Impressions of Malaysia
When you are a die-hard patriot, a mad fan of GHnation and you travel outside the country, you look out for all the positives of where you are visiting, wishing same is implemented in your Ghana.
We are so dependent on our smartphones that we often joke about being addicted. However, what many people still fail to realise is that smartphone addiction is actually a very real problem affecting thousands across the globe.
One in ten smartphone users now admit to using their phones in the shower and during sex. The same figures even show that half of people use phones while driving.
The role of microfinance institutions in the edifice of the Ghanaian financial sector; and socio-economic development and growth of the country cannot be over emphasised.
In recent years, the Ghanaian economy has witnessed the formal establishment of several microfinance institutions. Connoisseurs of activities in the financial sector believe the introduction of microfinance institutions is timely to fill the lending void created in the financial industry.
Akua is fixated on seatbelts. She constantly engages in a verbal brawl with her husband over his reluctance to wear his seatbelt anytime they enter their vehicle.
But now Akua faces a dilemma. She is six months pregnant and is restless about the safety of her baby when she wears a seat belt.
An assessment of Ghana’s wind energy potential in a study conducted by National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), a United States (US) institution, in collaboration with the Ghana Energy Commission and Meteorological Service between 2002 and 2005, revealed that the country had a huge potential in wind energy resource.
The study, which was funded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) concluded that, Ghana had classes four to six wind resources at the highest ridges near the border with Togo and the highest ridges northwest of Accra.
When the machines arrived last winter, the villagers were mesmerized.
In Zamashegu, a farming community of 1,000 people in northern Ghana, they may as well have come from outer space — four electric slot machines installed in two roadside shacks, chirping and clattering, bathing the packed-dirt walls in a pale, kaleidoscopic glow.
Punctuality eludes Ghanaians. And when it does, we have all the 'right' reasons. Traffic is the most flogged off all the excuses.
Lateness has become so synonymous with us that we have tended to coin phrases indicating the usualness of it.
PERFORMANCE OF GHANAIAN ENGINEERS/CONTRACTORS VRS FOREIGN ONES, WHAT ARE WE REALLY COMPARING AND WHINING ABOUT?
• “I Believe in Ghana”- President Nana Akuffu Addo
• “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” - Samuel Beckett
• “Construction is big business with huge budgets and many people rightly see it as an avenue to earn or make or steal money”
“I shall pass through this world but once.Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, Let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, For I shall not pass this way again.”- Stephen Grellet 1773-1855
Many people living in Ghana seem to agree that a lot more can be done to enable elderly women and men lead a more comfortable life in our towns and villages. As we visit lorry stations, local clinics, while going to church or the mosque, we meet and interact with our own relations, schoolmates and office colleagues who may have retired a few years earlier.
Mixed reactions by members of the public, especially assembly members, and New Patriotic Party functionaries, greeted President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s nomination of people to the offices of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) early this year.
Practically speaking, the current crop of MMDCEs have a little over a year to stay in office as they shall be subjected to elections by all qualified voters in their respective localities next year when Ghanaians will for the first time go to the polls to elect their MMDCEs. This will replace the current arrangement which gives that responsibility to assembly members alone. Obviously, some of them would retain their seats while others would not depending on one’s performance.
The afternoon with Kofi Annan [at the Movenpick Hotel, Accra, August 20, 2017] brought back memories of the significance of the second United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjold of Sweden. The event got me to revisit and appreciate the life of the latter through the following three books among my prized collection: Dag Hammarskjold’s United Nations by Mark W. Zacher; Hammarskjold by Brian Urquhart; and Markings by Dag Hammarskjold himself.
Children, like every human being, live in their own world. They have their moments of happiness and their moments of sorrow.
They have their own experiences in life. They make choices—some of which make them happy while other experiences become permanent scars in their minds and hearts.
We do not like science very much in this country.
We prefer to ascribe spiritual and miraculous explanations to all things that happen in our lives. Accidents, deaths, ill health, passing and failing exams, finding a partner, wealth, poverty, good fortune - none of them have scientific explanations.
The rest of the world has probably heard that Ghana has successfully launched its first satellite into space. It certainly made headlines on the BBC, but you would have missed it completely if you were depending on the news outlets in our country.
It used to say on my passport in the profession column that I was a Journalist. Now it says WRITER. The change from journalist to writer occurred in the early 1990s. The world had suddenly changed from the innocent place I had known where we journalists wore dust jackets with PRESS emblazoned on them as a form of protection in dangerous areas, to journalists becoming deliberate targets.
There are many things I want to write about today. The vetting by Parliament of nominated Ministers of State, the one-upmanship of the committee members is very much in your face. It does seem we must give them a crash course on how to conduct interviews to get something useful and interesting out of the nominees.
Quibblings and squabblings in political party affairs are not a strange occurrence but how they are managed to return the party’s cohesion to normalcy is what is vital.
Currently, within the political sphere, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) is struggling to assuage the anger and meet the high expectations of some of its aggrieved supporters and affiliated groupings who feel sidelined after they helped the party to win political power, whilst the People’s National Convention (PNC) is also faced with a court threat as its suspended General Secretary, Mr Atik Mohammed, has rubbished the move and intends to stay put as General Secretary notwithstanding the consequences.
This year has been a rather difficult one for the Electoral Commission (EC). Everything seems to be going wrong and haywire for the election management body. Just last year, the commission seemed so determined and focused as it worked in tandem to prosecute one of the global best elections to be conducted in the annals of the country’s history.
So what has suddenly changed at this revered election institution which is giving it a bad name within the governance and political process? Over the last two weeks, no day passes without the high credentials of the EC being torn apart, butchered and scattered into thin air.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is speaking so well, tough and good. Since his inauguration on January 7, 2017, the President’s pronouncements are always on point and resonate so well with the citizenry.
It was precision leadership on display when the President addressed the traditional authorities last week with a bold pledge to stop the ‘galamsey’ (illegal mining) menace ruining national development efforts. He even went a step further with a public declaration that he is prepared to put his job as President of Ghana on the line to safe-guard and secure the nations’s interest and future.
Earlier this week, in an Opinion piece in the Daily Graphic of August 15, David Ampofo commented on the raging controversy over whether Dr Kwame Nkrumah alone should be credited with having ‘founded’ Ghana, or the United Gold Coast Convention statesmen, too, should share the credit.
In his ‘One man can make a difference’ piece, Mr Ampofo refers to “one of the finest contributions to this debate” by Ekow Nelson, published in the Graphic of August 9.
Recently, news of a possible terrorist attack and general security threats on the websites of some western embassies in Ghana generated a furore before it emerged that the postings were not new. Well, that may have been ‘old news’, but terrorism of another kind is a reality for some bank customers at Dansoman Estate, Accra.
If to ‘terrorize’ means frightening someone by threatening them, or making them feel traumatized, that is what some customers of some of the banks in the estate feel long after an encounter with some rogue taxi drivers operating at Dansoman.
Good news for sanitation campaigners, especially those worried about the capital city’s cleanliness. It seems that at long last the Accra Metropolitan Assembly has swung into decisive action!
A couple of days ago, I went to the Kaneshie Market to find out whether a social media video posting depicting a shocking sanitation situation there was truly a current scene.
Well, the posting didn’t lie.
I had the privilege to visit Presidents Mahama and Akufo-Addo in their offices. I was shocked by the teeming numbers waiting to see them. I asked myself what they wanted.But I knew the answer. Many Ghanaians want to see the chief to remind him of their presence and ask for specific favours.
As a people we tend to blame our tools when we do not perform well. We ask for a law to be enacted or for the existing one to be modified when something goes wrong.
We do not stop to think what we could have done or do to avert unpleasant situations. Time was when the chief rallied the people to assist re-roof a school which had fallen victim to inclement weather.
For years, our forebears laboured abroad as slaves to help build metropolis of learning, culture and enterprise in distant lands. For years, we were made to believe that colonisation was necessary for our human development and capacity to rule ourselves.
For years, the groundswell of opposition to the obnoxious policies gathered momentum. Eventually, the people threw off colonial rule and assumed their God-given right to govern themselves.
Most of the important things in the world have been achieved by people who kept trying when there seemed to be no hope
— Dale Carnegie
It must now dawn on all of us that the fight against illegal mining has to be handled with determination and commitment. If we allow ourselves to be overcome by emotions, argumentum ad hominem, as some would put it, we would be enmeshed and engulfed by the destruction that illegal mining brings.
We shall steer safely through every storm so long as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage steadfast and our trust fixed on God
-- St Francis de Sales.
Confucius has noted that “to see what is right and not do it is a lack of courage.” That is why we must unite as a nation and do whatever we can to salvage the Electoral Commission (EC) from the path it is going following accusations and counter- accusations, with the top management enmeshed in mudslinging throwing dirt all over the place.
On July 1, 2017, my mother was buried and the funeral rites were very successful thanks to the support I received from a large section of people. In such situations, it becomes difficult to show appreciation to all those who sacrificed to be there to mourn with me. However, in every situation there are exceptions. It is on this basis that I want to single out certain individuals for mention. There may be some who did far better than those I have named but if I had not named you, it does not mean that I did not appreciate your sacrifices.