Showing posts from April, 2016

Ghana Education Service Needs Restructuring

When I started school as a little boy, I had to carry my rickety table and stool to and from school each day. Then at a point, we only had to send the table and the stool to school when it reopened and again had to send it home at the end of the term. It was much more convenient. This was the practice when I started school but things changed along the way.
A school in the northern region has been in the news for lack of furniture. The situation compelled the pupils in that school to learn and write laying prostrate on the ground. People are blaming the government but I will blame the GES for their lack of proper supervision. There is also ineffective communication between the heads of schools and the District Directorate of Education. And mind you, the GES has a structure such that a head of a school cannot jump one structure to the other to have a pressing issue dealt with the urgency it deserves. If a head of a school dares do so, he would enter the wrong books of the District Direc…

Importation of S.A-3Justification Needless!

The attempt by the NPP to justify its decision to bring in security experts from outside to train security details for their flag bearer does not speak well of them. Making references to the two ex-Gitmos and the error-ridden brochure as a way justify their action is neither here nor there! In any case, the reason for the public outcry over the presence of the two Gitmos in Ghana simply has to do with the threat(in terms of external attack) they pose to the country and I am not sure any law has been broken in that arrangement by the government. As for the error-ridden brochure is simply irrelevant to this matter.

Has the NPP forgotten they are government in waiting? Are they, by this action, suggesting to Ghanaians that they would have no issue at all if the NDC in opposition had done so? The NPP came into power in 2000; the question I want to ask is that was it the same arrangement they followed? If not, why this time? If a government in waiting can import external security experts, …

Kintampo MMT Bus Crush - Questions that Need Answers

I want to talk generally about transportation in Ghana but in the mean time, I want to limit myself to the Metro Mass Transit (MMT) in view of the recent road crush that occurred at Kintampo on the 17th of this month involving one of their buses. Some lingering questions on my mind need good answers.
My condolences to those who have lost relatives and loved ones.

I listened to an interview granted by a Director of Communication at the MMT to one of the local television networks after that crush. In the said interview, she sought to create the impression that the bus was in good condition to embark on that journey. She added that the crush would be investigated to ascertain the actual cause. She also hinted of fastracking payment of insurance claims to the victims. It sounds good, huh!

There are two main causes of road crushes: mechanical - tyre burst, brake failure being some examples and human factor - overspeeding, careless overtaking being a few examples. Whereas human factor element…

Mr President, Could You Please Come Again?

"VRA owes virtually every bank in Ghana and needs help to repay its debts. I don't have that money. If did, I would pay. Since we all use the power, we should contribute something small. I don't see that we have done anything wrong.
I'm not here to make popular decisions. If that were the case, our nation would be in the ground by now." -President Mahama.
I can't believe this is coming from the president. He may have sounded sincere to some of us but not some of us. Frankly, I am surprised.
Here are my reasons:
How did the debts arise in the first place?
Obviously if you climb a tree, you don't begin to look for different ways to come down except the same way you climbed up. So I believe the VRA knows this just as the president, I guess.
And what time frame are we looking at to finish paying up the debts so that we wouldn't be shortchanged? We need clarity on this.
And would the new taxes be removed from our neck once we pay up the debts?
But I still don'…

Ghana, The New Haven for Ex-Al Queda Detainees?

Let me start with this chiasmus in one of Bob Marley's songs: 'Your worst enemy could be your best friend; and your best friend your worst enemy.' Accepting to keep former Guantanamo Detainees from US is simply a clear case of the fact that our current leadership has completely lost sense of responsibility! In fact, I think it is the worst form of disservice any government can ever do to its people! By that single act, we have exposed Ghana and that can make us become a target. The consequences may not come now, trust me, but we will see it in the long term. I just want to ask these few questions: Which criteria was used in deciding to resettle those guys in Ghana? Is there any economic benefit attached to it? If yes, can Ghanaians be told about the benefits? In any case, we value our peace more than the supposed benefits if there is any at all. Do we have the surveillance system to monitor those guys? And let me say here that, our border systems and other points of entry are ver…

Dumsor Tarriffs Lack Sense

Sometimes, it is very difficult to tell what public office holders make of the masses.

Even in the face of dumsor you still have the moral right to increase tariffs to this level!
For me, this does not make any sense at all. It is a gross expression of insensitivity to the masses.
In fact, tariffs have been increased against the will of the masses all in the name of improving the supply of power and water on many occasions. But the situation has not changed at all! It has gone from bad to worse yet we are being forced to pay higher tariffs.
How long are we going to pay for the inefficiency of those who have been put in public offices to manage our affairs?Couldn't the increment have been put on hold until something is done about the current terrible dumsor situation? I think that would have been morally acceptable! This is how it is done around the world where the masses matter.

The Dying Spirit of Patriotism

A great political thinker said: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The spirit of patriotism has been lost on our leaders. The kind of patriotism we see today carries a lot of connotations. And it has created a lot of cognitive dissonance for many of us. In the past, politicians and public office holders adopted a subtle way of stealing from state coffers. The subtlety in which it used to be shrouded made it difficult to see. But the rule of that game regarding stealing of our money has changed. It's now done openly and nakedly. We see and smell reaping of the state. We see our country bleeding before our very eyes. When you say it, you are tagged as working for the opposition. But is this new to us? Absolutely no! Same and similar things happened when the opposition was in power. People who had the courage spoke against it and were tagged as working for the opposition. The two major political parties that have alternated power in the fourth republic have always as…

We Must Blame Government, PURC and ECG

Hey, is it true the Power Minister wanted to be adorned with some fanciful medal for bringing in something call 'power barge' to salvage the worsening power crisis? I even learnt when the ship carrying the power barge arrived, members of government went to worship it with a lot of fanfare because they're seeing the first of its kind. Hmmm...I can't really say much or ask muchbut they said the ship will consume some thousands of tons of fuel a day, right? In fact, we have to clap for ourselves! That's just by the way.

I am just as angry as I supposed you are at the increment in utility tariffs. So let's talk about it a little - especially about the fallout. I read some new news on some of the online news portals about the dumsor tariffs. In one of the news article, ECG is claiming that the tariff that has been approved for them by the PURC was far below what they asked for. And the reason behind their demand for higher tariffs is that it would help them 'serv…

Where's Kweku Ananse? continued...

Not too far from the distant past, families gathered around log fires to teach wisdom, learn values and entertain each other; all through oral storytelling. Today, we have somewhat forgotten Kweku-Ananse, a notable character. So where is Kweku-Ananse? Nostalgia is a wishful longing for the past. But life is for the living, and its purpose is to expand and increase in whichever way possible. So, for a whole generation to have forgotten about the immediate past is nothing bad, but a sign of positive increment and a happy present moment. Simply put, we have moved forward as a generation into a more sophisticated way of living; so have our education, entertainment, and the preservation of culture and values which were the main purpose of Kweku-Ananse stories. To make this clear let’s look at the following experiences. To teach the values of hard work and the evil of laziness my class one reading book had the story of the Hawk and the Hen. To further entertain and teach values and culture I …

Where's Kweku Ananse?

"When a story-teller dies, a library burns." Ahmed Ezzarghani, Moroccan master story-teller. A few decades ago families gathered around log-fires or in bright moonlight to hear oral stories told until they retired to bed. As an art, story-tellers employed many techniques to ensure stories are lively, entertaining and educative. Through story-telling, values and cultures have been passed on from one generation to the other. And many story-tellers have been trained in the process. Today, as technology gives way to new forms of entertainment, this once adored art is gradually fading away. And it appears any fight to keep it is a fight long lost. When education was a mastery of one’s culture and values, oral story-telling was indeed significant, if not the only means of acquiring knowledge. It was an art of enormous importance, and still is, as is demonstrated in modern forms of oral communication by presenters on radio, teachers in classrooms, orators in seminars, and so on. Eac…

The Unknown Truth About National Service

The Ghana National Service Scheme was established by an Act of parliament in accordance with the constitution of Ghana. It is mandated to provide newly qualified graduates the opportunity to have practical exposure on the job, both in the public and private sectors, and as part of their civic responsibility to the State. It is worth knowing that every citizen of Ghana of at least 18 years of age has to, by the law; partake in the national service program before engaging in any kind of economic activity within the country. Thus, national service is not only for citizens who have gone through formal education and want government or mainstream employment. In fact, if there was strict adherence to the mandate of the scheme, it would have been better understood than it is now. For example areas of concentration for the scheme include agriculture, cooperatives, education, health, local government, rural development, youth programs and a compulsory military training for each service personnel…

'Half-baked' Graduates? What Factors Account for Them?

Education plays a significant role in producing the needed human capital to drive the wheels of national development. But over the years, industry experts have expressed worries over what they consider to be a disconnect between university graduates and the job market. Their claim is that most graduates that are turned out from the universities are “Half-baked” and lack the necessary skills and attitude for the job market. 
This has been closely attributed to a number of reasons. The first being the competitive structure of the university admission process. Enrollment has seen a significant increase as more students graduate from the senior high schools each year to compete for very limited slots at the tertiary level. As a result, some students who survive the tussle may have to compromise on programs they originally applied for. They end up taking classes for courses they are not passionate about or have long term interest in, and this reduces their performance on the job market.

The Hypocrisy in The Ghanaian Politics

Politics of division isnot new. It is very common at all levels within and without all the political parties we have in Ghana. And so for one to speak as though politics of division is so new to the Ghanaian politics, is a clear hypocrisy! There is no sanity in our politics. We have seen gruesome manifestation of politics of division all around us spearheaded by our political actors. It has not started with the sitting President and it will not stop with him! It will certainly outlive him. So it has become a reality that we either have to embrace or annihilate completely from our politicking. But it will be very very difficult because tribal factors have always influenced the outcome of our elections. In fact, our politics is so bad to the extent that the health status of opponents have become a new trend in our politics. It has come to be accepted however very worrisome. In the run up to the 2008 elections, the health status of the late President Prof. JEA Mills (RIP) became a serious…

Competent or Not Competent Debate - I Am For And Against

A butterfly can never consider itself a bird. So also the saying goes that when a crocodile tells you what is happening beneath the waters, one cannot doubt it. If I put these axioms together, then I can only agree with the president for people calling his competency into question.

The president of our dear country said it's only former presidents who are qualified  enough to question his competency. Yes it is true. I very much agreed with him. Because 'xoxoanu wo gbia yeyea do' ( Leadership by example).
If, as a nation, we have not set a benchmark for assessing how competent a president is, then how can we say he is competent or incompetent? Wait a second. In the game of football, many of us are not coaches but we are able to tell what makes good team/coach even though we do not have the technical competency of a coach. And so people believe the same logic can be used by any ordinary Ghanaian to assess the competency of the president.
In fact, assessment is subjective and it…

The Misplaced Priorities of 'HOGBETSOTSO ZÃ' - My Restrospection & Introspection

On the first Saturday of November of each year, the people of Anlo celebrates a traditional festival known as Hogbetsotso Zã. It is celebrated to commemorate the migration of the Ewes from Notse in Togo. This festival brings all the people in the 36 states of Anlo together. Government officials and other dignitaries are never left out of the celebration.

However, having done some retrospection and introspection, I dare say the significance of this festival has been lost on us. Significance in this context is not about our traditional values/culture nor has it to do with just commemoration. Festivals are important occasions to lure government, development organizations and businesses to help bring development to the area by showcasing what  (resources) we have that can create wealth. Yes we have failed to do so! So each year, we dress nicely, and gather ourselves on the durbar grounds to watch cultural displays and listen to well composed speeches and then depart home with smiles all o…

Divided Voices

Suddenly, after the cracks from guns and reverberating sounds from grenades
in France,
We have found voice to condemn terrorism.

Yes...because it happened in Europe And those that happen almost on daily basis elsewhere - Nigeria, Kenya, Libya, Iraq, Syria, etc - really do not matter! Seen the hypocrisy?

Suddenly, we have realised the need for solidarity to fight terrorism... And I dare say the fight will only take place in the West and Europe. They will not take it to Africa or Asia or the Middle East - the third world countries.

That solidarity and fight against terrorism will never happen in Africa. Those who have created it, resourced it, manipulated it with their divided voices and want the world to be what it is today,
turn round to condemn  it.

If you try creating problem for your enemy, you end up creating it for all including your own self. This is the reality we must confront!

PURC Lacks Credibility

I think about a year or so ago, utility providers and I mean ECG in particular, made a case for upward adjustments in the electricity tariff through the Public Utility Regulations Commission (PURC). And the argument for the increment in tariffs was that they were going to improve the quality of service and supply of power. The head of Public Affairs at the PURC was on radio insisting that the proposal should be accepted by the power consumers if indeed they wanted reliable power supply. She went further to explain that if consumers needed reliable power supply then they must be ready to pay realistic tariffs. As to what 'realistic tariff' is, I have no idea! Not quite after the new tariffs were approved, the country sank into recurrent power cuts. And then there was another excuse to that effect. The excuse was that, some consumers have been stealing the power through illegal connections. So the PURC again had to adjust the tariffs once more to take care of the losses being in…

Rescue My Land

We have found a new land -
Not entirely a new one though:
One that has been there before us
One that has been dissipated
One that has been decapitated
One in which our leaders are in bed
With wanton corruption - they breathe corruption, drink corruption and live a lifestyle of corruption,
One in which they have raped our resources, and they have ripped us apart slaughtering our hopes, denying us a better future.
Yet they keep calling us the future of our great nation - a complete irony!
Yes, we are the doubt...yet we have tools and skills that we cannot apply
We have too many hands chasing after much fewer jobs, much fewer opportunities
The privileged ones have always been given better chances over unprivileged ones in the quest for jobs, education…

Now the time has come for us to fight
A fight that won't come easy...
We will have hyenas by the way
We will walk through the thorns
We will see wolves cladded in sheep clothing
We will be persecuted
We will be insulted
We will be attack…

Any Lesson Learnt From Presidential Press Corps' Accident?

Vehicular accident can occur due to mechanical fault or reckless driving. Whereas the latter is highly avoidable, the former is mostly unforeseen! Samuel Nuamah, a member of the Presidential Press Corps and a reporter with 'The Ghanaian Times' lost his life when the vehicle on board which they were travelling was involved in a fatal accident causing serious injuries to his other colleagues. According to media reports, the bus they were traveling aboard was a hired one. As has become the norm in Ghana, people are calling for investigations into the cause of the accident.  The call for investigations into the cause of the accident is a good one in that, it is going to ascertain those who were involved in choosing that particular vehicle; the factors that were considered in choosing the said vehicle which probably would span the rate (cost), road-worthiness - mechanical issues like the tyres; and the experience of the driver amongst others. The investigation probably would establi…

The Devil in Ghana's Taxation

It is said that when a fool is squandering his gold, he blames it on his scale being out of order. I have no degree in Economics, Energy or governance. But I know certain things just require simple logic. It is said in my language that one does not go to the wrong place to find solution to a specific problem. I read a news article in which the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations was reported to have said that the government would not be able to fix the recurrent power problem facing the country without imposition of more taxes. I completely disagreed because there is nothing or very insignificant to show for the taxes that have been collected over the years for the same purpose! In fact I have resisted the urge to comment on this subject because singing the same chorus has always created boredom for the ear. Some time back in 2015, I wrote an article on this excessive imposition of taxes on the already overburdened taxpayer. It is for this reason I feel reluctant to write again h…

What is a Good State of the Nation Address?

The President of our nation is enjoined by the constitution of Ghana to address the nation each year on the state of the nation. Whereas government appointees have often been found describing it as the ‘best ever’ including such other adjectival phrases, opponents have various damning ways of describing it. But how relevant is this constitutional mandate? Has any criteria been set for such important address to focus on? Is there any way we can set the agenda for the development of content of such an address to forestall the usual politically biased arguments associated with SOTN address? Can there ever be a good state of SOTN address? I guess your answers are as good as mine. SOTN in my opinion aims at two main things: giving a detailed account of what the government has achieved as per its projections or goals in the preceding year and what it intends to achieve in the coming year. In other words, it is an address which talks about the general state of affairs of the nation. In doing…