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When the African Union (known then as the Organization of African Unity) was founded, the leaders of that era understood that the success of their individual countries hinged on the success of the entire continent. Now, as the organization celebrates its 50th anniversary, we understand more than ever the key role that unity has played in Africa's past and must continue to play as the continent embraces this new wave of economic prosperity and international attention.

 

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, founding father of Ghana, the first sub-Saharan nation to gain its independence from colonial rule, famously said, "Our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of Africa." This sense of solidarity was one of the driving forces behind the gathering of Dr. Nkrumah and other leaders from 32 African nations on May 25, 1963, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Emperor Haile Selassie hosted that first ever African Summit, during which the organization was born.

 

It is easy in this information age of search engines and social media, where protest and consensus are only a click away, to dismiss this decision to stand as one body in support of each other's mutual interests as unremarkable. But, in fact, it was a quite remarkable feat. It took a vision that extended beyond the problems and circumstances of right then and right there. It took the wisdom to know that all vestiges of domination had to be deconstructed. New structures and paradigms, ones that mirrored our indigenous traditions, had to be created.

 

The divisions that had been created by colonialism, from artificial boundaries to purposely manufactured ethnic tensions, were all intentional impediments to African unity and, as a consequence, African liberation. Dividing, after all, is the first step toward conquering.

 

The Organization of African Unity concerned itself with improving the living conditions of Africans on the continent, defending the sovereignty of newly liberated nations, as well as funding and fighting for the liberation of places still under colonial domination. It imposed sanctions on South Africa for its practice of apartheid and aligned itself with individuals and groups in other parts of the world, particularly the United States, that were engaged in a struggle for the equality of African people within the diaspora.

 

Perhaps the most important mission of the Organization of African Unity, implicit in its every existence, was the recognition of Africans, regardless of origin, as brothers and sisters of the same soil. We were accepting the responsibility to be each other's keeper.

 

(L) Afripol's Emeka Chiakwelu and Ghana President John Mahama (R)

 

But the priorities of the organization could only mirror the priorities of its member nations. There were years when some nations were being devastated by war, famine, ethnic strife and crippling poverty. The continent was fragmented. Many nations were too busy struggling for their own survival to take on the additional burden of being another country's keeper. And, not surprisingly, the despots and coup-makers who were looting their country's coffers balked at the idea of accountability.

 

During those years, which are often referred to as "the lost decades," the Organization of African Unity seemed to exist in name only; many referred to it as a toothless bulldog. Nevertheless, everyone still recognized the need for its existence.

 

In 2002, the Organization of African Unity was dissolved and replaced with the African Union. It was more than a superficial makeover. The post-colonial growing pains that had resulted in chaos and poor governance for many nations were now giving way to peace, democracy and the rule of law. And once again, we recognized the strength and power in our unity.

 

The African Union is a well-structured organization with precise goals, a primary one of which is "to accelerate the political and socio-economic integration of the continent." In order to hasten this integration, eight regional economic communities were created: the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the East African Community (EAC), to name just two.

 

It is without a doubt that these subregional bodies have played a significant role in bringing economic stability. So much so that the majority of the nations listed as the world's fastest growing economies are on the African continent.

 

Now that the majority of African nations are committed to the development of their democracies, the African Union is also better able to define its role when there is a need for conflict resolution. And because the challenges facing our nations are increasingly becoming ones that have no regard for national boundaries, challenges such as effectively enforcing laws to end the trafficking of drugs and human beings, addressing the impact of climate change, deforestation, desertification and land degradation, the African Union's member states will come to an agreement on how to grant the organization full legislative powers, while at the same time enabling nations to maintain their sovereignty.

 

Just like the continent that it oversees, the African Union is a work in progress. As a student of history, I know that 50 years is a relatively short span of time, amounting to nothing more than a page in a history textbook. When considered in that context, the African Union has come a very long way since its inception -- three whole decades before the inception of the European Union -- and given the limitations that it has faced over the years, African Union has achieved a great deal.

 

At that first African summit in Addis Ababa, Emperor Haile Selassie said, "May this convention of union last 1,000 years." With the renewed sense of potential on the African continent, indeed it shall.

 

John Dramani Mahama is the president of Ghana.

 

Politics and Prose: A tribute to Chinua Achebe

 

Since the death of Chinua Achebe on 21st March, much has been written about the tremendous impact his work had on the world of contemporary African literature.

 

Many writers on the continent and in the diaspora, myself included, felt as though we had lost a mentor and literary godfather. But writers were not the only ones who held him in high esteem. In the same way that Mr. Achebe’s books helped foster the talent of countless writers in Africa’s post-colonial era, they also inspired a number of Africa’s current political leaders.

 

Achebe had such influence on the African political landscape that three years ago he started convening an annual colloquium at Brown University, where he was a professor that brought together leaders, scholars and artists to discuss “strengthening democracy and peace on the African continent.”

 

When I was introduced to Mr. Achebe’s writing in the 1970s, during secondary school, there seemed to be no discernable separation in Africa between politics and the arts. We attended demonstrations almost as frequently as we attended discos. The music that we listened to, from Fela Kuti to James Brown, was filled with racial pride and political protest.

 

It was, however, the literature of Achebe, namely his classic novel Things Fall Apart that provided me with a larger context for the various maladies that were taking place on the continent. Reading that book was like a rite of passage. The books that I’d been reading previously were peopled with foreigners whose lives and concerns, though fascinating, bore no resemblance to mine. I read about Okonkwo, and his story resonated because it was rooted in a culture that felt familiar.

 

“Storytelling has to do with power,” said Achebe. “If you do not like someone’s story, write your own.”

 

After Things Fall Apart, I read Mr. Achebe’s other novels; I read the works of other African writers, such as Wole Soyinka, Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Ghana’s own: Ayi Kwei Armah, Ama Ata Aidoo, and Kofi Awoonor.

 

This literature empowered me, and others to believe in our ability to create change. They urged us to see the value of our cultural inheritance and the potential of our continent and its people. It was this vision that challenged many of us to pave the paths upon which we now find ourselves walking. In my case, activism was, and remains, a natural bridge between politics and the arts.

 

During a recent discussion about Achebe, a political contemporary asked me if I felt as though I had somehow become part of the system that we so bitterly decried in our youth.

 

“No,” I replied without hesitation. “I entered politics because I wanted to be a part of changing that system.” One of the things I learned from Achebe’s work is that “the system” is nothing more than a collection of people, their values and their behaviours. We are all a part of a system; and all systems are subject to change.

 

Change can be difficult, even for those who claim to want it. Nostalgia is a powerful force. It can keep us locked in the status quo.

 

Africa is constantly amending its story and adding new chapters. We have experienced political, cultural, and digital revolutions. Those who stay beholden to only the story of colonialism, apartheid and ethnic warfare will never allow themselves to know the Africa that now also tells a story of equality, democracy, and capital cities that are as crowded and cosmopolitan as those of any other continent.

 

Likewise, those who still talk of African leadership using only words like corrupt, dictator or despot will miss the opportunity to take part in creating a new vocabulary—be it one of praise or criticism—for the men and women who are now working with the citizens of their countries to craft new styles and processes of leadership.

 

Missing out would truly be a shame because just as we must all play a part in nation-building, we must also play a part in the writing of our stories. This is the new Africa we are creating.

 

“Africa is people” may seem too simple and too obvious to some of us. But I have found in the course of my travels through the world that the most simple things can still give us a lot of trouble, even the brightest among us: this is particularly so in matters concerning Africa.”—Chinua Achebe

 

Mr. John Dramani Mahama, is the Executive President of Ghana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Mahama has urged Ghanaians to shun any xenophobic sentiments harboured against illegal Chinese miners in Ghana.

 

According to President Mahama, the laws of Ghana should be allowed to function as far as dealing with the illegal miners is concerned.

 

Hundreds of Chinese are in Ghana doing illegal mining. They have, in several instances, clashed violently with their local hosts.

 

Some of those conflicts have been bloody in the past resulting in deaths and injuries on either side.

 

The Ghana Immigration Service recently deported some Chinese and also prevented more of them from entering the country as a result of some of these illegal mining activities.

 

Detained Chinese in Ghana


At a meeting with a delegation from China at the Flagstaff House in Accra on Wednesday, President Mahama said inasmuch as Ghana frowns on the illegal activities of the Chinese, the laws must be left to work.

 

He added that xenophobia against the Chinese is not the way to go.

 

“We should not stereotype and target or prejudice, the thing is we shave laws that need to be obeyed”

 

“It doesn’t matter who it is, whether it is an Eskimo, Nigerian or a Chinese, it is not about who it is; it is about what the law says and how we implement it”. President Mahama said.

GNA

Inaugural pictures of President John Dramani Mahama On The Occasion Of His Swearing-In As President Of The Republic Of Ghana Monday, 07 January 2013 15:15

 

From Left: President Jonathan, Former President Kufuor of Ghana, President Alassane Ouattara of Cote D'Ivoire, Kofi Annan

Inauguration of Ghana's President Maham

credits: ibompulpit.com, hotgisthotnews

Inaugural Address By President John Dramani Mahama On The Occasion Of His Swearing-In As President Of The Republic Of Ghana Monday, 07 January 2013 15:15

 

Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament,  His Excellency the Vice President,

Her Ladyship the Chief Justice, Your Excellencies our dear former Presidents,

Your Excellencies Visiting Heads of State and Heads of Delegations,

Hon. Members of Parliament,  Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Nananom, Distinguished Guests, My Fellow Countrymen-and-women,

Family and Friends.

Good morning.

 

It has been said that what is past is prologue, a mere introduction of all that is yet to come. If this is the case, then Ghana is in store for a wealth of achievement.

 

Ghana’s past is filled with one example after the other of courage, sacrifice and perseverance. Ghana’s past is defined by heroic men and women—pioneers, visionaries, patriots.

 

Indeed, we have inherited a powerful legacy, beneficiaries of a mighty history.

 

The names of our forefathers and foremothers are firmly etched in the world’s memory. People like Nana Yaa Asantewaa, Naa Gbewa, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Dr. J.B. Danquah.

 

People like Efua Sutherland, Dr. James Kwegyir Aggrey, Dr. Esther Afua Ocloo and Dr. Ephraim Koku Amu.

 

These are but a few of the names of people who were fearless enough to fulfil their dreams, or to fight for the liberation of their people, or to envision change and then manifest it.

 

We rightfully memorialize the names of the many, many individuals whose singular contributions have elevated the profile of this nation and enriched the lives of its citizens.

 

We respectfully extol their virtues and hold them in high esteem. In fact, we hold them in such high esteem that we often overlook entirely the reality that these heroes, these men and women, were as human as you and I.

 

The majority of individuals who have had the greatest impact on this country came from humble beginnings.

 

They were not so different from most Ghanaians, like those assembled here or those going about the events of their day in the homes, churches, mosques, and offices across the country.

 

They were ordinary people who lived their lives to the fullest, made use of their God-given talents, and took pride in their activities. That was the simple call they answered, the call that placed them in extraordinary circumstances, events and experiences that led them to indelibly change the face and the very fabric of this nation.

 

Mention the name Tetteh Quarshie, for instance, and you will learn the story of an ordinary man, a blacksmith, the son of a farmer from Teshie. In 1870, Tetteh Quarshie travelled to Fernando Po, an island that belongs to the nation of Equatorial Guinea and is now called Bioko.

 

At the end of that fateful trip, Tetteh Quarshie returned home with several cocoa seeds. He planted those seeds on his property in Mampong-Akwapim to see if they would grow.

 

So well suited was this crop to the soil and climate that it grew abundantly. It took less than twelve years for the country to start exporting cocoa. Now, over one hundred years later, Ghana is the world’s second largest exporter of cocoa, and it is Ghana’s leading export earner.

 

This is the effect that the life of one ordinary citizen can have on an entire nation.

 

Complacency and frustration can entice us into believing that we are insignificant players stuck somehow in the background of a bigger picture, or that we are incapable of making a difference. But history itself has proven that nothing could be further from the truth.

 

We all, each and every one of us, have a role to play in the growth and development of our beloved mother Ghana. In our hands—yours as well as mine—rests the success or failure of Ghana’s future.

 

There is no denying the fact that in the past 55 years Ghana has made tremendous gains, but there is also no denying the fact that Ghana is still a young country and every young country goes through its share of instability and difficulty as it struggles to find the direction toward permanence.

 

Over the course of the last four years, a tremendous amount of work has been done. Nevertheless, there is a tremendous amount of work that still needs to be done.

 

More jobs must be created. More roads, bridges, schools and hospitals must be built. The infrastructure that we already have must be expanded, strengthened, and made better able to withstand the increased usage.

 

Equipment should not be the only thing that is state-of-the-art in our institutions; systems, procedures and staff must be brought up to standard; best practices must be implemented.

 

We need to look beyond temporary fixes to find lasting solutions for the complications we’ve experienced with power, water and sanitation.

 

We must continue to invest in our agricultural sector, and grow our economy so that it lifts the bulk of our most crippling financial burdens, especially among the poorest of the population.

 

A country’s most valuable resource is its human resource. This is why it is imperative that our citizens have access to good healthcare.

 

These issues and concerns are all works in progress; they are realistic goals that have been set, and that are within our capabilities to be met, and in a timely fashion.

 

I have taken an oath that as president of this nation, I will work hard to place us on the right path, and I will lead us over the hurdles and past the obstacles that might threaten to keep us from meeting our goals. The promises that I have made are promises that I intend to keep.

 

But change does not happen overnight and sometimes, despite whatever progress has been placed in motion, it will appear to be darkest before the dawn of the new day makes that progress visible. In such times I will be counting on you to maintain the faith and the trust that you have placed in me as president. I will not let you down.

 

Of course, every society has its share of people who would rather talk and complain about what is wrong, than devote their time and efforts to do what it takes to make things right.

 

At every given opportunity, they will tell us all the things we cannot achieve and all the reasons why we should not even attempt. The choice is ours to believe or not believe. We can look within ourselves and choose to see the lie of our powerlessness or we can see the unlimited horizon of our own potential.

 

Ghana is on the cusp of enormous transformation. We are moving forward at a rapid pace. New resources are at our disposal; new alliances are being formed. The opportunities posed by these gains could result in a self-sufficiency that was always imagined and desired, but was never a realistic occurrence in the foreseeable future, not in the way it is right now.

 

It is true that other countries have met adversity while trying to make the most of prospects such as the ones we have before us. But those countries are not Ghana. They do not have the benefit of our history or the example of our heroes. We have been the first before, the success story. We have blazed trails before for others to follow.

 

Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible until it is done.” I believe that with God, and in Ghana, all things are possible.

 

I believe this because I have seen the work and accomplishments of my predecessors, President Jerry John Rawlings, President John Agyekum Kufuor and, of course, the late President John Evans Atta Mills.

 

We were all witness to the way they were able to take what others said was impossible and to not only turn into something that was probable, but to realise their vision and get it done. To them I say, “Ayekoo.” I am ever grateful to have the advantage of your wisdom and the important lessons of your leadership.

 

I would also like to extend my gratitude and appreciation to my transition team for their time, their service and their tireless efforts. More than anything, I would like to acknowledge them for their morale and fair-mindedness, for their drive and their determination to place the good of the nation above all else.

 

There is a torch that is passed from one era of Ghanaians to the next. It is as fragile and as irreplaceable as any family treasure.

 

My fellow countrymen and women, that torch is now in our possession.

 

That torch is the tradition of optimism and hope that we must carry on. It is the responsibility that we have to take charge of our lives, and in so doing to determine the course of Ghana’s future.

 

We are now the keepers of that flame. It is only by doing and being our best that we can make Ghana its best. We must all do our part, every single day, whether it is by reducing the amount of plastic waste that is in our environment, by driving responsibly and courteously to ensure that our roads are safe, or by sharing kindness with a stranger or someone less fortunate.

 

Your actions do matter. You do make a difference.

 

As president, I will take to heart those very words that I have just extended to you. I will do and be my best. I will give my best, and I will ensure that my actions make a positive difference in the lives of Ghanaians.

 

I will work to ensure that our society is less polarized and weighted down by the pressures of political differences. I will work to ensure that Ghana is a place where all citizens, regardless of their religious faith, ethnicity or political affiliation, will have the opportunities available to them to reach their full potential.

 

Ghana should, and will, be a place where economic opportunities are available to everyone. I recognise the vital role that our private sectors, especially small and indigenous businesses, play in the expansion of our workforce as well as in the growth and stability of our economy. I want to assure the business community that I will be an ally. I will extend whatever support I am able to reinforce your contributions to our development.

 

Let us all stand, not as separate entities but as partners. Together we will build a Ghana that will be a source of pride for all of us.

 

This is our country. This is our moment; Ghana’s time, once again, for greatness.

 

May God bless you, and may God continue to bless our homeland, Ghana

Source: GNA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"President John Dramani Mahama, presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is the winner of the 2012 presidential election. The President Elect polled 5,574,761 of the valid votes cast, representing 50.70 per cent. Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission made the declaration at the EC conference room in Accra on Sunday night."  - Graphic.com

 

President John Dramani Mahama, presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is the winner of the 2012 presidential election

 

 

credit: ModernGhana

Thursday, 06 December 2012 20:52

Ghana Election tests Africa's "model democracy"

(Reuters) - Ghana's cliff-hanger presidential election on Friday will test the country's reputation as a bulwark for democracy and economic growth in Africa's so-called coup-belt.

The stakes are high with rivals jousting for a chance to oversee a boom in oil revenues that has brought hopes of increased development in a country where the average person makes less than $4 (2.5 pounds) a day.

 

"Ghana getting it right again will provide real mentorship and a signal for others," Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, director of Accra-based consultancy Centre for Democratic Development, said.

 

Ghana is expected to keep up growth of about 8 percent next year and is increasingly cited by investment bankers and fund managers as an example of Africa's rise in contrast to the woes of Europe and the United States.

 

President John Dramani Mahama - who replaced the late John Atta Mills after his death from an illness in July - will face top opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and six others.

 

Opinion polls point to a tight race between the two main candidates, raising the prospect of a repeat of the near deadlock in 2008 elections, in which Mills defeated Akufo-Addo with a margin of fewer than 100,000 votes.

 

U.S. President Barack Obama called Ghana a "model of democracy in Africa" for stepping back from the brink during those polls, when others might have tipped into conflict.

 

A disputed election in neighbouring Ivory Coast in 2010 triggered a civil war. Other regional neighbours Mali and Guinea Bissau have been thrown into chaos by military coups.

 

Ghana, by contrast, has seen five constitutional transfers of power since its last coup in 1981. The years of peace - along with its rich natural resources - have made it a darling for international investors.

 

THE SMELL OF MONEY

 

This election has been coloured by hopes of greater prosperity as output rises from Tullow Oil's offshore Jubilee field, where production began less than two years ago.

 

Rival billboards in Ghana's sprawling capital, Accra, boil down the campaigns: Nana Akufo-Addo is "The man to trust with Ghana's money". Mahama, meanwhile, is "trusted, decisive and action-driven towards a better Ghana".

 

"The elections in 2008 were about the smell of oil - now in 2012, it is about the reality of oil," Gyimah-Boadi said.

 

Tullow's production is expected to rise to 120,000 barrels per day in 2013 from between 60,000 and 90,000 bpd this year while more big deposits have been found.

 

Akufo-Addo says he would use the oil wealth to pay for free primary and secondary education.

 

"We are calling for a change now, a change that will take Ghana into economic transformation through value addition and no more excessive borrowing and donor dependence," he told cheering supporters at a rally on Wednesday, the last day of campaigning.

 

Mahama, meanwhile, says he aims to put Ghana on the path to becoming a middle-income country with a per capita income of $2,300 by 2017 - double that in 2009. He dismisses criticism that the oil industry has created few jobs for Ghanaians.

 

"We believe we have done our bit in the last four years in bringing economic development to our people," he told thousands at a rally in Accra's seaside Labadi suburb on Wednesday.

 

"We are confident of winning another four years in order to consolidate the achievements," he said.

 

On Friday, voters will also elect 275 legislators. There are 45 more seats in parliament than at the 2008 election, in which Mahama's National Democratic Congress (NDC) won a small majority.

 

The World Bank is upbeat on Ghana, expecting growth to be driven by investment in resources, infrastructure and agriculture in a country that also produces cocoa and gold.

 

ETHNIC LINES

 

But in a country where campaign messages rarely influence voting choices, many believe more than half of the 14 million voters will cast their ballot based on ethnic and social affiliation, or regionalism.

 

Twenty-seven year old Jacob Djaba, a car-wash attendant in the Osu suburb of Accra, said he and friends would vote for Mahama, "our kinsman". Mahama is from northern Ghana while his party has also traditionally done well in parts of the east.

 

"He is our own and our thumbs belong to him," Djaba said, to cheers from three colleagues nearby.

 

Papa Nkansah, a coconut vendor, said he normally voted for the NPP, whose heartland of support is among the Ashanti people with roots in the ancient kingdom of the same name.

 

"I like Mahama ... but again something tells me I must keep to the Ashanti tradition," Nkansah, 31, said as he rammed a sharp cutlass through a coconut pod at a construction site in Accra's Ridge neighbourhood.

 

In an effort to smooth over ethnic tensions that have bubbled over into scuffles in recent weeks, presidential candidates signed a peace pact last week. Mass prayers have been organised in churches and mosques.

 

"There is no doubt Ghana is an icon of political stability on the continent, but there is need to put in place early warning signs against potential electoral violence," head of the national peace council Emmanuel Asante said.

 

(Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Matthew Tostevin and Jon Hemming)

Chinese migrants in Ghana are growing and so is their notoriety, says a study by a nominee of the African Thesis Awards 2012. Yet according to Judith Zoetelief, the author of the nominated thesis, many Chinese workers do not know they have a bad reputation.

 

"Hey, Chinaman!" shouts a Ghanaian man from across the road as he passes by on his bicycle in Tamale, the Northern Region's capital. The words are directed at Ke Hua, a mechanic from a small town in China's Guangxi province, who does respond to the shout even though it does not sound unfriendly.

 

When Dutch researcher Zoetelief, who observed the exchange, asked why, he kept quiet. Ke Hua said that he had not even heard the cyclist. In fact, his understanding of English was so limited he could not have responded.

 

Falling on deaf ears

 

Renewed political and economical relations between China and Ghana have gone hand in hand with the increased presence of this migrant group. The most recent and visible wave began gathering speed in the mid-1990s. But since the early 2000s, a growing number of negative reports have been appearing in Ghanaian media.

 

From Chinese men fathering African children to Chinese companies allegedly sending over ex-convicts as labourers, the Ghanaian rumour mill has been churning stories and complaints about the migrants.

 

But according to Zoetelief, the majority of Chinese migrants are not aware of their negative reputation. What's more, they report not having experienced hostile attitudes from Ghanaians. According to the study, this lack of consciousness is caused by their limited access to information and their inability to read newspaper reports in English.

 

At the same time, the social encounters Ghanaians have had with Chinese construction workers have kept the stories circulating. Many Ghanaians in Tamale believe, for example, that the Chinese workers they witnessed building the Tamale Stadium were convicts. Why? According to some of the study's Ghanaian interviewees, the workers looked "dirty".

 

"This is bullshit!"

 

The topic turned out to be a controversial one among Chinese construction workers interviewed in the study. None appeared to have heard these accusations and were shocked when confronted with them.

 

One of the workers is quoted by Zoetelief as saying: "How would any country be able to send their convicts to work in a foreign country? This is just impossible. This is bullshit!"

 

"Who says these things? From what country are these people, because they obviously don't know China," another worker states.

 

During the interviews it appeared, too, that the stadium builders were held responsible for the severe drought in the summer of 2006. According to a Canadian Chinese school volunteer: "I was told that Tamale was experiencing the worst drought of the decade. Chinese construction workers at the soccer stadium were blamed for the drought. Rumours about Chinese witchcraft started spreading because there was no rain since the construction of the stadium commenced."

 

Little understanding

 

Despite these negative stories, none of the Chinese workers told Zoetelief they felt unwelcome or treated with hostility by Ghanaians in Tamale. What the workers did experience was a sense of unfamiliarity. The Chinese informants believed that their national hosts have little understanding or knowledge of China, which, according to Zoetelief, is likely to be true.

 

Radio Netherlands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A 16-year-old Chinese national was killed and more than 100 others were detained by Ghanaian police for suspected illegal gold mining, the Chinese Embassy in Accra said on Sunday.

 

Ghana's police and immigration officials launched a joint action on Thursday and Friday to investigate illegal gold mining activities by foreigners in the Ashanti region and arrested more than 100 Chinese citizens, the embassy said.

 

On one mining site near Manso, a township close to the region's capital Kumasi, policemen on Thursday destroyed mining facilities and work sheds. In the operation, the boy, known as Chen, was shot dead when he tried to escape, the embassy said.

 

Ghana President John Dramani Mahama   credit:  ChinaDaily


Upon learning the news, Chinese Ambassador Gong Jianzhong urgently met Ghanaian Deputy Foreign Minister Chris Kpodo and National Security Coordinator Larry Gbevlo Lartey and expressed serious concerns over the death of Chen and the detention of Chinese workers. The ambassador demanded thorough investigation into the shooting and compensation for the family of the victim.

 

The Ghanaian government has expressed deep sorrow over the death of the Chinese boy and promised to investigate the case.

 

The Chinese Embassy called on all Chinese in Ghana to abide by related laws and regulations to safeguard their legal interests.

 

According to Ghanaian laws, foreign companies are only allowed to work independently on large and open-pit mines.

 

A majority of Chinese workers in Ghana work in road and harbor constructions, gas pipeline projects and other China-aided projects.

 

Source: CriEnglish.com

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings  Running for Ghana's President on NDP Ticket

 

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings will have her picture on the ballot paper as the flagbearer of the newly-formed National Democratic Party (NDP).

 

Confirmed reports indicate that Mrs. Rawlings will be running on the ticket of the National Democratic Party, a party formed by disgruntled members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

 

Yesterday, the General Secretary of the NDP, Dr. Joseph Manboa-Rockson, put the rumours to rest, when he admitted in an interview with Joy FM, a local radio station in Accra, that Mrs. Rawlings would indeed, be contesting the party's flagbearership race.

 

The news of Nana Konadu running against the NDC on the ticket of the NDP does not come as a surprise, as rumours and speculations linked the party to the former first family, right from its birth.

 

When the NDP goes to congress this Saturday at the Kumasi Sports Stadium, it is likely Mrs. Rawlings will be acclaimed the consensus candidate, without a contest.

 

Although others have also shown interest in contesting the flagbeareship of the party, its General Secretary is optimistic they would come to a consensus to allow Mrs. Rawlings go uncontested.

 

Mrs. Rawlings' wranglings with the NDC, a party her husband founded and sealed with his own blood, became more evident after her defeat at the Sunyani Congress, where she contested the then sitting President, John Evans Atta Mills.

 

Nana Konadu had heavily criticised the conduct of that election, and expressed concern about at the level of insults, intimidation and vindictiveness that characterised the period leading to the congress, and during the event itself.

 

Her husband, Mr. Rawlings, thereafter, intensified his criticism of the NDC and the leadership style of the then President Mills, stating among others that the party had deviated from its core values and principles.

Afripol's Emeka Chiakwelu and Ghana President John MahamaAfripol's Emeka Chiakwelu and Ghana President John Mahama

 

To him, the country was being led into the abyss by persons within the NDC, who he had described in various terms, with the latest descriptions being "Greedy Bastards", "broken and rotten planks", "babies with hard teeth" and "same old evil dwarfs."

 

It is, however, not clear whether Mr. Rawlings himself will defect to the side of his wife in her political adventure, but coming events will be an interesting case study for political science students, as the Konadu-led NDP battles it out with the NDC, with Mr. Rawlings lurking on the horizon.

 

Political pundits are of the opinion that Mrs. Rawlings' presidential adventure with the NDP will be the last straw to break the NDC's back in the coming elections, considering that fact that Mrs. Rawlings, as leader of the 31st December Women's Movement, commands a large following.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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