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Showing posts from July, 2018

Mid-Year Budget Review And Matters Arising

The 2018 mid-year budget review will in doubt go down in history as one of the mid-year budgets that has generated much interest, controversy, suspense, discussion and anxiety from the public. The mid-year budget assessed the 2018 budget which was under the theme ‘‘putting Ghana back to work''. Having travelled six months into the one year budget cycle, Ghanaians can now judge whether Ghana is being put back to work or not. Undoubtedly, there have been some remarkable achievements. The fiscal deficit ebbed from 9.3 percent as at the end of 2016 to 5.9 percent and provisional GDP grew by 6.8 percent for the first quarter of 2018 compared to 6.7 percent for the same period last year. Inflation has declined from 11.8 percent in December 2017 to 10 percent in June 2018. Trade accounts recorded a surplus of $1.35 billion as against a surplus of $1.27 billion. The cedi appreciated by 2.6 percent against the Euro but depreciated by about 8 percent during the same period last year.

On …

Ghana's progress in fighting corruption

Africa must indeed be worried that the continent loses about 148 billion dollars annually to corruption. Of greater concern is that the 2017 Corruption Perception Index published by Transparency International shows that eight out of the ten most corrupt countries are from Sub-Saharan Africa. This report has given rise to a number of questions, including whether Africa can win the fight against corruption. Credit goes to the AU for the push to re-examine its commitment to combat corruption. The AU must also be praised for declaring 2018 and every July 11 as AU Anti-Corruption Day.

This is besides the UN's Anti-Corruption Day marked every December 9. In line with the AU's Anti-Corruption Day, a number of awareness campaigns are being spearheaded by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) and its anti-corruption partners. As part of the Anti-Corruption campaign, Second Cycle Anti-Corruption Essay Competition is being organised. The Competition buttresses the point to simply ''…

Russia's Impressive Hosting Of The 2018 World Cup

When the heavens opened and torrential rains lashed out at the finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with France lifting the trophy, it became clear that four weeks had just passed and the most watched sporting event had come to an end. What an amazing World Cup it was! Russia 2018 certainly produced some early upsets, great goals, wonderful saves and delightful moments. In fact this World Cup is one of the best football tournaments in recent memory. It proved to soccer enthusiasts that football has moved beyond the traditional superpower footballing nations. Croatia almost did what no one had expected at the start of the tournament. Uruguay, Nigeria, Belgium, Japan and Russia are the other nations were impressive in the tournament. The best part of this World Cup was its unpredictability. Who would have thought that the defending champion Germany would be knocked out in the group stages? That Spain and Argentina would be knocked out in the Round of 16? That England would reach the semi-…

2018 WASSCE Results Released By WAEC

The release of the May-June WASSCE results by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) this year was done earlier compared to the time it was released last year.
The good thing about early release of results is that it helps educational authorities at the tertiary level to plan and execute their admission processes in time. It shows that this time around, compared to last year, examination officers at WAEC conducted the marking and release of results with greater efficiency. However, one unfortunate thing is the withholding of the entire results of 26,434 candidates for various reasons.
Usually, results are withheld as a result of malpractices such as bringing unauthorised materials to examination centres, copying from each other or not obeying examination rules, a situation that gives unfair advantage over other candidates who go strictly by the rules. The withholding of results occurs every year and this shows that school authorities have a duty to ensure that as much as possible,…

Pre Mid-Year Budget Review

The Financial Management Administration Act requires the Finance Minister to come before Parliament not later than July 31, to submit a mid-year fiscal policy review. This enables the Finance Minister to give an account of the performance of the economy, review government's budget for the fiscal year and in most cases solicit Parliament's approval for additional budget. Ghana’s economy can best be described as cyclical. This is due to series of recoveries and recessions. The recoveries are characterised by expansion in economic activities whilst contraction of economic activities usually dictated by rise and fall of commodity prices are evident in the recession period. For instance, the annual real GDP growth declined from 9.3 percent in 2008 to 4.8 percent in 2009. It then increased to 14 percent in 2011 and dropped to 3.6 percent in 2016, the lowest in 17 years and then inched up again to 8.5 percent in 2017.

The period of oil production for the first time, rather orchestrate…

Linking Family Planning to Human Rights

The global community once again marked World Population Day yesterday the 11th of July, to create awareness on the dynamics and trends of the world's population and their implications for the growth of humanity. This year the focus of the global celebration was on the importance of Family Planning as a Human Right issue. Ghana however added another dimension to the theme and concentrated on family planning as an imperative human rights issue for the attainment of sustainable economic development of the country. The UN and experts in population regard human capital as an indispensable resource for the progress of humanity hence advocacy for solution to the challenges that would draw back the development of mankind. Efforts to integrate human rights into reproductive health issues dates back to 1968 when the UN International Conference on Human Rights held in Iran affirmed family planning as human rights for the first time. The Tehran Proclamation advocated that parents had a basic …

NPP Delegates Conference: Lessons Learnt And Matters Arising

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has successfully elected its national officers to steer the affairs of the party for the next four years. The election began from the polling stations, constituency, regional and finally to the national level. All the elections went on smoothly without many problems although the chairmanship position was keenly contested and there were a few accusations and counter accusations. One issue of perceived vote buying that has been trending even after the election of the national officers of the party, is the 275 buses for each constituency of the party. The new Chairman, Freddie Blay, who was the acting Chairman prior to the election, said he purchased the buses with a loan facility of 11 million dollars. This has attracted a lot of comments with some people calling for a probe into his financial activities. On the other hand, the new General Secretary, John Boadu also said the buses belong to the party and not Mr Blay although he was the one who brought out t…

Need To Take Precautionary Measures At The Onset Of The Rains

After a period of harsh hot weather condition in recent times, it should certainly be a sigh of relief for many with the onset of the rains. A favourable rainfall pattern is good for abundant food supply and water security for domestic, industrial and commercial purposes. Unfortunately when there is a period of torrential rainfall, it has its own attendant problems. Heavy rainfall could even be a bad omen for the farmer who may have prayed for a favourable rainfall for his crops, since rainfall which comes with strong winds can sometimes destroy food crops. One havoc caused by rain that will forever remain indelible in the minds of many Ghanaians is the June 3rd 2015 disaster. What started like any other normal rain ended up leaving in its trail loss of more than 150 lives and the destruction of property worth millions of cedis. If the forecast given by weather experts on the volume of rainfall expected in Ghana this year is anything to go by then we owe it a duty as a Nation to be in…

Senior Citizens Day

Sunday, 1st July which is our Republic Day was additionally commemorated as Senior Citizens Day as has been the practice for over a decade now. This Day is intended to recognise and appreciate the contributions of our Senior Citizens, in our case older people, to the development of Ghana over the years.

This, judging from speeches delivered at the annual luncheon hosted by the President of the Republic for selected senior citizens offered the opportunity to outline plans and strategies aimed at improving the well-being of older people in the country. And last Sunday was no exception. Both the speeches of the Vice-President and the Sector Minister assured older people mainly on issues relating to the Aged Bill being passed into law and improving the health status of older people. In 2017, the President at a similar event also promised the institution of a Freedom Pass to ease the transportation challenges faced by older people. All these policy assurances, like previous ones are not out…

Meeting Between Government And FIFA

During the meeting in Accra last week between government and a three-man FIFA delegation a number of decisions were taken. One decision was that both the Ghana government and FIFA had zero tolerance for corruption. It was also agreed that the Ghana government has the right to use its national laws to stump out corruption and deal with unethical conduct. Again, it was agreed that negotiation was to continue in Zurich, Switzerland to finalise interim arrangements for football activities in the country to continue. As part of effort to resolve the problem, the government went to court to obtain a 10-day injunction to freeze all the activities of GFA as part of moves to dissolve the football body. The action taken by government is not destructive in any way or ill intentioned. Rather, it is to prepare the ground for total transformation of the football body so that the good intentions of FIFA to operate ethically and fairly to all parties can come into fruition.

If any government bans its …

National Guidelines Policy Document on Sanitation

THE LAUNCH OF THE NATIONAL GUIDELINES POLICY DOCUMENT ON SANITATION FOR THE POOR AND VULNERABLE AND ITS IMPLICATION FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources recently launched the national guideline policy document targeting the pro-poor and vulnerable for sanitation services. The document is another important step by the Ministry to tackle head on, the sanitation challenges in the country especially, the issue of open defecation. It also demonstrates the Ministry's commitment in fulfilling the facilitation of the provision of infrastructure in the WASH Sector for Ghanaians. One of the key reasons espoused by the President for establishing the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources was for the Ministry to formulate the necessary policies, coordinate and supervise the implementation of policy programme in the WASH Sector to attain the Sustainable Development Goals with particular reference to target six (6) by the year 2030. The vision of the Presid…

2018 AND YET ANOTHER FLOODING IN ACCRA

Lives lost, properties destroyed and then the Decision-Makers get in a helicopter to fly over Accra to survey the extent of devastation.

Surely, it will end there just like the proverbial vulture that pretends to be concerned about its place of abode at the onset of the rains only to get back to other things till the next rain.

This annual ritual that has gone on for many years without any solution in sight and the apparent repeat of the usual thing, should raise concerns among Ghanaians.

When will Accra be free of the perennial flooding? Do we have Engineers and leaders with a determination to find solutions to this annual event? Whenever it rains heavily, Accra gets flooded and it is repeated over and over again, irrespective of which party is in power.

Politicians will fly over the City, drive in flashy, expensive cars and make empty promises about stopping the problem. Then we return to business as usual.

When the city dries up, people will continue to build in water-ways, throw waste …