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Showing posts from October, 2016

President Mahama’s Assertion On Media Cabal

President John Mahama has expressed worry over what he calls the control of Ghana’s media by a cabal who are blocking his message of transformation. In an interview with the Ovation Magazine, the President said and I quote "it is populism, a certain group has taken control of the media in Ghana and it makes it difficult for people to discern the truth" unquote. This comment from the President raises a number of issues. It is interesting how this could happen in a pluralistic media landscape as we have in Ghana. As at March last year, the National Communications Authority licensed 390 radio stations. Out of this number, 309 were operational. There are quite a good number of television stations and countless number of newspapers circulating in the country. The case can be made that not all these media organisations are sympathetic to the President or against him. There are well known media houses which are aligned to the NDC, both in opposition and in government. These media o…

EOCO Directive Over Campaign Funds Investigation

The Economic and Organised Crime Office, otherwise known as EOCO has received mixed reactions from a section of the public following its invitation to some political party leaders to disclose their sources of funds for their political activities. According to a Daily Graphic publication, EOCO wants Hassan Ayariga of the All People`s Congress [APC] to explain where he got the $6 million he claimed to have expended on his campaign. Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party [PPP], on the other hand, is being asked to explain the source of the GH¢1,000,750 that he paid for himself and the parliamentary candidates of the PPP as filing fees. This is no doubt a move in the right direction. It is important that relevant state agencies are allowed to investigate the sources of funds of everybody who flaunts wealth especially if they are not known to be engaged in any serious business that can give them that kind of wealth. We are in a country where we worship the wealthy without q…

History Of Teacher Trainee Allowances

It is necessary to know and understand how the Teacher Trainee Allowance came about. Originally, the Training colleges were attached to some secondary schools, for example Achimota School in Accra and St. Augustines College in Cape Coast. There were other similar Institutions in Ashanti and elsewhere. The two types of Education were on the same compound. The fees paid by the secondary school students were higher than those of the Teacher Training Department. For example, in Achimota while the secondary students paid seven pounds, their counterparts in the Training College Department paid five pounds as fees. The motive behind the disparity was to encourage more students to offer Teacher Training. The expansion of educational programmes necessitated the training of more teachers for the first cycle schools. For this reason, six week Emergency Training Centres were established in all the regions to train pupil teachers already teaching in schools.

In addition to this, some of the four ye…

Libya, After Death Of Col Muammar Gaddaf

October 20, 2016 is exactly five years since former Libyan Leader Col. Muammar Gaddaffi was killed by NATO backed forces. Col. Gaddaffi was no doubt a controversial figure. To some, he was a terror but to others he was a hero. His death still arouses mixed feelings among many Libyans and Africans in general. The point can be made that the decision by the western forces spearheaded by the US and France to intervene in the Arab spring, was not a genuine desire to liberate the people of Libya, but a desperate effort to get rid of a man who dared challenge their supremacy. Gaddaffi, was in no way a push over in world politics, he stood his ground and spoke his mind fearlessly. The western forces were just opportunistic, taking advantage of the wave of the Arab spring. That decision is currently haunting US Democratic Presidential Candidate, Hillary Clinton, who was the then Secretary of State.

The death of Gaddaffi hardly represents any of the ideals aspired to by a nation that had just em…

Legal Battle Between Disqualified Presidential Aspirants, EC

There is a growing concern and fears that the December 7, 2016 electoral calendar could be negatively affected following the rising number of disputes between some disqualified presidential aspirants and the Electoral Commission [EC]. The EC on October 10, 2016 declined to accept the nominations of 12 aspirants after it detected errors on their forms. While majority of the disqualified aspirants claimed the errors were clerical and administrative, the EC insisted that some were criminal and bother on perjury and forgery which cannot be allowed to go unpunished. So far, the National Democratic Party, the Progressive People's Party and the Independent People's Party have sued the Commission over the matter. The People's National Convention and the All People's Convention have also given the EC up to October 20 to reinstate their candidates or face them in court. From the look of things, none of the parties to the dispute is willing to compromise and they are prepared to …

Fake Election Prophecies And Opinion Polls

It is interesting how religion is playing in Ghana's body politic. Apart from parties and candidates organising prayer and worship sessions to seek divine blessings, some so called prophets and prophetess are making declarations and pronouncements in respect of who shall emerge victorious in the elections. In other words, these men and women of God have become pollsters and seers and are able to predict the outcome of the election. The irony of the whole situation is that, they all claim they have revelation from God yet their prophesies and predictions are different. The question is how can the same God tell different things to different prophets in respect of the same thing? What is clear is that these men and women think they are wiser or smarter than the rest of the population. They are aware just like everyone else is that in this year's election, one of the two main parties will win, so they go about stating the obvious, pretending to be prophesying. At the end, when one…

Restoration Of Fertilizer Subsidies In Ghana

Opinions about the role of fertilizer subsidies in spurring agricultural development in Ghana have fluctuated significantly over the years. Many experts believe that fertilizer subsidies represents an essential method for achieving long term food security in the country while providing social support to the poorest small holder farmer. There is widespread agreement that increased use of fertilizer and other productivity-enhancing inputs is a precondition for rural productivity, growth and poverty reduction. While the benefits of using fertilizer are widely known, fertilizer use in sub-Saharan Africa stood at just 8 kilogramme per hector compared to 78 kilogramme per hector in Latin America and 101 kilogramme per hector in South Asia. One of the reasons for these low rates is affordability.

Generally, in less developed countries like Ghana, the demand for fertilizer is thought to be more elastic under the assumption of readily available substitutes such as manure and other organic mater…

Need For Issues Based Voting

The season has begun and the atmosphere is filled with cacophony of promises. There is no doubt that Ghana is confronted with a lot of developmental challenges. There is growing unemployment, declining agricultural productivity, deteriorating infrastructure and many more. Recent surveys conducted by various institutions such as the National Commission for Civic Education [NCCE] revealed that Education, Health, Employment and infrastructure are key issues at the heart of many Ghanaians. With less than two months to the general election, it is imperative that those who seek political power subject themselves to probing questions from the masses to show that they understand their concerns and have what it takes to solve them. In times past, elections were driven by mundane factors such as tribe, religion, height, and skin complexion. Campaigns were also characterised by abuses, insults, mudslinging, fabrications, unsubstantiated allegations, accusations and counter accusations. Little at…

Girl Child Day

The importance of setting aside a special day dedicated to the girl child cannot be over emphasised. The observation of the Day supports more opportunity for girls and increases awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide. This inequality includes the right to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence and child marriage. The world currently has about one point one billion girls who are brimming with talent and creativity. But their dreams and potential are often thwarted by discrimination, violence and lack of equal opportunities. It is unfortunate that there is no up to date data on the specific challenges girls go through on daily basis. That is why it is refreshing that this year's observation of the International Day of the girl child focuses on data gathering. This is a clear call for action for increased investment in collecting and analyzing girl-focused, girl-relevant and sex-disaggregated data. One year into…

Conversion Of Polytechnics Into Technical Universities

No one can discount the immense contribution university education makes to national development, particularly when efforts are directed at making education the driving force that transforms the economy through the development of a country’s human resources. It is with this sentiment that most people welcome the Technical Universities Act 2016, Act 922, which seeks to convert existing polytechnics into technical universities. Under the Act, the new technical universities are mandated to maintain their uniqueness as institutions for training the next generation of industrial human resources that are required to transform the economy. Geoffrey Boulton of the University of Edinburgh, in a speech in 2009 at the European University Association Convention in Prague on the topic, ‘’Globalisation: What are universities for?’’, made some propositions on the roles of universities, and stated, among others, that universities in today’s world are seen as ‘’crucial national assets’’ actually engage…

“Bad economics for political gain”- A Deputy Finance Minister Replies Dr. Bawumia

In his typical fashion, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, has presented a 2016 edition of his annual lecture, that simply comprises a mixture of half-truths, outright lies and deliberate misinterpretation of economic trends and events, in an effort to discredit the economic stewardship of the National Democratic Congress government of His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama.

If there is any difference between this year’s lecture and those of previous years, it is that his desperation shows even more clearly this time around in the form of the number of statistical untruths and other factual inaccuracies he deploys to justify his arguments, coupled with ingenious, deliberate misinterpretation of the facts that he actually stated correctly.

This is not surprising considering that his sole motive for the annual lectures is to win the support of the electorate and with a general election just a few months away he has resorted to all sorts of …