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Showing posts from November, 2016

Death Of Former Cuban Revolutionary Leader Fidel Castro

Last Saturday, the world woke up to the news of the death of leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz. The world has indeed lost a great hero and beacon of the struggle for true independence from the forces of oppression and neo-colonialism. As Prime Minister, President, Commander of the Cuban Armed Forces and First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, his role at the helm of Cuba spanned nearly 50 years during which he left a major imprint on his country and on global politics. Castro was a towering international figure whose importance in the 20th century far exceeded what might have been expected from the head of state of a Caribbean island nation of 11 million people. In death, as he did in life, the fiery apostle of revolution who defied the United States for nearly half a century as Cuba’s maximum leader continues to divide opinion. On the screens, we saw some mourning the charismatic leader who started his revolution with a small band of people in the Sierr…

Death Of Former Cuban President Fidel Castro

Over the weekend all major International News networks had to abruptly alter their programmes to digest the sudden news of the passing on of Cuban Revolutionary Leader, Fidel Castro Ruz at age 90. Death at such an age is normally not mourned, but celebrated. A giant of 20th century politics, Fidel's passing really captured the centre stage of every discussions across the world in politics, economics, commerce and global planning and strategies. The emblematic revolutionary was known for his love of life and was a figure recognised by both friends and fees as a legend thrust on world politics and history by circumstances of his time.

Born, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz on August 13th 1926 to Spanish Immigrants of affluent background, the former Cuban leader abandoned his pursuit in law practice and embraced the Missionary cause of Jose Marti, the Cuban Independence, Liberator of the 18th Century, to be with the down trodden and exploited. Spurred on by the examples of radical like Simo…

African Countries Quitting The ICC

The Gambia, South Africa and Burundi have given indication of their intention to quit the International Criminal Court. The decision to quit the court should not come as a surprise to anybody. For a long time, many have held the view that the court is used for the persecution of Africans, especially their leaders while ignoring crimes committed by the West. The ICC has jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The court is meant to complement existing national judicial systems and it may therefore only exercise its jurisdiction when certain conditions are met, such as when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals or when the United Nations Security Council or individuals states refer investigations to the Court.

Since, it began functioning on first July 2002, the Office of the Prosecutor, an organ of the court has opened ten official investigations and is also conducting an additional nine preliminary examinations.…

Improving Investment Architecture For Africa’s Youth

Despite their numerical strength, young people in Africa are still confronted with significant obstacles to participating in economic, social and political circles. Yet, Africa’s youth are the key to the continent’s renaissance and will remain players in and advocates of social transformation and development in many spheres. The enormous benefits that youth can contribute can only be realised when investment is made in their education, employment, health care, empowerment and effective civic participation. A number of bilateral and multilateral donors, as well as foundations and other global institutions have published policies and strategies, commissioned research and analysis, and launched a range of programmes and initiatives targeting Africa’s youth.

This donor momentum has obviously increased the profile of Africa’s youth across all domains of global development discourse. However, more needs to be done to ensure that donor policies and strategies are matched by an increase in fun…

Police Service Election Security Manual

As part of its preparations towards the 2016 general election, the Police Administration has launched a number of educational, training and other manuals for security agencies and the public. The manuals which form part of efforts to ensure peace before, during and after the election are timely and also demonstrate the readiness of the police and sister security agencies to collaborate with the Electoral Commission to deliver not only a peaceful but also credible election. These materials are to alert, inform, educate and give direction to the security agencies and the voting public on the acceptable and unacceptable practices connected to the December 7 general election. The materials adopted from the legal framework governing elections in Ghana are tailored towards catering for the operational needs of the rank and file of the Security Service. Additionally, information has been provided as a checklist for the general public particularly voters in order to ensure a violence free pol…

Phenomenon Of Prophets Predicting Elections

One of the recent but worrying developments in the lead up to election 2016 is how some prophets are going about predicting the winner of the Presidential election. It is so strange that they do not predict the winner of Parliamentary seats but the Presidential seat only. It is equally baffling that some of these prophets are also predicting the death or a possible attack on the life of the sitting President and the main opposition leader. The question that arises is how come nothing is said about the other presidential candidates. These predictions may either be true or false. The issue at stake is about the wrong timing of these predictions. Many church leaders and concerned citizens disagree with such prophetic predictions not only because they are not very sure of the origins of such predictions but also the appropriateness of putting those predictions in the public domain. Another striking concern about these predictions is the contradictions inherent in them.

Why should God predi…

2016 International Day For Tolerance

Tolerance is an acknowledgement, appreciation and acceptance of human diversity. Tolerance is thus the vehicle that drives peace and harmonious living. It can therefore not only be a cherished principle but also a virtue and necessity for peace, cohesion, economic and socio-cultural advancement peoples and nations. It has always been said that there cannot be any meaningful development in the absence of peace. That is why as a nation, we need to jealously guard our peace and unity. For many years, Ghana has been an island of peace in a sub region best noted for conflicts and civil strifes mainly resulting from disputed elections as well as cultural and religious differences. These can be attributed to lack of tolerance among the people. There are more than fifty language and ethnic groups, several religious and political groupings and many other diversities in Ghana, yet we have lived and continue to live in harmony to a large extent for all these years, despite occasional disturbance…

Controversy Over Holding Of Presidential Debate

To Debate or not to debate is not a decision that must be left entirely to political elites seeking power. This power does not belong to Presidential Aspirants. The citizenry are the ultimate and sovereign repository of that power being sought after by Presidential Hopefuls. The citizenry have the RIGHT to know how their power will be used. They have the right to objectively know what they stand to gain when they repose their trust in Aspirants. This objective knowledge cannot be known at partisan rallies. It cannot be known when aspirants simply go plead for votes. It cannot be known when politicians go about spewing lies. Rather, it can be known when candidates engage in a healthy contest of ideas on credible debate platforms. Citizens have the right to know in detail, what all Aspirants stand for because it is their power, not that of any presidential aspirant, that is being sought. Election is only a necessary condition for democratic advancement.

It certainly cannot be the suffici…

Election Security In Ghana

In less than a month, precisely on December 7, Ghanaians will once again go to the poll to elect a President and 275 Members for the Parliament. Candidates are jostling all over the country to send their messages across. They are leaving no stone unturned to catch the attention of the voting population. Unlike the advanced democracies such as the UK, the United States, Norway, and Sweden where this exercise passes without any serious violent incidents, ours is not exactly the case. In recent times there has not been any single election on the continent that has gone without acts of rancour, acrimony, intimidation, threats, brutalities and arsons among others. Some even degenerate into full blown civil disturbances or wars. In most cases election violence occur during the campaign period, voting or when results are declared and thereafter. That is why security is key to the success of every nation’s electoral process.

Election security encompasses protection of electoral stakeholders su…

Payment For Media Accreditation For Elections Coverage

There is an ongoing debate about a statement from the Electoral Commission [EC] to the effect that journalists or media houses that will want to "Observe the Elections" and will be accredited to do so by the EC, will have to bear the cost of the accreditation tags that will be printed for them. It suggested that it may costs about GH¢10.00 per tag. In all honesty, there is nothing wrong with this decision. One would have had a big issue with the EC if it had said that no journalists will be accredited to observe the elections. Or if the Commission had said since it is the institution organising the elections, it will be issuing guidelines on what journalists can and cannot report on or about, during the elections. But obviously, the Commission cannot even dream of saying so. Being accredited to observe the elections means such accredited persons may have privileges to get closer to electoral processes in a way that non-accredited persons cannot. The EC as a public institutio…

President Mahama's Open Letter To Ghanaians

This is probably the first time in the history of Ghana that a sitting President has written an open letter to his citizens. That makes the gesture a novelty. But it comes as no surprise as the President is a communicator par excellence. The four paged letter was captured under two titles "we are winning the race" and "Ghana is up and rising". Under the first part, President Mahama thanked Ghanaians and the teeming supporters of the NDC for giving him the opportunity to serve them. He admitted his first term had not been a bed of roses but came with challenges, which he had to face with a sense of duty and dedication. The President cited the almost one year long election petition, incessant market fires, fall in commodity prices and power crisis as hurdles he had the rather unpleasant duty of jumping.

In the second part of the letter, President Mahama sought to tell Ghanaians efforts that have been made to put Ghana on the path of recovery and development as well as…

US Election: Donald Trump Is Elected President

Donald Trump will become the 45th US president after a stunning victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton. The Republican nominee's victory came down to a handful of key swing states, despite months of polling that favoured Mrs Clinton. The battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio and North Carolina cleared the way for his Brexit-style upset. To say his victory is a shock, is an understatement. The real estate tycoon, former reality TV star and political newcomer, who was universally ridiculed when he declared his candidacy in June last year, said his victory had been "tough". And he is right. Mr Trump has smashed into Mrs Clinton's vaunted electoral firewall in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states that have not supported a Republican presidential candidate for decades. All over the world, particular in the developing world many people dreaded a Trump victory based on the kinds of comments he was making and policies he was espousing. His victory could change America's relationsh…

Improving Agricultural Sector In Ghana

Ghana has once again honoured its heroic farmers and fishers for the arduous role they have played in quickening the pace of the nation's socio-economic development. With the growing unemployment situation and almost half of the economically active Ghanaian population engaged in agricultural and allied activities, the theme for this year’s celebration “Agriculture; A business response to economic growth” cannot be more appropriate. The theme accentuates the need to commercialise agriculture irrespective of scale and to promote it as a profitable and viable business venture. The timeworn notion that agriculture is just a way of life, a social sector or developmental activity is moribund. The sector should be seen as nothing but a business and a way to create wealth to improve lives. The importance of agriculture to the nation cannot be overemphasised. The sector contributes significantly to gross domestic product and is the primary source of income for rural populations. The sector…

Mahama On Digital Terrestrial Television Network

It came as a joy to workers of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and indeed many Ghanaians when the President of the Republic, John Dramani Mahama disclosed on the corporation's Eastern Regional FM station, Sunrise FM that the corporation will be given the sole mandate to manage the digital terrestrial television network when it is completed. This is logical because even though the Ministry of Communication is leading the roll out of the network, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation [GBC] is the technical wing of the process. GBC would therefore be grateful to the president if the participation in the roll-out further deepened from the onset so that experience gained can be used to manage the network effectively and efficiently. Digital Terrestrial Television simply known as DTT is the next stage of terrestrial broadcasting, not only for television, but radio and data as well. Changing from analogue terrestrial television to digital terrestrial television, provides a platform for as ma…

Chiefs And Partisan Politics

As the 2016 general election draws nearer with the campaign trail of the various political parties in full gear, one main item that keeps popping up for discussion on social and traditional media platforms is the endorsement of either of the two main political parties by chiefs and other traditional rulers. Chieftaincy is a revered institution and all those who occupy the position of chiefs are accorded due respect as leaders of the society. Chiefs are so important in our traditional setting, that the framers of the national constitution deemed it fit not only to guarantee the continuous existence of the institution, but also preserve its sanctity. The entire Chapter 22 of the constitution is devoted to chieftaincy and Clause Two of Article 270 goes further to insulate them from control; stating thus: “Parliament shall have no power to enact any law which (a) confers on any person or authority the right to accord or withdraw recognition to or from a chief for any purpose whatsoever; o…