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Features and Opinions

Defining campaign periods

We have been struggling with the situation where we see our Presidents as being too powerful and domineering but we seem not to know what to do to contain them when they decide to use the powers conferred on them by the Constitution.

The tough life and eventual success of Diego Forlán

Surely he couldn’t fluff his lines again, could he? Diego Forlán’s career at Manchester United was on the verge of frittering out as he stepped up to take a penalty against Maccabi Haifa in September 2002. He simply could not afford to add another miss to his already substantial collection.

Has Amissah Arthur done enough to lead the NDC after Mahama's era?

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) prides itself as the party from which persons from varied ethnic influence could rise to become presidential candidate. In making the claim party functionaries point out that rival New Patriotic Party (NPP) is myopic in that regard given that a non-Akan or should I say a non Ashanti or Akyem might never be given the chance to lead the party.

Ebo Quansah: Why I won't vote for Mahama

This country and its leadership do not cease to amaze!  On Sunday, in the midst of platform rhetoric of a one-touch victory for Mr. John Dramani Mahana and his National Democratic Congress at the campaign launch in Cape Coast, I was intrigued by the admission by Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, founder of the party, that he was prevailed upon to avoid a boom speech in the Central Regional capital.

Conversion of Polytechnics to Technical Universities: not an error but a wise decision

Polytechnic education in Ghana has evolved since the establishment of the ten (10) Polytechnics. The

Polytechnics were established to provide middle level management personnel to support the economic

development of the country. The Polytechnics have performed creditably over the years and have

produced qualified graduates who are working in various sectors of the economy.

WASSCE 2016: There is more to it than duration

Results for the 2016 WASSCE candidates have been released by WAEC and the record is awfully poor. This has sparked yet another controversy about senior high school duration with some highly placed academics like Professor Kwesi Yankah wading in. His is not surprising as it has been his position that the 4-years calendar is better than the current 3-years, since the beginning of this debate.

Important political lessons from South Africa for Ghanaian voters

About a week or some few days ago, South Africa held its once in every 5 years municipal elections, and the results left the ruling African National Congress (A.N.C.) party badly bruised in electoral losses. The unexpected local elections losses the A.N.C. sustained, sent a wake-up call to the party of the anti-Apartheid legend Nelson Mandela that many South Africans, especially the blacks, are fast getting tired of voting on racial or tribal lines as opposed to using their brains to vote on their pocketbooks or on economic considerations. For the first time since the post-apartheid era about twenty-two years ago, the governing A.N.C. has witnessed its worst electoral performance in any category ever.

Is the Christian church relevant to eradicating poverty in Africa?

Not too long ago, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) broadcasted a documentary on poverty in Africa. The news carried in this documentary highlighted the progress some African countries, including Ghana, have made in the fight against poverty.

Are you a true or false prophet?

The bible says we are created in the image of God and we are God's wonderful handiwork. As a child of God, you are also a man or woman of God.

Details of Hajj

Preamble

This is the season of Hajj. It comes up in the month of Dhul Hijjah every year. Hajj means aspiration towards a higher pedestal in spirituality. It is, divinely, a pillar of Islam made obligatory by Allah for Muslims who can afford it once in a lifetime. Hajj is an ordained pilgrimage and not a mere tourism. Thus, the visa issued to Muslims who perform Hajj annually is that of pilgrimage and not one of tourism. Whilst pilgrimage is a spiritual exercise, tourism is a pleasurable journey.

Were Ghanaians wrong to trust their parliamentarians? - RTI Coalition asks

When a father promises to do something for a child, the child relies hugely on that promise and expects that the adult will deliver on the promise made to him or her. When the time frame for that promise approaches, the child’s expectation will be that the father will fulfil his promise and as such, the child goes to his or her father in anticipation of the fulfilment of that promise.

Prof Adei: You got it all wrong; come again

As a young professional and aspiring academic, I have been following Prof. Stephen Adei for years now, often taking inspiration from his exploits at GIMPA. Indeed, I was unhappy when people questioned his credentials as a professor some time ago. However, the good Professor has been disappointing me in recent times.

10 Years After: Remembering Justice Annan, the father of the Fourth Republic

It has been ten years since mother earth received the body of Mr. Justice Daniel Francis Annan, the first Speaker of Parliament under the Fourth Republican experiment of the Republic of Ghana. A decade is long enough for the memory of most departed people to fade. But the gentle disposition of the man, as he controlled the House, and the firmness with which he dispensed justice at a time when the Appeals Court was the highest court of jurisdiction in this country, still stands the deceased out as one of this country’s most influential personalities.

Is there a secret to Apostle Safo’s supposed Ghanaian made cars?

Dr. Kwadwo Safo is, according to his own legend, many things. He is a Pentecostal pastor. He is an inventor. Now he claims to be Ghana’s first carmaker as well. Over the past year, his Kantanka Automobile Company has made international news with its vehicles, mature industrial products emerging fully realized from a not-particularly industrial nation. As recently as last week, CNN was telling the story of its “‘made in Ghana’ cars... modeled for tough local conditions.”

A greener, healthier, more beautiful Ghana

Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Vancouver are all cities in Europe but that is not all they have in common. These cities are all rated amongst the top ten greenest cities in the world. This accolade was not easily acquired, neither was it acquired by having perfect plans which existed only on paper. At a point, these cities made decisions by putting measures in place to make them greener, healthier and more beautiful.

A fitting tribute for Daasebre Gyamenah

Recorded in 1999 and featuring the ferocious Lord Kenya, Daasebre Gyamena’s Kokooko is unanimously deemed a standard in modern highlife, a true classic. It is perhaps his most important contribution to the genre till his death Friday July 29.

‘Montie 3’ are criminals

When the news was relayed via newspaper review on television yesterday that a group of chiefs from the Ga Traditional Council had backed calls on President John Dramani Mahama to invoke Article 72 of the 1992 Constitution and grant pardon to the Montie 3, I was shocked.

Mahama must ignore those calling on him to free the so-called Montie 3

The petition by members and supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), asking President Mahama to free the so-called Montie That is a most unfortunate development. Surely, they have not forgotten the role that radio stations played, in creating the madness and hatred that led to the genocide in Rwanda?

The ugly science of insults in Ghana’s politics

F-k-g b-tch! Hey, which politician said that? Darned if I know his name, but this much I do know: In Ghana’s politics, ill-tempered politicians with a deep hatred for their political opponents and political activists who are encouraged and rewarded by those same politicians to insult people they perceive to be standing in the way of their ambitions, have become an irritating phenomenon.

Bill and Hillary Clinton’s destruction of Black families

The most frequent argument used to bully Bernie Sanders supporters into voting for Hillary Clinton, instead of voting for third party candidates like Jill Stein, is that voting your conscience is a “privilege” that only white people can afford to take.

How Anlo-Ewes migrated from Tado through Notsie to Ghana

Let us enjoy the interesting Anlo-Ewe migration story from Tado and Notsie to the present-day Ghana and how their Anlo kingship system came to be rotated between the Bate clan and Adzovia clan. This is the story as told by renowned Ewe folkloric writer and educationist, Rev. F. K. Fiawoo:

Voter exhibition intricacies

The Electoral Commission (EC) is going through one of the difficult electoral periods ever since the inception of the fourth republic.

Rawlings and Abacha's blood money

Like a witch undergoing the last purgation at death’s door, J J Rawlings’ tongue dramatically came unhinged last week in a fit of abominable rant, thereby diminishing whatever remained of his moral capital as possible hero of post-colonial Africa.

Ghana’s gold shame of 3% royalty receipt

When gold trading entity Menzbanc Ghana Limited set shop in the country, they sought to announce their presence by undertaking publicity work.

Citi FM was one radio station they effectively used. Among other things the Menzbanc advert stated “you are in the land of gold, you should own a piece of gold.” It is here that Ghana’s gold shame was exposed.

Menzbanc Ghana Limited is an affiliate of Swiss Gold Global in Zurich, Switzerland and Ghana’s first Bullion Bank. The company undertakes dealership in gold, diamonds and other precious stones and metals.

It handles gold bullion investments, sale as well as purchase of precious stones and metals, smelting and assaying, bullion depository vault services, jewellery pawn and mining prefinancing.

Menzbanc Ghana Limited reckoned there was still some gold in the Ghanaian soil so set shop here meaning despite the over 150 years of gold mining by foreign interest, the gold gift the Supreme Divine offered us has not been exhausted just yet but the question I ask is:

Have you seen gold up-close as a Ghanaian?

Have you adorned your body with any gold ornament?

Can you buy your mum, dad, lover or sibling a gold piece?

For most the answer is no. Very sad as you would expect a fisherman’s children to not lack fish. A cobbler’s child not to walk barefoot or a Kenkey seller’s child to go unfed but such is our gold shame.

Reports suggests since 1898 the mining royalties paid to both the stool lands and the state is 3% and as at October 2015 still receive 3%.

Researcher Kweku Darko reports that a chief from one of the Wassa mining communities asked why the 3% royalty had not been raised higher to reflect modern exigencies. He was told by Chairman of the Board of Directors of Anglo gold Ashanti Company Limited, Mr. Sipho Pityana and Mr. Atta Kuma the AngloGold Ashanti (Ghana) CEO at the 5th annual AngloGold Ashanti (Ghana) Lectures on Business in Africa at the institute of African Studies that the 1898 figure of 3% was enough and must be maintained because the company has initiated a lot of programmes and projects that has benefited the communities in its catchment areas and the country at large.

If this is not damning, I know not what can be. Is it any surprise to any patriotic Ghanaian that after laying off hundreds in a so-called downsizing exercise at Obuasi and other towns, jobless youth are now making incursions in gold concessions to stake a claim?

Is it surprising then that at a recent ‘putting the fear of God’ into the indigenes to leave concessions, a media officer of the gold company lost his life?

Does it not smack of reckless greed when this gold company takes the Ghanaian government to a European court with claims the government failed to bar or should I say brutalise its nationals very much like South Africa’s Markana mine massacre hence a demand for compensation from the Ghana government?

If Ghanaians were privy to lives lost and indigenous economic means destroyed as well as agricultural lands lost to these giant multinational mining companies like South Africa-based AngloGold Ashanti, agitations by the populace for greater care to the communities, employees and legally sanctioned land regeneration efforts would be the norm and not the exception.

The almost 300 radio stations dotted around the country plus a buoyant civil society together with the government must be up to their duties to shine light and work to have culprits cease human rights violations in the mining sector.

Human rights violations perpetrated by multinational mining companies cannot continue go unhindered. The political and financial influence of mining companies must be contained as well.

WACAM - Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining deserves commendation for exposing the misdeeds by multinational mining companies against indigenes and for campaigning for AngloGold Ashanti to win the 2011 Public Eye Award reserved for the world’s most irresponsible companies and in AngloGold Ashanti’s case for its poor human rights record.

As of 2011 Ghana had 13 large-scale mining companies producing gold, diamonds, bauxite and manganese, as well as over 300 registered small scale mining groups and 90 mine support service companies indicating a fury of activities in that sector yet the funds continue to be flown out.

Why governments have failed to raise the mining royalty to even 40% beats the mind and why the appalling royalty the state gets from mining companies has not become a campaign issue in our recent elections is more confounding.

There is no question in mind that whichever government pushes for increased royalty payment shall be warned by the U.S, U.K governments to desist and in the case that a leader emerged who truly stood his ground, the powers that be would place embargoes and attempt a regime change to continue to rape us but that new leader in the shape of Nkrumah or even Kutu Acheampong is badly needed.

Never again shall we call a man Jesus

Once upon a time, I called Rawlings Junior Jesus. In the lecture halls of the Radio Nederland Training School, Holland, I yelled at a Nigerian journalist because he had dared to criticise Ghana’s latest “saviour”, Jerry Rawlings. This was January, 1982. For the three months that the course in Advance Print Media for Third World Journalists lasted, this Nigerian and I remained enemies.