convention (PNC) had 1 seat with 4 independent candidates winning the rest of the seats to get the full compliment of seats in parliament house.

Thus a swearing-in ceremony would be held on January 7, 2013 for the investiture and swearing of the new president and a new administration in government as well as all the new parliamentarians.

Now, the big question to answer is did the President Barrack Obama re-election victory in the United States of America work out some magic to commensurate the elections turnout in Ghana?!

 

22 November 2012

GHANA DECIDES AT THE POLLS ON DECEMBER 7, 2012

Ghana as a country goes to the polls on December 7, 2012 to elect a new Executive President and 275 Honorable Parliamentarians to administer the political governance of this country for the next four years; that is up till the year 2016. Again, this will be the sixth general elections since the coming into force of the 1992 Republican constitution.

Interestingly, the two dominant political parties have been the National Democratic Congress (NDC); and, the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Surprisingly the NDC as a political party has won three of the general elections – 1992; 1996; 2008. Whilst the NPP has won two of the general elections – 2000 and 2004. it is on record; in that, Ghana as a country has 23 registered political parties with the Electoral Commission to date. However, only four of these parties have representation in Parliament with the NDC as a party holding the majority number of seats. The rest of the registered political parties are acting as electoral machineries and pressure groups on the political scenes. These are splinter groups from the main existing political parties.

Arguably, the electoral political calendar of Ghana falls in tandem with the electoral political calendar of the United States of America. On a more serious note the NPP has an elephant as their party symbol; and, as such claim their political fortunes to be linked to the Republican Party of the United States of America – having won the general elections in that country from year 2000 to 2008. On the other hand, the NDC as a political party has the Eagle and Umbrella as their political symbol. But assiduously attach them to the Democratic Party of the United States of America. Patently, this kind of perception in Ghanaian political life was given vent when the Republican President of the United States of America His Excellency George W. Bush Jr. visited Ghana during his presidency. Conversely, the NDC was at the helm of political power in Ghana when President Barrack Obama of the United States of America chooses to visit Ghana, as the first black African country in the world. More importantly, the NDC as a political party in power is going into the general elections in December with incumbency on their side. Now, followers and supporters of the NDC have resigned themselves to the fate of the fortunes of the victory of President Barrack Obama of the Democratic Party in the USA. Although the NDC are leading in opinion polls in Ghana; strongly believe President Osama’s re-election impliedly lends credence to their claims of victory in their re-election bid in December. 2012.

 

3 October 2011

The 2012 General Elections in Ghana is about delivering Transformational Change through effective Political Leadership to Corporate Ghana.

The year 2012 is yet another year for which the Ghanaian society at large would be called upon by politicians and political parties a like for votes from the Ghanaian population for a fresh mandate in a general elections which is less than a year from today.

Basically, the 1992 constitution of the fourth republic of Ghana; and, as is being practiced concurrently stipulates the holding of general elections every forth year after the last successful general elections has been held in the country under the auspices of the National Electoral Commission (NEC). Thus NEC is mandated by law to supervise such elections, all things being equal for that matter. More importantly, the holding of general elections in Ghana according to a political calendar agenda involves the holding of both Presidential and Parliamentary representations elections on the same day. However, elections for Assemblymen who are representatives of the people at the various district Assemblies and to preside over local government matters in every locality across the country; with insight is organized by the NEC at a later date announced as such. Tentatively, the constitution of the land stipulates; in that, two thirds of each District assembly is by elections. Whilst the political administration in government appoints another third to complement the workings of these Assemblies. Patently, political parties have argued since the inception of the 1992 Ghanaian constitution for alternative modes for representation and/or ways for being appointed to the District Assemblies – since elections in this regard is held along non-partisan political platform or lines.

But the argument still remains; in that, the political administration in government - who have an agenda of a political manifesto to prosecute. More so, it is deemed counter productive in pursuing a partisan political activity at the district level elections would not help matters, as at now. When one comes to appreciate our past political history in achievements and happenings; where most people cannot overcome their political barriers and leanings in making a contribution to national life. Then it is paramount for most participants in our political discourse to get rid of their posture in viewing the political agenda of the country through rose colored lenses. Perhaps, the best thing to do within the current arrangement is to continue in the hope that new parameters to this august argument is defined and accepted to bring about the requisite changes to this expectations at this level of the Ghanaian political discourse. In the light of the foregoing, the protagonist to the impending yet to be declared general elections for 2012 by the NEC; are going about their business of preparing the Ghanaian voters generally with their electioneering campaign messages and to be considered for elections to the high office of political representation for the people of Ghana. Arguably, this kind of political messaging agenda is being revved by public fora speaking’s through radio interviews; television talk shows; electronic media representations amongst other avenues in getting their messages across to the Ghanaian voting publics. Most often times these messages consists of a plethora of holding up a critique or portraying government policies; programs and projects amongst other initiatives. Which over the term of being in office with a view to improving the lives of Ghanaians and in giving them much hope for the future? On a more sordid undertaking; our current political dispensation as it pertains now is helping to define the many a problem of national interest and dimensions. More so, in recommending the requisite vehicles for delivering plausible solutions at the national level. This kind of enterprise is being given more understanding and meaning by the day in our political engagements and discussions on the way forward for this great country called Ghana.

Challenges

The greatest challenge bedeviling the growth in African democracies on the continent; inasmuch the constitutional dispensation and order particularly in Ghana: Are the pervasive acts of avowed politicians who mount political platforms in the name of the masses of citizens of a country. Invariably, purporting to deal with the issues affecting the standards of living of these same peoples but end up using these definitions as a ruse to foster their personal agenda to enrich themselves, per se.

The promotion of this kind of political strategy in leadership versus the growth in the practice of our kind of democracy on the African continent has led us to a point where the right caliber of politicians endowed and/or equipped with good leadership skills or better still the right competencies is missing. Those imbued with character and clout in leadership to provide selfless leadership in championing the provisioning of national solutions that effectively address issues affecting our national discourse as a people.

Tentatively, Ghanaians as a people in coming through so many kinds of changes in our political regimes since independence have grown to appreciate the need for our political democratic gains to be translated into economic democratization through economic growth and development in our national lives. Simply, put a way should be provided for political democracy gains to be turned into economic democracy resplendid with job opportunities; the attainment of a high standard of living for Ghanaian citizens; a responsible political administration in government working hard to reduce the cost of living through implementing pragmatic economic policies, programs and projects. The catch phrase for voters who ensure that politicians are employed is to be offered the chance to enjoy the accouretourements of modernity at an affordable price in life? Obviously, the spate of a political discussions and relative engagement in our political environment has indeed made a lot of Ghanaians joining in the political debate in defining what it takes to fix the socio-economic-political woes of Ghana on a scheduled basis. More importantly, what needs to be done to profile Ghana as a good corporate governance institute? Seriously, the name Ghana is continuously being branded as the first amongst equals when it comes to the continent of Africa on a world scale of preference on all fronts of our national life; all things being equal.

Credentials

It may interest anybody to know – Ghana as a country has all the credentials to excel and succeed as a nation. Avidly, Ghana as a country is well placed politically amongst the ten best practicing democracies in the world. However, Ghana is well considered to be amongst the ten future lion economies of Africa to provide the necessary stimuli for the growth in the economy and political dispensation of the African continent. Well into the next generation of countries deemed to perform well for the African renaissance. Arguably, the economy of Ghana is booming and was not seriously affected by the economic recession that is pervading the finances of most world economies to say the least. Again, Ghana is well placed amongst the ten best economies of the world; having maintained a single digit inflationary figure since 2009. Inflation is somewhat under control pegged at 8.5 percent and projected to come down as we gradually grow to become an oil producing economy over the next few years. Our local currency – the Cedi is stable against the major trading currencies of the world. Our economy has much improved with over sixty percent growth in our national budget and GDP, for that matter.

Succinctly, Ghana as a nation has been blessed with a rare opportunity of having one elected civilian political administration hand over to another elected civilian political administration in government. Again, and, until the adoption of the 1992 constitution in the fourth republic was upheld – this dispensation has eluded us as a nation; since our independence as a nation in 1957 as the first black country south of the Sahara on the African continent.

In the light of the foregoing, the practice of the 1992 constitution has afforded the Ghanaian people define the parameters of our national political life and in the face of current globalization trends in world affairs. That is begun to see the Presidency and Administration of the Ghanaian nation through the spectacles of good corporate governance principles? Arguably, wishing the Executive Presidency of Ghana operate more as a formidable Chief Executive Officer of corporate – Ghana. This perspective is fostering the agenda in calling for a well rounded personality with clout and character to be presented by the political fraternity in Ghana to stand for election to the political high office of Executive Presidency of Ghana?

Basically, the 2012 general elections in Ghana is aptly set apart to be won by any political party presenting a good candidate espousing all the qualities of a skilled selfless leader with character and the political clout to positively affect the collective political leadership of this country in the attainment of a fulfilling economic development agenda for Ghana, as applied. The crux of globalization on the geopolitical plane of the world is the ability of political leadership in democracies around the world to translate political constituencies and victories into economic interdependencies in the world comity of nations. Again, failing to provide this missing link to this puzzle is and going to spell the doom of many apolitical systems around the world.

Obviously, the world as a whole has moved from the era of political systems holding out on their own against all odds. Essentially, the burgeoning global information order is continuously providing many people in different locations around the world to compare and contrast notes on their well being and welfare on a global scale.

 

11 August 2011

THE NEED TO SHED THE WINNER TAKES ALL MENTALITY IN GHANAIAN POLITICS’

The coming year 2012 would be another time for general elections in Ghana; after the 2008 general elections which was won by the then main political party in opposition – the National Democratic Congress (NDC) from the then ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). A reversal of the scenario is the case for the general elections next year.

Profoundly, the Ghanaian political calendar tallies well in tandem with the political cycle of the United States of America – where general elections are held every four years for a fresh mandate to rule the nation, as it were.

Since 1992, when the fourth republican constitution was passed into law, it has been put to a stress test somewhat for consistency. Thus, earning Ghana; a name in African contemporary democratic dispensation in quite recent times in the comity of nations; on the world political stage. A distinction amongst sub-Saharan African countries in their struggle to emerge democracies politically.

Impliedly, a definition of the present operating status of the kind of democracy being practiced by the people of Ghana is a poignant reflection of the United States of American Executive Presidential system; the British Westminster type of Parliamentary practice coupled with the local governance administrative system adapted and adopted from the Indian district level administration engagement. Tacitly, this, this kind of approach to evolving a genuine working political system fit to accommodate all the political aspirations of the Ghanaian people between now and well into the distant future. On the safer side of issues; Ghanaians as a people are growing to appreciate the essence of maintaining a plausible democratic culture for now and generations yet unborn.

Interestingly, multi-political activity at the national level is prescribed at the district level of governance. However, the debate is on to determine when and how to get political parties to participate in the district level elections vis-à-vis a module to regulate such kind of involvement at this level. But for now, campaign platforms are mounted by the National Electoral commission (NEC) for all candidates wishing to participate in these elections.

The bane of Ghanaian political dispensation currently is the notion of the winner takes it all attitude in inherent in out politicking. Thus the political party to win the general elections would have to win fifty percent plus one of the valid votes cast for the popular vote cast and declared on voting day to become the winner of the general elections. Invariably, several rounds of general elections would be carried out until this result is attained. As a result, the political party once declared is a winner of the general elections; claims the total governance of the country as a trophy; and, to the neglect of the other minority parties of the political system.

Again, a conclusive assessment of the current situation on the ground points to a logical confirmation of the non-inclusiveness of the minority parties in active cooperation with the elected political administration in the governance agenda for the nation. These dichotomies becomes difficult for the minority parties to comprehend and define in real terms; in that, are they really electoral machines fine tuned only for general elections or perceive as serious political parties of a political system geared towards dealing with issues affecting the welfare of the state of affairs? This is a boogey of many a political party in most African developing and emerging democracies, per se. excepting in parliament and based upon their political representation in the number of seats won at the general elections, all things being equal.

Accordingly, the elected political parties on assumption of the mantle of power claim they have a political manifesto to prosecute and would not waste time attracting the attention of the minority parties and/or win their support in a bid to govern the country at large; as is the case for Ghana? The act of exclusion practiced by the winning elected parties is further buttressed by articles enshrined in the 1992 constitution, for that matter. However, this pervading undertaking is gradually weakening the jockeying for political positioning in our democratic march forward as African democrats. A case in point is past recent political crisis in the Ivory Coast. This scenario metamorphoses’ into weakening the strength and enthusiasm of the minority political parties to continually participate in the political agenda of Ghana especially and generally across the African continent. This is against the backdrop of mobilizing members and financial funds to assist such parties engage in the political discourse Ghana as a country has set about to achieve as a nation in its political and democratic strides on the African continent.

However, since the year 1992; Ghana as a country has been through five general elections already with the pendulum of controlling the reins of political power swinging between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the NEW Patriotic Party (NPP). Who have remained the dominant forces on the Ghanaian political landscape?

Consistently, the sixth general elections since the 1992 would be held in the year 2012 to be precise. Furthermore, the constitution of 1992 is currently under review since 2008 with a committee set-up to recommend amendments in a bid to fine tune the workings of the constitution after its launch. Essentially, the abuse of incumbency has made it rife to call for the powers of the Presidency and the Executive arms of government to curb in certain instances. Whilst in the same vein, other political powers of the same Executive arm should be enhanced for the proper functioning of the Presidency. A case in point being the requirement of the Presidency to appoint a third of its cabinet ministers from Parliament? This requirement is an anachronism in practice to the proper working of Parliament? This provision in the 1992 constitution is being called upon to be reviewed accordingly.

Arguably, the present and current debate is in favor of shedding the winner takes all approach in Ghanaian politics and elsewhere on the African continent? That is to do away with the exclusion attitude and embrace the leverage of the inclusion of all for the betterment of serious political business in African politics agenda on the whole.

 

22 June 2011

Re-Branding Ghana to Acquire a new Corporate Governance Image

The people and government of Ghana are trying to shed their old image as a low income status economy for a new emerging middle income status economy. Such are the recommendations emanating from the World Bank country office in Ghana. They contend ten countries on the African continent would in the next decade emerge as ‘lions’ after the order of Asian ‘tiger’ economies; and, Ghana is one of them, all things being equal. Patently, the Ghanaian economy has expended and grown over the last decade with most of our country’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets are well within reach of attainment by 2015. In theory, we can be classified as a middle income earning country. Whilst in practice there is still more work to be done in coming up with more social; structures and infrastructures that most middle income status countries portray to buttress their economic prosperity and development.

Branding Ghana a new

Tentatively and in pursuit of these noble objectives; ‘a brand Ghana’ office has been established. This is to see to re-branding Ghana along corporate governance virtues using the current governments – ‘a better Ghana agenda’ theme to hone-in the achievements of the day as a solid basis for this engagement.

In the first place, a Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) has been established over the past few months in a bid to solicit views; perspectives; suggestions; comments and proposals from the wider Ghanaian publics and society at large for amending the 1992 constitution of the fourth republic of Ghana. Such an undertaking is deemed to effectively cut the powers of the Executive president to size and enhance the powers of the office of the presidency of Ghana to work more as the proper Chief Executive of the land as a corporate entity. More so, to fine tune the working of the 1992 constitution in addressing social and national problems of the state; inasmuch as strengthen the work of our Parliament as a law making body of the governance system of our emerging democracy.

Succinctly, the 1992 constitution had expressly made a provision for its review and amendment 16-years into its adoption and working for the democratic governance system put in place in Ghana since then.

Essentially, the re-branding of Ghana as a corporate entity aptly involves taking a look at our value system as a nation in terms of time management and what unites us as a nation – aimed at improving our understanding of patriotism for our country; a paradigm shift in our present engagement as responsible citizens of Ghana.

Invariably, every corporate entity promoting sound corporate governance principles would endeavor to better remunerate its workers and/or employees. For that matter, the government of Ghana was able to institute the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) in 2008. In effect this undertaking was to operationalize the principle of equal work for equal pay in the civil and public sectors employees on the government pay roll.

Above all, the government of Ghana is continually striving to position itself as partnering the private sector in promoting initiatives that would spur on the economic development of Ghana as a nation. Since the government of Ghana in its own wisdom cannot do it alone, per se.

More importantly, Ghana’s emerging status as a Crude oil producing nation needs to be properly managed alongside the expectations of its populace vis-à-vis people’s without Ghana.

 

30 March 2011

THE NEW PAY REGIME FOR GHANAIAN GOVERNMENT SALARIED WORKERS AS A RESULT OF GOOD CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

The new pay/salary regime for the Ghanaian government workers is the now in vogue – Single Spine Salary Structure as a result of growth in good corporate governance and the enhancement of good democratic principles in Ghana. The principle of equal work for equal pay remuneration has eluded and defied definition for many a Ghanaian worker since the dawn of declaring Ghana as an independent sovereign country from its former days as Gold Coast – a British colonial administration before being declared independent of Great Britain on March 6,1957 as a sovereign state and then named as Ghana.

Patently, Ghanaian workers have been under paid by their colonial masters cum administration during the Gold Coast era. This phenomena did result in disgruntled ex-service military war veterans from the World War Two; agitating for a pay rise in their emoluments decided to present a petition during a demonstration to the then Governor of the Gold Coast culminated in their being shot at by policemen on duty at the seat of Government. This resulted in many of them being wounded and some killed. The demise of these ex-service men brought about the Accra riots of 1948 – looting, burning and mayhem in the city of Accra and its inhabitants at that time. This episode provided much fuel for the liberation movement of that day to seriously agitate for the independence of Ghana; and, final independence in March, 1957.

Arguably, this incident amongst many other spectacles; episodes and agitations for pay increase have become a ritual and tradition carried over from the colonial era into the functioning of modern as a nation state. In real terms, agitations for pay/salary increases as well as for improved working conditions has become an annual affair and institutionalised as the only means by which workers in Ghana can get attention from the politicians at the helm of national affairs. The bane of most successive government administrations has been the headache of workers agitation for pay/salary increases on a constant basis each time the national budget is read and/or there is an adjustment in fuel/transport prices and charges; then a new margin has to be set for the minimum wage rate to be paid by government and employers alike. The ability to pay principle put into practise at one point in time brought about some disparities in an employees take home pay packet. Depending on the kind of company/organisation an employee worked for; irrespective of the sort of qualification or competencies wielded by an employee. Thus various unions of the Trades
Union Congress were granted “Collective Bargaining Certificates” which needed to be renewed periodically or annually out of necessity each time there is a need for some kind of workers/ management bargaining to set a new order for pay and working conditions.

In passing, various forms and modes for remunerating workers and employees has been put into practice over the years but have not been able to motivate employee workers to give off their best. Especially, government salaried workers have been worse off within this quagmire. Thus, giving much room for them to be manipulated by both politicians and the public alike through bribery and corruption. Essentially, in 2006, the Single Spine Salary Structure as a sequel to the Ghana Universal Salary Structure is been introduced as a harbinger to all the special undertakings to better remunerate the Ghanaian public and civil servants altogether. Studies were initiated to build relativities into work performances needed to carry out government business and ratings of them onto a single spine salary structure together with all allowances to be paid for such work done. In the meanwhile, a Fair Wages and Salaries Commission was inaugurated in 2009 to begin the process of transferring all government salaried workers and employees being paid out of the consolidated Accounts/Funds of government as well as all sub-vented government agencies and departments unto the spine. So far, more than 40 of 80 sub-vented agencies and departments have been successfully migrated as such. Now, it turns out that one of the best paid government workers for that matter is the Police and Military personnel in Ghana.

Last month, when it came to the turn of teachers in the country – it was a fiasco and resulted in an industrial strike action. Because, the teachers detected a lot of errors; anomalies and discrepancies in their pay packets at the bank. Arguing that they were worse off after being transferred from the old scale to the new scale. Again, for about two weeks the President had to personally intervene to calm workers back to the classrooms. More importantly, it is overly anticipated the new SSS structure would nib in the bud all the old woes of the Ghanaian salaried worker. Thus it would become a panacea for hard work within the corridors of government work. Thus affecting the private sector for a better Ghana!

 

18 February 2011

ECONOMIC PROSPERITY: THE FIFTH ESTATE OF THE REALM: - a case for growth in Corporate Governance Culture in African Economies

This article on the above topic – fifth estate of the realm: is being written in an attempt to embark on a deliberate exposition to explain the emerging phenomena of the new African entrepreneur – whose image and role is of increasing importance as a new concept of business activity and enterprise as it affects the continent of Africa today!

The continent of Africa is known the world over to abound in nature and natural resources in spite of its undeveloped and developing status. These natural resources are much needed as raw materials the world over to create products and services to satisfy human needs and endeavours – especially in the developed economies. Again, productive resources such as human and land have been a given constant over the years since the days of slavery. On the other hand capital requisite for productive activity coupled with the role of taking risk – entrepreneurship; has always fallen behind the vision and aspirations of what the African stands for in today’s’ world of globalization.

Arguably, a discourse from the pre-colonial era through to independence of most African nations tend to validate the point that the concepts and ideas used as benchmarks for setting up investment projects within this period were slewed in favour of their colonial masters and foreign investors to say the least and their interests for that matter. All things being equal, two things were inherent and/or present the running of these businesses whether private or state organizations or for profit or not for profit. That is, the definition of these projects and business decision making cycles for realizing them were without the indigenous members of the African society – the elements of risk taking in business decision making in the pre-colonial era was the exclusive preserve of foreign investors or interests who set up most African enterprises as supplementary businesses to support their vested interests in their home countries; and has continued to this day. So that, during the colonization and scramble for Africa or leading to the period just before independence was attained. Many an African governments in administration of their newly founded countries were called upon to take over from their colonial masters once independence was attained. The focus and onus of responsibility for taking investment decisions was entrusted upon the new African leadership in government – the Africanisation drive was Ghana’s answer to this debacle: in the civil service to fill up vacant positions left behind by departing colonial masters and/or administrators; inasmuch nationalization of industrial projects left behind as a result of this undertaking.

Albeit, the concept and responsibility for investment decisions in the various national economies of independence African states by then collectively done as a governmental undertaking bereft of the influence and contribution of individual African risk takers – entrepreneurs, for that matter or failed to encapsulate the will of the masses of African societal members resulting in failure to own or justify such investments so undertaken on their behalf in the long term. The main premise for such a policy direction emanated or evolved from the fact that much needed capital resources and the requisite managerial skills for taking or making investment decisions was basically lacking or without the gamut of the African entrepreneur of that day vis-à-vis the quick gains which needed to be achieved on the political front. The credible alternative, was for the quintessential role played by some African with some knowledge of such risks in their national economies was to partner government to march functional industrial projects set up to provide employment and incomes for the fast emerging middle class. But more importantly, profits and products for running the economy as applied.

So impliedly, these underlining tendencies in the developmental agenda of most independent states in Africa after declaration of independence were faced with an economic flux situation bereft of actual individual risk takers – entrepreneurs with the craft and vision for introducing innovations on a timely basis in productive methods that would in the long run bring about cultural and societal changes in the long run aimed at re-engineering societal values and ideals for a better future living. Most African economies have failed to evolve in their economies due to the large absence of well bred African entrepreneurs in values and mores of what is in the best interests of the African Continent. Such a nationalistic African approach with a capacity to introduce much needed innovations in products, production, as well as processes for adding value to improve the economic fortunes of their national economies in a bid to move such economies from basically an undeveloped status into an emerging state and/or developed status whatsoever. There is the need for more wealth to be created in most African economies through undertaking of more economic ventures and projects that would create wealth and prosperity and above all employment opportunities for the teeming and growing populations. A synergy has to be found to improving incomes, products, profits, employment offerings to satisfy the needs and aspirations of many Africans, per se.

The advent of globalization, has laid bare the lack of capital resources and the financial craft to assist in the mass introduction of innovative business ideas, aimed at solving inherent problems of African societies. Thus would have been achieved through the setting up of start-up businesses or new entrepreneurial undertakings capable of putting us at par with the rest of the world. The developed world economies have readily found economic formulae for dealing with the introduction of much needed innovation in both human and capital resources through mergers, acquisitions and management buy-outs, so to speak.

In reality, sourcing for project funds to establish fresh start-up business investment projects in an economy of an African State still remains a daunting task to accomplish, well into the future. The financial infrastructure and well groomed financial institutions with a penchant to totally support a real African entrepreneur is still a rarity to find.

Sincerely, issues have been helped with the advent of democratic governance; rule of law and the restructuring of most African economies as a matter of fact. This emerging end in the African content is helping to better define economic problems and opportunities. Again, data collection and information analysis of economic trends is much improved as a resource available to investors and managers of the various national economies in Africa. Law reform and the practice of parliamentary democracies is also assisting in fostering state institutions which continually giving form and structure to policy directions from governments in power and at the helm of affairs from country to country. Thus in the coming decade, much transparency in the governance rule and economic reforms engender the taking of risk within a well defined ambit in most democratic African countries. Invariably, the role of the risk taker the entrepreneur is well enhanced to play a leading role in marshalling resources to introduce the business of innovation introduction in productive methods as a social re-engineer – Again, improved understanding of the corporate culture responsibilities of corporate entities is helping with the learning culture of companies to improve upon their performances in general and across board.

In reality, sourcing for project funds to establish fresh start-up business investment projects which mostly bring about economic innovations in products and solutions in many an African state still remains a daunting task to perform and accomplish well into the future.

More importantly, the financial architecture and well groomed financial institutions with a penchant to total support a real African entrepreneur is still a rarity to find.

Sincerely, issues have been helped with the advent of democratic governance practice, the rule of law and the restructuring of most African economies is a rendition of the practice of corporate governance culture at the national level which is trickling down to the corporate and institutional levels – this phenomena is fuelling a lot of changes in the legal regimes regulating such undertakings especially in my country Ghana. Again, this emerging trend in the African continent is helping to better define economic problems and contemporary business opportunities altogether. Again, data collection and information analysis of economic trends is much improved as a resource available to business managers and investors of the various national economies in Africa. Essentially, national law reform and the continuous practice of parliamentary democracies is also assisting in fostering state institutions which are continually giving form and structure to policy directions from governments in power. Thus, I foresee for many years in the coming decade, much transparency in the governance rule and economic reforms should engender the taking of calculated business and investment risk within a well defined ambit in most African countries.

Invariably, the role of the risk taker – the entrepreneur would be well enhanced to play a leading role in marshalling productive resources to introduce innovation in productive methods as a way of socially re-engineering responsibilities and expectations of the peoples living in Africa. On the international front and at the dawn of 2001, there was an important but scarcely visible, shift in the global financial balance. Basically, this was largely in favour of the European Union – Germany and France to be precise. Albeit, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Africa especially the sub-Saharan African countries, has not been appreciable enough to sustain a level of investment capable of driving economic growth and keep up with economic development. A new generation well groomed African entrepreneurs with a better perception of what the make-up of African investment needs really entails for a successful undertaking of business investments on the continent, so to speak. Such enterprises once brought to fruition would basically assist to collaborate in the innovation and introduction of new business products and services to better satisfy the needs and wants of what the African society requires vis-à-vis a critical need for new services and products. A particular look at a nifty little set of international comparisons called the “inventive coefficient” by true traditional economists. This simply put is the number of patents application per 100,000 head of the labour force.

The United States has traditionally been very strong in this area. But the most recent available statistics tell a different story already. Heading the table though is Germany with 13.5 applications per 100,000 head of the labour force. Again, African nations have performed decimally by these standards.

The advent of globalization has proved to put productivity in a new domain. It has now become a measure of how efficiently people; capital resources and ideas are combined in an economy. For that matter, the United States has during the long Clinton economic boom; been the ring master of these aspects of economic life. Its productivity has been large about seven percent in the technology. The African side of the story doesn’t look so rosy. Most African economies still take to the traditional definition of production; that is, manufactured output per head. But productivity growth is a measure of where things are going. Impliedly shows an accelerating trend in developed economies.

A study recently compared productivity levels and Gross Domestic Product(GDP) per head across the European Union showed that of the top 10 most productive and wealthiest regions; shows Germany as a leader.

Tentatively, it is overwhelmingly discernible from the above ongoing discourse, in that; Ghana as a country on the African continent epitomises the evolving trends in contemporary world geopolitics versus what needs to be down right for some kind of successful achievement within the African context. Tentatively, Ghana as a country has been through a lot of changes in its political administrative regime – I mean from civilian to military back to civilian rule in contemporary times. A massive economic restructuring programme under the auspices of the World bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) from around 1983 onwards. This has helped bring about some level of buoyancy in her economic fortunes, as a nation. Macro economic stability has been achieved with its national currency – the Cedi, becoming a hard currency which can be freely exchanged against all major international currency. A fourth republican constitution has been used to hold democratic elections since the year 2000 for five terms of political office – each political term of office being equivalent to four years in office.

Most importantly, Ghana as a country is right now being branded as a corporate organization with the President of the republic being positioned as its chief executive officer deemed to operate within an environment of good corporate governance. Avidly, this preoccupation has led to a current state of constitutional review to amend certain portions and sections of the 1992 constitution, which is the supreme law of Ghana. Basically, the executive powers of the presidency of Ghana is being looked at with a view to enhancing the authority of the president to rule the state of Ghana more constructively. The loose ends and loop holes within the context of the written constitution is being amended to forestall the perpetration of official state corruption and to bring the perpetrators of such crimes to book. Thus serving as a strong deterrent to culprits of corruption in our national lives.

The recent discovery of Oil and Gas in commercial quantities is proving to provide Ghana as a country with the platform and resources to put in place an industrial architecture for a strong economic take-off and to make the transition from a developing status to a more developed state.

 

4 December 2010

STX CORPORATION OF SOUTH KOREA TO INTORDUCE NEW CORPORATE GOVERNANCE CULTURE TO REDUCE HOUSING DEFICIT IN GHANA

The nation of Ghana as a country, since independence on March 6, 1957 and up till now has a housing stock deficit of 1.3 Million housing units. This situation has come about as a result of the failure of the national housing policy over the past years to more than a decade to deliver more housing units than what actually is what Ghanaians require. Essentially, through the State Housing Company. Patently, the State Housing Company had delivered some housing units in the past, in the 1960’s with a planned output until 1985.

Successive government housing policies had failed to re-capitalize this government agency due to a culture of poor corporate governance in managing state-owned-enterprises in Ghana generally; and, specifically affecting the building of affordable housing units over the years to satisfy the demands of Ghanaian government workers and to the whims and caprices of political authorities, so to speak. The reality of the housing situation in Ghana had been the inability of the cost of building houses to keep pace with the pricing for affordability to suit the political agenda of political authorities or central government for that matter. The bane of this undertaking had been the failure of state authorities to sponsor and/or come up with a new and requisite building technology which will enhance land use in tandem with economizing on the cost of materials for building. Arguably, the old, known and traditional methods for building houses for delivery to the Ghanaian populace, was not lending itself to this kind of argument and expectation on the part of both policy planners and housing buyers alike. Who have low disposable incomes to afford expensive housing units or accommodations?

This backlog so created in housing delivery in Ghana has led to a seller’s market for those wanting to buy houses or accommodation for that matter. Arguably, any potential buyer of a house or accommodation would be required to pay upfront – rent advance for so many years occupancy. Thus mortgage facilities on offer for 20 to 25 years to workers are not very attractive when you come to think of the low remuneration levels of the Ghanaian worker. Avidly, a potential buyer of accommodation in Ghana; especially in the capital city of Accra and the regional and district capitals would be expected to make payments for 5 to 10 years as the norm. This is known as a rent advance or ‘good will’ when a commercial property is. This situation has led to a complex whole for the government in finding it hard to accommodate its workers; especially the security forces like the police, the military and prison officers to mention just a few of public and civil servants. The central authorities intend to provide accommodation or better still housing.

STX Corporation of South Korea is offering to pre-finance a 2 Billion United States Dollars contract deal to deliver on about half of the housing deficit stock that Ghana has on its hands. There has been a long drawn out argument in the country’s parliament over the past year on the merits and demerits of going in for this housing deal between the majority and minority political parties in government.

Tentatively, the government majority side in parliament made an argument for this deal as a package, because it is in dire need of accommodation and housing facilities for the public and civil servants as government workers especially the security forces – police, military, prison officers etc. Thus seventy percent of the housing units to be built would be offered to these security personnel and the remainder of thirty percent would be offered for sale to the Ghanaian public at large. Say, a period of 25-years mortgage would be allowed for repayment of such housing units. More importantly, the STX Korea housing deal is bringing a new kind of house building technology – high rise building apartment block’s which would allow for land space optimisation. Patently, the moral of security forces to perform their professional duties is aptly affected greatly by the lack of proper housing and accommodation for these personnel across the country.

Essentially, the minority parties in parliament had preferred this undertaking be given to the private estate developers locally here in Ghana; so as to grow the local housing industry. Invariably, the triumph card of the STX-housing deal as a package is the pre-financing of this transaction as a package with the backing of South Korean government. However, repayment of this loan is scheduled for over 20-years with 5-years grace period. A consensus has now been achieved between both sides in parliament as a result of agreeing to the need for 90 percent of the contract works to be undertaken by Ghanaian companies and workers. A new cement factory would be built for this undertaking as well as a new steel works factory early 2011 when the building of these houses is deemed to commence.

As at now, the STX-housing deal has received parliamentary approval and awaiting the final presidential accent. It however remains certain procedural considerations – such as translations of documents into English for Ghanaians and Korean language for the Koreans. Albeit, the South Korean ambassador to Ghana has vouched strongly in favour of the STX-housing deal because similar housing feats has been accomplished by the STX Corporation in South and North Korea; china and Dubai to name just a few countries.

All things being equal, the actual building of the houses in Ghana is deemed to begin in the year 2011 at locations to be specified by the Government of Ghana.

Interestingly, it seems corporate governance in Ghana is undergoing a somewhat evolving phase with the incorporation of international best practices into various transactions affecting all the economic sectors of the country. This particular housing contract is worth some two billion United States Dollars for a start. God bless!!!

 

18 November 2010

INVESTMENT FORUM ON GHANA HELD IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC ON NOVEMBER 9, 2010

Ghana as a contemporary investment destination in sub-Saharan Africa was showcased in an investment forum for four days beginning on November 9,, 2010 in Prague, the Czech Republic. Evidently, the investment forum was hosted by the Ghanaian Embassy in the Czech Republic under the auspices of the Czech Government with support from the business community in that country.

More importantly, the investment forum was chaired by no less a person than the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana – His Excellency John Dramani Mahama. Who led an entourage of both government and private sector personalities who are making some impart in the Ghanaian Economy.

The highlights of the of the investment forum was to engage the attention of the Czech Business community as well as its government, to be abreast with key business opportunities now prevailing in the Ghanaian in the Ghanaian economy and to invite the Czech business community to avail themselves through participating in economic ventures and partnerships that would yield maximum benefits to the two nations, as it were.

However, the key areas of investment that Ghana sought Czech support and participation was in these areas:

  • The use of light railways (tramcars) in improving urban transportation within and without Ghanaian cities as alternative means of transport in a bid to reduce the current spate of growing vehicular traffic congestion. To this end, the Vice President and his delegation visited the SKODA heavy industries group situated in the city of Pilsen on a working visit and above all to invite the company to set up plant in producing similar goods and services locally here in Ghana;

  • to assist in the upgrade of engineering facilities at the Tema Petroleum Oil Refinery and to help in expanding its refinery capacities into a full fledged petroleum engineering complex;

  • To participate in the emerging petroleum industry in Ghana. That is, from exploration to building of full petroleum engineering complexes for export and local industrial growth;

  • To re-visit former state industries set up under the first republic with Czech assistance in the 1960’s in the areas of footwear, sugar, glass production amongst other things and to see how viable these companies can be refurbished and resuscitated back to production and in contributing to the Ghanaian economy.

Arguably, Czech government assistance and support in the 1960’s in setting up these industries had gone to form the basis of industrialization of the Ghanaian economy way back in then. Again, the severing of those cooperation partnerships caused a collapse of most of these industries to date.

This investment forum, perhaps, is offering a new definition for continuing the unfinished business between Ghana and the former Czechoslovakia overtures in a new vein of globalization economics. At present, there is a petroleum bill before the Ghanaian parliament; undergoing a serious debate and to fine tune this bill to include international best practice conduct within the Oil and Gas industry worldwide. In contrast, past oil and gas exploration agreements had contained ropy deals involving the former President and some oil exploration companies in the absence of a much formidable petroleum bill which would have served as a standard practice guide. Who knows, maybe the oil and gas industry playing field is getting more level and involving as an emerging industry in Ghana and the world at large.

It has now been put in the public domain, in that, crude oil reserves abounds in the offshore waters of the coast of Ghana. That is from the western most point of Cape Three points to the Eastern most point bordering the Republic of Togo. God bless!!

 

4 November 2010

OLD CRUDE OIL FIND IN 1961 RENEWED IN 2010 BECAUSE OF GOOD CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

The first President of the first Republic of Ghana in 1961 commissioned the then Soviet Union to prospect for Crude Oil and other natural resources in the Eastern parts of the newly founded independent Republic of Ghana from British Colonial rule on March 6,1957. This undertaking was specifically scheduled to take place in now what is called the Volta Region of Ghana.

Interestingly, just before any findings could be made public and confirmed or attested to; His government was overthrown in a military coup d’etat on February 24, 1966; whilst he was in Hanoi on a political mediation talks in Hanoi, Vietnam. Subsequently, that expedition was estopped from completing its mandate to prospect or find any Crude Oil. Again, the engineering team from the then Soviet Union was made to return home abruptly. Furthermore, that bi-lateral cooperation’s was discontinued. Since, the new military government was pro-American. Interestingly, those were the days of East-West politics of engagement – The Cold War Era in World politics.

Quite recently, this month a new light of engagement is now being shed on that undertaking some fifty years ago in 1961. Essentially, the current Russian government has been forthcoming with a fresh impetus in 2010 and to cooperate with the Ghanaian government in commercialising that research findings way back in 1961. The Russians contend the current administration of His Excellency President John Evans Attah-Mills has shown the tenacity for good governance; transparency and the disposition to fight corruption on a Nation-wide scale. A more serious assertion by the Russians was the fact that successive Ghanaian Presidents and administrations in government; since the overthrow of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in 1966 had failed to follow up and/or request for this kind of information as applied.

The findings of this Soviet Union/Russian endeavour confirm positively that Ghana has commercial quantities of Crude Oil to be found in an area east of the Volta River estuary basin. Furthermore, crude oil can be found in commercial quantities offshore in the eastern territorial waters of Ghana bordering the Republic of Togo. However, some quantities of crude oil are to be found inland in the Northern parts of Ghana as well as natural resources of iron ore, peat, uranium and gold.

Already, crude oil has been found in commercial quantities offshore in the western territorial waters of Ghana bordering with the Ivory Coast. However, commercial drilling in the western offshore waters is due to begin in November, 2010.